Ronald Reagan hinckley shooting assassination
In this Nov. 18, 2003, file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington. Lawyers for Hinckley, the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, are scheduled to argue in court Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, that the 66-year-old should be freed from restrictions placed on him after he moved out of a Washington hospital in 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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By Ben Finley, AP

Lawyers for John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, are scheduled to argue in court Monday that the 66-year-old should be freed from restrictions placed on him after he moved out of a Washington hospital in 2016.

Since Hinckley’s move to Williamsburg, Virginia, a federal judge has made him live under various conditions that dictate much of his life. For instance, doctors and therapists must oversee his psychiatric medication and decide how often he attends individual and group therapy sessions.

Hinckley has monthly appointments — now virtual — with Washington’s Department of Behavioral Health, which files progress notes with a federal court. And he must give three days’ notice if he wants to travel more than 75 miles (120 kilometers) from home.

Hinckley also has to turn over passwords for computers, phones and online accounts such as email. He can’t have a gun. And he can’t contact Reagan’s children, other victims or their families or actress Jodie Foster —- with whom he was obsessed with at the time of the 1981 shooting.

Ronald Reagan hinckley shooting assassination
In this March 30, 1981, file photo, Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, foreground, Washington policeman Thomas K. Delehanty, center, and presidential press secretary James Brady, background, lie wounded on a street outside a Washington hotel after shots were fired at U.S. President Ronald Reagan.  (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)

Hinckley’s attorney, Barry Levine, has said that Hinckley should get what’s called “unconditional release” because he no longer poses a threat.

“He has adhered to every requirement of law,” Levine told The Associated Press last month. “And based on the views of a variety of mental health professionals … he no longer suffers from a mental disease, and he hasn’t suffered from a mental disease for decades.”

A status conference is scheduled for Monday before U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington.

In a May court filing, the U.S. government had said it opposed ending the restrictions. It also retained an expert to examine Hinckley and determine “whether or not he would pose a danger to himself or others if unconditionally released.”

Findings from such an examination have not been filed in court. But a 2020 “violence risk assessment” conducted on behalf of Washington’s Department of Behavioral Health said Hinckley would not pose a danger.

Timothy McCarthy, a Secret Service agent who was shot during the assassination attempt, told the AP that he doesn’t “have a lot of good Christian thoughts” about Hinckley.

Ronald Reagan hinckley shooting assassination
In this March 30, 1981 file photo, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, center, is shown being shoved into the President’s limousine by secret service agents after being shot outside a Washington hotel.  (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)

“But in any case, I hope they’re right,” McCarthy, 72, said of mental health professionals and the court. “Because the actions of this man could have changed the course of history.”

Hinckley was 25 when he shot and wounded the 40th U.S. president outside a Washington hotel. The shooting paralyzed Reagan press secretary James Brady, who died in 2014. It also injured McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty.

Hinckley was suffering from acute psychosis. When jurors found him not guilty by reason of insanity, they said he needed treatment and not a lifetime in confinement. He was ordered to live at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington.

In the 2000s, Hinckley began making visits to his parents’ home in a gated Williamsburg community. A 2016 court order granted him permission to live with his mom full-time, albeit under various restrictions, after experts said his mental illness had been in remission for decades.

Stephen J. Morse, a University of Pennsylvania professor of law and psychiatry, said Hinckley’s acquittal by reason of insanity means “he is not to blame for those terrible things that happened and he cannot be punished.”

Decades of legal precedent are on Hinckley’s side when it comes to lifting restrictions, Morse said. Most people in Hinckley’s situation are released from a psychiatric hospital if they’re no longer considered mentally ill or dangerous, he said. And if they follow court-ordered rules, unconditional release virtually always follows after a period of time.

“People tend to age out of dangerousness, even people with terrible records, by their early 40s,” Morse said. “If he hadn’t attempted to kill President Reagan, this guy would have been released ages ago.”

In recent years, Hinckley has sold items from a booth at an antique mall that he’s found at estate sales, flea markets and consignment shops. He’s shared his music on YouTube and had been in a relationship with a woman he met in group therapy.

Friedman, the federal judge, has also loosened Hinckley’s restrictions from about 30 conditions in 2018 to 17 conditions last year. For instance, Hinckley was granted the right to publicly display his artwork and allowed to move out of his mother’s house. But he still can’t travel to places where he knows there will be someone who is protected by the Secret Service.

Hinckley’s mother died in July. By then he had already moved out, according to his attorney. Levine did not say where Hinckley now lives, but he would have been required to inform his treatment team of where he was moving.

Hinckley’s 2020 risk assessment said he planned to stay in the Williamsburg area after his mother’s death and that his brother Scott expressed interest in living with him.

Last year’s risk assessment recommended that he be considered for unconditional release. The report said there’s no indication he’s sought access to weapons. And it said he’s unlikely to reach out to people he’s been barred from contacting. He hasn’t tried to contact Foster, the actress, since the 1980s, the report said.

Hinckley is quoted as saying that he’d continue to take his psychiatric medication and attend group therapy.

“Not a whole lot would change,” Hinckley said.

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    • Awh, did someone try to hurt your dear gun control Jesus 40 years ago? awhhh Spare me. Regan humpers are the OG trump humpers.

      • When an individual proves himself to be dangerous, you always keep an eye on him – if not two eyes. The boy ain’t right in the head, and the Secret Service will always watch him, no matter what the courts might say. The same would be true if he had tried to kill an ultra-liberal progressive president. Derp-a-derp, Bubba Freeman.

      • Hey NF, awesome post progtard.

        The justice system must be blind to both the status/wealth of individuals and their political views/affiliations. Trying to pivot a discussion on criminal justice/reform/rehabilitation into a debate on personal status/political position/policy opinions is just pathetic.
        I’m guessing you think there should be a skin tone charts in courts too. They get held up next to those convicted, with “sliding scale” sentencing guidelines based on what skin tone the defendant has.🤪

        Go cast that bait on another forum, seems like nobody’s “taking that hook” here.🙄

        Off you go, lowercase troll.

  1. If he’s safe to let loose then ALL the anti gun laws put in place because of his actions should be removed.

    • I agree 100%

      We need an “Escape From New York” style prison to drop scum like David H into.

      Don’t release ANYONE who (when 100% unprovoked) attempts to or successfully commits the murder another human being. Carjackers/robbers/rapists that commit murder while plying their trade, drop all that scum behind the wall too.

      Problem solved. Citizens outside the walls can have unrestricted 2nd A rights. 👍

      • Wait a minute, I thought you guys said once an individual had served their sentence, paid their debt to society they should get their constitutional rights?

        Remind me again, where in the second amendment does it say that right can be taken away, I thought it was God-given?

        Or is this somehow judged by a different standard because the victim was Ronald Reagan, who signed the first California racist gun control act into law?

        • Citation please.
          I for one never stated that.

          I would never consider restoration of all rights until EVERY state was, at a minimum, a SHALL issue state.
          This way violent repeat offenders would have to consider the consequences of having to deal with intended victims that could handle their re-offending BS in a proper manner.
          The “fvck around and find out” form of rehabilitation. 🤔

        • He hasn’t completed anything. Mental defects will never be repaired.
          Also when the 2A was actually enforced as intended everyone could have the means to defend themselves. Today not so much.
          F U minor

        • Remind me again, where in the second amendment does it say that right can be taken away, I thought it was God-given?

          Says the guy that thinks everyone should have to beg the government for permission to exercise the very same constitutionally protected human right.

          Here’s the only reasonable answer to your disingenuous question: FOAD, progtard.

        • Miner49er,

          You ask an important question which has a ginormously important answer.

          Fortunately, the answer is simple and you can find it within the United States Declaration of Independence as well as the United States Constitution. They key to the answer is the term, “the People.”

          Remember the opening phrase of the United States Constitution:

          “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

          It is completely obvious that “the People” refers to our populace who are doing their best to uphold our union, justice, tranquility, common defense, and general welfare.

          Note that a criminal who attacks our populace is weakening our union and violating justice, tranquility, and our general welfare. Thus, a criminal has removed himself or herself from “the People” and is no longer one of “the People”. Finally, because a criminal is no longer one of “the People”, the Second Amendment does not apply to a criminal.

          What about after a criminal serves a prison sentence and is released? All of the rest of us (“the People”) give that ex-convict the benefit-of-the-doubt that he/she will NOT weaken our union nor violate justice, tranquility, and our general welfare. In other words we assume that an ex-convict rejoins “the People” and should thus have all of the sames rights and privileges as everyone else. At least that is the underlying mindset. (Of course that doesn’t always happen in entirety.)

        • ALL the founding documents are based on Natural Right………..

          “Constitutional Rights Foundation”

          “Full Text of The Federalist Papers – Federalist Papers: Primary Documents in American History – Research Guides at Library of Congress”

          Leftard whiner49er needs to read something besides the BS written by Zinn and Marx.

  2. No matter what happens, he will still be watched. That comes with the territory.

    Although, many Regan worshipers like Trump, it doesn’t mean that they compare at all. Regan did what his masters told him, he was the NWO darling. Trump bit back and supported working Americans. He could have done more, he could have started national care for mental illness and Taken care of the afflicted(and gotten them off the sidewalks), that would have fixed one of Regan’s blunders.

    • Solve mental illness? Handcuff yourself to hinckley so you two mental midgets can watch each other.

      Besides your Reagan misspellings your “doing what his masters told him” applies directly to Jim Crow Gun Control joe biden. The very bozo pathetic politically inept clowns like you helped to usher in.

      BTW…How could POTUS DJT bite back when there is such a long timeline between POTUS Reagan and POTUS DJT? Please advise.

      • And it was Democratic president Barack Hussein Obama who signed into law the act that repealed Reagan-era prohibitions on citizens exercising their right to keep and bear arms on millions of acres of national forests and BLM managed federal lands.

  3. The pos who nearly murdered a POTUS and caused brain injury that confined another man to a wheelchair should be thankful he’s no longer in prison and lives in a time where he did not receive what those involved in the Lincoln assassination received. Allowing any “Freedom” to be placed on hold for such a pos is an insult to injury and goes without saying.

  4. Never has a crazy dude deserved execution more than this guy. He killed Brady. He pushed gun control along. He shot Tim McCarthy who was a longtime official in nearby Orlando Park. He may have pushed Reagan into senility(lack of oxygen). Argue all you want. I don’t care!

    • Spot on.

      David H should have received the death penalty.

      We can only wish that those who claim these monsters can be “rehabilitated” are the ONLY ones to experience family members falling victim to the monsters “behavioural relapses”. 😉

  5. Releasing criminals into the public and then just ignoring other criminals is the reason we have increasing murder rates. The people in charge are inflicting chaos. This is why people are buying more guns. This is a very big part of what is increasing everyone’s stress.

  6. Most people in his situation have been released? Really? Just how many people have attempted the murder of a sitting president due to infatuation with an actress? And of that number, how many have been released? When was John Wilkes Booth released?
    More to the point, exactly what benefit would the people of these United States realize from his release? And how is his release more important, more fair, than the release of THOUSANDS of people imprisoned for non-violent crimes? I would prefer to be protected from the likes of this POS by his execution 40 years ago, too late for that but we could just kill him now!

    • ‘Just how many people have attempted the murder of a sitting president due to infatuation with an actress?’ Well Charlie Manson wasn’t an actress, but (as I pointed out below) Squeaky Fromme is free woman and she hasn’t killed anybody that we know of.

    • LarryinTX,

      You are touching upon a very important topic and asking the right questions. A complete discussion goes well beyond a practical response in this forum. Nevertheless, I will attempt to provide a very brief (and watered-down) answer.

      There is a general principle: no one among us is perfect and we have all harmed other people and/or society at some point in our lives. On a related note, while many of us have not caused significant harm to others or society, many/most of us would under unusual/extenuating circumstances. Thus, we would be wise to require that we are very careful about handing out punishments since almost any of us–even “good people”–could be facing punishment ourselves.

      There is another general principle: we are human beings with immense value. We have immense value even when we screw up. Categorically executing people or caging people for the rest of their natural lives for any infraction whatsoever denies the immense value of human beings. And the corollary: doing nothing to people who harm others or society also denies the immense value of human beings.

      In light of those two general principles, true justice requires a balanced response to a person who harms another person or society. Thus, minor infractions should involve a minor penalty. Major infractions should involve a major penalty. And only the most heinous and inexcusable infractions should involve the death penalty or caging someone for the rest of their natural lives.

      Where does Hinckley fall in all of this? I have no idea because I do not know the intimate details and facts of the case. Did/does he deserve the death penalty for what he did? That could very well be true. I simply urge great care/caution before arriving at that position.

  7. Uhhm, I dare ask doesn’t he have schizophrenia? I am no doctor but at the same time isn’t his medication what makes him effectively not a threat to society? I’d think keeping that as a condition of his release should be a pretty good base line minimum overall.

    • ” isn’t his medication what makes him effectively not a threat to society?”

      Actually, if you look at all the mass shooters, those meds make him a greater threat to society. Even more so, if he goes off his meds. So, your point isn’t very far off target – he needs to remain under doctor supervision, and he needs to be spanked severely if he stops taking his meds.

    • He should not be released at all. If he must be, a condition of his release should be something he cannot simply decide to cease ingesting. For example, a prefrontal lobotomy. Or decapitation.

    • He can only live next door to the judge, but only if the judge has a daughter that looks like a teenage Jodi Foster. 😉

    • “……he probably doesn’t obsess over Jodie Foster anymore.”

      This means nothing.

      Under stress and off his meds he’s a threat to society.

    • I knew all along under that possum killing skin you was a nice and caring guy.
      Even with all his Jethro WM insults your still concerned about his well being.

  8. Why wasn’t Hinckley charged for the murder of James Brady?

    His injuries in the shooting obviously (or very likely) contributed to his death.

    I’ve seen it before, so why not now? Seems to me is would’ve been a great way to keep Hinckley is prison for life.

    • “Why wasn’t Hinckley charged for the murder of James Brady”

      Thinking that the successful “mental disorder/defect” defence covered all the crimes that day. Hence, the later death of Brady would be a consequence of actions for which Hinckley was determined to not be responsible.

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