Tags: hinckley | reagan | hospital | release

Judge Frees Would-Be Reagan Assassin John W. Hinckley Jr. From Mental Hospital

Image: Judge Frees Would-Be Reagan Assassin John W. Hinckley Jr. From Mental Hospital
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By    |   Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 09:45 AM

The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 has been given his freedom by a federal judge after 35 years in confinement.

John Hinckley Jr. will be released from the psychiatric facility effective Aug. 5, free to live with his 90-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, according to The Washington Post.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, who issued the ruling, freed Hinckley with numerous restrictions, but said he no longer poses a threat to himself or others.

Hinckley, now 61, shot Reagan and three others — including Reagan press secretary James Brady — outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster. A federal jury found Hinckley not guilty of all counts by reason of insanity, a result that provided the impetus for new laws to raise the standard of proof for an insanity defense.  

Hinckley had been confined full-time to St. Elizabeth's hospital, the first federally operated psych hospital in the U.S., until the 1990s when supervised visits with his mother and family first began, the Post reports.

Hinckley's attorney Barry Levine, who has been trying since 2003 to win his client's freedom, said Hinckley is not a threat.

"Mr. Hinckley recognizes that what he did was horrific. But it's crucial to understand that what he did was not an act of evil. It was an act caused by mental illness," Levine told the Post.

"He is profoundly sorry and he wishes he could take back that day, but he can't. And he has lived for decades recognizing the pain he caused his victims, their families, and the nation."

Reagan died in 2004.

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The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 has been given his freedom by a federal judge after 35 years in confinement.
hinckley, reagan, hospital, release
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2016-45-27
Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 09:45 AM
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