John Hinckley Jr, Reagan’s would-be assassin, released after 35 years

Source: BBC

John Hinckley Jr, the man who tried to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan, has been released from a psychiatric hospital after 35 years.

Mr Reagan and three others were injured in the shooting outside a hotel in Washington in March 1981.

Mr Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity but was sent for treatment to a Washington hospital.

In July, a judge ruled that Mr Hinckley, now 61, was not a danger to himself or the public.

Mr Hinckley had already been spending 17 days a month at his mother’s home in Virginia under strict conditions.

Associated Press reported that he had arrived at her home having been freed on Saturday.


John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington (2003 file photo)Image copyrightAP
Image captionJohn Hinckley Jr was found not guilty due to his psychiatric problems (file photo from 2003)

As part of his release he will:

  • be banned from speaking to the press;
  • have to work three days a week;
  • be allowed to drive no more than 30 miles (48km) from his mother’s home, or 50 miles if accompanied;
  • see a psychiatrist two times a month

The shooting, just weeks into Ronald Reagan’s presidency, shocked the world.

Mr Reagan was shot in the lung, but recovered.

His press secretary James Brady was shot in the head, suffered brain damage and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Mr Brady’s death in 2014 at the age of 73 was ruled to be a homicide, but no further charges against Hinckley were brought.

Two law enforcement officers suffered less serious injuries in the shooting.

US District Judge Paul Friedman’s judgement points to medical assessments which showed that Mr Hinckley had had “no symptoms of active mental illness” since 1983.

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Categories: America, USA

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