John Hinckley Jr. to be granted absolute discharge
A federal judge on Monday approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., who injured President Ronald Reagan and three others in a failed assassination attempt in 1981.
At a hearing in Washington, DC, United States District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman said he plans to remove Hinckley from judicial surveillance next June, provided he remains mentally stable and continues to follow the rules of the court imposed on him. Friedman said he would officially render his decision on Hinckley’s release later this week.
Hinckley, 66, has been in Williamsburg, Va., Since a court granted his supervised release from a mental health facility in 2016.
Among the conditions imposed by the court: Hinckley must receive regular medical supervision and psychiatric treatment; must not own a firearm; and must have no contact with Reagan’s children, other victims or their families, or actress Jodie Foster, whom he was obsessed with at the time of filming.
Hinckley shot and nearly killed Reagan outside a Washington hotel on March 30, 1981. James Brady, Reagan’s press secretary, was paralyzed in the shooting. A Secret Service agent and a Washington policeman were also injured.
Barry Levine, Hinckley’s lawyer, had requested his unconditional release, arguing he no longer posed a threat.
“There is no evidence of danger whatsoever,” Levine said Monday.
In 1982, a jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity. After the verdict, he was interned at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC, where he remained for more than three decades until 2016, when the court granted him convalescent leave to live on time. full with his mother in Williamsburg. She died in her sleep in August at 95 years old.
Monday’s decision comes a month after California parole board voted to release Sirhan Sirhan, who murdered Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Two of RFK’s sons said they supported the release of Sirhan, 77, who spent more than 50 years in prison for the murder, but six of Kennedy’s other children stated that Sirhan should stay in jail.
This recommendation, which was not contested by prosecutors, is currently under review by the Legal Division of the Parole Hearings Board. He will then likely be referred to California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has not said whether he would approve of Sirhan’s release.
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