Hinckley to get freedom 41 years after shooting Reagan

Hinckley was confined to a mental hospital in Washington for more than two decades after a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity in shooting Reagan.


National News

June 1, 2022 - 3:05 PM

John Hinckey JR sits in the middle of the bench seat of the station surrounded by FBI agents as he departs the United States District for the District of Columbia after being arraigned and charged with the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. (Mark Reinstein/Zuma Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is “no longer a danger to himself or others” and will be freed from all restrictions this month, a federal judge said Wednesday, capping Hinckley’s four-decade journey through the legal and mental health systems.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman said in September that he would free Hinckley from all remaining restrictions on June 15 as long as Hinckley continued to do well living in the community in Virginia as he has for years. At a hearing Wednesday in Washington which Hinckley did not attend, Friedman noted Hinckley has continued to do well, and the judge made no changes to his plans for full freedom from court oversight.

“He’s been scrutinized. He’s passed every test. He’s no longer a danger to himself or others,” Friedman said at a hearing that lasted about an hour. Friedman devoted much of the hearing to talking about the “long road” of the case, which he was randomly assigned two decades ago, the third judge to be involved in the case.

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