WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge is set to preside over an important hearing for John Hinckley, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and is set to be released from all remaining restrictive conditions.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman said in september that he would release Hinckley from the restrictions on June 15 as long as Hinckley continued to be well. Officials say Hinckley did, and Wednesday’s hearing, which Hinckley will not attend, should not alter those plans.
Hinckley was confined to a mental hospital in Washington for more than two decades after a jury found him not guilty due to the insanity of shooting Reagan. But beginning in 2003, Friedman began allowing Hinckley to live longer in the community with requirements such as undergoing therapy and restrictions on where he can travel. He lived full time in Virginia since 2016, although still subject to restrictions.
Hinckley’s current restrictions include: allowing government officials access to his electronic devices, email and online accounts; being banned from going to places where he knows there will be someone protected by the Secret Service; and give three days notice if he wants to travel more than 120 miles from his home in Virginia.
In July, Hinckley – who plays guitar and sings and has shared his music on a YouTube channel – plans to perform a concert in Brooklyn, New York. Appearances in Connecticut and Chicago for what he called the “John Hinckley Redemption Tour” have been cancelled.
The judge said Hinckley, who turned 67 on Sunday, has shown no symptoms of active mental illness, no violent behavior and no interest in weapons since 1983.
In a status report filed ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors wrote that health officials who have overseen Hinckley’s treatment for years believe he “has come to his senses such that he does not present of danger to himself or others due to mental illness if he is released unconditionally”. intended.
Prosecutors had previously opposed ending the restrictions, but changed their stance last year, saying they would agree to Hinckley’s release from the terms if he continued to show mental stability and abide by the restrictions . Prosecutor Kacie Weston wrote in a court filing ahead of the hearing that “the government has found no evidence to suggest that Mr. Hinckley’s absolute discharge should not be granted”, as the judge had previously ruled.
Reagan has recovered from the March 30, 1981 shooting, but his publicist, James Brady, who died in 2014, was partially paralyzed as a result. Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington Police Officer Thomas Delahanty were also injured. Reagan died in 2004.
In the 2000s, Hinckley began, with the judge’s approval, making visits to his parents’ home in Williamsburg, Virginia. His father died in 2008, but in 2016 he was allowed to living with her mother full time. Yet he was required to attend individual and group therapy sessions, was prohibited from speaking to the media, and could only move within a limited area. The Secret Service would also track him periodically.
Hinckley said on his YouTube channel that he started a record label, Emporia Records, and his first release would be a 14-song CD of his music. He also promotes his music on Twitter.
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