John Hinckley, who carried out the unsuccessful attempt on US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is to be unconditionally released from the restrictions placed on him. In 2016, the man left the psychiatric hospital, where he spent over 30 years. However, he was still banned from traveling and using the Internet, reports Reuters.
On March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley shot and killed President Ronald Reagan and three people in front of the Hilton Hotel in Washington. He explained that he wanted to kill the president to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessively in love after watching the movie “Taxi Driver”.
During the trial, he was not found guilty of attempted murder on account of insanity ordered by psychiatrists. The verdict met with indignation from a large part of the society.
“After all these years, I’m going to grant Mr. Hinckley unconditional release,” Judge Paul Friedman said at the District of Columbia District Court hearing on Monday.
Five years ago, the same judge gave permission for Hinckley to leave the mental hospital in Washington, where he spent three decades. Friedman, however, banned the man from traveling and using the Internet.
On Monday, the judge announced that he would lift the above-mentioned restrictions. As he explained, the mental problems of Hinckley, who is now 66, are “in remission”, and the man no longer poses a threat to others or to himself. Friedman said he would issue a letter on the matter later this week.
Federal prosecutor Kacie Weston said at the hearing that the US Department of Justice had agreed to unconditionally release Hinckley. However, she noted that the restrictions imposed on him should not be lifted until June 2022. During this time, the prosecution wants to monitor the behavior of the 66-year-old after the death of his mother, with whom he lived in Williamsburg, Virginia since he left the hospital.
Six shots in two seconds
The bullet that hit Reagan 40 years ago only missed his heart by millimeters. The fact that he survived was considered a miracle. He had a punctured lung and severe internal bleeding. Thanks to the quick intervention of doctors (the limousine arrived at the hospital four minutes after the shooting), the president recovered after a stay in the hospital for several weeks.
The press secretary, James Brady, was the most seriously injured in the attack. A bullet hit him in the head and exploded (the bomber bought special ammunition). Brady suffered brain damage, was paralyzed and has been in a wheelchair since the attack. In 2014, he died from complications from injuries 33 years earlier.
One of Reagan’s personal security personnel and one policeman were also injured in the attack.
Main photo source: Getty Images