After decades of mental health oversight, John Hinckley Jr. is completely free: NPR

After decades of mental health oversight, John Hinckley Jr. is completely free: NPR

John Hinckley Jr., pictured in November 2003, arrives at US District Court in Washington. As of Wednesday, the supposed assassination of President Ronald Reagan is no longer under court-mandated legal or mental health supervision.

Ivan Vucci / AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Ivan Vucci / AP


John Hinckley Jr., pictured in November 2003, arrives at US District Court in Washington. As of Wednesday, the supposed assassination of President Ronald Reagan is no longer under court-mandated legal or mental health supervision.

Ivan Vucci / AP

John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan in a failed assassination attempt in 1981, was freed from court sanctions on Wednesday.

“After 41 years, 2 months and 15 days, freedom is at last!!!” Hinkley tweeted,

Hinckley, now 67, pleaded not guilty to insanity after shooting and injuring Reagan, along with White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a Washington police officer, Thomas Delhunty. To too.

The acquittal meant that Hinkley escaped after serving a prison sentence. But after the trial, he spent more than three decades at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington.

Since 2003, the terms of his imprisonment have been gradually eased.

US District Judge Paul Friedman granted Hinckley’s unconditional release in September. Friedman said at the time that “very few patients at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital have been studied more thoroughly than John Hinckley.”

Hinckley was 25 at the time of the assassination attempt. The son of a wealthy oil family, he had already undergone some mental treatment before he tried to kill the president.

On the day of the shooting, Reagan was giving a speech at a Washington hotel and was on his way in a limousine when Hinckley pushed a pistol through a crowd of people and fired six shots.


Secret Service Agent Timothy J. McCarthy, foreground, Washington policeman Thomas Delahanty, center, and the President’s Press Secretary James Brady, background, lie injured on a street outside a Washington hotel after President Reagan was fired on March 30, 1981.

Ron Edmonds / AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Ron Edmonds / AP


Secret Service Agent Timothy J. McCarthy, foreground, Washington policeman Thomas Delahanty, center, and the President’s Press Secretary James Brady, background, lie injured on a street outside a Washington hotel after President Reagan was fired on March 30, 1981.

Ron Edmonds / AP

In the years ahead, Hinckley became obsessed with film. taxi driver, and its star, Jodie Foster. Hinckley said he tried to kill Reagan to impress the actress.

In 2016, the court granted him a convalescent discharge from a mental hospital, allowing Hinckley to live with his mother full-time in Williamsburg, VA. (She had already been allowed to live with him part-time.) Nevertheless, the court imposed several limits on her movement and the number of court appointments she made each month for treatment.

When his mother died in 2021 at the age of 95, he was allowed to live in the area.

The Department of Behavioral Health has also supported lifting the terms of Hinckley’s release for years, telling the court last year that he placed “low risk for future violence”.

Hinckley recently announced that he was embarking on a music career, releasing several singles and promoting the “Redemption Tour”, which features 17 original songs.

“Many thanks to everyone who helped me get my unconditional release,” she wrote In a post on June 1. “What a strange journey it’s been. Now it’s time to rock and roll.”

At least one of his shows in Brooklyn quickly sold out. But the venue announced on Wednesday that it was canceling the July 8 show, citing threats.

“We believe that ex-cons and people with mental illness can be cured, and we” should Wants them to maintain hope that they can better themselves and earn a chance to rejoin society…

“It’s not worth a gamble on the safety of our vulnerable communities to pay a man with a microphone and his art to a man who didn’t have to earn it,” said venue officials. “If we were going to host an event for principle, and potentially put others at risk in doing so, it shouldn’t be for some stunt booking — no offense to the performer.”

Leave a Reply