A federal judge on Wednesday granted John Hinckley, the man who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan and three others in a 1981 assassination attempt, unconditional release from the remaining restrictions he faced, US media reported.
During a hearing in Washington, US district judge Paul Friedman lifted travel and internet usage restrictions against Hinckley, who has been living on his own in Williamsburg, Virginia, Fox News reported. Friedman’s order will take effect on June 15, it reported.
During a hearing in September, Friedman said he would grant Hinckley unconditional release, but gave prosecutors more time to monitor Hinckley as he transitioned to living on his own following the death of his mother.
Friedman at the time said Hinckley’s mental health problems were “in remission” and he no longer posed a danger. In 2016, Hinckley was released from a psychiatric hospital where he was treated for depression and psychosis and allowed to move into a gated community in Williamsburg to care for his elderly mother, who died in August 2021. Since leaving the hospital, Hinckley has been compliant with court-ordered conditions and has remained mentally stable and asymptomatic, according to court documents.
“Hinckley has made no verbal threats, and he has exhibited no behaviours indicative of harm to himself, others, or the property of others. He has exhibited no disruptive or problematic behaviours,” federal prosecutors wrote to the court in support of his release.
In September, Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post that she opposed Hinckley’s release, saying that she did not believe he feels remorse. On March 30, 1981, Hinckley shot Reagan in an assassination attempt outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Reagan suffered a punctured lung but recovered.
Others wounded included White House press secretary James Brady, secret service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity at a 1982 jury trial.