John Hinckley Jr., Who Shot Ronald Reagan, to be Released Unconditionally
“If he hadn’t tried to kill a president he would have been released unconditionally a long time ago,” said the judge.
John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan back in 1981, is on his way to becoming a completely free man.
He was released from a mental health facility back in 2016, but has had court supervision. Now that may be lifted.
Ronn Blitzer reports at FOX News:
Judge grants unconditional release for John Hinckley Jr.
A federal judge ruled Monday that John Hinckley Jr. can be unrestrictedly released next year, more than 40 years after he shot then-President Reagan in 1981.
Hinckley was committed to St. Elizabeth’s hospital for more than 34 years before he was released under certain restrictions in 2016.
“If he hadn’t tried to kill a president he would have been released unconditionally a long time ago,” U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman said.
It was Friedman who had allowed Hinckley out five years ago, determining that Hinckley’s mental condition was “in full and sustained remission” and had been for more than 27 years. He had been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder and major depression.
Just a few months ago, it was reported that Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, was set to be released from jail, now this.
Does anyone else think this is an extraordinarily bad idea?
The Ronald Reagan Foundation is opposed to it. The Los Angeles Daily News reported:
Ronald Reagan Foundation opposes decision to free John Hinckley from oversight
Officials at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley are opposed to a federal judge’s decision to free John Hinckley Jr. — the man who tried to assassinate former President Reagan in 1981 — from all remaining restrictions.
“The Reagan Foundation and Institute is saddened to hear of the decision to unconditionally release John Hinckley Jr., the man responsible for the attempted assassination of President Reagan, a shooting that gravely wounded three other brave men,” the foundation said Monday in a statement.
“Contrary to the judge’s decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others and we strongly oppose his release. Our hope is that the Justice Department will file a motion with the court leading to a reversal of this decision.”
Conservative pundit Tammy Bruce is also against the idea.
Bruce writes at the Washington Times:
Hinckley’s release is an abomination
We’ve seen this coming for years, and it finally has arrived. The attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley, Jr., will be released from all court supervision in June 2022 if he continues to follow the existing rules until that time.
The Associated Press reports, “Since Hinckley moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, from a Washington hospital in 2016, court-imposed restrictions have required doctors and therapists to oversee his psychiatric medication and therapy. Hinckley has been barred from having a gun. And he can’t contact Reagan’s children, other victims or their families, or actress Jodie Foster, who he was obsessed with at the time of the 1981 shooting.”
He moved to Williamsburg to live with his mother, who died in July of this year. He has since left the home he shared with her. The government is not communicating with the public where Mr. Reagan’s attempted assassin lives now. This release from oversight means none of the parameters controlling his life and behavior will remain.
We are also assured that Mr. Hinckley has shown no signs of mental illness in 20 years. Considering the medication and parameters to which he’s been subjected, that’s like crowing a child molester hasn’t repeated his crime while in prison.
I understand that Hinckley has real mental health problems, but it makes no difference to me.
He tried to assassinate a sitting president. He should spend his life locked up.
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Crap like this and Kennedy’s assassin are the reason I support the death penalty.
Because with these bleeding heart jackasses in the system, ‘Life sentence’ is no such thing.
No one in the system will pay if Hinckley tries to kill, or succeeds in killing, again. Their immunity makes them grossly indifferent and negligent as to the consequences.
I wonder if the Bush family will seek their pound of flesh for the botched job?
What? There was a recall on their baked beans? 😮
No issue with this. Unlike Sirhan, this guy did not kill anyone and he was obviously insane. He paid the price. There are better things to be incensed about.
Of course, what danger could a legit-insane, almost-murderer be to society? Let them all roam free.
All these not-the-hill-to-die-on arguments seem to come from people who never bother to fight anything.
Take the idea, twist it to the most extreme, and pretend that is what was said. Your reaction seems overblown. Sounds like you want to fight for everything. In truth, there are a finite amount of resources. If you still think he’s a danger, fine. You won’t get an overblown response.
What did I overblow and twist?
If you cannot support locking up an “obviously insane” attempted murderer, then you have lost the moral ground to demand that any other obviously-insane, attempted-murderer should be locked up. Those are the only criteria you listed. I can only go by the words you put down, and if you didn’t mean what you wrote, don’t blame me for your English deficiencies.
Actually, James Brady’s death was, in fact, ruled a homicide. Hinckley shot and injured a president, a Secret Service agent and a police officer. But poor John was too insane to know what he was doing and couldn’t be tried properly for any of this. If he literally did not understand right from wrong then, I’m not sure how he does now. But what do I know, I’m not a judge who slept at a Holiday Inn Express and understands the mind better than anyone else. Also not a fan of doctors who think they’re now experts on our judicial system.
Any other person would be locked up for life. There is a reason states have been questioning the insanity defense. The Supreme Court ruled last year that Kansas could dump it.
Forgive me for having no sympathy for evil.
Except that he isn’t insane any more. The only people in a position to know say that he’s cured. Every court that has heard them believes them. Do you have any reason to doubt it?
Using common sense, I have a very difficult time believing he was literally insane 1981 and totally rational in 2021. When he was a young adult he went to LA to try to become a musician. Gee, what is he doing these days? Oh yeah, playing guitar on YouTube. How insane of him.
Regarding the legal definition of insanity, which is not the same as a psychiatric/medical definition, the federal law was widely seen as a joke at the time of the assassination attempt. Congress changed it not long after that. I’m not familiar enough with federal cases to know how that’s played out. In a general sense, I am in favor of something that is extremely strict.
I live in Texas, where you can be found clinically insane by a doctor but legally insane by the state. On its face that sounds ok. Even that standard has let some real bad people back into society. One of them was not far from where I live. I am not a fan of this defense at all, nor of all the “experts” who play along with it. I’m sick and tired of people who do not question anything any more. It’s getting out of hand.
“I live in Texas, where you can be found clinically insane by a doctor but legally insane by the state. On its face that sounds ok.”
Did you mean to say that? Because I’m not following it.
Even though a doctor says you’re medically insane, the state can still say – yeah, so what? And normal punishment follows. It’s rare in Texas to succeed with a insanity defense. However, there is the example of Dena Schlosser, who cut off the arms of her 11-month-old daughter (who died) about 15 years ago, was found to be insane and is now wandering around free as a bird.
Well, he went after a conservative republican instead of a democrat so there is that…. The latter being a very different animal now a daze…. 🙂
Please. These same people said Patty Hearst was a victim of “Stockholm Syndrome” and that junk food was the reason Dan White killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone.
Hired experts say what they are hired to say
Correction, he isn’t insane when he’s on his meds. And now there is no formal supervision to ensure that treatment will continue.
I wonder how much time Hinckley spent in pre-trial solitary confinement?
In fact, he did kill someone. See below.
“…this guy did not kill anyone and he was obviously insane. He paid the price.”
There is a big difference between going to a mental hospital and going to a prison. Patients living in a mental hospital are not paying a price. They are treated with kid gloves while living a very comfortable life in a very comfortable environment and are treated in such a way as to avoid any anxiety or discomfort that might cause mental stress.
He’s only sane because he’s been forced to take medication. Without supervision, there’s no one to make him take his meds. Once he’s got the option, he could choose the same old violent brand of crazy that got him locked up in the first place. He needs supervision because he is a proven danger to others.
So, we’re even rewarding mediocrity and underachievement (the inability to shoot to kill in this case) in our criminal’s capabilities now?
And how exactly is this not treason (an act of war against one’s own government)?
I’d say attempting to assassinate your own country’s commander in chief qualifies as an act of war.
Absolutely not. Your claim is precisely why the founders of this republic found it necessary to explicitly write in the constitution that treason can only be against the republic itself, not against the president.
The fundamental difference between a republic and a monarchy is precisely this point: In a monarchy the subject has a duty of loyalty to the sovereign, and therefore attacking him or her is treason. In a republic we owe our loyalty only to the republic, so only an attack against it can be treason, but an attack against the president is not.
This means the president is just another public employee, no different in principle from the White House janitor. We pay them both to do a job for us, and we don’t owe either of them more respect than the other. Killing either one is the same crime.
Except that’s not true….felonies against cops are escalated, so there is a difference in principle between who you target with your crimes. As the highest elected official in the land, a POTUS assassination attempt carries more weight than your standard murder or attempt.
What the hell has that got to do with the topic? You claimed it was treason. That is explicitly contrary to the constitution.
Yeah, I’m willing to bet it isn’t. You get “enhanced penalties” for killing a cop or even a health worker, fgs. You’re not going to tell me that there isn’t some statute somewhere that screws you to the wall if you target is a high official.
What’s that got to do with treason?
It’s “got to do with” people trying to understand the concept with precision. Even Mark Levin recently referred to the assassination attempt on RWR as an attack on the executive branch of government.
Maybe he will try again.
I think God did the job already.
he means with the current POTUS
They should have given him the needle 40 years ago. Meanwhile, protesters from Jan 6 languish in prison. We are lost.
Regan was on the wrong team
Or was it Reagan who was on the wrong team?
Curiously, Hinckley murdered a man in 2014, just before being released from St. Elizabeth’s.
James Brady’s 2014 death was ruled as a murder and attributed to the 1981 shooting.
Too bad they don’t give an Oscar for “longest death scene.” 33 years and hundreds of press conferences and congressional appearances would definitely get a nomination.
Sex offenders mostly attack women, murderers mostly attack men. Mystery solved.
If sexual offenders must register and be tracked for life, why not murderers? It is feared that sexual offenders might do it again, well guess what? Murderers are repeat offenders too!
If Sirhan had killed an ordinary person he would have been out by now. So the only reason he’s still inside is that his victim was a Kennedy. That’s not right. He’s entitled to be treated like any other murderer.
That’s the problem in the system right there: A life sentence should remain a life sentence no matter who it was that got murdered.
No, he wasn’t released because he has never taken responsibility for the killing. At every parole hearing he refused to take responsibility for the murder, going so far as to question whether it was actually him.
“…Sirhan, now 77, insists he does not remember the shooting and had been drinking beforehand but was convicted of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death, commuted to life when the California supreme court briefly outlawed capital punishment.
The hearing on Friday was his 16th attempt to gain parole. Because of laws passed in 2018, the board was required to take into account the fact that Sirhan suffered childhood trauma from the conflict in the Middle East, committed the offense at a young age and is now elderly.
Appearing by video from a San Diego county prison, Sirhan said: “Senator Kennedy was the hope of the world … and I harmed all of them and it pains me to experience that, the knowledge for such a horrible deed, if I did in fact do that.”
When convicted first-degree murderer tells a parole board that he doesn’t really believe he’s guilty then he’s not rehabilitated. Is anyone impressed that he took anger management courses, tai chi, and participated in A.A. while in prison? It’s not too difficult to stop drinking in prison (of course it’s possible as prisoners know how to make it using fruit and bread, and of course there are other drugs). And when I say he participated in A.A. while in prison, it doesn’t look like it had any effect. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be using the allegation that he can’t remember killing Kennedy since he had been drinking beforehand, Obviously he wasn’t working the program since the 12 steps requires he take responsibility for what he did while he was drunk and make amends to anyone he harmed, if in fact he was. By his account he had four Tom Collins cocktails in the hours before he killed Kennedy. Not enough to be a black out drunk; he was preparing his amnesia defense. Alternately, at times he claimed to have been hypnotized. Usually both. But when a psychiatrist who tried to evaluate him tried to hypnotize him he couldn’t do it. They psychiatrist concluded Sirhan Sirhan was faking it.
It didn’t help him at trial that he had written in notebooks, “R.F.K. must die.” That in the months before he killed Kennedy he told just about everyone he met how much he hated the U.S. and its support for Israel. That he had acquired the illegal gun he was carrying and used to kill Kennedy. That he was at the Ambassador Hotel precisely because he knew Kennedy would be there that night. That while at the hotel he engaged at least three witnesses in conversation and expressed contempt for Kennedy. One of the witnesses, whose interview with the LAPD was taped, had a conversation in which he explained that he knew exactly how hypnotized persons would act. Probably acquired from the books on psychology he borrowed from the library.
Basically, he wasn’t too bright. He had planned this assassination well ahead of time. And he had planned his diminished capacity defense; claiming he was in an a state of amnesia because he practiced self-hypnosis. But he left too many crumbs in his crumb trail that showed he had planned this assassination, that he did remember what he did at the hotel (some in notes written in his own handwriting), and finally two idiots at a parole hearing have bought his lies. But they are lies, and it may not work. The parole board staff has to review the hearing, and Gavin Newsom in what may be his one decent act during his entire time as governor has dropped a lot of hints that he will over rule the parole board’s recommendation.
The final decision is up to the governor; the parole board only makes a recommendation. The little weasel is exactly where he should be. Just because he’s 77 doesn’t mean he can’t still pull a trigger. Or would you prefer that the next time he has a few drinks which will be easy to get on the outside he kills someone else?
How soon until he is a Democratic member of the House from Northern Virginia and the latest Squad member? (only half joking)
Hey John? I heard that President Pudding Brain sniffed Jody Foster’s hair the last time he saw her.
“Let me explain!” Sirhan shouted as he was subdued by a former FBI agent and others. “I did it for my country.” (“Why Sirhan Sirhan, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian, Shot Bobby Kennedy”, Haarerz, 5/24/18)
Jihadists have long memories and it wouldn’t surprise me if Sirhan now becomes the latest Palestinian “hero”.