On Wednesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered that John Hinckley Jr. — the attempted assassin of former President Ronald Reagan in 1981 — will be released from psychiatric supervision later this month. Hinckley completed a nine-month observation period ordered in September, and at that time U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the 67-year-old Hinckley would be free of all remaining restrictions if he maintains mental stability.
Hinckley spent more than three decades in a mental hospital as part of his insanity defense for shooting Reagan and three others outside the Washington, D.C., Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981. Hinckley had acute psychosis at the time of the shooting and said he carried out the attack to impress actor Jodie Foster.
A judge granted his release in 2016 with a number of restrictions, including living with his mother in Virginia, to ensure Hinckley wouldn’t veer into violence again. Hinckley’s defense team, prosecutors and mental health experts all agreed that they had no concerns about his mental state. Judge Friedman said: “John Hinckley tried to kill the president of the United States. He came very close to doing so. Without losing sight of what he did 40 years ago, he has been the most scrutinized person … living under a microscope as none of us have. I am confident Mr. Hinckley will do well in the years remaining to him.”
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