Is Ronald Reagan's shooter freed? John Hinckley Jr wins 'unconditional release'

John Hinckley's lawyer said the 'momentous event' of his full release in June 2022 is both appropriate and required by the law


                            Is Ronald Reagan's shooter freed? John Hinckley Jr wins 'unconditional release'
John Hinckley Jr has set up his own YouTube account, on which he posts both covers as well as original compositions (YouTube)
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A federal judge approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr, who shot late President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a Washington, DC, hotel in a failed assassination attempt in 1981. Hinckley's release is slated for June 2022. Hinckley, who is now 66 years old, has been living outside a mental health facility for the past several years, a result of a gradual lightening of supervision.

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John Hinckley's lawyer said the "momentous event" of his full release in June 2022 is both appropriate and required by the law. Emphasising that Hinckley has an "excellent" prognosis, his lawyer, Barry Wm Levine said, "There is no evidence of danger whatsoever." Hinckley went to court last year asking for permission to showcase his talent by being able to showcase his music under his name. Since then, he has set up his own YouTube account, on which he posts both covers as well as original compositions.

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Prosecutor Kacie Weston noted that the Justice Department agreed to a settlement but wanted to monitor Hinckley for the next nine months, who spent 35 years in a psychiatric hospital, because of two big changes in his life, he's living on his own for the first time in about 40 years, and one of his primary doctors is preparing for retirement and disbanding Hinckley's therapy group. DOJ stated that it would file a motion with the court before June 2022 if it had fresh concerns about Hinckley at the time. "Ultimately your honor, at this point, the ball is in Mr Hinckley's hands," Weston said. Senior US District Judge Paul Friedman noted that "very few patients at St Elizabeths Hospital have been studied more thoroughly than John Hinckley."

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Hinckley was found 'not guilty' by 'reason of insanity' by a jury in 1982. He was on trial for the shooting of former President Reagan, White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington Metropolitan Police officer Thomas Delahanty, a year earlier. Following the verdict, Hinckley was admitted to St Elizabeths Hospital, in Washington, DC, where he spent more than three decades. The restrictions on Hinckley gradually lessened starting 2003, then five years ago, the court granted him convalescent leave to live full time in the community. In 2020, the Department of Behavioral Health proposed a release for Hinckley with no conditions, telling the court he posed "low risk for future violence." The department, however, reiterated that proposal earlier this year.  

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