John Hinckley is nearing full freedom 41 years after the assassination of President Ronald Reagan

A federal judge is set to conduct a key hearing for John Hinckley, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and is about to be released from any remaining restrictive terms.

US District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman said in September that as long as Hinckley continues to be well, he will release Hinckley from restrictions on June 15. Officials say Hinckley did, and Wednesday’s hearing, which Hinckley will attend, is not expected to change those plans.

Hinckley was incarcerated in a Washington psychiatric hospital for more than two decades after a jury found him not guilty by insanity in the shooting of Reagan. But starting in 2003, Friedman allowed Hinckley to live in the community for long periods of time, with conditions such as attending therapy and restrictions on where he could travel. He has lived in Virginia full-time since 2016, but still with restrictions.

These include: granting officers access to their electronic devices, email and online accounts; he is not allowed to travel to places where he knows someone is being protected by the Secret Service, and he must give three days’ notice if he intends to travel more than 75 miles from his home in Virginia.

In July, Hinckley, who plays guitar and sings and has shared his music on a YouTube channel, plans to perform a concert in Brooklyn, New York. Performances in Connecticut and Chicago for the so-called “John Hinckley Redemption Tour” have been canceled.

July 27, 2016: Reagan gunman John Hinckley Jr. can leave hospital to live in Virginia, judge says

The judge said Hinckley, who turned 67 on Sunday, has had no symptoms of active mental illness, violent behavior and no interest in guns since 1983.

In a status report filed ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors wrote that health officials, who have overseen Hinckley’s treatment for years, believe he has “recovered his sanity such that he poses no danger to himself or others because of a.” mental illness if released unconditionally”. planned.

Prosecutors had previously opposed ending restrictions but changed their position last year, saying they would approve Hinckley’s release from terms if he continued to show mental stability and comply with restrictions. Prosecutor Kacie Weston wrote in a court filing ahead of the hearing that “the government has found no evidence to suggest that Mr Hinckley’s unconditional release should not be granted,” as the judge had previously said.

Reagan recovered from the March 30, 1981 shooting, but his press secretary, James Brady, who died in 2014, was partially paralyzed as a result. Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty were also injured. Reagan died in 2004.

In the 2000s, with the judge’s approval, Hinckley began visiting his parents’ home in Williamsburg, Virginia. His father died in 2008, but in 2016 he was given permission to live with his mother full-time. Still, he was required to attend individual and group therapy sessions, was barred from speaking to the media, and was only able to travel within a limited area. The Secret Service also followed him regularly.

Hinckley’s mother died in 2021. He has since moved out of her home. In recent years, Hinckley has made money selling items at an antique store and selling books online.

Hinckley has said on his YouTube channel that he has started a record label, Emporia Records, and that his first release will be a 14-song CD of his music. He also promotes his music on Twitter.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. John Hinckley is nearing full freedom 41 years after the assassination of President Ronald Reagan

Laura Coffey

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