Judge approves full release of Hinckley, who shot Reagan

A federal judge has approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot former President Reagan in a failed assassination attempt in 1981, NPR reported.

Hinckley’s attorney Barry Wm. Levine said the decision, which will see his client’s full release in June 2022, is a "momentous event," and a legal necessity. 

"There is no evidence of danger whatsoever," he said of his client. 

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Hinckley has been living outside of a mental health facility since 2016 after the court granted him convalescent leave to live in the community, but still has restrictions around his movement and internet activity. 

Levine also said that Hinckley, now 66 years old, expressed deep regret to the families of his victims, actress Jodie Foster and to the American people. 

Foster previously filed a restraining order against Hinckley, after he said she was the inspiration to carry out the assassination attempt.

"His mental disease is in full, stable and complete remission and has been so for over three decades," Levine added, according to NPR.

In 1982, a jury found Hinckley not guilty due to insanity. Hinckley was tried for shooting Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington Metropolitan Police officer Thomas Delahanty.

Restrictions on him have gradually decreased since 2003, according to NPR. Last year, the Department of Behavioral Health recommended releasing Hinckley with no conditions, as he posed a "low risk for future violence," NPR reported. 

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced that it had reached a release deal with Hinckley during a hearing on Monday, but wanted to monitor him for nine months as he is living alone for the first time in decades, recently had his doctor retire and his therapy group disbanded, NPR reported. Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman approved the deal.

The DOJ said that it will file a motion before Hinckley’s release if the department had any new concerns.

The court also allowed Hinckley to sell artwork and music under his own name. He previously created a Youtube channel where he sings and plays the guitar.