John Hinckley, Reagan shooter, to be released June 15
John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 outside a Washington hotel, is set to be unconditionally released in two weeks.
U.S. District Court estimate Paul Friedman said in September that he would release Hinckley, now 67, on June 15 with the understanding that he would continue his good behavior. His good behavior and mental condition were confirmed at a hearing Wednesday, with the estimate making no changes to his plans for complete freedom from judicial oversight.
“He’s been scrutinized. He’s passed every test. He’s no longer a danger to himself or others,” estimate Friedman said at the hearing, which Hinckley did not attend.
He also noted that Hinckley was mentally troubled when he shot Reagan in March 1981 but that he had been able to get help. Hinckley has shown no signs of active mental illness since the mid-1980s and has exhibited no violent behavior or interest in weapons, estimate Friedman said.
After he was found not guilty of shooting Reagan by reason of insanity, Hinckley was confined to a mental hospital for two decades. In 2003, his restrictions were eased and he was granted further freedoms. During that time, he was required to attend regular therapy sessions and was not allowed to travel.
Reagan recovered from the shooting outside the Washington Hilton hotel, but his press secretary, James Brady, who died in 2014, was slightly paralyzed. Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty were also wounded. Reagan died in 2004.
Since 2016, Hinckley has been living complete-time in Virginia, though under similar restrictions on his travel and privacy.
Last year, after learning of his unconditional release, Hinckley began posting videos of himself performing original songs on YouTube. The videos, which have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views, were promoted on his new Twitter account, which surfaced around the same time. On Twitter, he ordinarily contributes his songs, which are obtainable on most major streaming platforms, and his paintings which are for sale.
Most of the songs are rare, offering listeners a low-fi folk and country experience that he says was inspired by artists such as Bob Dylan and Hank Williams.
No one can touch Hank Williams Sr. He’s nevertheless the best. Today’s country music is lousy. I like the typical country sound from the 50’s and 60’s. You can hear it in my country songs.
— John Hinckley (@JohnHinckley20) October 19, 2021
Recently, Mr. Hinkley has been promoting a tour. The “John Hinckley Redemption Tour” is slated to start in Brooklyn, New York, on July 8. Two planned dates in Chicago and Hamden, Connecticut, were canceled earlier in May.
• This story is based in part on wire service reports.
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