Reagan's Would-be Assassin Is Officially a Free Man

John Hinckley Jr. released from psychiatric hospital Saturday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2016 2:19 PM CDT
John Hinckley Jr. Released From Psychiatric Hospital
John Hinckley Jr., seen here in 2003, was released from a psychiatric hospital Saturday, 35 years after attempting to assassinate President Reagan.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

After 35 years in a psychiatric hospital, John Hinckley Jr. is a free man. The Telegraph reports the would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan was released Saturday from St. Elizabeth's psychiatric hospital after a judge ruled in August that the 61-year-old was no longer a threat to the public or himself. Doctors say the depression and psychosis with which Hinckley was diagnosed following his 1981 assassination attempt are in remission, according to Reuters. Hinckley pleaded insanity after wounding Reagan and three others outside a Washington DC hotel. He was attempting to impress actor Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed. Hinckley's release was strongly objected to by Reagan's family, including his daughter, who fears Hinckley still has "dark agendas."

Upon his release Saturday, Hinckley moved in with his mother in a gated community on a golf course in Williamsburg, Virginia. While nominally a free man, there are multiple conditions to his release, the AP reports. Hinckley is not allowed to drink or speak to the press. He can't search for information on his crimes online or create a social media account without permission. He must work or volunteer at least three times a week and continue his therapy. He's only allowed to drive 30 miles from home without supervision, and law enforcement will be tracking his movements. Hinckley can get his own place to live after a year, and he plans to register to vote. Hinckley's lawyer says he'll be a "citizen about whom we can all be proud." (More John Hinckley stories.)

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