Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Ronald Reagan shooter to get unconditional release

John Hinckley Jr., who shot and paralyzed former President Ronald Reagan more than three decades ago, will be given an unconditional release later this year, according to newly obtained documents.

The decision was made during a January hearing in Washington’s DC Superior Court.

The document claims Hinckley, who also attempted to assassinate Reagan’s press secretary James Brady, has been living at St. Elizabeths Hospital for the past 17 years in an outpatient program and has “made significant and steady progress.”

The document indicates he is not on any medication and has learned to make his bed, clean and take out the trash.

No details were provided about what his day-to-day activities will be.

Hinckley would be living in the Washington area under a short-term release program, the document reads. He would be subject to supervision for the first three years.

“There is no evidence Hinckley poses a significant threat to himself or others,” the document says.

Former Reagan spokesman Jim Brady has long been working to secure the lifelong release of Hinckley.

In a statement provided to CNN, Brady’s family said they are “glad to see Hinckley finally granted his own freedom. We believe this is the right decision to honor his changed mind and change his way of thinking.”

“We all hope that this release will be a step toward reuniting him with his family and healing their relationship. We want John to have the freedom he so deserves to enjoy his health and personal dignity in a way he has always deserved,” the statement read.

Brady, who was shot in the head, has continued to make the annual pilgrimage to Washington every March for the hearing at which a judge, for the second time, granted Hinckley the opportunity to receive full release from St. Elizabeths.

The initial release was authorized by a judge two years ago in a case file viewed by CNN. Since then, Hinckley has been observed in what the Reagan family has called the “exclusion zone” inside the Washington hospital.

CNN previously reported that Brady was highly critical of the way the release request had been handled.

It’s not known whether Hinckley’s mental health has changed during the years since his attempt on Reagan’s life. But a 1999 court document said he was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder and has been responsive to treatment.

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