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Wednesday
Jul272016

Reagan Shooter John Hinckley Jr. Will Be Released to Homestay

The White House/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — John Hinckley, Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has been granted "full-time convalescent leave" and will be released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he has been in treatment.

A federal judge granted the leave, which will begin as early as Aug. 5, according to court documents. He is permitted to reside full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his mother at her home, and his monitoring conditions were set by U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman of Washington.

Hinckley's freedoms have been incremental while he has been under the care of St. Elizabeth's Hospital for more than 34 years. The judge determined that he no longer poses a danger to himself or others, and that he has "displayed no symptoms of active mental illness, exhibited no violent behavior, [and] shown no interest in weapons," and subsequently ended his institutionalization.

While he lives full-time in Williamsburg, Hinckley is subject to certain conditions, and he will return for monthly outpatient therapy treatment in Washington. He will also be required to work or volunteer three times a week and participate in individual music therapy sessions at least once a month in Williamsburg.

Hinckley was ordered to stay out of contact with Jodie Foster, as it was said he shot Reagan as a way to impress the Hollywood actor and he was obsessed with her after watching the film "Taxi Driver" over and over, as the judge detailed in his court document determining Hinckley’s release. He must also stay away from the media and cannot make posts on the internet or access it. He is not allowed to contact his victims and their families, the president or vice president of the United States, and all members of Congress.

After a full year to 18 months of his leave, his doctors will complete an updated risk assessment and will then adjust his treatment plans if it is warranted, according to court documents.

Whenever he is away from his mother's residence, he must carry a GPS-enabled cell phone that is monitored by the Secret Service. He is not allowed to drive unaccompanied and may only drive within a 30-mile radius of Williamsburg, unless it is for the purpose of his monthly scheduled appointments in Washington, D.C. He is also required to abstain from alcohol and drugs. He is not allowed to own a weapon.

As part of his release, Hinckley must complete a daily log of his activities while on leave that detail any of his work or volunteer hours, plus social interactions and treatments, and any errands or recreational activities.

Hinckley was 25 when he wounded Reagan, shot press secretary James Brady, U.S. Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty. Brady was left paralyzed but all of those shot survived the attack.

A federal jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity in June 1982. Hinckley’s attorney has argued to release Hinckley from his confinement for more than a decade, and continually citing evaluations by officials at St. Elizabeth’s to prove he was no longer a threat.

Reagan died in 2004 after suffering from Alzheimer’s, and his living relatives, including his children, have opposed Hinckley's release. However, in a tweet posted Wednesday, Reagan's son Michael seemed to urge forgiveness.

In a statement, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute disagreed with the judge's decision.

"John Hinckley is responsible for the shooting of President Reagan and three other brave men. One died two years ago from the wounds he received. Contrary to the judge's decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others and we strongly oppose his release."

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