Is John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, no longer a threat?


Attorney Barry Levine has called for unconditional release, saying John Hinckley is no longer a threat.

In this photo on November 18, 2003, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at the US District Court in Washington, DC Evan Vucci / AP, file

Lawyers are due to meet in federal court on Monday to discuss whether John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, should be freed from court-imposed restrictions including oversight of his medical care and keeping up with his computer passwords.

Since Hinckley, 66, moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, from a Washington hospital in 2016, court-imposed requirements have included the doctors and therapists who supervise his psychiatric medications and decide how often he attends individual and group therapy sessions. Hinckley also couldn’t have a gun. He cannot contact Reagan’s children, other victims, their families, or actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed at the time of the 1981 shooting.

A case conference is scheduled for Monday before US District Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington.

Attorney Barry Levine has called for unconditional release, saying Hinckley is no longer a threat. The 2020 Violence Risk Assessment conducted on behalf of the Washington Department of Behavioral Health concluded that Hinckley would not pose a risk.

The US government has opposed ending the restrictions as of a court filing in May, and has retained an expert to determine whether Hinckley would pose a risk to himself or others if released unconditionally. The results from this examination have not been filed in court.

Hinckley was 25 years old when he shot and wounded the 40th US president outside a Washington hotel. The shooting paralyzed Reagan’s press secretary James Brady, who died in 2014. It also wounded Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington Police Officer Thomas Delahanti.

The jury decided that Hinckley suffered from acute psychosis and found him not guilty by reason of insanity, saying he needed treatment rather than life imprisonment.

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