After 35 years, would-be Ronald Reagan assassin John Hinckley Jr. is scheduled to be freed from a mental hospital. But that decision defies sanity.
In a Wednesday order, U.S. District Judge Paul F. Friedman said that Mr. Hinckley, now 61, no longer poses a threat to himself or others. His psychotic disorder and major depression that supposedly led to him shooting and wounding Mr. Reagan and three others on March 30, 1981, have been in remission for more than 20 years, the judge said.
So the man who shot a president supposedly to impress actress Jodie Foster, then was adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity, is fit as fiddle, is that it? Hardly.
Since 2009, Hinckley has been permitted to visit with his mother for multiple days each month. As recently as four years ago, a psychiatric expert cited Hinckley’s pattern of deception, isolation and problematic relationships with women, The Washington Post chronicled. Much in the same way he viewed Ms. Foster, the actress, Hinckley was “delusional” about their interest in him.
Furthermore, a dental resident in the hospital in which Hinckley was housed claimed he stalked her. The Secret Service talked of Hinckley’s fixation with books on presidents and assassinations. Yes, right as rain Hinckley was then and surely remains, is that it?
Hinckley’s coming release does have restrictions. But so, too, did his home visits that he violated. Freeing him is a crapshoot, one his surviving victims and the families of all the victims surely do not deserve.
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