The Corner

Law & the Courts

John Hinckley Jr. Will Soon Walk the Streets a Free Man

This is ridiculous.

The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan 35 years ago will leave a Washington psychiatric hospital to live full-time in Virginia on Sept. 10, his lawyer said Thursday.

A federal judge ruled in July that 61-year-old John Hinckley Jr. was no longer a danger to himself or others and could leave St. Elizabeths Hospital to live full-time at his mother’s home in Williamsburg, Virginia.

A reminder: John Hinckley Jr. shot three people besides the president: White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy, and Washington D.C. police officer Thomas Delahunty. Don’t let anyone tell you Hinckley didn’t kill anyone; the coroner ruled that Brady’s death was a homicide; his death, 33 years later, was caused by the injuries sustained when Hinckley shot him.

Four people shot including a president; one paralyzed and ultimately dying from the injuries. And Hinckley, ruled not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982, will soon walk the streets of Virginia a free man. 

Could you see Lee Harvey Oswald being let out in 1998? Letting John Wilkes Booth out in 1900?

Then there’s this insufferable detail:

Hinckley’s long-time lawyer Barry Levine on Thursday called Hinckley’s departure from the hospital “a milestone” that was the result of a commitment by Hinckley and his family to “responsibly deal with disease.”

“People of goodwill should celebrate his achievement and success,” Levine said.

Levine said of his client: “I think he will be a citizen about whom we can all be proud.”

Stick that invitation to pride where the sun doesn’t shine.

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