John Hinckley

John Hinckley, Man Who Shot Reagan in 1981, Seeks Full Unconditional Release

John Hinckley, Jr., accused assassinate of President Reagan, sits in the back of this motioned vehicle outside the federal court in DC shortly after asking for permission to visit his family for Easter without supervision, Jan. 1, 1990.
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John Hinckley is seeking an "unconditional release" from court supervision just months before the 40th anniversary of his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

In a court hearing Wednesday, an attorney for Hinckley asked a D.C. federal judge to promptly schedule a hearing on whether to remove restrictions on Hinckley.    

Hinckley was transferred from a mental health hospital in 2016, where he'd served a 35-year commitment, to serve time in "convalescent leave" at his mother's home in Williamsburg, Virginia. The leave requires Hinckley regularly report to court officials about his treatment and support.

Hinckley’s attorney, Barry Levine, asked U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman to schedule a hearing to remove the remaining restrictions and requirements "at the earliest convenience of the court."

Friedman said in-person hearings in his courtroom will not resume until January, at the earliest, due to COVID-19 restrictions and health concerns. Friedman also asked Hinckley's attorney to provide a plan for where and how Hinckley would live if Hinckley's elderly mother were to become sick or die.

The U.S. Justice Department, in a teleconference Wednesday with Hinckley's attorney and Judge Friedman, said it would argue that Hinckley should be restricted from profiting off the sales of his art or music, if other restrictions or conditions were reduced by the court. In prior hearings, Hinckley’s attorney said Hinckley has been undergoing music therapy and is producing artwork in Virginia.

"Waiting a period of time to order unconditional release is not appropriate," Levine said during the teleconference. Levine said Hinckley has been progressing and would benefit from the removing of the restrictions under which he lives.

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