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John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed 

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Old 07-27-2016, 10:40 PM
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John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

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Would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley Jr. to be freed after 35 years

Thirty-five years after he shot President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a D.C. hotel, John W. Hinckley Jr. will be released from a government psychiatric hospital, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.

The ruling ends the institutionalization of the one of the nation’s most notorious mental health patients.

Outrage over Hinckley’s acquittal in the 1981 shooting reshaped the insanity defense in courts across the country. The revelation that he had pulled the trigger to impress a movie star added obsession and celebrity to the case. And extraordinary television footage of the attack on the 40th U.S. president brought the event to millions of American homes.

In Wednesday’s court order, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman wrote that Hinckley, 61, no longer poses a danger to himself or others and will be freed to live full time with his mother in Williamsburg, Va. His release could come as early as Aug. 5 and is subject to dozens of conditions, some of which could be phased out after a year if Hinckley adheres to them.

“Mr. Hinckley has received the maximum benefits possible in the inpatient setting,” Friedman wrote in a 103-page opinion. “The court finds by the preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Hinckley will not be a danger to himself or to others if released on full-time convalescent leave to Williamsburg under the conditions proposed.” The 14-page order also said Hinckley could be returned to St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District if he relapses or violates the terms of his release

Friedman cited Hinckley’s successful completion of more than 80 visits over the past decade to Williamsburg. What began as supervised trips with family in the 1990s gradually were extended with court permission so that Hinckley now spends up to 17 days a month at the home of his 90-year-old mother in a gated golf course development.

The release order says Hinckley must stay within a 50-mile radius of Williamsburg and requires him to carry a trackable phone and provide information about vehicles he will be driving. It also bars him from tampering with his computer’s Web browser history, uploading any content to the Internet or accessing social media without unanimous approval of his treatment team.

Hinckley also must continue weekly contact with therapists in Williamsburg, return at least monthly for outpatient treatment in Washington and volunteer or work three times a week. He must stay out of contact with the news media, his victims and their families, the U.S. president, and members of Congress.

Hinckley was 25 when he wounded Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, U.S. Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty with six exploding “Devastator” bullets from a .22-caliber pistol. All survived the attack, but Brady was left paralyzed by a shot to his head and spent years before his death in 2014 advocating for gun control.

Hinckley said he shot Reagan to try to impress actress Jodie Foster after repeatedly viewing the film “Taxi Driver.”

Foster, through a spokesman, declined to comment on Wednesday’s ruling

After an eight-week trial, a federal jury in Washington found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity in June 1982 of all 13 counts against him, setting off a sharp public backlash. The federal government and 38 states subsequently rewrote laws to raise the standard of proof required for the insanity defense, which is now rarely used and is even more rarely successful.

Some research has found that defendants successfully raise an insanity defense in 1 of 500 felony cases nationwide and that of that small pool, defendants are freed between 5 and 65 percent of the time depending on the jurisdiction, making Hinckley’s release all the more exceptional.

People whose lives were directly affected by the shooting had mixed reactions to Hinckley’s pending release

While Reagan’s eldest son, Michael Reagan, said that he and his father forgave Hinckley, Patti Davis continued to view her father’s would-be assassin harshly. Hinckley successfully waited out and wore down the justice system, Davis said. “I’m not surprised by this latest development, but my heart is sickened,” she said.

In a statement, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which hosts Reagan’s presidential library, said, “Contrary to the judge’s decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others, and we strongly oppose his release.”

The shooting left Brady paralyzed and prompted him and his wife to battle to expand background checks for gun sales. Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said Hinckley’s release would “only redouble our resolve.” The Bradys “refused to be victims or give in to anger or injury,” he said.

Reagan died at 93 in 2004, a decade after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Medical examiners ruled Brady’s death a homicide resulting from the wound in the shooting. Prosecutors declined to bring new charges against Hinckley, citing legal barriers, including that a jury had previously reached a verdict in his case.

Now a police chief in Orland Park, Ill., McCarthy, the Secret Service agent shot in 1981, said that in his view, Hinckley “murdered one man, almost killed the president of the United States and shot two others. They better be right about what they are doing” in releasing him.

Hinckley and his family remain under court order not to speak with reporters, but his longtime defense attorney Barry Wm. Levine said the judge’s finding “should give great comfort to a concerned citizenry that the mental health system and the judicial system worked and worked well.”

“Mr. Hinckley recognizes that what he did was horrific. But it’s crucial to understand that what he did was not an act of evil. It was an act caused by mental illness,” Levine said. “He is profoundly sorry, and he wishes he could take back that day, but he can’t.”

Bill Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips in Washington, said the office was reviewing the judge’s opinion and had no comment.

The Secret Service, which monitored Hinckley’s movements on more than 200 occasions in 2013 and 2014, according to information presented in court last year, referred questions to the U.S attorney’s office.

Former Secret Service agent Arnette Heintze, who was in charge of the Chicago office, said the long list of restrictions put in place by the judge would provide a level of comfort to his former colleagues because the measures continue a high level of coordination and communication with the people in Hinckley’s life.

But Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who served on two presidential details, said Hinckley’s release will put a significant burden on the agency to track him any time a president travels near Williamsburg.

“Just because he hasn’t acted up in a clinical environment in decades doesn’t mean he does not have a proclivity to act out violently when he’s out of that setting,” Bongino said. “There is no room for error on this.”

In the order, Friedman, who took over the case in 2001, approved the hospital officials’ recommendation to release Hinckley, including 34 conditions that incorporated tighter monitoring that prosecutors had sought.

The conditions ban Hinckley from having weapons and alcohol and require him to give his treatment team and the Secret Service access to his online and email accounts.

At the government’s request, Hinckley — who plays the guitar, paints and has expressed an interest in photography — is also barred from performing in public and from exhibiting or publishing any material without approval.

“The notoriety-fame issue is one that is part of [Hinckley’s] pathology,” government psychiatric expert Raymond F. Patterson testified during hearings in spring last year before Friedman, warning also of Hinckley’s troubling “sense of entitlement and a disregard for the rules.”

The judge noted that in other ways, Hinckley’s return to society and independent living has gone well.

Hinckley’s mother and siblings, Scott B. Hinckley and Diane Hinckley Sims, have pledged full support, the judge wrote, and Hinckley’s relationships with women — a historic concern — have grown healthier.

Hinckley, who has spent time volunteering at a local mental hospital, has been offered a job at a church and has taken his mother to dine out and for scenic drives, according to court filings.

“Mr. Hinckley has gone bowling, attended several lectures, attended outdoor musical concerts, and joined a local community center to exercise and take classes offered,” Friedman wrote, adding that Hinckley “also has made significant strides toward developing friendships in the community and displayed improved self-initiative.”

Reaction to Hinckley’s upcoming move was met warily by neighbors in the Kingsmill community where his mother lives.

Rick Johnson, a 13-year resident whose parents knew Hinckley’s parents, was welcoming but acknowledged that he might be in the minority. “They played bridge together and said they were lovely people,” Johnson said.

Hinckley, he said, “has put in his time. Why not give him what’s left of his life?”

About a half-mile from Hinckley’s mother’s home, neighbor Joe A. Mann disagreed. Mann said neighbors think highly of Hinckley’s mother, but Mann plans to mobilize friends and local networks to stay alert.

“I don’t know one single person who says, ‘Yeah, bring him on.’ ”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...e6a_story.html

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Old 07-27-2016, 11:43 PM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

Hopefully he gets invited to the Whitehouse.

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Old 07-27-2016, 11:53 PM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

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Hopefully he gets invited to the Whitehouse.
bad!

I'm surprised he was found insane and so many other people aren't. He didn't seem very insane.

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Old 07-28-2016, 12:04 AM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

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bad!

I'm surprised he was found insane and so many other people aren't. He didn't seem very insane.
Probably had more to do with the time it occured than the actual case.

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Old 07-28-2016, 04:26 AM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

"The prosecution's evidence was not strong enough."
-Lawrence Coffey, jury foreman of the Hinckley trial


"We weren't lawmakers. We had to give a judgment back the way it was given to us. The evidence being what it was, we were required to send John back insane."
-George Blyther, juror at the Hinckley trial

June 21, 1982. The Hinckley verdict was read. "NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY." The public outcry and backlash that followed the acquittal of John Hinckley, Jr. by reason of insanity was tremendous and had far-reaching effects. Eighty percent of the insanity reforms that took place between 1978 and 1990 occurred shortly after the Hinckley verdict. Within a month of the trial's conclusion, committees of the House and Senate held hearings regarding use of the insanity defense.

During the three years following the Hinckley acquittal, Congress and half of the states enacted changes in the insanity defense, all limiting use of the defense. Congress and nine states limited the substantive test of insanity; Congress and seven states shifted the burden of proof to the defendant, eight states supplemented the insanity verdict with a separate verdict of guilty but mentally ill (GBMI), and one state, Utah, abolished the defense outright. Congress passed revisions in the defense embodied in the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984, which reads:

"It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under any federal statute that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense."
The legislation changes the former approach by requiring a "severe" mental disease and eliminating the volitional aspect of the defense. The Act also reshapes the cognitive aspect of the insanity defense by replacing "unable to appreciate" with "lacks substantial capacity" to delineate boundaries between a total lack of understanding and partial comprehension.
"Guilty But Mentally Ill"

Twelve states in the aftermath of the Hinckley trial established a separate verdict of "guilty but mentally ill" (GBMI). Four of the twelve states that adopted the GBMI verdict did so because of the uproar over the Hinckley verdict. The consequence of rendering a GBMI verdict is conviction and a criminal sentence. A defendant will be evaluated by mental health authorities to determine whether psychiatric treatment is warranted under the circumstances. If such treatment is deemed necessary, the offender is hospitalized. If discharged, the offender is sent back to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence.

"The Burden of Proof Shifts"

Two-thirds of the states that recognize the insanity defense now place upon the defendant the burden of persuading t he jury that he or she was insane at the time of the offense, usually requiring proof by a preponderance of the evidence. A federal statute holds the defendant to an even higher standard, requiring proof of insanity by clear and convincing evidence.

"Limiting the Use of Expert Witnesses"

Because psychiatric testimony played a large role in Hinckley's trial and ultimate verdict, the reliability of using such testimony came under attack in the wake of the trial. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) issued a statement after the trial acknowledging public skepticism of "the nature and the quality of psychiatric testimony in insanity trials." The APA also stated that it would not oppose laws restricting the use of such testimony in insanity cases. In 1984, Congress enacted a statute stating that:

"No expert witness testifying with respect to the mental state or condition of a defendant in a criminal case may state an opinion or inference as to whether the defendant did or did not have the mental state or condition constituting an element of the crime charged or a defense thereto. Such ultimate issues are for the trier of fact alone."
"Abolition of the Insanity Defense"
By 1986, three states had abolished the use of the insanity defense altogether. These states, Montana, Idaho, and Utah, continue to admit evidence of mental disorder for the restricted purpose of disproving mens rea, or, in other words, proving that a defendant did not possess the special knowledge or intent required for conviction under the charged offense. The American Medical Association supports the abolition of the insanity defense.


-from
THE JOHN HINCKLEY TRIAL & ITS EFFECT ON THE INSANITY DEFENSE

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Old 07-28-2016, 04:30 AM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

Really? Can't believe they are releasing him now, in an election year, when that's all there is on the news. Like he's going to abide by his internet and media 'restriction', yeah, right. What a bunch of idiots! Like his 90 year old mother know shit.

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Old 07-28-2016, 02:01 PM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

I think the conspiracy nuts might go apeshit over this.

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Old 07-29-2016, 06:10 AM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

more about his youth and what went on in his mind.
http://europe.newsweek.com/john-hinc...ination-484720

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Old 07-29-2016, 08:51 AM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

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more about his youth and what went on in his mind.
http://europe.newsweek.com/john-hinc...ination-484720
Good read, thanks!

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Old 08-02-2016, 06:47 PM
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Re: John Hinckley Jr. is Being Freed

I wonder if Jodie will finally go to dinner with him... coffee at least? LoL

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