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article imageCourt: Man who shot President Reagan in 1981 ready for release

By Nathan Salant     Jul 28, 2016 in Crime
Washington - The Virginia man who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel in 1981 will not be subject to electronic monitoring when he is released from a psychiatric hospital early next month.
John Hinckley Jr., now 61, was in his 20s when he opened fire on Reagan and his aides outside the Washington Hilton hotel on March 30, 1981.
Reagan was hit in the chest and three others also were wounded, including White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot in the head and never fully recovered, according to the Associated Press.
But Hinckley will have to comply with a list of conditions after his release from St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., to live with his mother, including regular individual and group therapy sessions and getting a paying or volunteer job.
Hinckley's father died in 2008.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings after a trial in 1982 at which he claimed to have committed the attack to attract the attention of a well-known Hollywood actress, and has been institutionalized ever since, although he has been permitted to spend nights at the family home regularly since 2003.
The not guilty verdict so outraged people across the country that many states changed their laws to restrict the insanity plea and the U.S. government restricted its use with the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984.
Now, 35 years later, Hinckley's psychiatrists agree he no longer suffers from mental illness and can live full-time in the community, the AP said.
He is barred from talking to the media and restricted in how far he can travel, and is subject to being followed by the U.S. Secret Service.
Hinckley also has been barred from contacting any family members of the victims or of the actress he claimed to obsessed with, Jodie Foster.
Others injured in the shooting were Brady, who died in 2014, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, who dove into the line of fire to try to protect Reagan, and Washington policemen Thomas Delahanty.
Reagan underwent emergency surgery after the shooting but eventually recovered to serve two full-terms as president. He died in 2004 at 93.
U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman William Miller said his office was reviewing the federal court's decision and had no comment, the AP said.
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