The man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan more than 30 years ago could be released from the mental institution where he has been treated since.
A court on Wednesday could determine whether John Hinckley Jr. will be released from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C., where his sentence was carried out after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, according to media reports.
Officials from the hospital recommend that Hinckley be released under convalescent leave and continue to receive outpatient treatment, The Washington Post reported. Hinckley would also reportedly be subject to at least 18 other conditions after being released to his mother’s care in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Jo Ann Hinckley’s age – 88 – was brought up as a determining factor in 2012 when her son appeared at a hearing to consider extended releases for the patient. The discussion of his mother’s untimely demise was a grim one, but relevant since she’s seen as having helped to stabilize Hinckley, who was diagnosed with major depression and psychosis.
The gunman opened fire on the president on March 30, 1981, as Reagan was leaving a D.C. hotel following a speech.
Though Hinckley’s attempt on Reagan’s life on March 30, 1981 failed, the former president suffered a bullet wound that punctured his lung. Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady, was also shot and partially paralyzed as a result. An autopsy conducted after the time of Brady’s death in August 2014 revealed he died from complications linked to the shooting.
Hinckley was would not be brought up on murder charges, federal prosecutors announced in January.