OPINION | This article contains opinion that reflects the author's views.
John Hinckley Jr. is being released from prison after 41 years despite shooting and injuring President Ronald Reagan as well as three others, one of whom later died. The death was ruled a homicide since it was caused by injuries in the attack.
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said Hinckley will be released this summer on June 15. The release is unconditional for Hinckley, who is now 67 years old.
Reagan was shot and seriously wounded by John Hinckley Jr. in Washington, D.C. during an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981.
Reagan was returning to his limousine after a speaking event when a .22 Long Rifle bullet ricocheted off the side of the presidential limousine and hit him in the left underarm.
The president suffered a broken rib, a punctured lung, and serious internal bleeding. Reagan was reportedly close to death upon arrival at the hospital where he underwent surgery.
Hinckley had become obsessed with actress Jodie Foster and he carried out the attack believing she would find it impressive.
Although Reagan survive, Hinckley also wounded three others in the attack, including White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, and DC police officer Thomas Delahanty.
Brady suffered brain damage and was permanently disabled. He died in 2014 and it was ruled a homicide because it was caused by the injury from Hinckley’s shooting.
At trial, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity on charges of attempting to assassinate the president.
Federal prosecutors refused to charge Hinckley with Brady’s death, despite the fact the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Hinkley was confined to a psychiatric facility for years before being released from institutional psychiatric care on September 10, 2016.
Judge Friedman concluded, “If he hadn’t tried to kill a president he would have been released unconditionally a long time ago.”