John Hinckley Jr is to be released from a psychiatric hospital next month after 35 years. The man was tried to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan.
The shooting happened just weeks into Ronald Reagan's presidency. Mr Reagan and three others were injured in the shooting outside a hotel in Washington in March 1981. Mr Reagan was shot in the lung, but recovered. His press secretary James Brady was shot in the head, suffered brain damage and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Mr. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982 and committed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Over the past 12 years, his doctors and the courts have been gradually loosening his restrictions. He has already been spending 17 days a month at his mother's home in Virginia under strict conditions.
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ruled that Mr Hinckley, now 61, could reside full-time there on "convalescent leave" from 5 August. The 103-page opinion said Mr. Hinckley’s doctors have found he has “no signs of psychotic symptoms, delusional thinking, or any violent tendencies,’’ and therefore “presents no danger to himself or to others in the reasonable future if released.’’
Still some restrictions will remain, including a ban on talking to the media, on his travel, communications, work and use of the internet. He also will have regular medical and social-work checkups, works or volunteers at least three days a week.
Mr. Hinckley had shot the president in an apparent bid to impress the actress Jodie Foster, with whom he had an obsession and whom he had subjected to what would now be termed stalking.