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John Hinckley Gets More Freedom

•  Headline Legal News     updated  2009/06/17 09:09


The man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan is now allowed to visit his mother more, to get a driver's license and spend more time away from the mental hospital where he lives, a federal judge ruled.

John Hinckley shot President Reagan and wounded three others because of an obsession with actress Jodie Foster.

The ruling, released Tuesday, expands the freedoms of John Hinckley Jr. over the objections of prosecutors. They argued that Hinckley is still mentally ill and harbors unhealthy feelings about women.

Hinckley, 54, has been confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shooting of Reagan.

Hinckley shot Reagan and wounded three others reportedly because of an obsession with actress Jodie Foster.

Gradually, Hinckley has been allowed more freedom as he has progressed in therapy.

Recently, family members and hospital officials requested that he be allowed to visit his mother's home in Williamsburg, Virginia, for nine nights instead of the six he was allowed; to get a driver's license; and to do volunteer work, according to court documents. There also was a request for Hinckley to have more unsupervised time away from the hospital.

Prosecutors objected to many of the requests, saying that Hinckley "continues to maintain inappropriate thoughts of violence," court documents said



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