Federal judge hears arguments on Hinckley overnight visits

[JURIST] A lawyer for John W. Hinckley, Jr. [Wikipedia profile] argued Monday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] that the man who shot President Ronald Reagan and three others in 1981 [PBS backgrounder] should be allowed more time away from a mental institution. Late last year, US District Judge Paul Friedman [official profile], ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that Hinckley could stay overnight with his parents in Williamsburg, VA, for four days every six weeks with supervision by the Secret Service [official website]. Friedman is considering whether to continue those visits. At Monday's hearing, Assistant US Attorney Thomas Zeno asserted that Hinckley's parents, who are in their 80s, are no longer able to provide adequate supervision, leading Friedman to suggest that Hinckley's siblings may have to replace them as custodians. Hinckley's attorney, Barry Levine, contended that the visits should be not only continued but increased because his client poses "no danger to himself or others."

Hinckley has lived at St. Elizabeths Hospital [hospital website] in Washington since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of Reagan, press secretary James Brady and two law enforcement officers. His doctors have said his psychosis is in remission [USA Today report]. Friedman is expected to decide whether to continue the current visits next month and to consider whether to modify the arrangements next spring. AP has more.



 

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