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Clinton-appointed federal judge orders John Hinckley Jr. released
Jodie Foster remains unimpressed.
I'm trying to think if any presidential assassin - would-be or successful - has ever been released from prison before now. Obviously not Booth or Oswald. Leon Czolgosz was executed. Of course, all of the above did succeed in their diabolical quests. John Hinckley is the only man who ever shot a president and failed to kill him. Hombres don't come any tougher than Ronald Reagan.
And Hinckley is now the only man to shoot a president and eventually walk out of prison, thanks to a Clinton-appointed federal judge who sees no further reason to keep him locked up:
The man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan is set to go free, after a judge decided Wednesday to allow would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. to live with his mother in Virginia full-time.
Hinckley is set to begin his "convalescent leave" on Aug. 5, according to U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman's order.
Friedman wrote that "all of the experts and treatment providers" who testified during the hearing agreed that Hinckley's issues -- major depression and psychotic disorder -- were "in full and sustained remission and have been for more than twenty years."
"Mr. Hinckley is clinically ready for full-time convalescent leave," Friedman wrote.
Hinckley, 61, attempted to kill Reagan outside of the Washington Hilton Hotel in 1981. He fired six shots, hitting four people, including Reagan, who was wounded when a bullet bounced off his presidential limo. Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the right side of his head, sustaining serious injuries. When he died in August 2014, Brady's death was ruled a homicide.
That last point is not insignificant. Brady lived 33 largely incapacitated years after Hinckley shot him, and when he died, his death was directly traced to the gunshot wound he suffered that day in 1981, which is why it was ruled a homicide. So let's not forget this: Hinckley murdered James Brady. He was not convicted of murder because he was found mentally incompetent, but he still killed him.
So what of the argument that Hinckley today is over his mental issues and there is thus no reason to keep him locked up? I can offer you a reason: He tried to murder Ronald Reagan. And he did murder Jim Brady. I have no interest in vengeance and I hold no personal ill will toward Hinckley, but I can't help but think that in some way the leniency toward Hinckley is related in some way to the dim view the political class takes of Reagan. They've been on a mission for decades to wipe away the true record of achievement that was the Reagan presidency. Maybe they also find it necessary to send the message that the man's life wasn't worth all that much either, which is why the man who tried to kill him no longer needs to be locked up.
Hey! All he did was shoot Ronald Reagan. He would have done us a favor if he'd finished the job.
You can say it's outlandish that I would ascribe such thinking to the left, but with the vitriol we've seen from them in recent years, I can't sit here and tell you I truly believe it's beyond the pale.
I hope Mr. Hinckley truly does get his life in order, and that he doesn't hurt anyone else. Judge Friedman no longer thinks it's his job to make sure of that.