Tag Archives: John Hinckley

Reagan assailant goes free? Oh, my!

You may consider me as one American who believes John Hinckley does not deserve an unconditional release from custody.

I mean, all he did  was shoot President Reagan in March 1981, damn near killing him, while grievously wounding others in a melee outside the Washington Hilton hotel. One of his other victims was White House press secretary James Brady, who never recovered from the grievous brain injury he suffered; Brady has since died of complications suffered from that shooting.

U.S. President Reagan’s shooter John Hinckley wins unconditional release (msn.com)

A jury would acquit Hinckley on grounds that he was insane when he did the deed. He spent decades in an institution. Then he was released in the custody of his mother, who has since died.

Now a judge has said he can walk free among the rest of us, without condition.

Bad call, judge.

The late president’s daughter, Patti Davis, has argued that Hinckley has shown no remorse and shouldn’t be allowed to roam free. I agree with her.

If the assailant had demonstrated any actual remorse, then might be different. I am unaware of anything he has said or done since the trial to suggest any feeling of the sort over what he did.

The entire nation needs to keep a sharp and vigilant eye on this individual once he is free of the restrictions under which he has lived.

Just one more point. Hinckley is now 66 years of age, meaning that he is still capable of doing harm to others.


A ‘no’ vote on lifting restrictions on John Hinckley

John Hinckley wants a judge to grant him unconditional release, to lift the restrictions under which he must navigate his way back into society.

You remember Hinckley. He was acquitted on grounds of insanity after he shot Ronald Reagan in March 1981, coming dangerously close to killing the 40th president of the United States.

President Reagan recovered from his wound. White House press secretary James Brady, tragically, did not. He, too, was grievously wounded; he suffered a gunshot wound to his head. He fought valiantly to restore his speech, his ability to walk. He died of complications from his wounds in 2014.

Hinckley had been hospitalized since he tried to kill President Reagan. He was released from the hospital in 2016. According to MSN.com: Hinckley’s release in 2016 required that he work or volunteer at least three days a week, limit his travel, allow law enforcement to track his movements and continue meeting with a psychiatrist, among other conditions.

Hinckley does not deserve to be released from the restrictions. His doctors say his depression and psychosis are “in remission.”

I’m not a doctor, but to me “remission” does not mean “eradication.” Remissions suggests his ailments can return, just as cancer returns after being in remission.

I happened to agree with the late president’s family, who opposed Hinckley’s release from the hospital. Now I’ll weigh in and ask the judge to deny the killer’s request to lift the restrictions he must obey.

Should we set John Hinckley free?

Allow me to answer the question posed in the headline.

Yes, sort of.

John Hinckley has been housed in a psych ward since a jury found him innocent by reason of insanity after he shot President Ronald Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady and two law enforcement officers in March 1981.

Brady — nicknamed The Bear by the press corps — died a year ago from the grievous head wound he suffered at Hinckley’s hand.


Hinckley’s lawyer says he’s ready to be set free. And even the government prosecutors suggest he is able to be released from the hospital. The feds, though, say he needs constant supervision and must be monitored closely.

I concur with the feds’ assessment, although if I were King of the World, I’d be reluctant to let him out.

Why? Well, the man sought to murder the president of the United States. He wounded him with a gunshot wound in the chest and as we would learn after the chaotic day the president could have died from the wound had the bullet lodged an inch or so toward the president’s heart.

What’s more, a jury ruled that Hinckley was insane when he committed the crime. How many people usually go from being insane to, well, sane?

I am one who doesn’t trust John Hinckley to never do something so crazed again.

That’s why if he gets out of the psych ward he needs careful and never-ending scrutiny.


Sarah Brady fought gun-control fight valiantly

If anyone deserved the right to believe in gun control, it had to be the wife of someone wounded grievously by a madman firing a handgun at the president of the United States.

The advocate was Sarah Brady, the wife of the late White House press secretary James Brady, who was shot in the head by John Hinckley — who sought on March 31, 1981 to assassinate President Reagan. Sarah Brady died today at the age of 73.


Hinckley ended up being acquitted by reason of insanity and he’s spent his time in a hospital ever since.

Meanwhile, Sarah and James Brady became advocates for gun control. James Brady died in August of complications relating to the terrible head wound he suffered.

The Bradys had become enemies of gun-rights advocates, such as the National Rifle Association, which occasionally took great delight in vilifying them for their sincere views on the firearm control.

They had reason to believe as they did. They insisted courageously in the face of intense criticism that the Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee of firearm ownership did not preclude additional controls being placed on the sale and purchase of weaponry.

That didn’t matter to the NRA or to other firearm-owners-rights groups.

They saved lives. “In the history of our nation, there are few people, if any, who are directly responsible for saving as many lives as Sarah and Jim,” said Dan Gross, the president of the  Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in a statement.

Sarah Brady was a ferocious advocate for what she believed. May she now rest in peace.

Hinckley won't be tried again … for murder

It’s settled. John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan in March 1981, will not be tried for the murder of one of the men who died as a result of the injuries he suffered on that terrible day.

One of the other victims was the late White House press secretary James Brady, who died this past summer. A medical examiner said Brady’s death was a direct result of being shot in the head by Hinckley.


This is a good call for a number of reasons.

Hinckley was acquitted of trying to assassinate the president. He fired the shots. The acquittal was because he was determined to be insane. That means he also was considered insane when he shot Brady and two law enforcement officers.

The Constitution prohibits what’s called “double jeopardy,” meaning criminal defendants cannot be tried twice or more for the same crime. As The Hill reported: “In explaining their decision Friday, federal prosecutors argued that because Hinckley was deemed insane by a jury in 1982, they would be unable to argue today that he had been sane when he shot Brady.”

Hinckley’s time in court has come and gone.

My initial reaction to Brady’s death was to put Hinckley on trial for murder. I thought better of it a few days later. I’ve thought even more about it months after that.

Prosecutors have made the right decision.


On second thought …

Second thoughts usually are more reasonable and rational than first thoughts.

With that, I am having second thoughts about something that burst forth from my keyboard the other day about John Hinckley, the assailant who nearly killed President Reagan and gravely wounded White House press secretary James Brady.

I suggested it might be worthwhile to try Hinckley for murder, given that Brady died this past week from complications related to the brain injury he suffered when Hinckley shot at the presidential party in March 1981.

The earlier post is attached here:

R.I.P., James Brady

Medical authorities have ruled Brady’s death a homicide. Hinckley was acquitted of the attempted assassination by reason of insanity.

Thus, the question: Should we try Hinckley for a crime after he’s been judged to have been insane when he committed it?

A Washington, D.C. jury rendered that verdict after the assassination attempt. I’m wondering now how another jury could rule differently were he charged and tried for murder in connection with James Brady’s death.

It’s tempting, I suppose, to try Hinckley for murder. Given that he’s been acquitted already for the very same act, it’s reasonable to ask: To what end?

Prosecute Hinckley for murder? Why not?

Murder carries no statute of limitations, meaning that prosecutors have no time limit to bring charges against someone accused of such crimes.

Thus, it is possible that 33 years after nearly killing then-White House press secretary James Brady, the man who shot him might face murder charges upon Brady’s recent death.

James Brady’s death ruled a homicide

Medical authorities have ruled Brady’s death a homicide, as he died of complications from the gunshot wound to the brain he suffered as John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan. Brady was the most grievously wounded in the hail of gunfire in March 1981. He never recovered fully, although he later became an advocate for gun control.

Should prosecutors now charge Hinckley — who was acquitted of all charges on grounds of insanity — with murder in Brady’s death? Yes.

The gunman took someone’s life. The law is quite clear on what he did that day in Washington, D.C. Why should it matter that the victim — Brady — lived more than three decades after that terrible event? He’s now gone, the result of that terrible gunshot wound.

John Hinckley was the assailant. He’s now a murderer.

Prosecute him.

R.I.P., James Brady

The New York Times article attached to this blog post commemorates James Brady for what he was: an advocate for gun control and a friend of those who sought to curb the gun violence that struck him down.

He was all of that.

Brady, who died Monday at age 73, was grievously wounded in the March 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan. He was hit in the head by a bullet fired by John Hinckley, suffering paralysis, speech loss and short-term memory loss.

As the president’s press secretary, he was standing just a few feet from the president when Hinckley opened fire.

But what likely won’t be told in the days in the ahead about James Brady was that in the brief time he served as press spokesman for the White House — Reagan had taken office just three months prior to being wounded in the shooting — is that Brady had enormous respect among the men and women who covered the president.

Brady was known as a straight-arrow. He understood his “clientele,” the hard-core press hounds who could sniff out BS when it presented itself. He didn’t get them any baloney. From what I’ve heard over the years from those who covered the White House, the folks in the press room really took an instant liking to Brady.

Compare that with the testiness in White House-press relations that has emerged before and since Brady’s brief stint at the press room microphone.

His real legacy, certainly, will be that of a passionate advocate for gun control. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his view, James Brady came by it honestly. He took a bullet in the brain and paid a terrible price while serving the nation.

His national service, while too short, was stellar.