John Hinckley, found not guilty by reason of insanity for trying to kill Ronald Reagan to impress Jody Foster, was fully released from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital this afternoon and decamped to his mother’s Williamsburg, VA home.
Now Hinckley, who repeatedly tried to register to vote while confined in the 1980’s and 90’s, is poised to help select the next White House occupant this November. Because Hinckley was not convicted of a felony or found mentally incompetent he can vote in the November general election just like any new state resident by meeting the October 17 registration deadline.
At St. Elizabeth’s, Hinckley unsuccessfully sued the DC Board of Elections when, solely for lacking residency, they deemed him ineligible to vote. In 1990, he was mistakenly provided a registration form and mailed it back, checked Democrat, and requested an absentee ballot. But a Superior Court judge upheld the District’s decision in 1992.
Was all of this a way for Hinckley just to kill time? It doesn’t seem that way. David Dupree, the lawyer who represented Hinckley, made clear to the Washington Gadfly in a recent interview that he was very engaged with current events, but declined further comment.
Hinckley was previously allowed partial leaves from St. Elizabeth’s and stayed at his palatial family home, located on the 13th hole of a golf course in a gated community. (RELATED: Failed Reagan Assassin Secretly Lives In Lap Of Luxury, And Nobody Seems To Know)
This July, a federal judge ruled, giving the original jury verdict, there was no longer grounds to confine Hinckley to St. Elizabeth’s even part-time because he showed, “no signs of psychotic symptoms, delusional thinking, or any violent tendencies.”
Under the terms of the release he is barred from using social media or talking to the press. But Hinckley’s lawyer, Barry Levine, after the judge’s decision told Washington Times reporter Andrea Noble, “I suspect he’ll register to vote.”
According to CNN, Levine said today that the “very carefully considered decision by the court to release Mr. Hinckley based on the copious evidence by medical professionals and government expert witnesses should give great comfort to a concerned citizenry that the mental health system and the judicial system worked and worked well.”
“Mr. Hinckley recognizes that what he did was horrific. But it’s crucial to understand that what he did was not an act of evil. It was an act caused by mental illness, an illness from which he no longer suffers,” he said.