Or at least rotting in a dark, dank cell.
John Hinckley Jr., 60, could observe the 35th anniversary Wednesday of his attempted assassination of Reagan from a luxurious community astride the 13th hole of a PGA championship golf course, complete with a picturesque view of a tranquil lake, an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation has found.
“This is absolutely so wrong. To let this guy go free. He almost killed the 40th President of the United States, coming within an inch of his heart,” Jim Kuhn, top executive assistant to Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan throughout their eight years in the White House, told TheDCNF.
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Hinckley shot Reagan, Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty March 30, 1981, outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. All survived, but Brady was left permanently disabled for life and died in 2014.
Hinckley’s lawyers won a not-guilty-by-insanity verdict June 21, 1982, and he has been known ever since as an “insanity aquittee.” The ruling triggered a national outcry about abuse of the insanity defense.
“I think the process is as insane as John Hinckley is,” Kuhn said. “He ruined Jim Brady’s life. And he shot two other people. And he’s going to walk? This guy is out scot-free? I just don’t get it.”
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Hinckley resided full-time in a mental treatment facility from 1982 until 2006 when Federal Judge Paul Friedman, a Clinton appointee, began steadily relaxing Hinckley’s unsupervised visits to the exclusive enclave in recent years.
In Friedman’s latest order, issued in February, 2014, he ruled Hinckley could stay in the community on eight occasions during the year for 17-days at a time with “unsupervised outings lasting up to four hours each outside his mother’s housing subdivision, for social, recreational, shopping, and dining activities.”
The judge spoke approvingly that Hinckley “visits stores, restaurants, and other attractions with family members or alone; takes solitary walks in his mother’s neighborhood; and spends time alone in the family home working on art, music, or other pursuits.”
TheDCNF recently spent a weekend at the upscale residential community. Hinckley’s world today revolves around 2,900-acres of beautiful residential property called “Kingsmill on the James,” where his mother lives. Kingsmill features million-dollar mansions, three championship golf courses, a marina, recreation centers with outdoor pools and tennis, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and jet skiing. New homes fetch up to $2 million.