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Judge Lets Man Who Shot Reagan Free; Says His Mental State is Better Than Reagan's
WASHINGTON, DC A federal judge has ruled that John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981, can leave psychiatric hospital to visit his parents.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the wounding of Reagan in 1982 and was sent to a psychiatric hospital. He was diagnosed with having psychotic and narcissistic personality disorders. Ronald Reagan was found not guilty in the Iran Contra scandal by reason of a faulty memory, and was regarded by his children as having psychotic and narcissistic personality disorders.
US District Judge Paul Friedman overruled objections from Reagan's family and federal officials and said that Hinckley's mental state was sufficiently improved that he should be allowed unsupervised visits to his parents.
"His mental state is better than Reagan's," said the judge. "Reagan is the one who should be locked up. I trust Hinckley's parents to supervise him. They did such a good job of raising him."
Officials worried that Hinckley might try to finish the job and assassinate Reagan.
"That wouldn't be such a bad thing," said the judge. "After all, Reagan ran up huge deficits."
Nancy Reagan was very upset with the judge's decision. "My family and I are very disappointed by the judge's ruling," she said. "It came too late. The TV show on Ronnie has already aired. We could have used this plot twist, and perhaps cast Jude Law as Hinckley. It would have boosted the ratings, which were lousy."
Reagan's former Press Secretary, Jim Brady, who was wounded in the attack by Hinckley and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since, said he welcomed the judge's decision.
"I look forward to meeting Mr. Hinckley. I've got a little present for him," said Mr. Brady, as he tucked a snub-nosed, illegal handgun under the blanket covering his knees. "Brady Bill or no Brady Bill, I'll give that sucker a plug up the ass."