With the government strongly opposed to granting John Hinckley any more freedoms, court hearings open Wednesday on whether the man who shot President Ronald Reagan should be allowed to spend additional time outside of a mental hospital.
Judge Paul Friedman will begin hearing arguments that Hinckley, whom a jury deemed insane after he shot and injured Reagan in 1981, should be able to have more time outside of St. Elizabeths Hospital, the Associated Press reports — Hinckley is already allowed to visit his mother in Virginia, and his attorney is working to eventually allow his client to live outside of the mental facility full time.
Government lawyers are opposing the plan to let Hinckley spent more time outside of the mental hospital, calling it “premature and ill conceived,” saying the man is “capable of great violence” and not “sufficiently well to alleviate the concern that his violence may be repeated,” the AP says.
Hinckley’s sister, brother, psychiatrist and case manager are on the witness list, while Secret Service members are expected to testify for the government, the wire says.
Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis has spoken out against the fact that Hinckley can spent time away from the mental hospital, saying, “As far as the victims are concerned, he beat the legal system. He had wealthy parents who bought him a tenacious lawyer.”
Earlier this year, Friedman ruled that Hinckley would be allowed additional unsupervised visits to his mother’s house.
The hearings are expected to last at least a few days.
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