John Warnock Hinckley, Jr. was so mentally unstable that he honestly thought that if he killed then President Ronald Reagan that it would impress actress Jodie Foster. All of us are guilty of daydreaming about things that probably will not occur and well have fantasies we think about periodically but it definitely take someone who is mentally unstable to think that killing the president is a great way to impress a famous actress. His assumption was that if he killed the President he would become famous and that would make him “”equal to her” because she was famous too and generally famous people only date other famous people.
The future of John Hinckley, Jr. was in doubt when he was only 4 years old and his family abruptly moved to Dallas, Texas. It is often wondered by historians how John Hinckley, Jr. would have turned out if his family had never made the move; however you cannot blame the Great State of Texas because John Hinckley, Jr. led a relatively normal life. It was not until after high school that things started going awry for John Hinckley, Jr.
As John Hinckley, Jr. got older he began to develop a severe interest in Jodie foster. John Hinckley, Jr. even sent her a letter before he tried to kill the president. John Hinckley, Jr. had developed a rough plot of how he was going to kill President Reagan and nothing was going to stop him.
As President Reagan left after a speech he had given at the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C., John Hinckley, Jr. pulled out a gun and fired the gun multiple times towards President Reagan. Tragically Press Secretary James Brady was shot and paralyzed. Fortunately nobody died that day but it forever changed the lives of everybody there that day, especially James Brady.
James Brady went onto become a major supporter of gun control. Regardless of how you view gun rights, you should certainly understand how James Brady views gun control considering his life was altered forever by the bullet of a gunshot by the crazy man John Hinckley, Jr.
John Hinckley, Jr. was eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity. Eventually John Hinckley, Jr. was able to leave the mental institution on supervised visits and then the unsupervised visits to his mom’s house. After one of the visits his releases were temporarily stopped when John Hinckley, Jr. was found to have smuggled reading material related to Actress Jodie Foster back into the psychiatric hospital.
When the 1982 trial of John Hinckley ended people around the Country were upset with the verdict. How could someone such as John Hinckley attempt to kill the president of the United States and not have to spend any time in Prison? Yes John Hinckley was sentenced to a mental hospital but that was far from jail. In the 90’s he got to leave with the staff of the hospital on a regular basis to go shopping, bowling, and many other recreational activities. What they hell kind of punishment was that for someone who shot and tried to kill; President Ronald Reagan?
Pretty soon John Hinckley was allowed to leave the hospital on a regular basis to go visit his mother. It was as if John Hinckley had never tried to murder anyone, much less the President of the United States. Not long after John Hinckley was committed to the hospital he was quoted by Penthouse Magazine when he described a typical day for himself as saying "I see a therapist, answer mail, play my guitar, listen to music, play pool, watch television, eat lousy food, and take delicious medication." This is how he spent his day immediately after he was sent to live there by the Court who found him not guilty of attempted murder on the President by reason of insanity.
While in the hospital it was found that he had exchanged letters with serial killer Ted Bundy. How did the system fail where Hinckley could be allowed to communicate with Ted Bundy? The answer is lax supervision at the hospital.
The hospital staff was extremely strict in not allowing him to use the phone without the staff dialing the number for him, yet his room was rarely searched as it would have been if he had been incarcerated to an actual prison instead of a mental hospital. In later years when Hinckley would leave the hospital grounds he was able to sneak in a lot of different things into the hospital including pictures of actress Jodie Foster. In today’s world this would have never occurred. In today’s world Hinckley would not have been let off so much for his crime. The laws around the plea of insanity were changed drastically upon the results of the Hinckley trial.
During his time at the hospital Hinckley was able to begin a relationship with another patient at the hospital. Hinckley begun dating Leslie deVeau, and by some accounts had regular sex with her. Leslie deVeau spent 4 years at the hospital because she killed her 10 year old daughter. It is stunning that Leslie deVeau and Hinckley could have intercourse, much less carrying on a relationship. Here is a man who shot and paralyzed a man and shot and almost killed the President and he was sentenced to a mental institution and was able to carry on a relationship with a woman who killed her 10 year old daughter and was also found not guilty by reason of insanity. Sometimes the laws of the United States make no sense. Things such as the Hinckley’s situation should never have occurred. People have spent more time in Prison for littering with less rights and freedoms then Hinckley did for attempted assassination of the President.
Even though Hinckley tried to kill the President and almost succeeded at it, he has more rights and freedoms then many other people who have committed much less severe crimes. Hinckley should have been sentenced to prison.