Judge allows would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley to display his artwork
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A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that John Hinckley, the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Regan in 1981, may display his artwork under his name.
U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman made the decision after Hinckley completed a new risk assessment test of his mental health but said the now-65-year-old must inform his treatment team of his plans to display his works.
“If clinically indicated, they may terminate Mr. Hinckley's ability to publicly display his creative works," Friedman wrote of Hinckley's doctors, who will monitor any feedback Hinckley receives for his work, in the decision.
In this photo taken March 19, 2015, John Hinckley gets into his mother’s car in front of a recreation center in Williamsburg, Va. (AP Photo/ Steve Helber)
Hinckley was arrested when he was 25 after the assassination attempt that left press secretary James Brady partially paralyzed and two others with injuries. Jurors found Hinckley, who was suffering from psychosis at the time, not guilty by reason of insanity and sent him to a psychiatric hospital.
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He spent decades at the hospital before gradually being allowed to spend more time with his mother in Williamsburg, Va.; he moved in with her permanently in 2016, though he still faces some restrictions like being unable to own a gun or contact any of the families of his victims.
Barry Levine, who represents Hinckley, said during a September court hearing that Hinckley should eventually be granted unconditional release after doctors said he had "sufficiently recovered his sanity and will not, in the reasonable future, be a danger to himself or others."
In this photo taken March 18, 2015, the signature on a painting by John Hinkley is seen in Hampton, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
There was a question brought up during a September court hearing asking whether Hinckley could make money from his art. Hinckley has told doctors over the years that he regrets not being able to show or sell his paintings, most of which are landscapes, according to previously filed court documents.
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“I don’t have a microphone in my hand. I don’t have the video camera. So no one can hear my music. No one can see my art," he told doctors. "I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about. I’m an artist. I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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