The Road to the Release of John Hinckley

For forty years, the District Court handled one of the most challenging criminal cases in federal court history. In June 1982, Judge Barrington Parker presided at the trial of John Hinckley for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. The trial ended in a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, which in turn led to significant changes in the law on the insanity defense. Following the verdict, Hinckley was confined at or under the supervision of St. Elizabeths Hospital until 2003, when Judge Paul L. Friedman released him for weekend visits with his parents in the metropolitan D.C. area, over the government’s objection. Judge Friedman incrementally expanded Mr. Hinckley’s privileges outside the Hospital, again over the government’s objection. Then on September 30, 2021, Judge Friedman signed a consent order unconditionally releasing Hinckley from custody and judicial supervision.

The Road to the Release of John Hinckley

For forty years, the District Court handled one of the most challenging criminal cases in federal court history. In June 1982, Judge Barrington Parker presided at the trial of John Hinckley for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. The trial ended in a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, which in turn led to significant changes in the law on the insanity defense. Following the verdict, Hinckley was confined at or under the supervision of St. Elizabeths Hospital until 2003, when Judge Paul L. Friedman released him for weekend visits with his parents in the metropolitan D.C. area, over the government’s objection. Judge Friedman incrementally expanded Mr. Hinckley’s privileges outside the Hospital, again over the government’s objection. Then on September 30, 2021, Judge Friedman signed a consent order unconditionally releasing Hinckley from custody and judicial supervision.