What factors should determine whether John Hinckley gets more freedom?

John Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, is asking for more time away from the mental institution where he lives. Doctors say Hinckley’s mental health has greatly improved, and already he is allowed to visit his mother up to 10 days at a time. Today’s Question: What factors should determine whether John Hinckley gets more freedom?

  • Kurt

    How James Brady feels about it.

  • GaryF

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/69393.html

    If he is let out, he MUST live in the same house as the judge or parole board members that let him out. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  • John O.

    No factors. He did the crime and should do the time.

  • Leigh

    He should not get more liberty, he is a criminal.

  • Travis Bickle

    Whether Jodie Foster replies directly to Mr. Hinckley’s correspondence…..

  • Steve the Cynic

    From the heat of their rhetoric, you’d think conservatives would secretly wish Hinckley could be released, in hopes that he’d go after the current president.

  • david

    Who cares….

  • John Johnson

    Your summary is designed to bias the responses, failing to mention the recent news that he has been cheating on his leave time. The only reason he is getting all of this release time is because he comes from a very wealthy family that has hired very expensive lawyers to get him far better treatment then any typical murderer would get.

  • Chuck

    I think that insanity should never be a defense for the commision of a crime. Hinckley should be in prison, not a mental hospital, and should not get any release time.

    Personally, I’d like to see a prison built on Nunivak Island in Alaska and all violent criminals get sent there.

  • Tom

    This is probably a bit simplistic but hear me out… What if they figured out what was less expensive between two options; 1) The cost to continue to incarcerate Hinckley for the rest of his life or 2) the cost of 24 hour surveillance of a criminally insane Hinckley, which he would most undoubtedly have in any kind of release situation.

  • Regnar James

    He should have been fried … it would have saved so much of my tax money.

    DTOM

  • GaryF

    “From the heat of their rhetoric, you’d think conservatives would secretly wish Hinckley could be released, in hopes that he’d go after the current president.”

    Wow, REALLY?

    Then we’d have Joe Biden as President and that’s just as scary!

  • kimMN

    John Hinckley could get more freedom IF his family offers more campaign support to Obama.

  • This is NOT lucy

    Set him free and give him a pilot’s license.

    : )’

  • Bear

    Looks like KimMN has pulled Steve the Cynic down to her level :-) and even further to the left … confirming Newton’s 3rd law of motion … “For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.”

  • John P II

    Is this a trick question? The opinions of the mental health professionals working with Hinckley, as weighed by a federal judge. He’s been treated for mental illness for over 20 years. He’s NOT a criminal – he was found not guilty by a jury (by reason of insanity.)

  • Steve the Cynic

    Hey, Bear, that was just a comment on the temperature of the rhetoric. If this question had been asked eight years ago, I could have said the same thing about liberal rhetoric. (GWBush was easily the worst president in my lifetime, but even so he wasn’t as bad as the some of the liberal hotheads made him out to be.)

  • Rich in Duluth

    If he is let out, he MUST live in the same house…

    No factors. He did the crime and should do the time.

    He should not get more liberty, he is a criminal.

    From the heat of their rhetoric, you’d think conservatives would secretly wish…

    Whether Jodie Foster replies directly to Mr. Hinckley’s correspondence…..

    I think that insanity should never be a defense for the commision of a crime.

    He should have been fried …

    A close relative of mine spent 16 years of her career fighting the stigma around mental illness. From some of these posts, I’d say the stigma is alive and well. It’s very sad.

    Is anyone from the Mental Health Association reading these and willing to comment?

  • Bear

    Well said Rich … let’s leave the answer to this question to the experts who are qualified to make these sorts of decisions. Some of these attempts at humor are insensitive to people with mental challenges.

  • GregX

    the comparison of how much it costs to keep him under “government management” and the likelyhood that he will re-commit a violent crime. That latter part should be compared against the likleyhood of the average population committing a violent act.

    Based on the rising occurance of “????-rage” incidents and the NRA’s assertion that America is so potentially violent that everyone should arm themselves – I’d say the general population is pretty likely to commit violence . so the bench mark for Mr Hinckley is pretty low. Now it’s just a matter of cost – and with the numerous cries for reduction in spending at the federal level …. incarcertation of Mr Hinckley is becoming a cost worth scrutinizing.

  • GregX

    How James Brady feels about it.========================= that guns should be wayyyyyyyy harder to get …. that bullets should be wayyyyyyyyy harder to get. that John Hinckley would have had a lot harder time harming anyone with a knife or baseball bat. that proactive mental health is far far far better than knee-jerk reactive incarceration & treatment – after someone kills. You know … solve the problem before it exists the degree possible.

  • Regnar James

    GregX , have you tried to buy a gun lately?

    The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Pub.L. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536) is an Act of the United States Congress that, for the first time, instituted federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States.

    These prohibitions apply to any person who:

    1. Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

    2. Is a fugitive from justice;

    3. Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;

    4. Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;

    5. Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

    6. Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

    7. Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship;

    8. Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner, or;

    9. Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

    10. Has a record of being a felon

    IF you pass the NICS check and wait at least two weeks then you can buy a gun.

    How is that for WAAAAAAYYY harder?

    DTOM

  • kimMN

    Wouldn’t it be interesting for MPR to ask each evening on the air, which questions should be next because they are important to Minnesotans ? The Hinckley question is so far removed from our lives. How about the 10% unemployment in Fklorida or the 35 billion with several billions unaccounted for from Obama’s stimulus or those darn pesky “shovel ready jobs that really were not so shovel ready

    ( Obama smirked and giggled saying that) just more disdain for the tax payers as usual.

    So how about throwing out some new relevant questions?

    e.g.,

    1. Why does Obama have the lowest public approval than any other president at this time?

    2. Should we accept Obama’s intellect as the media praised him in 2008 when he later says at speeches with a telepromter no less,

    ” I’ve now been to 57 states so far and have yet to get to Hawaii and 4)Alaska., or_

    ” I see many of our Fallen Heroes among us

    ( really? he sees ghosts!)

    or_ ” today our Navy CorPsmen ( four times in one speech he wrongly pronounced the P)

    or_ ” Kansas saw the worst from the tornado , killing 10,000″ ( actually it was 12)

    or_ ” Israel is..ummmm, Israel is Israel’s closest ally.” ( really? Israel was firing rockets at each other???)

    BRILLIANT ORATOR…..HOPE HE Changes when he is out of the White House in 2012. :)

  • Steve the Cynic

    What’s the matter, kimMN? Are you looking for more opportunities to spew your toxic screeds?

  • kimMN

    @steveiecynical

    There you go again Steve….more toxic name calling thrown at me once again.

    When ever Progressive Liberals do not like what they hear, they lose their ” tolerance for diversity” Just the same as they have NO tolerance for “diversity of income” either. When an argument can not be won, Progressives name call their opponent…and that is what Obama’s new campaign is doing, denigrate the opposition because OBAMA has nothing to run on besides that he wasted $1.2 trillion of our tax dollars spent to pay back his campaign supporters and that he raised our debt to over 14 trillion while fundamentally wanting to transform America, into what? it seems he is doing everything that Europe had done under socialist ideals and look where that got them!! Gag.

  • kimMN

    To MPR readers:

    When did asking questions of relevance become

    ” spewing toxic screed” as Steve the cynic replies? He doesn’t seem to mind other’s remarks as long as it doesn’t touch or address the sacred cow of Progressive thought. All of those earlier suggestions I made for discussion are based only on facts, supported by presidential speeches collected on tape.

    Steve’s demeaning comment is indicative of the Progressive warfare tactics…no different than Obama’s crew of using class warfare ideas to push his socialist agenda onto us while Obama and his Michelle spend like aristocrats using our money.

  • This is NOT lucy

    “To MPR readers:

    When did asking questions of relevance become

    ” spewing toxic screed” as Steve the cynic replies?”

    When it is clearly bulemic purging of Right Winged propaganda…uh hm

    “The Hinckley question is so far removed from our lives. ”

    I will say this and that is the responses from some posters are delusional and it appears as though there is a dysfunctional ego attachment between self and conscious in their writings.

    These are the people who are free and roaming the streets and internet who have access to guns. Thank god, God that we are allowed to use psyedomyms on these questions.

  • kimMN

    @this is Not Lucy comment:

    Describe and support what you refer to as

    “Right Winged propaganda” for all of us that are

    well versed in media bias against conservatives.
    :)

  • Steve the Cynic

    KimMN, like a bully who goes crying to the teacher when the other kids on the playground stand up to him, you apparently can dish it out but not take it. If you think your posts epitomize good manners and decorum, you are even more delusional than I thought you were. (And again, you err in assuming I’m a left-wing radical, just because I disagree with you. The fact is, I disagree with them, too, but they are a lot less vociferous these days than right-wing radicals, so I seldom feel I need to call them out. That wasn’t true three decades ago.)