John Hinckley Can Display His Paintings

Judge gives permission to man who shot President Reagan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 29, 2020 2:16 PM CDT
Reagan's Would-Be Assassin Can Display His Artwork
In this 2015 file photo, John Hinckley gets into his mother's car in front of a recreation center in Williamsburg, Va.   (AP Photo/ Steve Helber, File)

The man who tried to assassinate President Reagan can now publicly display his writings, artwork, and music, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. John Hinckley has long considered himself to be a musician and an artist, per the AP. He paints (mostly landscapes) and plays the guitar and has been involved in both pursuits as part of his therapy. Hinckley has anonymously displayed his artwork, but he can now do so under his own name, according to an order from US District Judge Paul L. Friedman. Hinckley, who shot and wounded Reagan in 1981, must inform his treatment team of his plans to display his works. And his doctors will help him process any feedback he receives while documenting those discussions.

“If clinically indicated, they may terminate Mr. Hinckley's ability to publicly display his creative works,” Friedman wrote. Hinckley was 25 when he shot Reagan in March 1981. The shooting also paralyzed press secretary James Brady and injured two others. Hinckley was found to be suffering from acute psychosis and was obsessed with the actress Jodie Foster. When jurors found him not guilty by reason of insanity, they said he needed treatment, not a lifetime in confinement. He spent decades living at a psychiatric hospital before gradually spending more and more time with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia. He moved in with her permanently in 2016.

(More John Hinckley stories.)

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