A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Monday, September 19, 2005

Do not pass Go

AP: Man Who Shot Reagan Seeks Visit to Parents---

WASHINGTON - A psychologist testified Monday that presidential assailant John Hinckley should be allowed to spend some weekends at his parents' home in Virginia, a three-hour drive from the hospital where he has spent more than two decades for shooting President Reagan and four other people.

Found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982, Hinckley no longer suffers from the depression and delusional behavior that led to an obsession with actress Jodie Foster and an attempted assassination of the president, Paul Montalbano, a hospital psychologist, said in federal court. Hinckley said at the time that he shot Reagan to impress Foster.

With Hinckley, his parents and his brother looking on, Montalbano said visits would be extremely therapeutic and the psychologist asserted there is a low risk that Hinckley would be a danger to himself or others.

In the past year and a half, Hinckley, 50, has been to the newly opened section of the air and space museum in Virginia and to an amusement park. Those were among a series of trips in the company of his parents that have included overnight stays in hotels within a 50-mile radius of St. Elizabeths Hospital.

The government says in court papers that "the crucial issue in the case remains what Mr. Hinckley is thinking, particularly about his relationships with women."

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman asked about the impact of gradually reintegrating Hinckley into society where he would have contact with women.

Montalbano said it has been many years since Hinckley has suffered from the symptoms that led him to four suicide attempts and the shooting of the president. The Secret Service has Hinckley under surveillance during his trips.

If this lunatic is well enough to leave his mental health hospital, then he's well enough to be in a regular prison. He shouldn't be able to leave. He attempted to assassinate the President of the United States.