A forensic psychiatry expert from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is quoted in this Washington Post article about the efforts of John W. Hinckley Jr. – the man who in 1981 shot President Ronald Reagan – to give a series of concerts.
In early June, Hinckley was “released after 41 years of surveillance by courts and mental health systems,” the Post notes. “Having faced a gradual easing of restrictions for many years, he no longer needs to notify the court when he travels, he can access social media and email, and he can use his own name. for commercial purposes.”
On the same day the order went into effect releasing him from court supervision, Hinckley “learned that a music club in Brooklyn had, citing security concerns related to threats made against them online, canceled a small sold-out concert in July, where he hoped to perform 17 original songs, according to the article.The event “represented the dream of a lifetime for the 67-year-old, who began playing guitar as a teenager . It was one of many gigs – the others in Chicago; Hamden, Connecticut; and Williamsburg, Virginia – which was abruptly canceled for similar reasons.”
The article speaks with sources about both the relevance of such undertakings by Hinckley and the psychological grounds for whether or not he would be able to pursue whatever endeavors he might wish.
Phillip Resnick of the CWRU Medical School told the newspaper that Hinckley’s hospitalization was unusually long for someone found not guilty by reason of insanity.
“The average length of hospitalization is three to four years. He was hospitalized for an extraordinary length of time because of the infamy of his crime, rather than the evidence,” he said.
Playing music in public “wouldn’t be a concern for anyone with a psychiatric condition,” Resnick added. “It’s not like you’re taking him out of a hospital situation and letting him out in public. He’s been in public under surveillance for years.”
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