Federal prosecutors oppose John W. Hinckley Jr.’s request for unsupervised visits with his parents. The government disagrees with its own expert’s view that the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 is no longer a serious danger, the Washington Post says. Both prosecution and defense experts agree that Hinckley’s condition has improved significantly and that he should be allowed one-day visits to see his family St. Elizabeths Hospital, where he has been held since 1982. Prosecutors plan to argue at a hearing Monday that he must be under careful watch.
“No one knows what Mr. Hinckley is thinking,” prosecutors wrote. “He has boasted that he can fool medical experts and he continually has been proven deceptive.”
Hinckley wants unsupervised day visits with his parents in the Washington area, and to stay overnight at their home in Williamsburg.
The Post says the Hinckley case is a highly sensitive topic at the Justice Department. Prosecutors had talked with Hinckley’s attorneys about limited test trips to see his family in the Washington area, but top Justice officials rejected the idea.
The government said public safety should be given “paramount consideration” and that there must be no unsupervised trips “unless the court determines that Mr. Hinckley will not be violent.” Barry Levine, Hinckley’s attorney, has argued that all five medical experts in the case “found that Mr. Hinckley, if released, will not be a danger to himself or others.”