John Hinckley, the man best known for his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, officially apologized for the shooting this week.
Hinckley was recently released with full privileges reinstated after a federal judge found that he was mentally stable and no longer a threat. The would-be assassin sat down with CBS Morning News to talk about the infamous shooting in his first televised interview since the release.
“I feel badly for all of them. I have true remorse for what I did,” Hinckley told CBS. “I know that they probably can’t forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did.”
He continued, “It’s such another lifetime ago. I can’t tell you now the emotion I had right as [Reagan] came walking out. I can’t tell you that.” He added, “It’s something I don’t want to remember.”
The shooting that left Reagan’s life hanging in the balance along with several other victims took place in 1981. John Hinckley told the news network he wanted a chance to inform the public about his diagnosed mental illness at the time that “prevented me from knowing right from wrong then”, stressing, “I was not just a cold, calculating criminal in 1981.”
Hinckley was only 25 at the time and was diagnosed with acute psychosis. A judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity, leading to his 30 years of institutionalized mental health therapy. In the early 2000s, he was allowed to return to the public on a limited basis and eventually earned his full release earlier this year.
Do you agree with John Hinckley’s release knowing that he has been diagnosed as cured from his illness? Would it be the same had Reagan actually died from it?