Roger Simon makes the case that it's time to release John Hinckley from the mental hospital where he's been for the last 27 years, ever since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of shooting President Reagan:

[W]hat is the purpose of locking somebody in a mental hospital after his mental condition has been in remission for nearly 25 years and after he has been found to be no danger to himself and others under conditions that can be maintained outside a hospital?


We know the purpose. The purpose is politics. Nobody wants to be the guy who lets John Hinckley go free. It would cause a huge firestorm of criticism.

Simon's pretty persuasive.

P.S. Granted, I can't say I've really thought about Hinckley for, oh, 12 years now--not since Eddie Dean wrote this great yet creepy piece about him and his life at St. Elizabeth's for the City Paper. It's worth a read if you've got some time.

--Jason Zengerle