John Hinckley Jr, would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan, signs record deal for debut vinyl album

Originally published at: John Hinckley Jr, would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan, signs record deal for debut vinyl album | Boing Boing

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I’m probably not going to listen to this music, but as far as him being able to make it and trying to make money off it, I have no problem with that. He very clearly was not in his right mind when he tried to kill Reagan and seriously injured Brady. His case is the kind of situation the insanity defense was intended for. In time, by all accounts, through a lot of intense therapy, he actually got better. He was not sentenced to life in prison, or life in a hospital. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and now, he is no longer insane. So he’s free. If you think he shouldn’t have been found not guilty, fine. You can rest easier knowing that because of his case, the law was changed to make insanity defenses much, much, much harder to make. But this man served his time, and is no longer suffering from the mental delusions that led him to do what he did. He should be allowed to live his life in peace, and that includes being allowed to make a living in whatever manner he can. In my opinion, this is how our justice system should work for everyone.


I don’t begrudge him making a living either, and from everything I’ve heard his remorse seems sincere. My feelings about the record label are a bit more mixed, though. Would they still have wanted to release this album if they weren’t able to attach Hinkley’s name to it? If not, then it seems at least a bit like they’re exploiting the tragedy (and Hinkley to some extent) for their own gain.

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Probably not. I just listened to a couple of his tracks on Spotify, which aren’t what’s on this new release I guess, and while they weren’t bad, they weren’t all that great, either. It sounds like what it is: an amateur musician doing a passable job performing songs he actually wrote. He ain’t gonna win any awards, but it’s better than what I could do.

I’m not convinced this guy needs a platform.

Mehcad Brooks Wow GIF by Law & Order

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Isn’t this what Capitalism is all about? Where there’s a buck to be made, regardless of circumstance…

We have a problem with forgiveness in this society.
We like to say that ‘people pay their debt to society’ after serving their term, but then make it nearly impossible to prevent recidivism.
Questions on rental agreements and employment applications, re: ‘have you ever been convicted of a crime?’, etc…
In many ways, all prison sentences are life sentences.

Coincidentally, the Prison Show on KPFT is on right now.

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Guilty or not, remorseful or not, recovered or not, safe for release or not, this is still using the notoriety of his name for gain.

Even putting “would-be assassin …” in the BB headline above is pumping it up.

It doesn’t seem right to me. Victims should be remembered, but never the perpetrators; not even when the victims are of historical significance.

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In this case, the victim did far more damage than the shooter. Reagan deserves all the respect he showed to AIDS patients.

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I totally agree that Reagan deserves ten thousand eternities in hell. Brady was a tragic victim.

But that has zero to do with the real problem here, which is memorializing the perpetrator.

I’m well aware of that, which is why my last sentence was “this is how our justice system should work for everyone.” I know that it doesn’t. I always knew it didn’t, but after law school, believe me I know. It’s a lot worse than most people realize. I was about ready to just quit after I took Criminal Procedure.

I haven’t rushed to forgive anyone. I’ve been following this story for awhile, since we read about it in my Crim Law class in 2020. The whole story still makes me really uncomfortable. And I don’t think it’s my place to forgive him. I’m only speaking to the law. By all accounts, he was not in control of his faculties at the time he shot Reagan and Brady. I’m still not going to go buy his record. I listened to parts of two songs on Spotify (which are not on the new record), just to get an idea of whether or not I think he’s deserving of a record deal. I don’t think he is. But that’s my opinion. But I do think his sentence was appropriate, and I think he’s served it. And I think that’s how our justice system should work for everyone. I also agree we should take every opportunity to point out that it doesn’t work this way for everyone. You are not being unreasonable. I don’t think I am either.

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