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Jodie Foster

Was Hinckley treated fairly?

Was Hinckley treated fairly?

One of the more frightening human rights violations of the former Soviet Union was its practice of locking up political prisoners in psychiatric facilities. Such "punitive medicine" was practiced under Joseph Stalin's regime and continued through Leonid Brezhnev's days as general secretary. Psychiatry provided the various regimes a convenient way to hold people against their will for as long as the state deemed appropriate.

Such human rights abuses would seem unthinkable in the United States, yet the government's handling of John W. Hinckley Jr. raises serious questions about whether the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 has been treated like a...