"Forgiving someone in your heart doesn't meant that you let them loose in Virginia to pursue whatever dark agendas they may still hold dear," Patti Davis wrote Tuesday

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated July 27, 2016 04:25 PM
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Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Former President Ronald Reagan‘s daughter Patti Davis is slamming a federal judge’s recent decision to release her father‘s would-be assassin, John Hinckley Jr., from a government psychiatric hospital.

“I’m not surprised by this latest development, but my heart is sickened,” Davis wrote Tuesday in an emotional statement on her website.

She criticized Hinckley’s lawyers and the team of doctors that “said that his psychosis and depression have been in remission for decades and his narcissistic personality disorder has lessened … quite a feat since narcissistic personality disorder is considered incurable.”

Hinckley, 61, will be freed from the St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital in Washington, D.C., and sent to live with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, as early as Aug. 5 – 35 years after he shot Reagan – The Washington Post reported.

Hinckley orchestrated the 1981 attack in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he became infatuated after watching her as an underage prostitute in Taxi Driver.

Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady, was shot in the head and two of Reagan’s security men were injured in Hinckley’s attack. Brady died in 2014.

Hinckley was found guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to St. Elizabeth’s. More recently, he was allowed to spend 17 days a month at his mother’s home.

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“When my father was lying in a hospital bed recovering from the gunshots that nearly killed him, he said, ‘I know my ability to heal depends on my willingness to forgive John Hinckley,’ ” Davis, 63, wrote Tuesday of Reagan.

She admitted in her statement, “I too believe in forgiveness. But forgiving someone in your heart doesn’t meant that you let them loose in Virginia to pursue whatever dark agendas they may still hold dear.”

Davis said that she “will forever be haunted” by the 1981 attack on her father and his staff. She charged, “If John Hinckley is haunted by anything, I think it’s that he didn’t succeed in his mission to assassinate the President.”

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute also said in a statement, obtained by PEOPLE, that Hinckley should not be freed.

“Contrary to the judge’s decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others,” the foundation said, “and we strongly oppose his release.”