Which made me pause. The court at some point ordered that his family was not allowed to talk to the press? I assume his family was never on trial, and was never found guilty of anything. How can they be barred from talking to the media?
It looks like Hinckley and his family had to agree to those conditions and others in order for him to be released from the psychiatric hospital:
"Restrictions, GPS tracking and surveillance
Hinckley may have finally won his freedom from the psychiatric hospital, but he is not free of the 34 court-ordered restrictions that will rule his life for the next year – or the Secret Service agents who will continue to track him.
He must stay within a 50-mile radius of Williamsburg and carry a GPS trackable cell phone any time he leaves his mother’s house. The Secret Service must have access to his phone and any online and email accounts Hinckley establishes and must always know what car Hinckley is driving.
He can never go near any current or former president, vice president or member of Congress, or the families of any of his victims. Neither Hinckley nor his family members are allowed to have contact with the media. And, he must continue with outpatient therapy.
If Hinckley violates any of these conditions – or shows signs of deteriorating mentally or emotionally – he can be sent back to St. Elizabeths.
Right. His family does not have to follow those terms, nor can Hinckley force his family to follow those terms, but if they are not followed, then Hinckley just may not be a suitable candidate for this type of release.
Lawyers, jurors, & court officers are frequently ordered by the Judge not to talk to the media, and they have never been on trial, nor found guilty of anything.
A Judge has the responsibility of keeping an orderly courtroom, and seeing that the accused gets a fair trial in court, and they have wide powers to implement that. Like ordering people not to talk to the media, and contempt of court charges & jil time if they disobey.
Lawyers, jurors, and court officials are people under the jurisdiction of the court. As powerful as courts pretend they are, they have no power to order people who are not before them to do things. This judge cannot, for example, order me or you not to talk about Jodie Foster or the Reagan assassination attempt. That is our First Amendment right. Likewise, Hinckley’s family members are not subject to the jurisdiction of this court and can talk to whomever they like about Jodie Foster.
But, what the court can do is come to the opinion that if Hinckley’s family is out and all over the media, then it is not appropriate to release him in this fashion.
It is not much different than me arguing to the judge not to send my client to prison because he can be placed on home confinement and live with his mother who agrees to do X, Y, and Z. The judge agrees so long as his mother does X, Y, and Z, but if not for that protection for the public, he goes to prison.