A woman who attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford when he was president of the US has been released from prison.

Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at Ford just 17 days after a disciple of Charles Manson tried to kill the president, was paroled after 32 years behind bars.

Moore, 77, was released from the federal prison in Dublin, east of San Francisco, where she had been serving a life sentence, the Bureau of Prisons said.

In recent interviews, Moore said she regretted her actions, saying she was blinded by her radical political views.

Moore was 40 ft away from Ford outside a hotel in San Francisco when she fired a shot at him on September 22, 1975. As she raised her .38-calibre revolver and pulled the trigger, Oliver Sipple, a disabled former Marine standing next to her, pushed up her arm. The bullet flew over Ford's head.

Moore had been picked up earlier in the day by police and Secret Service agents because she had made a phoned threat. They took her .45-calibre pistol, charged her, and released her.

She promptly bought another weapon from a gun dealer and waited for Ford in the crowd outside the St Francis Hotel.

Two weeks earlier, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Manson's, tried to kill the president in Sacramento.

Fromme, 59, is serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

Ford died just over a year ago.