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Thursday, August 23, 2007

The White Man's Bruden

WaPo reports Arthur Herman Bremer, the man who attempted to assassinate Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace during his 1972 presidential campaign, will be released later this year, Maryland corrections officials confirmed today.

Wallace, 52-years-old on that May afternoon in Maryland, was surging in his third bid for the nomination, having won three Democratic primaries and expecting to win in Maryland and Michigan.

Surrounded by a boisterous crowd of about 2,000 in the parking lot of the Laurel Shopping Center, Wallace had just concluded his remarks when a young blond-haired man in opaque sunglasses and dressed in red, white and blue shot him at close range, "the little black gun exploding like a birthday-party favor," Time magazine reported. Three persons traveling with the governor also were wounded.

From that day in 1972 when the bullets entered his chest and stomach -- one lodging in the spinal canal -- until the day he died 26 years later, Wallace was paralyzed in both legs, lived in constant pain and suffered a variety of maladies as a result of his injuries.

Bremer, who had been stalking the candidate for weeks, was a 21-year-old loner from Milwaukee. Rejecting his insanity defense, a Prince George's County jury sentenced him to 53 years in prison.


Bremer came up for parole periodically, beginning in 1985; Wallace said he was not opposed to his assailant going free. In 1995, he wrote a letter to Bremer, saying that he had forgiven him and that he hoped the two could meet. Bremer never responded, never talked about why he shot Wallace and never expressed remorse.

Two years later, shortly before Wallace's death, Bremer argued in an appeal for parole that he should be released from prison because Wallace and other southern politicians were "segregationist dinosaurs."

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