Gunman Who Shot Wallace Is to Be Freed
Arthur Bremer, the gunman who tried to kill Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama as he campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, will be released from prison this year, a Maryland prison official said yesterday.
In 1973, Mr. Bremer was sentenced to serve 53 years for shooting Mr. Wallace and wounding three others at a campaign stop in Laurel, Md. The bullet that lodged in Mr. Wallace’s spine paralyzed his legs, and he used a wheelchair until his death in 1998.
Mr. Bremer has served 35 years of his original sentence, and managed, through credits for good behavior and steady job performance as a prison clerk, to earn an earlier release date, said Ruth A. Ogle, a program manager at the Maryland Parole Commission.
“The computer says he has never had an infraction,” Ms. Ogle said. “Arthur apparently figured out how to stay out of trouble.”
Mr. Bremer, 57, is scheduled to be released from the Maryland Correctional Institute in Hagerstown on Dec. 16, but he may be out sooner as he continues to cut time off his sentence.
He will continue to be supervised by the Maryland Parole Commission until 2025, the maximum expiration of his sentence, and a special condition of his parole will be that he stay away from political figures and events.
“He can’t be around political candidates or any elected official,” Ms. Ogle said. “He can’t go to a rally, a public appearance, a political dinner, anything like that.”
In 1996, the commission denied Mr. Bremer’s application for parole, saying early release would mean “open hunting season” on politicians.
Mr. Bremer has said he had hoped to gain celebrity by assassinating President Richard M. Nixon, but settled for trying to kill Mr. Wallace instead.
While Mr. Bremer failed, he became an inspiration for the would-be assassin Travis Bickle in the 1976 film “Taxi Driver.” That film, in turn, is said to have inspired an attempt by John W. Hinckley Jr. on the life of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Mr. Hinckley said he was trying to show his love for Jodie Foster, one of the film’s stars.
All people want is someone to listen.