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SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2007
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Wallace shooter didn’t get treatment

BALTIMORE (AP) — The man who shot Alabama Gov. George Wallace during a presidential campaign stop in 1972 has refused mental health treatment in prison, a circumstance the chairman of the Maryland Parole Commission terms “disappointing.”

Arthur Bremer, 57, is scheduled to be released from the Maryland Correctional Institute-Hagerstown in mid-December. He’s served 35 years of a 53-year sentence and has earned his release through good behavior and by working jobs in prison.

Parole commission chairman David R. Blumberg said it could be made a condition of Bremer’s release that he see a counselor regularly and that he could be sent back to prison if he doesn’t comply.

“I don’t think he is the same person he was in 1972, but we’d like to find out more about who he is today,” Blumberg said. “To the extent he hasn’t allowed us to do that, it’s disappointing.”

Blumberg said a mental health provider would have to evaluate Bremer to determine whether psychological counseling is required.

“We don’t know if it’s an issue or not because he hasn’t let anybody get close enough to determine what his needs are,” Blumberg said.

Bremer’s younger brother, Roger Bremer, said authorities had told him that Arthur Bremer “doesn’t talk and won’t say what’s on his mind.”

Pleaded insanity at trial

Bremer pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity at his trial, but a jury rejected that defense.

His journal, which was read aloud at the trial, revealed a troubled history. He wrote that he had stalked then-President Richard Nixon and wanted to make a “statement of my manhood for the world to see.”

After he was denied parole in 1996, he wrote an angry letter denouncing Wallace as a “segregationist dinosaur.”

The shooting left Wallace paralyzed and forced him to abandon his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Three bystanders were also injured.

Asked whether he thinks Bremer is potentially dangerous, Blumberg said: “You look at his prison behavior, and you can take some solace in that. He’s been able to follow institutional rules, and he’s been a model prisoner. On the other hand, the last time he was in a position to make choices, he made a very, very bad choice.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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