Arthur Bremer sits quietly in his cell at the Maryland Correctional Institution Institute in Hagerstown, forgotten by history 24 years after he changed the course of it. In Alabama, George Wallace's health deteriorates. In Annapolis last week, Judge Ralph Powers breathed his last. Arthur Bremer keeps his thoughts about such things to himself.
When they brought Bremer to trial, Powers rushed a jury to judgment. Everybody knew the bare facts of the case, but nobody understood why. Yes, Bremer had pulled the trigger on Wallace at the Laurel Shopping Center, as the Alabama governor ran for the White House and attempted to hold onto the last vestiges of organized racial segregation in this country. Yes, there were witnesses to the shooting. Yes, there was Bremer's tortured diary, detailing his desperate pursuit, first of Richard Nixon, then of Wallace.
So we're left with Bremer's own analysis as the last word. The shrinks did their best in that courtroom 24 years ago, but sometimes it seemed like justice on the run. Ralph Powers had a vacation waiting. And the jury, having sat numbly through days and nights of rushed, intimate, conflicted psychological testimony, seemed to look after his needs. On that last afternoon, over lunch, they took just one hour to find Bremer sane and guilty.