AP file
Arthur H. Bremer is taken into custody on May 15, 1972, moments after then Alabama Gov. George Wallace was shot in Laurel, Md.
updated 11/9/2007 10:22:10 AM ET 2007-11-09T15:22:10

The man who shot and paralyzed Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1972 was released from prison Friday after serving 35 years of his sentence, a Maryland prison system spokesman said.
Arthur H. Bremer, 57, left the prison before sunrise, said spokesman Mark A. Vernarelli.

Wallace, a fiery segregationist during the 1960s, was wounded on May 15, 1972, during a campaign stop in Laurel, Md. He abandoned his bid for the Democratic nomination and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Bremer, a former Milwaukee busboy and janitor, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 53 years. He had been held at the medium-security Maryland Correctional Institution near Hagerstown, about 70 miles from Baltimore, since 1979.

Bremer, 57, has served about 35 years of a 53-year sentence. He earned his release through good behavior and by working jobs in prison. He is incarcerated at the medium-security Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, according to prison records.

Wallace was best known for standing defiantly at the all-white University of Alabama in a symbolic face-off with the Justice Department as the National Guard stood by and two black students enrolled in 1963.

By 1972, he had tempered his racist rhetoric and adopted a more subtle approach, denouncing federal courts over the "involuntary busing" of schoolchildren to meet desegregation orders and pledging a return to a "law and order" society.

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