The Very Public Death of Budd Dwyer

Budd Dwyer was a member of the Pennsylvania Senate from 1970 to 1980 and then held a position at the Treasurer’s office until his death. during the early 1980’s the state of Pennsylvania discovered that state employees had been over-paying millions of dollars to FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and began accepting bids from outside companies to calculate the amount of money that each employee was owed back. In late 1986 Dwyer was charged with accepting a $300,000 kickback from a California based company in exchange for landing the FICA contract. Dwyer was offered a plea deal of 5 years in prison, but refused this and was convicted. On Jan. 22nd, 1987 (the day before he was to be sentenced) Dwyer called a press conference to “provide a update on the situation.” Many thought Dwyer was going to announce is resignation… Instead Dwyer gave the following short speech:

I thank the good Lord for giving me 47 years of exciting challenges, stimulating experiences, many happy occasions, and, most of all, the finest wife and children any man could ever desire. Now my life has changed, for no apparent reason. People who call and write are exasperated and feel helpless. They know I’m innocent and want to help. But in this nation, the world’s greatest democracy, there is nothing they can do to prevent me from being punished for a crime they know I did not commit. Some who have called have said that I am a modern day Job. Judge [Malcolm] Muir is also noted for his medieval sentences. I face a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison and a $300,000 fine for being innocent. Judge Muir has already told the press that he, quote, “felt invigorated” when we were found guilty, and that he plans to imprison me as a deterrent to other public officials. But it wouldn’t be a deterrent because every public official who knows me knows that I am innocent; it wouldn’t be a legitimate punishment because I’ve done nothing wrong. Since I’m a victim of political persecution, my prison would simply be an American gulag. I ask those that believe in me to continue to extend friendship and prayer to my family, to work untiringly for the creation of a true justice system here in the United States, and to press on with the efforts to vindicate me, so that my family and their future families are not tainted by this injustice that has been perpetrated on me.

At this point, on live TV, this following very public suicide occurred:

Edit: For some reason I can’t seem to embed this video without it automatically playing every time this page loads (i think it has something to do with how the original footage was uploaded). So rather than force all 3 of you to click on this video every time you visit, I have decided to just post the URL were I got the footage from so that you can check out the video if you want, but not have it forced on you every time you check out the page. Enjoy!


~ by herodotuswept on October 26, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Very Public Death of Budd Dwyer”

  1. and i love you for a reason, kid.

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