In Defence of Suicide

“Don’t. Don’t. This will hurt someone”. These were the final words ever spoken by Robert Budd Dwyer before he pulled the trigger on his gun and shot himself through the head in front of an audience of people called together at a press conference.

Budd Dwyer was an American politician who served as the treasurer for Pennsylvania from January 1981 until January 1987.  During his time in office Dwyer was convicted of receiving a bribe from a Californian company that would give the company a contract worth $4.6 million. The day before Dwyer was to receive his sentence, a possible 55 years in jail and a $300,000 fine, he called a press conference and committed suicide in front of friends and members of the media.

The incident was recorded by the gathered media and the footage of the event has been seen worldwide. I have watched the video a number of times on YouTube, and it is without doubt one of the most controversial and tragic things hosted on the website.

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