Remember the unabomber? Remember unabomber jokes? David Kaczynski, the brother of Ted Kaczynski, will be speaking this Friday at Buddhist House to talk about his experiences and insight into the death penalty through the lens of Buddhist practices. A little background provided by Tess Parker ’10:
“David Kaczynski (born October 3, 1949) is the brother of infamous Unabomber, Theodore (“Ted”) Kaczynski.
After the anonymous Unabomber demanded in 1995 that his manifesto, titled “Industrial Society and Its Future,” be published in a major newspaper as a condition for ceasing his mail-bomb campaign, the New York Times and the Washington Post both published the manifesto, hoping somebody would recognize the writing style of the author.
David recognized Ted’s writing style, and notified authorities. On April 3, 1996, police arrested Ted Kaczynski in his quiet rural shack in Lincoln, Montana. David received the $500,000 reward the FBI had offered for the Unabomber’s capture; he donated most of the money to the families of his brother’s victims and used the rest to pay off his legal expenses.
David had received assurance from the FBI that his identity as the informant would be kept secret, but his name was leaked to the media. In addition, he sought a guarantee from federal prosecutors that Ted would receive appropriate psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The Justice Department’s subsequent active pursuit of the death penalty for Ted and attorney general Janet Reno’s initial refusal to accept a plea bargain in exchange for a life sentence was seen as a betrayal by David and other Kaczynski family members, and motivated David to become an anti-death penalty activist. In 2001, David Kaczynski was named executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, a coalition of individuals and organizations who seek abolition of capital punishment. He is a graduate of Columbia University.”
Date: Friday, November 30th
Place: Buddhist House (near corner of Wash and Vine)