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Jim Morrison Pardoned for Indecent Exposure

By Jason Beahm on December 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Jim Morrison had quite a few good quotes. He once said, "When you make your peace with authority, you become authority." I wonder whether that means that he would have preferred not to be posthumously pardoned by Florida Governor Charlie Crist after all these years.

Morrison was convicted in 1970 of public profanity and indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail and a $500 fine. In 1969, Morrison allegedly taunted a crowd in Miami with verbal sexual come-ons, pulled down his pants and simulated oral sex to a crowd of thousands. However there were some major issues with the evidence in the trial, specifically a lack of evidence showing Morrison exposing himself. When Morrison died from a drug overdose in Paris in 1970, he was appealing the convictions.

A pardon can be given by top officials such as a state governor or the President of the United States, to a person who has committed or been convicted of a crime. The pardon officially forgives the convict as well as restores their civil rights. Different states conduct pardons differently. In Florida, Governor Crist is part of a four-person Board of Executive Clemency, which makes decisions on granting pardons. The vote to pardon Morrison was unanimous.

So the Jim Morrison pardon is done. That means everyone is happy, right? Of course not.

Retired Miami police officer Angel Lago, called Morrision a "drug addict" who did not deserve a pardon, The New York Times reports.

Also weighing in is the ever-pesky ACLU, which questioned whether it made sense to spend so much time on a dead rock star when there are living people who are worthy of receiving pardons. "We hope that, in re-visiting an infamous moment in rock and roll history, the Clemency Board will also redress the thousands of contemporary injustices," stated Muslima Lewis, Director of the ACLU of Florida's Racial Justice and Voting Rights Projects, in a press release.

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