Thursday, December 9, 2010

jim morrison receives posthumous pardon from florida's clemency board!

it's official - the four member florida board of clemency voted, unanimously, to pardon jim morrison of his 1970 conviction for indecent exposure. the charges stemmed from a 1969 concert appearance by the doors in miami - where, the prosecution alleged, morrision dropped his pants and exposed himself to the audience.

news of a potential pardon surfaced last month when governor charlie crist announced his support for the pardon. the governor, acting alone, could not grant the pardon. he needed a majority votes of the clemency board, which took action this morning, to secure the pardon. governor crist took the unusual step of speaking on behalf of jim morrison at the hearing. here are some excerpts from his remarks:

Much controversy surrounds this conviction, and not only because many witnesses testified they did not see Mr. Morrison expose himself.

Controversy also exists because Mr. Morrison was not arrested until four days after the concert. A case was brought against him only after newspaper articles recounted the alleged events at the concert, based on a complaint filed by an employee of the state attorney’s office who attended the concert.

Mr. Morrison appealed his judgment and sentence; however, he died before the appeal was heard. His death prevented him from exercising his right to a direct appeal, a right given to every American by the United States Constitution. If his appeal had been heard, a reviewing court could have resolved the controversies surrounding his conviction.

The words of an appellate judge, penned a decade before Mr. Morrison’s trial, provide insight into the question before us today: When death prevents the accused from appealing his judgment, the conviction is “a nullity” and “[j]urisdiction to determine the issue of guilt or innocence is now assumed by the ultimate arbiter of human affairs.”

a full copy of crist's remarks are appended to the ny times story reporting the pardon.

congratulations, in heaven, jim morrison :D

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