NYT: Pardon Bid for Jim Morrison Relights Old Fires

Next month the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist is will submit Morrison’s name to the state clemency board. Crist, a former Republican now Independent (hmp!) who lost this years election, will forfeit his seat in January.

It started in ’69 when The Doors played in Miami’s Dinner Key Auditorium.

If you want a full report on the back-story read this.

After the events at the Dinner Key Auditorium those outraged by Morrison’s behavior demanded the police to do something, believing Morrison was corrupting their youth’s behavior and promoting a riot. There was a total of six warrants issued to Jim Morrison. One felony of lewd and lascivious behavior, two counts of public profanity, two counts of indecent exposure, and one count for public drunkenness. Of course the media (once again) played a major role in how the whole incident played out.

The jury in Morrison’s trial was apparently rigged, removing anyone from the jury who showed the slightest hint of sympathy for Morrison. Those who were at the concert that night couldn’t tell the court what they actually saw on stage that night.

Some argue that Morrison was not tried by a jury of his peers (given that his jurors were all older than 40); that the verdict, which found him not guilty of drunkenness but guilty of acts resulting from it, was contradictory; and that none of the photographs submitted as evidence could definitively show he had exposed himself. (NYT)

Morrison was convicted only of two misdemeanors: indecent exposure  and profanity. He died only four months later in Pairs before being able to appeal his convictions (although some believe he may still be alive…).

David Itzkoff, writing for the NYT, states:

For those on the other side, the passion has dimmed, but a sour taste lingers. The anger that once brought them to the barricades has dulled to an impatient pique at the notion that the fate of a dead rock star still commands attention 40 years later. (NYT)

I hope his names does get cleared. The law enforcement/courts were wrong and a correction to their error should be rectified. Not just for Jim but for the image American made him into – which he taunted to the public.


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