Crist Pardons Jim Morrison

Dade County Public Safety Department/<a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/celebrity/music/jim-morrison">The Smoking Gun</a>

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Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s term expires in a month, and it seems the pro-gun, anti-big-government, is-he-or-isn’t he conservative has decided it’s time to get down to the really important stuff: pardoning dead rock stars for indecent exposure.

As The Miami Herald and a slew of other sites have reported (with more than a hint of glee), yesterday Gov. Crist passionately lobbied a state panel to grant Doors frontman Jim Morrison a posthumous pardon for a March 1969 incident during which the singer—who was “far drunker than usual,” according to bandmate Ray Manzarek—may have exposed himself to an audience at Miami’s Dinner Key Auditorium.

According to the Herald

Crist said the pardon was an acknowledgement of Morrison’s enduring “body of work” as an artist, and an effort to remove a “blot on his record for something he may or may not have done when he was essentially a kid.” Whether Morrison actually exposed himself has long been a matter of speculation and debate. Although more than a hundred photos were placed into evidence at the trial, none showed Morrison exposed.

Morrison’s pardon was unanimously confirmed by a four-person state clemency panel. It’s not exactly clear what aroused Crist’s sudden passion for the deceased rock star; the governor basically said he started thinking about it a few years ago, at the urging of a Doors fan. But Crist shouldn’t expect any thank-yous from Morrison’s family: Whether the singer exposed himself or not, Patricia Kennealy Morrison, Morrison’s widow, told CNN Jim would have been pissed.

 

 



 

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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