A proposed posthumous pardon for The Doors singer Jim Morrison was approved on Thursday by Florida’s clemency board. Morrison’s conviction occurred more than 40 years ago after a 1969 concert where he allegedly exposed himself and simulated masturbation.
Florida governor Charlie Crist made a statement on Morrison’s behalf to the clemency board, an usual measure, and argued that the conditions of Morrison’s arrest were suspect: “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.”
Crist went on to argue that the evidence against Morrison was flimsy. But most importantly, the governor noted that Morrison was in the process of appealing the court’s decision at the time of his death. At that time, the governor commented, “a convicted defendant who died before his appeal was heard was entitled to have the conviction dismissed so that he was again presumed innocent. This doctrine, known as “abatement ab initio,” wiped the slate clean – as though the conviction had never taken place.” The pardon is meant to serve this purpose.
Crist claims his dedication to the pardon isn’t political, as he is leaving office. However, with this decision, Morrison’s legacy is forever altered, and Crist has become a part of Doors history.Tags: Charlie Crist, clemency board, Florida, Jim Morrison, pardon, The Doors