Jim Morrison Pardoned Years After His Death
Jim Morrison, the famed musician of the Doors, died tragically in Paris in 1971. He was only 27 years old at the time of his death, but influenced American music forever, says Broward criminal lawyer William Moore. During his lifetime, however, Morrison’s style and his musical contributions were not appreciated by everyone, especially older Americans not yet accustomed to the rock’n’roll music scene. He faced harsh criticism as a result. That criticism is what some believe led to a false criminal charge; others, however, maintain that they saw actual criminal activity take place, says Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore.
Morrison was performing with the Doors at a 1969 concert in Fort Lauderdale when he was accused of exposing himself during the performance. His bandmates have always denied that he actually exposed himself, but acknowledge that he was intoxicated during the concert, and simply did “a mindtrip on the audience.” Numerous audience members swore that he did not expose himself, but other onlookers said that he did do so, including police officers who were providing security at the widely anticipated event.
As a result, Morrison was slapped with the criminal charge o indecent exposure. He was convicted and thereafter sentenced to six months in jail. At the time of his death, Morrison’s case was on appeal. Since his conviction, many fans and other interested individuals have championed his cause, arguing that Morrison was unfairly convicted when the evidence against him was minimal and did not rise to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
A few years ago, these supporters found a friendly ear in the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Crist was first approaced by a Doors fan about the possibility of a pardon in 2007, he says, and after looking into the issue, he began to give the matter serious thought. Crist is slated to leave office in January. Ultimately, the pardon board, which the governor participates in, voted unanimously to pardon Morrison for the offense of indecent exposure. Crist has stated publicly that everyone deserves a “second chance,” and implied that the evidence against Morrison was flimsy at best, noting that Morrison was young and may or may not have made a mistake. In any case, the clemency board decided that the conviction should not stand in its December 9, 2010 vote.