Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Clemency Board pardons Jim Morrison for 1969 Miami incident

TALLAHASSEE — The state board of clemency voted unanimously Thursday at the recommendation of Gov. Charlie Crist to grant a posthumous pardon to rock icon Jim Morrison of the Doors, convicted of exposing himself during a 1969 Miami concert.

The pardon was granted over the objection of a former Miami police officer who said it sent the wrong message to the nation's youth and that a pardon was tantamount to accusing officers involved in the incident of perjury.

But Crist said it was not about retrying the case but about forgiveness.

In 1970, a jury convicted Morrison of indecent exposure and open profanity, though he was cleared of a felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior and public drunkenness. He was sentenced to six months in jail, but died two years later at age 27 in Paris while the case was under appeal.

Whether Morrison ever actually exposed himself during the concert, however, has been a matter of intense speculation and debate over the years.

After he was asked repeatedly about the case by a reporter, Gov. Charlie Crist decided to look into it. After reviewing the record, Crist decided last month to pursue the pardon because he wasn't convinced that Morrison did "what he was charged with here."

Although there are many photographs of the concert, none showed Morrison exposing himself. And there was no video or other tangible evidence, Crist said. "We really don't know if the alleged act occurred," Crist said.

A half-dozen prosecution witnesses, including police working the concert, said they saw what they saw, but plenty of defense witnesses said they saw nothing.

Crist said it was possible the jury felt it was more important to score a point in the raging culture war at the time than being right.

"He was a young guy who maybe, or maybe not, made a mistake," Crist said. "It strikes me that everyone deserves a second chance. You have to have the capacity for forgiveness."

Crist called Morrison an iconic figure in music history and a tremendous talent.

Morrison recited poetry at Beaux Arts, a gallery and coffee house that was in Pinellas Park, and was a student at what was then St. Petersburg Junior College before transferring to Florida State University.

A group of ardent Doors fans has been working for more than 12 years to persuade a Florida governor to consider a pardon.

It takes the vote of three out of four members of the Board of Clemency to get a pardon. Besides Crist, the board was composed of Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson — all of them outgoing.

Florida Clemency Board pardons Jim Morrison for 1969 Miami incident 12/09/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 9, 2010 8:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle