Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pardon Jim Morrison

We just read an interesting newspaper story that is certain to revive the debate over whether or not Jim Morrison should receive a posthumous pardon for his 1970 conviction in Florida for indecent exposure and public profanity.

But what's really to debate?  Nobody seems to know if Morrison actually whipped out his private part at a Miami concert in 1969.  He was certainly capable of such shenanigans -- and he definitely was loaded that night -- but dozens of police were at the show and didn't arrest him at the time.  No video has ever been produced, and other members of the Doors maintain to this day that it never happened. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek calls what happened in Miami "mass hallucination."

At least one witness who testified against Morrison at the trial has since admitted he never saw it happen. And the fact that Morrison wasn't charged until five days after the alleged crime, well, it's easy to draw the conclusion that this was a trumped up charge to make an example out of one of rock music's true bad boys.

Morrison was sentenced to six months of confinement at hard labor.  He was released on $50,000 bail and soon after took up residence in France.  The conviction was under appeal when Morrison was found dead on July 3, 1971 in a bathtub.

Florida's outgoing Governor Charlie Crist said last week he is considering a pardon because he isn't convinced Morrison did "what he was charged with here."  Neither are we.  It's not like this is going to repair Morrison's reputation. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Here's a link to the St. Pete Times story.  Draw your own conclusions:


  1. I just wanted to comment on a fine blog you wrote about the Morrison pardon case, coming up for December 9th! I have a pair of links to share with you, which go much deeper into the case and why this whole thing came about:



    This has been 14 years in the making. But the way some of the Florida media outlets have written about this case, one might think this is something that was just cooked up a few weeks ago. Wrong!

    Thank you for your thoughts on this case and inviting your readers to read more about it. Cheers!

    -Dave Diamond

  2. The cops in Florida in those days were itching to arrest anybody with any connection to the evil rock music. Janis Joplin got busted in Tampa around the same time for saying naughty words at a concert, and the West Palm Beach pop festival on Thanksgiving weekend of 1969 was like a police training exercise.