Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, fresh off his failed bid for a seat in the Senate, may have found a novel way to distinguish himself in his final weeks in office. In a recent interview Crist said he would consider pardoning the late rock star Jim Morrison in a 1969 indecent exposure case. The Doors' frontman was convicted of flashing the audience and using foul language during an infamous show in Miami that year. Morrison appealed, but died of a drug overdose in 1971 before the case was resolved. Is there a legitimate case for pardoning him?
Crist would be making a mockery of his job: It would be an insult to people with real problems if Crist were to waste his time worrying about Jim Morrison, says Curtis Ross at The Tampa Tribune. To be fair, Crist isn't pushing this — a reporter asked about Morrison, and Crist merely said he'd think about the case. But "let's revisit the pardon issue when unemployment drops below 3 percent, median income is on the rise and Florida's schools are the model for the free world."
"Pardon us, but Morrison doesn't need to be pardoned"
If not now, when? A posthumous pardon isn't much to ask for, says Jon Bershad at Mediaite. Morrison fans have been asking Florida governors for years to clear the Lizard King's name, "to no avail." But a lame-duck governor like Crist has nothing to lose, so why not throw them a bone. After all, celebrities have received posthumous pardons before — the late comedian Lenny Bruce got one 39 years after his conviction on obscenity charges.
"Doors fans rejoice! Charlie Crist considering giving Jim Morrison a pardon before leaving office"
There is no reason to pardon Morrison: There's legitimate doubt about whether Morrison actually exposed himself that night, says Reed Fischer at Broward New Times. But there is no question that his "drunken antics" nearly provoked a riot. Besides, this charge fits Morrison's image — it doesn't "tarnish" it — and statements he gave after the incident made it clear he wanted people to believe he had flashed the crowd. "Death-row inmates need Charlie Crist's limited time right now" — Jim Morrison does not.
"Five reasons Charlie Crist should not pardon Jim Morrison"