Outgoing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist may soon be part of a great tradition in the exercise of executive power: pardoning rock stars. Crist told The Hill that he was considering a posthumous pardon for Doors front man Jim Morrison, who was charged with indecent exposure after an incident at a Miami concert in 1969. Crist reportedly hasn’t decided if he will clear the rocker’s name, but he told The Hill to “stay tuned” for a decision in December.
The so-called Miami Incident has become something of legend for fans of the Lizard King. Although details of the events that transpired remain hazy, one thing is clear: The moment marked something of a nadir in the musician’s career. As the story goes, Morrison, fresh from attending a provocative theater performance and full of intoxicants, spent the concert antagonizing the audience. At one point, authorities said, he exposed himself to the crowd. Morrison was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay a $500 fine, but he died in Paris in 1971 before serving his sentence.
Since the concert, however, there have been conflicting accounts of exactly what happened. Crist has said that he might consider a pardon because there was “some doubt about how solid the case was.”
If Crist does pardon Morrison, he wouldn't be the first governor to grant clemency to a musical delinquent; the practice has a rich history.
See the company that Morrison could soon be keeping: