TALLAHASSEE (CN) – Doors singer Jim Morrison can rest easier in his grave now that Gov. Charlie Crist has announced he has the votes to pardon him for misdemeanor convictions for indecent exposure and profanity at a Miami concert in 1969.
Crist said Wednesday that he had the votes he needed from the Florida Cabinet Board, which meets today.
Morrison was arrested after a 1969 concert and charged with exposing himself and using profanity on stage. He was convicted in 1970, sentenced to 6 months in jail and fined $500, but died at 27 while his appeal was pending.
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson said they would join Crist in voting for the pardon, leaving Attorney General Bill McCollum the only one of the four board members undeclared, as of Wednesday night.
Crist, whose last day in office is Jan. 4, said at a media gaggle on Tuesday, “Justice is always important.”
He quoted former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth as saying, “While it’s important to prosecute the guilty, it’s probably more important to exonerate the innocent.”
“I think justice is one of the most important things that we can stand for in our society,” Crist said. “And if you truly believe that an injustice has been done, how would you be able to stand by and look yourself in the mirror, if you didn’t try to address it and correct it? You know, we have a duty, I think to a degree, to try to right a wrong.”
Crist said a fan of The Doors approached him about the pardon in 2007, and lit the fire to the campaign.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a Nov. 17 email that she has no plans to thwart the pardon.
“In these tough economic times, it is not worth the time, the expense or the use of precious staff resources to uphold a pair of 42-year-old misdemeanor convictions,” Rundle wrote. “While I can never condone Morrison’s actions of exposing himself to an audience, I will not waste my lawyers’ time in an effort to fight an attempted pardon.”
Morrison would have turned 67 this week.