SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Actor Robert Downey Jr. was one of 91 Californians to receive judicial forgiveness Thursday as Gov. Jerry Brown issued his traditional Christmas Eve pardons.
Brown scrubbed Downey’s 1996 drug conviction that landed him in prison for 15 months.
Downey was arrested in Los Angeles County and found with cocaine, heroin and a pistol. A Los Angeles Superior Court convicted Downey of felony drug possession, driving under the influence with priors, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle with a prior conviction and use or being under the influence of a controlled substance.
The “Iron Man” star admitted to violating his parole in 1999 and was sent back to prison for nearly a year.
Brown’s office said in a press release that Downey “has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon,” and received an order from the Los Angeles Superior Court documenting that since his release, “he has lived an honest and upright life.”
Brown pardoned 91 convicted criminals who have been out of prison for at least a decade without committing new crimes and have received a court-granted certificate of rehabilitation. The gubernatorial pardons allow recipients to apply to own firearms, work as probation or parole officers and serve on juries.
Like Downey, most of Thursday’s recipients were convicted of drug-related crimes and other low-level offenses. In 2014, Brown pardoned 104 people and 683 since he retook office in 2010.
In September, Brown recognized Downey – Hollywood’s highest paid actor – by inducting him into the California Hall of Fame.