Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pardon Jim!!!!!

TV producer wants Jim Morrison pardoned

04/10/2007 12:38 PM, AP

Gov. Charlie Crist is being asked to pardon the late Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, 38 years after he was convicted of exposing himself during a Miami concert.

Dave Diamond, a cable TV producer from Dayton, Ohio, wrote to Crist last month asking for the pardon. Diamond said the goal is to remember the Melbourne, Fla., native as an artist, not a rock 'n' roll bad boy with a rap sheet.

Crist is an alumnus of Florida State, which Morrison had attended.

"Well, given that fact, I'm certainly willing to review it," said Crist.

Morrison was charged days after a concert at Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove in 1969. He alleged exposed himself and simulated a sex act, which he denied doing.

He was acquitted on a felony charge for lewd and lascivious behavior, but was convicted of indecent exposure and profanity.

Many feel the Miami arrest put Morrison and the band in a downward spiral, which led to promoters canceling concerts and earned the band a stream of negative publicity.

Diamond and other fans say Morrison wouldn't have been charged if the same situation occurred today.

"We'd just like to see where we get to a point to let Morrison be judged because of the music and poetry and not be judged because of this Miami case," said Diamond.

The hard-living Morrison died of heart failure in a Paris bathtub in 1971, while his case was still on appeal. He was 27.

Morrison's father, retired U.S. Adm. George S. Morrison, 87, who lives in California, said he would support a pardon.

Crist, however, cannot pardon someone by himself. He needs two of the three other members of the Florida Cabinet, which acts as the state clemency board. In addition, there are no procedures for posthumous pardons.

In his letter to Crist, Diamond noted the former New York Gov. George Pataki pardoned the late comedian Lenny Bruce on an obscenity conviction.

"It's not about Jim Morrison's image as the Lizard King or The Doors music. It's about a citizen of Florida who was convicted in a case where the law was not applied," said Diamond, 34.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inside the Jim Morrison Pardon Quest: Going Back To Miami
By Dave Diamond

There is an effort underway by the Doors Collectors Magazine, a popular
online Doors fan site, to request the Governor of Florida Charlie Crist to
consider an unprecedented full and absolute posthumous pardon for the late
famed Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, a citizen of Melbourne Florida. The
effort was initiated in 1996, when several infractions about the September
1970 conviction of Jim Morrison stemming from the now infamous March 1969
Doors concert put on at the Dinner Key Auditorium were discovered upon
re-review of this case.

Over the years, efforts to make the general music media and many elements of
Florida government aware of these infractions and trying to shed new light
on evidence never before heard or having not been allowed to be presented at
the initial trial, have been met with basic apathy, misinformation, rumors,
speculations and public "arm chair" jurying. The end result of the
unchallenged convictions have come to be accepted by most Doors fans and the
mainstream press as nothing more than the typical myth and mystique that
surround most of the legendary bands from the Sixties, often retold as facts
to generation after generation. Many in the music press over the years have
cemented Jim Morrison's "iconic" outlaw image largely due to the notoriety
of this particular case, thus diminishing his true contribution to popular
American music and literature.

In a true twist of irony, Morrison's actions on that abysmal evening in
Miami served to end what has now become accepted as his "Lizard King"
stature, thus attempting to change his image into a more simple poet weary
of the public excess. Ensuing years saw many fans and historians come to
accept him as a martyr for the 1st Amendment, an outlaw who fought the law,
a pure symbol of freedom against the oppresive and turbulent times of the
Sixties. Many longtime Doors fans, including the band members themselves,
saw this particular concert as the end of all that was legit with this band
and their live performances, an innocence gone. On the other hand, some fans
latched onto the notoriety, largely due to the music press & politcians who
were hell bent on making Morrison the cherry on the cake of the Sixties'

When the image, the music, the Sixties, Vietnam, the press, individual
historical interpretation, the general apathy and all of those other
elements are stripped away, what's left is the law and the Miami case
itself. The effort of the Doors Collectors Magazine has been examining the
1970 Miami trial for 11 years, without thought to anything outside of the
case itself. Upon in-depth review of the case, several well documented
Constitutional violations were found, violations that very simply denied
true justice in this case. Morrison's defense was barred from presenting key
evidence and witnesses who could have clearly exonerated him. Morrison had
the right to confront his accusers, but the then-Mayor of Dade County and
the officials who brought the charges on did not appear for testimony. Many
of the witnesses that were present had no real consistent recollections of
the Miami concert. Witness accounts varied and memory lapses were frequent.

Forget for a moment that he IS Jim Morrison. We looked at this from the
standpoint that he was a citizen of Florida who was denied true justice for
several reasons. It was a politically motivated case to begin with. There
are musicians, bands and performers over the years who have done far worse
that pop off some profanity onstage and they were never arrested and
charged. The officials involved in the Morrison case were under pressure to
act. If Jim Morrison had INDEED committed the offenses at hand, he would
have been arrested that night during or directly after the Miami performance
just as he was during the now infamous 1968 New Haven concert, where he was
maced in the eyes by a police officer before the show. During the Miami
performance, the police had no probable cause to arrest Jim Morrison and
they didn't. In fact, it was proven that many of the police officers in
attendance that night were seen laughing, joking and hanging out with The
Doors before, during and after the show. If there was no cause for arrest
during that timeframe, then the ensuing charges only underscore the
political pressure that followed.

With regard to the now legendary question of the alleged exposure, there are
no credible witnesses, photographs or any film/video that can prove with
100% certainty that this incident occured. Under oath in the Dade Couty
Court, during his 1970 trial, Jim Morrison testified that he did not expose
himself. The jury found him GUILTY of this charge even though the State of
Florida could not & did not LEGALLY prove this incident happened beyond a
reasonable doubt!

Further, the charge of public intoxication is mind boggling in how the jury
handled this. There are several audio CDs out there that clearly demonstrate
that Morrison was intoxicated. Morrison was found NOT GUILTY on the charge
of public intoxication by the jury! What exactly was WRONG with this jury?
How exactly did they base their findings? Why didn't the Florida press pick
up on this right then and there?

It is common knowledge that Jim Morrison remained free on bail, pending
appeal. He died July 3rd, 1971, but that's NOT where the story ends! His
appeal was never heard! THAT point right there is what led to the formation
of this current pardon effort, in light of two legal precedents that have
come to light in the last few years, that when compared and applied to
Morrison's conviction, paint a much different picture.

1. December 23, 2003- New York Governor George Pataki issued an official
Pardon to famed Sixties comedian Lenny Bruce. Pataki called his decision,
the first posthumous pardon in New York state history, "a declaration of New
York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment."

2. On October 17, 2006, Enron founder Ken Lay died prior to exhausting his
appeals, his conviction was abated. Precedent in the Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals, the federal appellate court governing the district where Lay was
indicted, indicates that abatement had to be automatically granted. When
abatement occurs, the law views it as though he had never been indicted,
tried and convicted. The government opposed Lay's attorneys' motion for
abatement, and the Department of Justice issued a statement that it "remains
committed to pursuing all available legal remedies and to reclaim for
victims the proceeds of crimes committed by Ken Lay."

Jim Morrison himself had this to say in 1971, months before his passing to
LA reporter Bob Chorush about the Miami verdicts: "I got acquitted on
everything else. We were trying to get this erased because it's not good to
have something like that on your record. It's just if something really
serious happens then you have a record and it looks a lot worse. The trouble
with all these busts is that people I know, friends of mine, think it's
funny and they like to believe it's true and they accept it; people that
don't like me like to believe it because I'm the reincarnation of everything
they consider evil. I get hung both ways."

It doesn't matter if one is a fan of Jim Morrison or not. What matters here
is a citizen of Florida was convicted in the Dade County Criminal Court in a
case where due process of law was not properly applied. These facts, in
light of the newer precedents, can no longer be ingnored by the State of
Florida. It is the intention of Doors Collectors Magazine to provide
Governor Crist with all resources available to seriously consider a pardon
and finally after almost forty years, bring this case to a close once and
for all. If it could happen to Jim Morrison, it could happen to any one of
us! In the interest of true justice and closure for the Morrison family, it
is being asked of Governor Crist to issue the pardon and abate Case# 69-2355
State of Florida vs. James Douglas Morrison off the current and future
Florida law books.

7:06 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home