Fla. governor considering pardon for Morrison
EmptyGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Gov. Charlie Crist said he was seriously considering pardoning music icon Jim Morrison's 1970 indecent exposure and profanity convictions stemming from a Miami concert the year before.
"He died when he was 27. That's really a kid, when you think about it, and obviously he was having some challenges," Crist said Monday, after attending a rally against global warming with rock star Sheryl Crow. "There's some dispute about how solid the case was."
Morrison's arrest generated a lot of attention at the time and is still a part of the Morrison legend. He was drunk at the concert and police said he exposed himself, which Morrison denied.
Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek said Tuesday that he never saw Morrison expose himself and none of the more than 100 photos entered into evidence showed Morrison's genitals.
"He taunted the audience. 'I'm going to show you! I'm going to show it to you!' Then he took his shirt off, held it in front of him like a bullfighter's cape, wiggled it around as if there was something going on behind it," Manzarek said.
Morrison appealed the convictions, but was found dead in a Paris bathtub before it could be heard.
"Trying to clear his name and then he dies. If you have a heart pounding in your chest, that has to tug at you a little bit. It should," Crist said. "To have that much talent and to have it sucked out, even if there was some self-involvement ... that's very sad and very tragic."
The issue was brought to Crist's attention by Dave Diamond, a Doors fan from Dayton, Ohio who wrote the governor last month.
Crist said he has his legal team reviewing the case and determining the procedure for granting a pardon. There are no procedures for posthumous pardons.
Manzarek was elated that Crist is considering the pardon.
"You know what would really be nice? Florida is Jim's home state. He's a Florida boy. Wouldn't it great if Florida could finally say, 'Hey, native son, Your name is cleared. We recognize you as a young American poet,"' he said.