Crist, clemency board give ‘Lizard King’ redemptionby Dara Kam | December 9th, 2010
Whether or not the “Lizard King” unzipped his pants and exposed himself to a crowd of thousands more than 40 years ago remains a mystery.
Jim Morrison’s alleged antics will remain forever a part of the late rocker’s legacy.
But the charges against him for indecent exposure and public intoxication won’t.
Gov. Charlie Crist, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum, acting as the state Clemency Board, granted Morrison, the lead singer of “The Doors,” a pardon Thursday afternoon as one of their final acts as a panel before leaving office.
Morrison was convicted after police reported he taunted a crowd March 1969, at the now-defunct Dinner Key auditorium in Miami with verbal sexual come-ons and simulated oral sex, then pulled down his pants and exposing himself to thousands of fans. He was convicted in 1970 of public profanity and indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Crist, who presented the motion for the pardon himself said that because Morrison died while his appeal was pending, the late rocker did not have a chance to clear his name.
“In this case, the guilt or innocence is in God’s hands, not ours. That is why I respectfully ask my colleagues today to pardon Jim Morrison,” Crist said.
Morrison’s pardon was not without drama.
Angel Lago, a former Miami cop, showed up to protest the exoneration of Morrison.
“My objection is that the gentlemen had showed no remorse for a pardon, didn’t change his lifestyle at all and eventually his drug use killed him in a Paris bar bathroom from a heroin overdose,” Lago said. “I think this is a wrong message to send the youth of this country. I think it’s absolutely wrong.”
But Crist and Sink said that Morrison, who was born in Melbourne, left behind a legacy for which he should be honored.
“It’s not about the guilt or innocence of the man and it’s not about retrying the case here today. That’s not what this is about. We have had an opportunity for about 40 years for this son of Florida whose body of work has endured and has this blot on his record, if you will, for something that he may or may not have done when he was essentially a kid,” Crist said.
The vote in favor of Morrison’s pardon was unanimous.