Governor Charlie Crist said Tuesday that he would review a request by two Doors fans to pardon Jim Morrison in order to clear the singer’s name of his 1969 conviction for indecent exposure. Morrison allegedly exposed himself while on stage at the Coconut Grove in Miami, although some witnesses claimed that he had only simulated exposing himself, however it is that you might simulate that. You’re either exposed or you’re not, I would think. Morrison was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail, but was released on bail pending appeal. The appeal was still pending when Morrison died in Paris on July 3, 1971.
Fans Kerry Humpherys and David Diamond sent Crist a letter last month asking for the pardon, so that Morrison could "be judged because of the music and poetry and not be judged because of this Miami case." They claimed that Morrison would not have been charged if the same thing had happened today. "It was all trumped up," Humpherys said, "and he shouldn’t have this hanging over him."
Since the letter was sent last month, Gov. Crist appears to have pretty much ignored it until the Miami Herald contacted him recently, and reminded him that, like Crist, Morrison had attended Florida State University and so the two were both "Seminoles." "He’s a ‘Nole?" Crist responded. "Well, given that fact, I’m certainly willing to review it." According to the Herald, "Crist then sang a few lines of ‘Light My Fire.’"
Crist was only 16 when Morrison died, and it is unclear whether he is really a fan of the Doors or just happens to know a few lines of "Light My Fire." But he does have a fundamental belief in the goodness of people and a rock-solid commitment to the values that have made America the envy of freedom-loving people for more than two centuries, and I thought that before I ever read it on his campaign website. One or both of those qualities might or might not lead one to believe that Crist will grant the pardon.
Under Florida law, however, Crist will be unable to pardon the ‘Nole unless two other members of the cabinet agree. If you feel strongly about this issue, go here to provide your feedback to the Governor and help clear the Lizard King’s name.