Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, with only a few months left is his term, wants his state to pardon posthumously the legendary rock singer Jim Morrison, who was convicted of exposing himself at a wild concert with his group, the Doors, in Miami 41 years ago.
Morrison, a drug abuser, died of heart failure in a bathtub in Paris on July 3, 1971. He was 27, the same age as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin at their deaths the year before.
Crist told the St. Petersburg Times he has looked into Morrison’s case and isn’t convinced the singer is guilty. He said he would submit his name to the state’s clemency board. In a phone conversation with the New York Times, Crist said “in some ways it seems like a tragic conclusion to a young man’s life to have maybe this be a lasting legacy, where we’re not even sure that it actually occurred… My heart bleeds for [Morrison] and his family that this may not have even ever happened.”
Morrison was convicted of profanity and indecent exposure, both misdemeanors, and was sentenced to a $500 fine and six month in jail. He never did the time and was appealing the conviction at the time of his death.
Crist ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent, but lost on Nov. 2. He will leave the governor’s office in January. The four-member state Board of Clemency — on which Crist serves — will have the final say on a pardon.
Morrison, born in Melbourne, Fla., had a powerful rock-and-roll voice and also wrote poetry and made films. But drugs contributed to his erratic behavior and waylaid his career in the months leading to his death.