Jim Morrison - The Doors Stars Criticise Morrison's Pardon
JIM MORRISON's THE DOORS bandmates have criticised officials in Florida for granting the singer a pardon 41 years after he was accused of indecency at a concert in Miami - insisting an apology would be "more appropriate".
The late music icon was handed a six-month jail term and a $500 (£333) fine after he was convicted of drunkenly exposing himself on stage at a show in 1969. He was in the process of appealing the sentence when he died in Paris, France in 1971.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently launched a campaign to have the offence wiped from state records and Morrison was granted a pardon by members of a Clemency Board earlier this month (Dec10).
Morrison's bandmates Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore have now spoken out about the move, insisting the pardon is bittersweet because their late pal should never have been charged in the first place.
A statement from the trio reads, "We don't feel Jim needs to be pardoned for anything... Whatever took place that night ended with The Doors sharing beers and laughter in the dressing room with the Miami police, who acted as security at the venue that evening. No arrests were made... Four days later, warrants were issued in Miami for the arrest of Morrison on trumped-up charges of indecency, public obscenity, and general rock-and-roll revelry. Every city The Doors were booked into cancelled their engagement.
"A circus of fire-and-brimstone 'decency' rallies, grand jury investigations and apocalyptic editorials followed... The charges against him were largely an opportunity for grandstanding by ambitious politicians - not to mention an affront to free speech and a massive waste of time and taxpayer dollars.
"Four decades after the fact, with Jim an icon for multiple generations - and those who railed against him now a laughingstock - Florida has seen fit to issue a pardon.
"If the State of Florida and the City of Miami want to make amends for the travesty of Jim Morrison's arrest and prosecution 40 years after the fact, an apology would be more appropriate - and expunging the whole sorry matter from the record."