Crist May Pardon Jim Morrison for 41-Year-Old Exposure Charge

He's been down so goddamn long

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On March 1, 1969, the Doors played an infamous concert in Miami, during which frontman Jim Morrison spent a lot of time berating the audience and acting generally weird. (An astoundingly detailed recap of the event can be found at the Web site of The Doors Collectors Magazine.) At one point Morrison may or may not have exposed himself to the crowd, leading to his arrest a few days later for indecent exposure. Morrison died before serving his six-month sentence, and a contingent of Doors fans have been lobbying for his posthumous pardoning ever since--which brings us to this week, when outgoing Florida governor Charlie Crist hinted that he may at long last clear Morrison's name before leaving office.

  • 'Stay Tuned,' Says Crist  "Candidly, it's something that I haven't given a lot of thought to, but it's something I’m willing to look into in the time I have left," Crist told The Hill in a recent interview. "Anything is possible." The reporter adds that "Crist said he won't make the decision lightly, noting the many complexities surrounding the 41-year-old case. Numerous sound recordings from the show exist, for example, but Morrison's defenders say none of the scores of photographs from the show prove the exposure charge." The reporter quotes Crist as saying, "We would have to look into all of that."

  • Way to Lead, Charlie  Cathal Kelly at the Toronto Star scoffs at the news. "It is nice to know that, while running a state that will soon be underwater, Crist's got his last-minute priorities straight," Kelly writes. "If Charlie Crist's house was on fire, he'd be the guy trying to pull the washing machine out of the basement."

  • Evidence of Crist's Puzzling Leftward Drift  Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo breaks it down: "First he was a Republican. Then he was an independent. Then he was all but a Democrat. Now Charlie Crist is considering a posthumous pardon of The Doors' Jim Morrison ... Six months I'm thinking, leading advocate of industrial hemp/pot legalization or building new power base at an ashram in Oregon."

  • The True Legacy of Mr. Mojo Risin'  James Joyner at Outside the Beltway reminds us that "Morrison was a drunken lout who died young from, in all likelihood, a heroin overdose. He's nonetheless properly regarded as an accomplished songwriter and one of the great front men in rock history. Given how widely and simultaneously held these views are held, it seems absurd to waste much time pretend the former isn't true."

[Editor's note: It turns out 1969 was actually 41 years ago, not 31, as this article's original headline stated. Thanks to alert reader and CNBC correspondent John Harwood for pointing this out.]

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