It took 40 years, but Jim Morrison can now rest in peace. Earlier today the Florida board of clemency voted unanimously to grant the Lizard King a pardon for his 1970 convictions on misdemeanor indecent exposure and open profanity charges following the infamous “Miami Incident” at The Doors’ 1969 Dinner Key concert in Coconut Grove. There is a long backstory — we wrote about it at length HERE — but suffice it to say that Jim found himself in the middle of a sensationalist media frenzy (starring the Miami Herald) and at the mercy of a suspect judicial system for allegedly whipping out his you-know-what on stage in front of 13,000 Miami youth.
Now, nearly four decades after he died in Paris with an appeal of the ruling pending, the record has been set straight. Over at the Miami Herald — whose article makes no mention of the paper’s own ignominious role in the “incident” — plenty of commenters are griping about the pardon being a waste of taxpayer dollars and taking potshots at Governor Charlie Crist for having nothing better to do. Yes, rectifying an injustice is usually expensive, and of course the pardon would never have happened were not all of the members of the clemency board (Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Attorney General Bill McCollum, and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson) on their way out of public office. But that doesn’t make it any less right, and I’m not for sweeping historical embarrassments under the rug.
So I’m happy about the pardon, which, by the way, is little credit to Crist but a triumph for the handful of people who never gave up the fight to clear Jim’s name and petitioned multiple Florida governors on Mr. Mojo Risin’s behalf. Call ‘em Riders on the Storm.