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Jim Morrison Pardon for 1970 Indecent Exposure, Profanity Convictions Possible

Jim Morrison Pardon for 1970 Indecent Exposure, Profanity Convictions Possible
Jim Morrison (AP Photo, file)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS/AP) Florida's outgoing governor wants to posthumously pardon rock 'n' roll icon Jim Morrison, the lead singer of The Doors who was famously convicted of exposing himself at an anarchic 1969 concert in Miami.

Gov. Charlie Crist, a 54-year-old baby boomer and Morrison fan, said the evidence that Morrison unzipped his pants was flimsy and prosecutors were trying to make an example of the singer, whose on-stage excesses and appetite for sex and drugs were legendary.

"There's some troubling aspects to it as to whether there was a valid conviction. The more I learn about it, the more I'm convinced a wrong may have been done here. My heart just bleeds for his legacy and his family," said Crist, who leaves office in January and figures "it's sort of now or never."

Exactly what happened that night at the Dinner Key Auditorium is one of rock 'n' roll history's enduring mysteries.

According to police, The Doors' singer was drunk at the concert and exposed himself, which Morrison denied.

Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek told The Associated Press that he never saw Morrison expose himself and none of the more than 100 photos entered into evidence showed Morrison's genitals.

"He taunted the audience. 'I'm going to show you! I'm going to show it to you!' Then he took his shirt off, held it in front of him like a bullfighter's cape, wiggled it around as if there was something going on behind it," Manzarek said.

Morrison appealed the convictions, but was found dead in a Paris bathtub before it could be heard.

The issue was brought to Crist's attention by Dave Diamond, a Doors fan from Dayton, Ohio, who wrote the governor last month.

Crist said he has his legal team reviewing the case and determining the procedure for granting a pardon.

"You know what would really be nice?" Manzarek told the Associated Press. "Florida is Jim's home state. He's a Florida boy. Wouldn't it great if Florida could finally say, 'Hey, native son, your name is cleared. We recognize you as a young American poet."

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