TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - This is the end for the wild concert 41 years ago that left Jim Morrison marked with what today would be considered sex-offender status.
Florida's Clemency Board, urged on by departing Gov. Charlie Crist, pardoned The Doors' late singer Thursday for indecent-exposure and profanity convictions stemming from the show.
Some people who were at the Miami concert March 1, 1969, insist even today that he exposed himself, though others in the audience and Morrison's bandmates contend he was just teasing the crowd and only pretended to do the deed. Crist, tuned in to the controversy by a Doors fan, said there was enough doubt about what happened at the Dinner Key Auditorium to justify a pardon.
The board, which includes Crist, voted unanimously to pardon Morrison as it granted several other pardons. The governor called the convictions a "blot" on the record of an accomplished artist for "something he may or may not have done."
Crist said Morrison died before he was afforded the chance to present his appeal, so he was doing that for him. Board members pointed out that they couldn't retry the case but that the pardon forgave Morrison.
"In this case the guilt or innocence is in God's hands, not ours," Crist said.
Morrison had received a six-month jail sentence - never served - and a $500 fine for the 1970 convictions, which carried consequences for the band. Ray Manzarek, The Doors' keyboard player, said Miami was supposed to be the start of a 20-city tour, but every venue canceled after Morrison's arrest.
Morrison's appeals were never resolved. He was found dead in a Paris bathtub in 1971 at age 27.
Manzarek and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger supported the pardon because they said Morrison never exposed himself, though they agreed the move would not change Morrison's outsize, drug-addled, rock-and-roll image.
The pardon isn't enough for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, who said she married Morrison in a ceremony that was never made official. She wanted the convictions expunged and called the pardon "a complete cheap, cynical, political ploy."
Morrison left his estate to another woman, Pamela Courson, a longtime girlfriend who was with him when he died. Courson died in 1974.
Retired Miami Police Sgt. Angel Lago, who came to Tallahassee to speak against the pardon, said while he wasn't on the police force at the time of the concert, a friend testified at the trial that Morrison had exposed himself, and his friend wouldn't have lied under oath.