Miami Bands Respond to Potential Jim Morrison Pardon With Letter Supporting ACLU's Request for Restoration of Civil and Voting Rights

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
December 9, 2010 2:04 pm

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MIAMI – Several Miami rock bands released a letter today in response to the Florida Clemency Board’s consideration of posthumously pardoning Jim Morrison of the rock band “The Doors.” The group of bands expressed support for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida’s request that the board fully restore the voting and other civil rights of non-violent ex-offenders.

The ACLU has requested that the board adopt an Executive Order before the clemency board members leave office that would immediately and automatically restore civil and voting rights to Floridians with past “Level I” felony convictions for non-violent offenses.

The letter — signed by members of Animal Tropical, Awesome New Republic (ANR), Buzz Killingtons, Darling What’s Going On?, Down Home Southernaires, Dropping Jupiter, Jesse Jackson, Loyalty.Prophet, Plains, and Soul Satern 6 — “urge[s] the clemency board to ‘break on through to the other side,’ by signing an executive order making the civil rights restoration process truly automatic.” The ACLU was joined by several local, state and national organizations in pushing for just such an Executive Order in a December 3 letter.

“We are incredibly excited to see local artists rallying behind this critical issue,” said Muhammed Malik, ACLU of Florida Racial Justice and Voting Rights Associate. “Governor Crist said that pardoning Morrison is important to him ‘because justice is one of the most important things we can stand for as a society.’ We agree, but we also believe that the issue before the Clemency Board is justice for all, not just for dead rock stars.

“Rock and roll has for decades carried a message of freedom, integrity and breaking down the barriers of injustice,” continued Malik. “If the Clemency Board truly wants to honor the spirit of rock and roll and end their terms with a true civil rights legacy, they will honor the 2007 promise to bring tens of thousands of Floridians with no history of violent offenses back into the democratic process. Then, the members of the clemency board will be able to stand high and look themselves in the mirror.”

A copy of the ACLU of Florida’s December 3rd letter is available here:

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