ACLU to Gov. Crist: Don’t Let Dead Rock Stars Dominate Florida Clemency Board Agenda

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363-2737, or media@aclufl.org

ACLU to Gov. Crist: Don’t Let Dead Rock Stars Dominate Florida Clemency Board Agenda

ACLU Seeks Executive Order to Restore Civil and Voting Rights to Non-violent Ex-offenders

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Governor Charlie Crist’s decision to ask other members of the Florida
Board of Executive Clemency to join him in a posthumous pardon of Jim Morrison,
lead singer of rock band The Doors, drew skepticism today from the ACLU
of Florida about the Governor’s desire to bring true reform to
Florida’s Reconstruction-era system of disfranchisement.

ACLU leaders respond
to the “Rock Star Pardon” request with a
request of their own…

The ACLU of Florida
is urging the board to adopt an Executive Order before they leave office to
immediately restore voting and other civil rights to Floridians with past felony
convictions for non-violent offenses. This would make good on the promise of
“automatic approval” that the Board made in 2007, which has yet to
be realized for hundreds of thousands of Floridians.

“The Executive
Clemency Board has an incredible opportunity to right past wrongs before its
members leave office,” stated Muslima Lewis, Director of the ACLU of
Florida's Racial Justice and Voting Rights Projects. "While a posthumous
pardon is well within their purview, we remind the governor and the rest of the
board that the 2007 promise of 'automatic approval' of restoration of civil
rights remains unfulfilled, leaving hundreds of thousands of citizens out of
the democratic process. We call on them to honor their promise.”

On December 3rd,
the ACLU sent a letter underscoring why the Clemency Board should seize this
critical opportunity to make truly automatic rights restoration a reality. The
letter was cosigned by The Brennan Center for Justice; Collier County Branch,
NAACP Homeless, Formerly Homeless Forum, Inc.; HFHF Rights Restoration Comm;
Florida Justice Institute; Florida State Conference NAACP; NAACP National Voter
Fund; National Congress of Black Women, Orlando Chapter; Orange County Branch,
NAACP; Progress Florida; and The Sentencing Project.

“We hope that,
in re-visiting an infamous moment in rock and roll history, the Clemency Board
will also redress the thousands of contemporary injustices,” added Lewis.
“A principled executive order would address current day problems and, in
doing so, the board will leave a meaningful legacy of strengthening democracy
in Florida.”

You can download a
PDF of the December 3rd letter here:

http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/LetterToClemencyBoard.pdf

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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