On March 5, 1969, the Dade County Sheriff's Office issues an arrest warrant for Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors. He is charged with a single felony count and three misdemeanors for his stage antics at a Miami concert a few days earlier.
When Morrison first got word of the charges for lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent exposure, profanity, and drunkenness, he thought it was a practical joke but he soon learned that Miami authorities were serious. In fact, they later added an additional charge, alleging simulated oral copulation on guitarist Robbie Krieger during the concert. The trial did not begin until September 1970, when the prosecution trotted out witnesses who claimed to be shocked at the scene they had witnessed at the Doors concert. However, virtually every witness was somehow connected to the police or the district attorney's office. There was some question as to whether the popular singer had ever actually exposed himself on stage. There was little doubt that he was very drunk during the show. Morrison turned down a plea bargain arrangement where the band would have played a free concert in Miami. This turned out to be a mistake as he was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine. Morrison died in Paris before he could serve the sentence. In December 2010, Morrison received a posthumous pardon by the state of Florida, thanks in part to the efforts of outgoing governor Charlie Crist, who cited lingering doubts about the singer's actions.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: