Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pardon Me?

Marky Mark Wahlberg, actor, spent 45 days in jail in the late 1980s, and not for stealing my nickname.  In those days before he began what the movie "Clueless" called "his busy pants-dropping schedule," he was quite the thug in Boston.

Cooling his heels in a Boston jail, discussing what theatuh to attend after pahking the cah at Hahvahd yahd, Wahlberg found penitence in his soul over his brutal beating of Vietnamese immigrant Johnny Trinh.  All these years later, Wahlberg still believed that he had blinded Trinh in one eye that night when he was out to steal booze from a convenience store.  He also punched another guy in the face, trying to elude police, who rounded him up and took him to trial that sentenced him to 90 days.  During the 45 that he served, he decided to turn his life around, becoming a leader, not a follower, and has filed for a pardon with the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.

And it turns out that Trinh did in fact lose an eye, but not at Marky Mark's hands.  That happened in a grenade attack during the Viet Nam war.

“He did hurt me, but my left eye was already gone. He was not responsible for that,” Trinh said. “He was young and reckless but I forgive him now. Everyone deserves another chance.”

“He paid for his crime when he went to prison. I am not saying that it did not hurt when he punched me in the face, but it was a long time ago.”

The Massachusetts Parole Board would have to review Wahlberg's case and make a recommendation to the governor, who can grant pardons. But pardons rarely are issued in Massachusetts. Gov. Deval Patrick has not approved one in his nearly two terms in office. Nor did former Gov. Mitt Romney, who, if his name sounds vaguely familiar, also ran for president later, and we all know how that turned out.

And there is a lot of pushback on Wahlberg's request from people who say the mistakes he made while young and high should stick with him forever, and just because he's in every other movie released these days, his celebrity should not be his magic ticket to clearing the slate.

People say he shouldn't get to expunge his record just because he's famous.  He says his fame should have nothing to do with it, that he has done a lot to help others out of the jams he dealt with in his own life, and he wants his name cleared.

I don't know how to go on this.  What say you?

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