Mark Wahlberg Seeking Pardon In Massachusetts For Criminal Past

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Mark Wahlberg pardon

By Michael Lewittes

Mark Wahlberg pardon

(Getty Images)

Mark Wahlberg is seeking a pardon in Massachusetts for a violent crime he committed 27 years ago, which left one man blind and the actor behind bars. Last week, Wahlberg filed application with the Massachusetts Board of Pardons in an effort to get his criminal record expunged.

In April 8, 1988, Wahlberg, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, attempted to steal two cases of booze from a guy outside of a convenience store in Dorchester. While trying to get away from the police, he hit one man on the head with a stick and punched another in the face, causing the second individual to become blind in one eye. Then 16 years old, Wahlberg was still tried as an adult, Though charged initially with attempted murder, he was found of assault and sentenced to three months behind bars, but was released after serving only 45 days.

Now, Wahlberg wants his violent past erased from his record. In his application to the Board of Pardons, Wahlberg noted that he turned his life around and devoted himself to charitable acts. He wrote, “I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims,” adding, “Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others.” Among the organizations with which Wahlberg is involved are the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, the Parish Gym in Boston, as well as running the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. He also attends church on a nearly daily basis.

Walhberg’s pardon application explains that he has “not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past,” but rather because “I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.” He stresses, “Rather than ignore or deny my troubled past, I have used the public spotlight to speak openly about the mistakes I made as a teenager so that others do not make those same mistakes.”

So why does Wahlberg want a pardon nearly three decades later? Among the main reason is that he wants a concessionaire’s license for his restaurant businesses in the Boston-area. He also says he would like to help kids at risk. He further says in his application, “The more complex answer is that receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988… It would be formal recognition that someone like me can receive official public redemption if he devotes himself to personal improvement and a life of good works.”

For Wahlberg to get the pardon, it would require a number of steps, including a recommendation by the Massachusetts Parole Board to the governor, then the governor signing off on it, and finally the approval of the governor’s council. Typically, pardons take a long time and are rarely granted in Massachusetts. Do you think Wahlberg should get pardoned?

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