Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, has sort of made a yearly tradition out of pardoning former criminals during Christmas and Easter, and this year, one of his supporters Robert Downey Jr. made his list. Long before RDJ became the richest acting bitch in Hollywood, he was caught with heroin, coke and a gun after he was pulled over for speeding on Sunset Blvd. in 1996. RDJ was put on probation, but he violated that shit a few times (including the time he broke into his neighbor’s house and took a nap on the couch) and ended up spending a little over a year in a treatment facility and state prison. The Sacramento Bee says that today, Governor Brown pardoned RDJ for that 1996 conviction. The governor pardoned a total of 91 people.
To be eligible for a pardon, the person must have been out of prison for at least a decade and kept their ass away from trouble. The governor usually pardons people who spent time in prison for low-level or drug-related crimes. And now this is the part where everyone throws the governor a “hmmmmmmm” look, because The Sacramento Bee says that RDJ contributed $5,000 to Jerry Brown’s 2014 re-election campaign. RDJ also donated $50,000 to a charter school the governor started in Oakland.
Jerry Brown issued a message about RDJ’s pardon, but RDJ shouldn’t feel so special, because the governor uses the same message for all pardons:
“He has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen.”
We’re all probably praising the birthday boy Jesus for this, because we all know how hard it’s been for Robert Downey Jr. to find a good paying job with that blemish on his record. Sadly, that conviction is going to stay on his record. Pardons don’t erase criminal records. But a pardon makes it possible for someone to vote, serve on a jury, own a gun and get a job as a probation officer. If I was RDJ, I’d return that pardon to sender and say thanks, governor, but no thanks, because who in the hell wants to serve on a jury?!