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article imageOp-Ed: Why Mark Wahlberg deserves no pardon

By Calvin Wolf     Dec 5, 2014 in Politics
Boston - Famous actor Mark Wahlberg was a wild child! Perhaps unknown to many cinephiles, Marky Mark, prior to his modeling and acting days, brutally attacked two Asian men while committing a robbery at age 16. Today, Wahlberg wants a pardon. He shouldn't get it.
Many celebrities have checkered pasts, though few have risen to the acclaimed heights of Mark Wahlberg, the former rapper and underwear model who has become a notable Hollywood star. When Wahlberg was 16, he brutally attacked two Asian men during the commission of a robbery, blinding one man in his right eye. According to The Week, Wahlberg's 1988 assault and battery earned him a mere 45 days in jail.
Now Wahlberg has formally applied for a pardon by the governor of Massachusetts. TIME reports that the actor is claiming that he has turned over a new leaf and has dedicated his life to helping people. He also wants a pardon to facilitate his receiving a concessionaire's license for his restaurant business and assist his ability to help at-risk youth. Wahlberg claims that his receiving a pardon will help inspire troubled youth to turn their lives around.
Mark Wahlberg should not receive a pardon. His crime was violent, vicious, and was a hate crime against Asians and Asian-Americans, evidenced by the racial slurs he used during the attack. I guarantee that if a white celebrity who had committed a hate crime against African-Americans were applying for a pardon, there would be a public outcry. Pardoning Wahlberg would be a slap in the face to the Asian-American community, suggesting that hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans are taken far less seriously than crimes against other groups.
Aside from the seriousness of Wahlberg's crime make a pardon unacceptable, a pardon is unnecessary. Wahlberg is wealthy and successful. A pardon would do little other than assuage his own conscience, which should indeed be troubled. He does not need it for any tangible purpose, such as obtaining a job to help provide for his family.
If Wahlberg wants to help troubled youth, he should be confronting those youth with the seriousness of his own crime and how it has hurt him, not trying to cover it up like it never happened.
Celebrities have the unique privilege of being able to live in comfort despite criminal convictions. Non-celebrities are the ones who face real consequences from having criminal records. Granting Wahlberg a pardon, despite the good works he might have done since 1988, is a poor use of a rare pardon. Wahlberg's poor decisions should remain on his record as a warning to hotheaded youth, not expunged to make a man surrounded by luxury feel better about himself.
Finally, has Wahlberg earned the forgiveness of his victims? According to a September 2006 interview, Wahlberg had not sought out his victims to make amends and was no longer "burdened by guilt," reports ABC News. Does that sound like a man who deserves a pardon?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Mark wahlberg, Pardon, Massachusetts, assault and battery, Racism
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