April 7, 2009

Commentary: Jack Johnson should get pardoned

More than 60 years after former heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson was pronounced dead at St. Agnes Hospital in Raleigh after a car crash, he and it are back in the news. Sen. John McCain and Rep. Peter King of New York introduced a bill last week seeking a presidential pardon of Johnson's conviction under the Mann Act, a nonsensical law passed because of him to prohibit men – OK, him – from traveling across state lines to have sex with women. The pardon would begin to rehabilitate the image of one of the most fascinating, reviled Americans to ever live and a hero of mine.

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