Mark Wahlberg Wants His Record Cleared, of What?
Actor, Mark Wahlberg has petitioned the State of Massachusetts to clear his record of a conviction from a 1988 assault case.
He has a problem. The former assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case speaking with the Boston Globe says that the actor should not be pardoned for a racially-motivated attack 26 years ago.
Here's what happened and how it was adjudicated:
Wahlberg, who was 16 at the time, tried to steal two cases of alcohol from a man outside a convenience store. He hit the man over the head with a stick and punched another man in the face as he fled from police.
In a blistering opinion piece, Judith Beals says no one should forget the then-troubled teen's attack on two Vietnamese men who immigrated to Boston. The assault severely injured both men, leaving one permanently blind in one eye -- and resulted in attempted murder charges for the star-to-be.
Wahlberg pleaded guilty to assault, and was sentenced to two years in prison, however, he served just 45 days in behind bars.
Wahlberg has acknowledged and apologized for his crime which he blamed in part for drug use at the time. He is seeking the conviction to be expunged from his record -- something Beals says should not happen, as it wasn't the first racially-motivated incident involving the then-troubled teen.
"Now, as a private citizen, I see no reason why that history should be erased from the public record," Beals claims. "While private acts of reconciliation and forgiveness can be an important part of our shared racial history, that history should never be erased."
"In the 13 years I served in the attorney general’s office, I recall only one instance of a defendant violating a civil rights injunction -- Mark Wahlberg. His attack on Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh showed the same tendency toward serial acts of racial violence," the former prosecutor claims.
"Wahlberg’s repeated racial epithets [during the crime] revealed an equally racist motivation albeit toward a different class – making clear that bigotry harbors no boundaries."
"Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh immigrated to Boston after the Vietnam war, believing in this country’s ideals. Wahlberg’s actions shattered their very sense of themselves, and of the city and country they now called home."
Beals says of the troublemaker-turned Transformers star: "I'm glad Mark Wahlberg has turned his life around. I've read that Hoa Trinh has forgiven him. But a public pardon is an extraordinary public act, requiring extraordinary circumstances because it essentially eliminates all effects of having ever been convicted. It is reserved to those who demonstrate, 'extraordinary contributions to society,' requiring, 'extensive service to others performed, in part, as a means of restoring community and making amends.' On this, I am not sold."