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Posted: 12/23/2003 4:15:02 PM EDT
Lenny Bruce gets posthumous pardon
05:38 PM CST on Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. - Comedian Lenny Bruce was granted a posthumous pardon by Gov. George Pataki Tuesday for a nearly 40-year-old obscenity conviction prompted by a foul-mouthed political commentary.

Pataki called his decision, the first posthumous pardon in New York state history, "a declaration of New York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment."

The campaign to win a pardon for Bruce was supported by his ex-wife and daughter, more than two dozen First Amendment lawyers and entertainers including Robin Williams, the Smothers Brothers and Penn and Teller.

During a November 1964 performance at Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village, Bruce used more than 100 "obscene" words. Undercover police detectives attended the show, and later testified against Bruce. The charge was Giving an Obscene Performance.

He was convicted following a six-month trial. Bruce mishandled his own appeal, and, beset by legal and financial problems, died of a drug overdose in 1966 at age 37 with the conviction still on the books.

Yes, he was a pioneer in the "F" word, but quite funny, too.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 4:20:40 PM EDT
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