Mark Wahlberg seeks a pardon for blinding a man when he was 16: fair?

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg is one of the most prolific actors working in Hollywood today. He’s not putting out high-brow work (although he considers Transformers to be the most iconic movie franchise ever), but he constantly works. Wahlberg is highly bankable and rewarded for his box-office draw. He works hard and has (personally) overcome his past as a juvenile offender.

Mark may be a devoted family man and super religious dude, but it wasn’t always that way. When Mark was 16 years old, he permanently blinded a man during an assault outside a convenience store. Mark was tried as an adult and served 45 days in prison. That’s a fairly light sentence for such a violent crime. Mark got off easy and got on with life. Two-and-a-half decades later, Mark seeks a pardon for his crime. NBC has Mark’s full pardon petition, in which Mark argues that he’s a changed man who goes to church every day. Mark believes a pardon would inspire other troubled youth to seek redemption through good works. This is very sneaky wording:

Mark Wahlberg is asking Massachusetts to wipe out his decades-out assault conviction, saying that ever since he served time for a 1988 attack that left another man blind in one eye, he has tried to become a “better person and citizen.”

The movie superstar, now 43, has filed an application with the Massachusetts Board of Pardons, hoping to get his criminal record erased. “I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims,” Wahlberg wrote in his pardon application. “Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others.”

Wahlberg says in the application, filed Nov. 26, that on April 8, 1988, he tried to steal two cases of alcohol from a man outside a convenience store on Dorchester Avenue, hitting him over the head with a stick and then punching another man in the face as he fled from police.

Though only 16, he was tried as an adult in Dorchester District Court, in the neighborhood where he grew up the youngest of nine children. He was convicted of assault after being charged with attempted murder and other charges, and he served 45 days in prison.

In his pardon application, Wahlberg goes on to say that he has spoken “openly and publicly” about his actions on that night over the past 20-plus years. In his petition, he outlines the incidents that led to his arrest, saying that he attempted to steal two cases of alcohol from a man who was standing outside of a convenience store near his home around 9 p.m. He said he hit the man on the head with a wooden stick, and then ran down the block to evade police. While attempting to avoid police, he said he punched another man in the face.

“I was detained by police a few minutes after that,” Wahlberg wrote. “While I was detained, the police discovered that I had a small amount of marijuana in my back pocket. During the incident, I was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics.”

In making his case, Wahlberg cites his involvement with charities and good deeds he has done to rebuild his life, including the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, the renovation of the Boston-area Parish Gym and the fact that he attends church nearly every day.

“I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past,” added Wahlberg. “To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.”

“The more complex answer is that receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988,” Wahlberg concluded. “It would be formal recognition that someone like me can receive official public redemption if he devotes himself to personal improvement and a life of good works.”

[From NECN – New England Cable News]

Technically, it’s possible for Mark to receive a pardon from this crime. The Board of Pardons will consider Mark’s petition and (with or without a public hearing) will decide whether to pass it on to the governor. If the petition meets with the governor’s approval, Mark will still need the governor’s council’s approval. Will he get a pardon? My guess would be “yes.” He probably hired the best attorneys.

Should he get a pardon? Ehhhhh. Mark may have moved on from his past, but his victim doesn’t have a choice about remaining blind in one eye. He’s forever stuck with what Mark did to him. Plus, this pardon will in no way change Mark’s life. He probably wants it for self-validation. This feels like a bucket-list item, sort of how Mark went back to high school and graduated at age 42. That was admirable but also self-serving. Thoughts?

Mark Wahlberg

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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195 Responses to “Mark Wahlberg seeks a pardon for blinding a man when he was 16: fair?”

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  1. NewWester says:

    Can his victim get a pardon from living the rest of his days being blind?

    • Abbott says:

      Pfffft. Funky Bunch here has already forgiven HIMSELF and that’s all that matters.

    • eowyn says:

      This. He doesn’t care about them – yes them he also did hate crimes when he was younger – only himself.

      • Sabrine says:

        A real man would have stepped up and helped these poor men financially. This self-entitled rich actor needs to do the right thing by these poor souls although it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t care that much about what he did to them. He has never apologized to them. iHe has no right whatsoever to ask for a pardon.

      • mary simon says:

        He needs to do more, much more, than apologize to his victims, especially the one he blinded. Some serious financial compensation, in the 7 figures, minimum. What a swine to ask for his slate to be wiped clean without doing what he can for his victims, especially now that he is a man of means.

    • Lovelee412 says:

      Exactly!!! Sorry, mark. No, you do not deserve a pardon on this one. You did the crime, you have moved on to become a better person…be proud of that BUT you did commit that crime. Erasing it would be a huge slap in the face to the victim!!!

      • Melymori says:

        That’s exactly what I thought… I wonder what his victim thinks about Mark getting a pardon, I think he should be the one with the final say on this matter. If the victim approves I don’t see why Mark shouldn’t get the pardon.

      • LeAnn Stinks says:

        I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        Maybe they should ask this poor blind what he thinks of Marky Mark wanting to have his record expunged? Sheesh.

      • homegrrrlll says:

        If it’s a permanent crime- I assume the blindness is permanent- the why seek a pardon? I feel all violence leaves permanent emotional scars, but this particular crime is empirically irreversible, as should be his record of violence. It truly is a slap in the face to the victim.

    • SamiHami says:

      Well, first of all, the victim is not blind. He’s blind in one eye. That tells me he still has sight in his other eye. Not that it makes what he did any better.

      I would like to hear what his victim has to say. Does that man forgive him? If so, then yeah-I’d be in favor of the pardon. If not, then no, I don’t think so.

      • writeitoff says:

        Can you imagine having to see the d*ck that took one of your eyes away, everywhere?? Like to be reminded constantly that you’re blind in one eye and dude is a millionaire living in your television. You can’t escape it. I think he shouldn’t be pardoned and I am a Marky Mark fanatic.

      • littlestar says:

        I’ve read before that his victim has said that Wahlberg has never apologized to him. Not sure if it’s true or not, but I would kind of believe it, because Wahlberg seems to be someone with a huge ego and a huge chip on his shoulder.

        Wahlberg has always struck me as someone who realizes he’s of average intelligence at best, and is resentful of that fact. Hence the ego, if that makes any sense.

      • Brittney B says:

        In the ABC link (click “permanently blinded a man”), Mark himself admits he never tracked the man down and apologized. It sounds like he’s aware it’s important but he doesn’t have the guts to face him… I think his victim deserves more than that, especially now that he’s using the story to his benefit.

      • outstandingworldcitizen says:

        Wow, talk about diminishing the victim. Hey, mind if I blind you ONLY IN YOUR LEFT EYE. You have seriously defective thinking.

      • SamiHami says:

        How does pointing out the facts diminish the victim or represent defective thinking?

        Before the attack he had sight in both eyes. After the attack he has sight in one eye. He was partially blinded. He can see—but not with both eyes. That’s a simple fact. Why is it incorrect to state the truth? Because it’s not dramatic enough for you?

        Truth is blind and partially blind are two different things. My own father was born completely blind in one eye. He is still able to read, watch TV, fool around on his computer, drive and served in the military. A completely blind person would not be able to do most of those things without assistance, and some of them not at all. There is a difference.

        All that being said, as I previously stated, I don’t think it’s any more forgiveable and that I’d like to know what the victim has to say about this.

      • J.Mo says:

        There’s also a difference between being born without sight in one eye and losing sight in one eye. It can’t possibly compare to either experience but when I had no vision in one eye for two weeks it seriously impaired my life because it was a loss and I was completely unaccustomed to it. He should wear an eye patch for a year and then maybe a pardon could be considered with a cash settlement to be determined by himself after the year.

    • Megan says:

      Had he been tried as a juvenile his record would have been expunged at age 18. I think he is totally doing it for himself, but asking for a pardon for a crime committed as a minor doesn’t strike me as all that unusual.

      • Pandy says:

        Agree with a pardon for a crime committed while a minor. But I would like to see him apologize to the victim. That should maybe be mandatory for a pardon?

      • SamiHami says:

        Maybe, Pandy-but what good is a forced apology?

      • Fritanga says:

        Maybe not unusual, but showing tremendous chutzpah He was tried as an adult (obviously the savagery of the crime, his intent and his lack of remorse contributed to this) and unfortunately that’s what he has to live with. “Oh, boo hoo, having a record means I can’t make more money – feel sorry for me!”

        As he’s never apologized to the men he attacked, nor has he offered them any financial compensation from the gigantic fortune he’s amassed as an actor and producer, he doesn’t deserve a pardon. Unfortunately, his lawyers will probably cut a deal with any elected official who is able to facilitate this pardon – Wahlberg would probably rather give “political contributions” to get it than give money to the victims of his racially-motivated attacks.

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      Couldn’t agree more. While I enjoy his acting performances, I think he is a self-serving stinker. NO!

    • ella says:

      Sure, he donates to charities… has he made restitution to his victim?

      • Nicole says:

        Exactly. Maybe he should give the guy a few million. Maybe he should do what he needs to do to get forgiveness from that guy. I don’t think I’d give him his vanity pardon unless I saw genuine remorse.

      • Mayamae says:

        Exactly. I notice that the long droning statement barely acknowledges the victims. No mention of any restitution to the blind guy. Considering his wealth, that speaks volumes. He’s still a punk. He’s just rich now.

      • Melanie says:

        No kidding. Seriosuly, F this guy. I read that interview where he stated he’s never made amends to the victim, nor does he feel any guilt. Rather than seeking a pardon, I would like to imagine he would have made amends and taken care of the victim for life. The only part of this story I like is that he has personally brought it back into the news. I hope more people will now recognize what an ass this guy is. Oh, and he conveniently leaves out the part where he screamed racial epitaphs at his victims.

        Most people with a record don’t have the luxury to even ask for a pardon. Those that have turned their life around struggle to obtain gainful employment because of said record. And this multi-millionaire jerk somehow thinks he’s being inconvenienced by his past?? Makes my blood boil.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Melanie. I think you mean “epithets”. But then again, maybe not –

    • Cupcake says:


      And he only served 45 days in jail for it?!! That is such BS. I never knew he did this and now I think he is scum.

    • Msmlnp says:

      I don’t believe he has ever personally apologized to his victim. He really should start with that.

      • bcgirl says:

        Exactly! He should start and end with an apology to the victim. For the assault as well as for his hateful racist remarks.
        anything else is self serving.

    • Enuff Said says:

      He should ask for forgiveness from his victims…if he gets it – that is all that should matter…if he doesn’t then he should do everything he can to obtain it …monetary or otherwise…whatever it takes for his victim to feel his sincerity …screw the pardon…the pardon is self-serving…that just proves he hasn’t changed. The crime hasn’t affected his career – if anything he should be preaching ‘if you commit a crime your record is forever – be the best person you can be’ .

  2. Santia says:

    No, it’s not fair. He did what he did and should not get a pardon. A pardon (in theory, anyway) is given when the law was applied incorrectly, disparately or unfairly (like in Turing’s case) and the times/laws have changed. Seeking a pardon because you want validation is a no for me. Granted, he has turned his life around from the thug he was. That — and the money and fame — should be validation enough.

    • Anna says:

      and Mark used be a racist, and the attacks racially motivated so I don’t think he should be pardoned. like you said, he’s a famous actor now and everyone’s forgets that he used to attack POC so that should be enough for him.

      • Anony says:

        I hate that the article omitted that! He beat the guy repeatedly because he was Vietnamese! This article doesn’t even mention that and makes it sound like it was one hit when really it was many!

  3. lisa2 says:

    I just can’t like him. And unlike several celebrities his past is not thrown up in his face. People don’t call him a bad father or precede every conversation about him with his violent attack on this man.

    I recall him saying recently that he had moved on and that he didn’t feel guilty anymore.. (If that is not a correct account then I apologize)..

    I wonder why he is not seeking out the man whose life he changed permanently.

    I just don’t like him and I because of that I never watch his films.

    • Peppa says:

      I think it depends on where you read about him or who you talk to. A lot of people bring up this incident. I remember when he was starring in Boogie Nights and I mentioned I thought he was cute and hoped he would have a career past his Funky Bunch day, my friend said “didn’t you know this guy committed a hate crime?” It gets brought up on here a lot. I will say that I think female celebs have their past thrown in their face a lot more. For some reason lots of men get a pass.

    • Ginger says:

      +1 I’ve had female friends comment about how cute he is and then another will mention his racist and violent behavior and that’s in a private conversation. I can’t imagine what must be said among his peers.

      • lisa2 says:

        My point is when people talk/write about his movies or what projects he is doing that is not in the narrative. But the media does this with other celebrities.

    • Mellie says:

      Think how many times Reese Witherspoon is bad mouthed for her public intox, or whatever it was, arrest last year the “don’t you know who I am” incident. I’m sorry, but while this may have happened a long time ago, before he was who he is today, it’s ridiculous that we bad mouth her (and other celebrities) for seemingly juvenile offenses like public intox and here is a guy who permanently disabled another person and I never knew about it. But every magazine article I read about Witherspoon brings up that drinking incident.

      • outstandingworldcitizen says:

        ^^^^THIS. What makes this mediocre rapper/singer believe he’s special. I remember him saying Helena Bonham Carter in her Planet of the Apes make looked like JANET JACKSON. This was Howard Stern’s radio show.

  4. Abbott says:

    You can’t polish a turd.

  5. Div says:

    This recap is a pretty sanitized version of what happened. He was charged with attempted murder initially, and used racial slurs against the man according to ABC news. It wasn’t just a petty theft gone wrong. He shouldn’t get a pardon IMO. He has moved on with his life and changed his ways, so that’s good, but this is the sort of crime you shouldn’t be able to pardon.

    • Artemis says:

      Yes. I was about to say he made racist remarks. I agree with all of what you said.

    • Duckie says:

      Exactly!! I read that he did multiples racially motivated attacks and this was the most violent. Did he ever beg forgiveness from his victim?

    • teatimeiscoming says:

      THIS! Those of us from that area and are old enough to remember, remember this was part of a series of racially-tinged crimes this a-hole pulled.

      Also: I want people to remember my past? But wait, Governor, please erase my criminal record. What kind of weird reasoning is that?

    • Tippy says:

      Yeah, the wooden stick was a 2×4 and he was screwed-up on Angel Dust.

      16 year old criminal offenders in Massachusetts are seldom tried as adults unless their crimes are considered to be especially heinous and show a depraved indifference toward the victim(s).

      • meh says:

        Yeah I read he beat one person with a 2X4 and blinded another by “gouging him through the eye with a metal hook” while high. And he continued to commit violent attacks after the 45 day prison stint. He broke another person’s jaw.

  6. Sixer says:

    I was going to ask: will this make any difference to his life going forwards? Travel restrictions for criminals? Ability to stand for public office? Voting (I know you guys take the vote from some felons)? Disclosures? Or is just him being pointless?

    Here in the UK, criminal convictions are regarded as “spent” after a certain amount of time, which varies according to the level of offence. After that, they don’t appear on your record and you don’t have to declare them to employers unless you’re working with children or somesuch. Only prison sentences of more than four years are never “spent”.

    • Lindy79 says:

      I was thinking exactly that, it hasn’t seemed to have affected his life so far so really, why do this now?

    • Lilacflowers says:

      It could. It disqualifies him from several federal jobs and state jobs, not that Mark Wahlberg is applying for federal jobs or seeking to be a police officer, but his family is trying to expand its restaurant into a national chain and some states won’t grant liquor licenses to someone with convictions for violent crimes.

      • Kiddo says:


      • lucy2 says:

        Ah, I think you may have figured it out. Other than just ego, I couldn’t figure out why now, but that actually makes sense.

        If that is a problem for the business, then he should step down rather than try to erase this violent crime from the records.

      • Sparkly says:

        Is that what it is?

        My vote was initially for no, but now it’s for aw, hell no!

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah what LilacFlowers said.
        Lilacflowers is also a Bostonian and this is actually kind of a big deal as a local story for us. It’s been made clear that he wants the pardon in order to expand his restaurant chains.

        Also Wahlburgers f*cking sucks but Alma Nove is damn good.

      • Esmom says:

        Lilacflowers, wow. Although I guess an ulterior motive doesn’t surprise me a bit.

        Sparkly, I’m with you.

      • T.Fanty says:

        But presumably his name isn’t on the liquor license. If he’s an investor, it’s not appropriate to have his name on the license, because he won’t be on the premises. This is even more true if it’s a national chain, which presumably will be franchised out. Unless he’s actually managing the place, there are a dozen ways around this that won’t impact him and his money at all.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @t.fanty, the restaurant is the setting for the reality show and he is there and he makes business decisions quite often. Different states have different laws about what applies for different levels of involvement.

      • Katija says:

        I just pictured Andy Samberg AS Mark Wahlberg saying, “Now I wanna work for the GOVERNMENT!”

      • Trashaddict says:

        Follow the money….Well, he’s not doing to run for office because technically speaking apparently you can? At least I hope not.

    • Sixer says:

      Thanks, Lilac. I was wondering because a pardon for pardon’s sake does seem ineffably tone deaf and arrogant. Surely his people would have talked him out of it unless there was some underlying (profit-driven!) reason?

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Agreed. His people are pretty savvy, business-wise. He has done quite well for himself behind the scenes as producer of things like “in Therapy” and “Boardwalk Empire”, not just in front of the camera. His family owns an upscale hamburger restaurant south of Boston, which is actually really good, and the setting of a reality TV show. They very recently announced plans to open up 27 branches of it nationally, a very ambitious goal. Having somebody with a felony conviction on the business license application may be a serious impediment to those expansion plans in some states.

        Getting a pardon is Massachusetts is not as simple as just submitting an application. The board will have his full record in front of them and usually gets victim impact statements as well. I was mugged once and the two guys were caught, confessed, did time. I would get notices and asked for comment every time one of them came up for parole and one of them did seek a pardon (he was dying), which he did not get.

      • Sixer says:

        It makes sense, doesn’t it?

        I’m going to have to go and look up whether or not people here with criminal convictions can get alcohol licences now! I’ve got one (licence, not criminal record – for the local village hall, which hosts concerts and weddings and whathaveyous, as I’m its treasurer) and I can’t for the life of me remember what the application form asked for.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Sixer, I have several law licenses (3 state, 1 federal) and they all asked about convictions. Some would have been barred for any felony; others depended on the possible length of conviction associated with the felony; while others limited the disbarment only to things involving fraud.

      • Sixer says:

        I checked. They don’t look for spent convictions on an alcohol licence application here, but you do have to tell them about unspent. If you have unspent convictions, the issuing authority (local council in our case) makes an individual decision.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Each of the 50 states here has its own rules.

    • Ginger says:

      Thanks for the explanation. Now it makes sense.

  7. Jasmine says:

    I cant stand this guy. From the fact that entourage was semi autobiographical to how douchey he seemed in some interviews I saw, I dont buy his choir boy shtick. Also deeply suspiscious of a guy who goes to Church everyday and makes it a point to keep telling the world. First Church attendance says nothing about who you are and decond acting as though Church attendance tells us something about you tells us that you are a self righteous,sactimonious, over religious prick.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Here’s what Jesus thought about publicizing how much more devout you are than the people around you: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” [Matthew 6:6.]

      So, no, I don’t approve of all the churchy talk either. Go to church, try to be a decent human being, and stop blowing your own horn.

    • happymama says:

      Amen to that.

    • Esmom says:

      Amen indeed.

    • Christin says:

      A third amen to both posts above. Walk it; don’t talk it.

  8. T.Fanty says:

    If he’s sorry, and takes full responsibility, then he should recognize that it stays on his record. Part of taking responsibility is carrying the weight of the consequences for the crime.

    • Lindy79 says:

      Exactly, own it and live with it if you’re truly sorry.
      Wanting it wiped from record confirms everything I need to know about him. Its cowardly.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Exactly. You should only receive a pardon if there were other factors not considered in your conviction that somehow mitigated your responsibility. This is disgusting.

    • Jackson says:

      Good point, T.Fanty. I agree.
      This line from his application also really, really rubs me the wrong way: “I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims,”. Lasting damage that I MAY have caused?? There is no MAY about it, Marky Mark. You blinded a man in one eye. There is no MAY about that.

    • Kitten says:

      Completely agree. I think it’s great that he’s turned his life around but he shouldn’t be able to just wash away this imprint on his moral character.

    • Cindy says:

      Agree completely. He doesn’t want to bear the weight because it makes HIS life uncomfortable and Marky Mark is all that matters. Creep.

  9. The Other Katherine says:

    Personally, I won’t sit in judgement on Mark Wahlberg for the rest of his life about a crime committed as a juvenile, given that he now seems to be a productive member of society. However, I see no reason why his record should be expunged. It’s not exactly preventing him from getting work, and I think it’s reasonable and fair that he should carry a permanent lifetime reminder about what he did to his victim, who will most certainly carry the scars for the rest of his life.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I agree with this wholeheartedly.

      ETA: If he is indeed asking for a pardon because he wants to expand he and his family’s restaurant then that is seriously low and just confirms that he is as douchey as several commenters have said he is.

  10. jinni says:

    Did he ever even apologize to the guy? Because last I heard he was saying that he didn’t need to because he talked to he priest about it or something like that. He doesn’t deserve anything. I wonder who that man feels when he hears about Mark and his pardon attempts or talking about how he doesn’t feel guilty for blinding him? Marky Mark can go screw himself because nothing will ever erase what he did. Bastard.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      MA usually gets an impact statement from victims during the pardon process.

    • Jenns says:

      I don’t think he did. And that is exactly why he should not get the pardon(among other things). And maybe we should ask the victim if he thinks Marky Mark should be pardoned.

      • Heather says:

        I was going to say the same thing. Has he worked through his actions with the victim? The victim should get to say whether there is a pardon.

    • D says:

      Nope. From an interview he did with ABC news:

      “And though the right thing to do would be to try to find the man and make amends, Wahlberg says, he admits he hasn’t done so — but says he’s no longer burdened by guilt.

      ‘I did a lot of things that I regretted and I certainly paid for my mistakes,’ Wahlberg says. ‘You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn’t until I really started doing good and doing right, by other people as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don’t have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning.'”

      • Kiddo says:

        I can’t stand him and his smug mug. I’m not impressed with the acting either.

      • PennyLane says:

        I read a thinly-veiled blind item about Mark Wahlberg that said his wife suffers from depression and that he blames her for it – tells her she’s being weak, just needs to snap out of it, etc.

        This, combined with the fact that he never made amends to his victim, plus the fact that it was one of mutliple racially-motivated hate crimes that he engaged in with his friends, plus the sanctimony about attending church every day, make me wish this person would just shut up and go away. Like, just disappear.

        Not sure why MW gets any work at all, to be honest with you. It’s not like he’s some great actor who couldn’t be replaced – other than Boogie Nights I couldn’t even tell you a single movie this guy has been in. That’s how memorable he is.

    • Luca76 says:

      He blinded a man for life and then has gone on to be so successful. If he really had remorse why couldn’t he find the man and apologize and even offer him compensation for the disability he caused?

      • Christin says:

        This, exactly. His actions caused lifelong harm to another. It’s up to his victim to pardon him.

  11. Nk868 says:

    I want to know more about any attempts to reach out to his victim and compensate him in some way, pay for programs or any medical expenses, etc. It’s great he’s tried to make his hometown a better place, but has he tried to give his victim a better life?

    Re: receiving his GED- I believe he didn’t do that for himself but for his kids. Probably teens not wanting to do their homework throwing that in his face got the ball rolling if I had to guess based off of what a sassy jerk I was at home in high school … Sorry mom!

    • kibbles says:

      I was just about to say that he should put his money where his mouth is. This shouldn’t be about Mark and his being pardoned for a terrible crime. If he really wants to show that he is sorry, he should reach out to his victim, apologize, give the guy enough money so that he won’t ever have to struggle for the remainder of his life, then make a sizeable donation to an Asian American charity in his name. Otherwise, this is all about Mark and has nothing to do with his victim who has to live the rest of this life blind.

      • nk868 says:

        totally. i didn’t know until some of the comments here that it was hate crime/racial slurs were used. he should absolutely incorporate some diversity/anti hate speech etc. philanthropy in the mix to truly repent and try to prevent his own bad acts repeating by youths today

  12. Hey, hey, my, my says:

    Why is there no mention that the attack was racially motivated? The man is Asian, who was attacked by Mark.
    If Mark weren’t white he wouldn’t have gotten just 45 days in jail.
    He is the next Mel Gibson, mark my words.

    • neelyo says:

      ‘He is the next Mel Gibson, mark my words.’

      I believe it. Same sanctimonious, holier than thou attitude.

    • lunchcoma says:

      This wasn’t his first racially motivated attack, either. The year before the attack, there was a civil action related to two separate incidents where he threw rocks at black children and called them racial slurs.

  13. Dorothy#1 says:

    I wonder if he has ever given restitution to the man he blinded? If he has helped him financially through the years id be more open to his pardon.

  14. D says:

    I just read his pardon application and…

    Isn’t part of being genuinely remorseful and atoning for your actions being willing to acknowledge what you did, without minimizing/glossing over it?

    So, why does he fail to mention that he blinded his victim? In the application, he says, “the essential facts of my convictions are as follows”. According to him, the essential facts are that he hit a man with a stick while trying to rob him, then punched another man in the face, and was subsequently detained by the cops, who found weed in his pocket.

    Apparently for Mark, the “essential facts” don’t include all the racial slurs he was screaming at his victims or the fact that he blinded one of them, because we just get, “From later accounts of the incident, it is my understanding that I may have caused serious injuries to [the victims]”, and that’s it.

    LOL @ “may have”.

    But after reading the articles that the AP and the Boston Globe wrote about Mark seeking a pardon, I can understand one reason why he did that – both articles use his pardon application as their main source, and thus don’t mention the racism or blinding either.

    Props to Mark’s PR person for understanding the laziness of journalists and finding a way to keep the most horrific aspect of the attack as quiet as possible when this story gets reported on.

    No props to Mark, who just seems like a scumbag who is above all remorseful about what this does to his image.

  15. savu says:

    I don’t get this. He looks like a STRONGER, more proud changed man with that still on his record. Because if he wants to inspire others, others aren’t going to get their convictions pardoned. He does more good WITH this on his record.

    • T.Fanty says:

      Yes, exactly. He’s just illustrating how wealth and fame can bend the system to what he wants. Hardly inspiring for a young guy who actually lives in a ghetto, trying to get his life together.

  16. lucy2 says:

    I don’t believe violent crimes should be pardoned. No matter who you are, or what you grew up to be.

    • Katija says:

      I wouldn’t say “never.” Like, let’s say that you have a black man in his forties who is an upstanding member of society – maybe wants a government job. He has a conviction on his record from punching someone at 19. The fight was a two-way street, with another man the same age, race, and size. He was given a conviction that was excessive because of racial bias – extremely common. Maybe your instinct is, “he still hit someone,” but shouldn’t he have the opportunity to at least have his case looked at?

      There are tooooooooons of factors that complicate even violent crimes. Not everyone gets a fair day in court. Requests for pardons and/or appeals exist for a reason.

      With that being said, of course, does Marky Mark deserve one? Hell. To. The. No.

  17. Talie says:

    I say it’s fine as long as the victim agrees and I would say that Mark owes the victim a heartfelt apology.

    • Kitten says:

      I wonder why the victim never brought a civil suit against him? Is that not allowed?
      I would sue the sh*t out of someone if they made me blind in one eye.

  18. qwerty says:

    He’s only 43. Why the hell does he look so old?

    And no, he should not get a pardon lmao

  19. Frida_K says:

    Whenever this subject arises I wonder if he has gone back to his victim and made amends. Now Marky Mark is super wealthy. Has he started a college fund for his victim’s kids? Has he made sure that the victim has good health insurance and a really top-notch glass eye? What has he done with all his wealth to give something tangible to the man from whom he robbed an eye?

    Mr. I-go-to-chuch Walberg seems to gloss over the “eye for an eye” notion of penalty, which–if taken on a pragmatic level–relates more to compensation for the wronged party than actual tit for tat retribution.

    What has he done for his victim?

  20. Memibee says:

    Sorry but he can’t unring the bell,once something has been done, you have to live with the consequences as it can’t be undone. I Can’t stand him.

  21. Decorative Item says:

    Sure, give Mark a pardon, like it never even happened, like the victim doesn’t even exist. I mean, hasn’t Mark’s life been hard enough?

  22. moo says:

    What a Creep.

  23. OhDear says:

    He’s not remorseful at all; he just wants to expand his family’s restaurant business and having a conviction for assault prevents him from getting a license in some states. If he was sorry, he’d lay out the actual circumstances of what happened – he assaulted TWO Asian men that day, blinding one – not this sanitized version. And of course he doesn’t mention that he had also harassed black schoolchildren by throwing rocks at them – nope, that was a civil case and doesn’t affect whether he gets his licenses.

  24. lisa says:

    Considering the lack of remorse he has displayed over the years along with never reaching out to the victim I say no to any pardon. He could also be doing this for financial reasons since his record could prevent him from getting the appropriate licenses needed to do business in other states. I hope his victim gets to make a statement and that it shuts Marky Mark down.

  25. yikes says:

    Um, no- REALLY smacks of narcissism and the “I’m SO religious NOW” bleating just is creepy and seems to be counter to the humility that his faith teaches. Yes, he did toss around racial slurs during the crime and the fact that they are purgured from his account makes the whole thing even more hinky. I’m SMH at that thought process that went into this pardon idea- speaks volumes about his ego and dovetails nicely with his 9/11 rescue comments. Liquor license? Not sure- there has to at least one member of that family without a criminal record, right? So why would Mark’s record need to be “clean”? That said, I do like some of the things he helps produce- Boardwalk Empire, In Treatment, SOME of Entourage. His acting & most of his films are very blah to me, though. The Mel G comparison is interesting- both have giant egos and history/present of being rage monsters who are VERY showy in their “religion”…hmmm.

  26. Mandy says:

    Has he asked for forgiveness from the victim? Last time he spoke about it he hadn’t reached out to him. I hope that has changed.

  27. Kiddo says:

    I just looked up the Mark Wahlberg foundation, and basically it acts as a middleman to other charities with the discretion of direction of where funds go. To get the most ‘bang for my buck’, I prefer direct investment.

    By giving to an intermediary, I feel like you are paying for a couple of levels of administration, and salaries, rather than directly for worthwhile projects. I can’t find the breakdown of salary and administrative costs versus program.

    And as an agnostic, I’m not entirely on board with ‘going to church’ as mitigation or demonstration of being a better person. If there is a separation of Church and State, then Church shouldn’t be a determinant for state-related issues. He goes to church, so what? Weren’t most members of mafioso strict adherents to church attendance while committing heinous crimes?

  28. Melymori says:

    Something tells me Mark is trying to get this pardon to go into politics…Not because he wants to be an example of how people can change their lives.

    • J.Mo says:

      Nah, he just wants to get liquor licences in the restaurants he’s planning on opening in other states.

  29. Lisa Danielle says:

    I’m glad that he chose to ask for a pardon because now more people will know about the attacks.

  30. Jag says:

    No, he shouldn’t get a pardon! He was a racist azzhole and he blinded the man – trying to do worse to him. He’s lucky that he only got 45 days in jail. I hope that the governor talks with the victim to see what he says. Only if the victim agrees, should he get a pardon. Marky is a disgusting human being.

  31. DeE says:


    • andypandy says:

      Yep You Beat me to it 45 Days ??????? unbelievable

    • The Other Katherine says:


    • Trashaddict says:

      Not to mention timing – awkward much? Or knowing him, maybe it’s deliberate…..

    • Danskins says:

      He is the epitome of white priveledge. He’s absolutely disgusting to even consider a pardon (for purely financial reasons) without ever once apologizing to his victims god his racially motivated crimes.

      To even seek a pardon today in light of the protests going on nationwide over killings of innocent black men (Eric Garner, Mike Brown, etc.) makes the situation even more insensitive.

      This world-class megadouche should never get a pardon.

  32. Hey, hey, my, my says:

    He’s a racist scumbag, of course he gets away with it in Hollywood.

  33. anne says:

    I may have considered it given his young age at the time and if the victim was on board with it until I read 1 single word in his petition. It is that single word that tells me he isn`t sincerely contrite, as another poster stated, this seems to be part of a bucket list type of exercise (seems to be worried about meeting Saint Peter at the pearly gates one day)! That single word is MAY, “I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims,” . Call me a cynic but sounds like, 1. This was written by a lawyer(s) and not him personally or heartfelt, 2. Appears to be more worried about civil liability that may come out as a result of his admission of guilt. Bottom line is one of his victims IS blind in one eye as a result of his attack, there is no may about it.

    • Amy says:


      First legalise never reads as being authentic so the fact his words have been written by a lawyer to essentially push off any responsibility is disconcerting.

      But then to completely ignore the severity of what he did, why and how it effected the victim? No thanks. He needs to live with that on his record and shame on him! He’s not some child anymore. Three decades he could have gotten the stones to confront the man and basically throw himself at his feet.

      This is something he should have left alone because now folks are talking and it’s disgusting to hear his detachment.

  34. Ginger says:

    You can overcome your past and become a better person but that does not negate your past actions. I don’t understand his reasoning in seeking a pardon. What is that going to change? Perhaps he should instead focus on reparations for his victim (s). (I don’t know if he already has or not).

  35. FingerBinger says:

    It’s interesting that he’s asking for a pardon. I think he could have quietly had this expunged from his record since he was 16 and it was over 20 years ago.

    • Kiddo says:

      I think it might be easier to expunge records on nonviolent crimes and he was charged as an adult.

      • FingerBinger says:

        You’re probably right. I know someone who is trying to get a drug conviction from the early 90’s expunged. That’s what made me think of it.

  36. Eleonor says:

    If he really wanted the pardon he should have apologized privately to the victim. That’s the only pardon he should look for.

  37. skipper says:

    He should never get a pardon for that. He took away someone’s sight forever. At 16, you know the difference between right and wrong. I can’t believe he would even try to get one. What a prick.

  38. GingerCrunch says:

    Here’s my thought: he is SO unattractive! And knowing all this makes him even more so. I can hardly stand looking at his new trailer when I’m at the movies. Superficial as hell, I know, but oh well…

  39. Triple Cardinal says:

    Count me as being underwhelmed by his church references. He’s been with Rhea Durham since 2001. They married in 2009. Which means three of their four kids were born out of wedlock. And for this, he’s chockfull of excuses.

    Rhea wanted to convert. This took time.
    And she didn’t want to have the ceremony while noticeably pregnant. This took time.
    And he wanted his Boston priest to marry them in California. Scheduling this took time.

    I can find no good reason go expunge this man’s record. AFAIK, he’s not apologized or paid restitution. He DOES have an ulterior motive. And he dismisses or glosses over the facts of the case.

    The Committee should be as dismissive of this application as Wahlberg has been of his victims.

  40. Marianne says:

    Does he need really need the pardon though? Yes, he is overall a better person now but its not like he’s struggling for work because of that incident or anything.

  41. ukbound says:

    Wow. I wish going to church regularly really did make people better. He should be paying his victims, if he has not done that, he does not deserve anything. That is the least he should do.

  42. rahrahrooey says:

    FOH Marky Mark!

  43. nicegirl says:

    My opinion – NOPE, not fair. Wrong.

  44. db says:

    F**k him. NO.

    Lilacflowers explains his probable reasons for wanting a pardon, but my opinion is he should not get one. He did what he did. Good for him he’s moved on, he’s a savvy business guy, but none of that should allow him to try to erase history or its consequences for his victim.

  45. may23 says:

    I think he should be pardoned. It should be about forgiving otherwise what is the point? I also think Mark should get in touch with the man he had blinded, maybe give him a (generous) gift of money or something like that.

    • Triple Cardinal says:

      He’s had three decades to make amends. The only thing we know is that he has forgiven himself and sleeps well at night. Guilt? Not for him!

      He wants this pardon only because it’s financially expedient.

      End of story.

      • may23 says:

        I don’t know his true motives but if he can make it up to the guy he had hurt, it should be between them. The guy who lost his eye should be the one deciding whether Mark can or cannot be forgiven. Whether he waited several years or not isn’t crucial. If a person wants to genuinely make up for something he did in the past everyone would win.
        I’m not familiar with financial benefits of being pardoned, but if the question is whether or not the person should make up for his mistake, I say – yes.

    • anne_000 says:

      If he really felt bad about what he did, then he would have found his victim years ago instead of now trying to get a pardon without even caring about apologizing to his victim face to face.

      Like someone upthread posted, he thinks that because he did some good deeds he thinks he shouldn’t feel guilty about what he did to that man and still believes he doesn’t need to apologize to his victim.

      If this pardon is really about forgiveness, then he needs to ask for forgiveness from his victim, but his not doing so sounds like he wants it for his own ego and benefit.

      It sounds like with his various racist attacks mentioned upthread, his ego can’t stand to apologize to his non-white victims but wants a pardon to enlarge his ego.

  46. Catty says:

    He is still a racist – does no one remember when he became “Marky Mark” him & his entourage had a big fight with Madonna & her entourage & Madonna said it was because Mark was calling her friends “f****ts”. Screw him & his pardon – I cannot stand this smug punk!!

  47. funnybonee says:

    Just because its legal to seek a pardon does not make it right. In my opinion case law was largely written by the winning side-namely the defense attorney. Defense attorneys billboard for their wares is winning by whatever it takes,not right vs wrong. In Mr Wahlbergs example, everybody knows right from wrong and a pardon for a life altering violence is obviously wrong. Just to have the arrogant guts to ask for a pardon is evidence of a dis-connect between himself and others. The same thing that can cause violent blinding.

  48. Ari says:

    How come he doesn’t offer his victim with all the money he makes a little help? That Man is blind in one eye : his life was changed forever ..

    • may23 says:

      I hope he did (does) help the man. That would be the right and best thing to do – make it up to the man you hurt.

  49. lunchcoma says:

    Ridiculous. He’s already received large amounts of mercy and forgiveness – he served a short sentence for causing someone permanent injury, and subsequently was employed and welcomed into social circles with little criticism for his former crime. There are many people convicted of non-violent drug crimes who’ve both had to serve longer sentences and had far more trouble finding housing, work, and social acceptance.

    But I’m tough about pardons. I think they should be reserved for cases where the person appears to be innocent, where the judicial process was so flawed or bigoted that its decision shouldn’t be attached to anyone, and for cases where the crime the person was prosecuted for shouldn’t have been a crime in the first place.

    This is the kind of loophole that lets unjust restrictions against people who committed crimes long ago. After all, who cares how many thousands of working class people and people of color might face challenges that make it difficult to earn a living and find somewhere to live because of their long ago crimes, so long as we’re able to make sure that the occasional rich white celebrity is able to expand his business holdings.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      ^ THIS.

    • No lipservice please says:

      Apparently Wahlberg has neither apologized to his victim nor offered financial compensation. To me this doesn’t really look like redemption. I don’t care how much charities he supports. I don’t even know how much he gives to charity so I can’t judge if he merely shows up twice a year or if he is involved more heavily.
      But surely helping your victims should be part of an honest redemtion?

      Another question:
      Is it possible to influence the governor’s decision regarding the pardon by don_atin_g serious Mo__Ney to his p__art_y? Not that I accuse anybody of doing that. Just wondering…

  50. sarah says:

    I don’t watch anything Mark Wahlberg is in. He is a self righteous, hateful human being who is lucky to have been born with privilege. Is this a new tactic to erase the past “blemishes” of white, rich people?

  51. Tippy says:

    When does karma catch up to Mark Wahlberg?

    He’s gone from a low-life thug who dodged an attempted murder sentence to a successful rapper, model and movie star. His criminal and racist past hasn’t adversely affected his career WHATSOEVER.

    Furthermore, he narrowly missed boarding one of the doomed 9/11 flights at Logan Airport.

    Wahlberg should be content with the charmed life he leads and the numerous second chances he’s received.

    Seeking a pardon for his crimes just rubs salt in his victim’s wounds.

  52. Penny Dreadful says:

    I am at a lost of words. This is an example of white privilege at its finest. America is losing its mind over the killing of two black men in which their crimes were 1) walking in the middle of a street and 2) selling untaxed cigarettes. Both men are dead, yet, a 16 year old Mark Wahlberg can commit a hate crime and still become on of Hollywood’s most successful actors and producers. And still, that isn’t enough for him. It isn’t enough that he mimicked the very people he had disdain for and launched a music career. It isn’t enough that as a convicted felon, he was able to become a successful man, when most men of color who commit non-violent crimes are given decades. Now, after making a human being handicapped for the rest of his life, this selfish prick wants to be pardoned? Really? Please. I pray Deval Patrick has more sense than this. I hope he looks at what is going on in the streets of America and realize that in some instances, money doesn’t mean a damn thing. Let this filthy pig live with his crime. If he were really sorry, he would have made sure his victim was taken care of. And instead of blowing himself and believing his own hype, in his statement it would have been great if he acknowledge the pain he caused. What a jerk.

  53. Debutante says:

    I never could stand this POS. He is white trash personified. No mattet how much he cleans up his image, no matter how many millions he makes and how high his hollywood star ascends, he still looks like he needs to be pressure washed !! Skanky scum.

  54. Debutante says:

    Hey marky mark you dumbass, why don’t you ask the man you blinded in one eye for his forgiveness. And ask yourself how much you would pay NOT to have one of your eyes knocked out? Then give that amount to your victim. You can afford it. And there’s your pardon, jackass.

  55. jenn12 says:

    People have an allergy to personal responsibility and always look to blame someone for their mistakes. In this case, he is trying to blame being young and dumb. This is why I tell my kids and students that you have to think long term because short term doesn’t work. At 16, Mark made a mistake that affected the victim for his entire life. Mark hasn’t been affected at all, so the crime hanging over his head is a small price for him to pay and it’s richly deserved.

  56. A. Key says:

    He left a man permanently blind and got 45 days in prison?!
    I thought the US justice system was better than that.
    Would he be willing to give pardon if the situation was reversed and someone left him blind at the age of 16?? HUH???

  57. tarheel says:

    He’s never apologized for his violent assault of SEVERAL people nor made financial restitution. He says he’s a big ole Christian now so doesn’t have to apologize or feel remorse. For real, he has said that.

    He wants a liquor license, and can’t get it with this conviction. Period.

    He’s now on my boycott list.


    • No lipservice please says:

      Thank you for your comment.
      So it is about the liquor license? It is all self-serving then?

  58. Kim says:

    i always thought this guy had secrets ,he looks disturbed to me just look in those eyes of his .

  59. LaurieH says:

    No, no and no. 45 days for permanently blinding a man is too light of a sentence even for a minor. 26 years later, Mark is an insanely wealthy man and yet his victim is STILL blind. And what does Mark want? He wants an official pardon for his crime. He says he goes to church all the time. Well, then the church should tell him that part of the process of forgiveness from God is to make restitution to his victim. Catholics, for example, are required to do this if possible. Has he reached out to the man? He apparently asked God for forgiveness and is now asking the government for a pardon, but has he reached out to this man and apologized to him and asked him for his forgiveness? Had Mark done this after he was successful, he would have been sued civilly and made to pay for the permanent damage he caused. But because he was just 16, that didn’t happen. He should make restitution to this man now (or create a charitable fund in his name if the man has since passed.) Getting a pardon from the government doesn’t erase what he did. He should be less concerned about clearing his name and more concerned with clearing his conscience.

    • No lipservice please says:

      I believe Wahlberg could still be sued, can’t he? Just because he was too young / without income when it happened that doesn’t mean he can’t be made to pay later. – As far as I know.
      ( I don’t really question milder sentences for minors.)

      He should really offer some kind of financial assistance to his victim. Mark got 45 days but his victim is blind for life. And he can afford to give some help.

      Also Catholics have to make up for whatever they destroy – as far as I know.
      Also Catholics – as well as most other religions – have to help the poor and the ill …

  60. vv007 says:

    At the end of the day if the victim has forgiven him then what more does a pardon really accomplish? There are no do-overs, there are no clean slates in life. It’s very self serving and symbolic at most.

    I really dislike this guy. He’s such a punk.

  61. No lipservice please says:


    Mark, if you are truly sorry about that what you have done I think you should pay your victim some substantial financial compensation. Your victim has suffered a significant loss of body functions and I believe it is more difficult to live as a blind person than to live as a non-blind person. You have the means to help your victim so please do that.
    You can’t give back sight to your victim. But you can surely help the victim. And supporting some state foundations or private charities for the victims of crime would be a good idea as well.
    I don’t care much for excuses or lip service. I watch out for actions.

    See 57. tarheel who wrote that Wahlberg wanted a liquor license and that one can’t get it if one has a criminal record … If that is true then Wahlberg is all self-serving especially if he has never apologized to his victim and not offered financial assistance / compensation.

    • DrMrsTheMonarch says:

      My guess is that it’s actually three things… The liquor license; the fact that felons can’t own or even handle guns in some states adding to the expense of some film roles he might be considered for; and the fact that you can’t travel to some countries with a felony record.

      At any rate, he’s a huge blow hard and no one to look up to. I’ve enjoyed some of his films, but in spite of him, not because of him.

  62. LAK says:

    And what does his victim have to say about this?

  63. poe says:

    As anyone considered that maybe the victims have passed away? So there’s no one to object? Family might be able to but it won’t be as big of an impact.

  64. MtnRunner says:

    Lainey’s editorial on this was absolutely f-ing brilliant. I wish someone on the board of pardons would read it. No way in hell should this entitled d-bag be allowed to erase this crime from his record.

  65. Lauraq says:

    If he’s found God and tried to be a better person, good for him. However, he was guilty. He did it, and admits it. Why on earth should he be pardoned? The pardon from God is the only one he should be worrying about.