There's going to be some extra celebrating this Christmas at Robert Downey Jr.'s house, as the "Iron Man" star was one of 91 individuals granted a full pardon on Christmas Eve by California Gov. Jerry Brown, according to the L.A. Times.
The pardon, effective immediately, forgives Downey for his litany of drug offenses in the 1990s, for which he spent a total of two years and eight months in prison. He completed his parole in 2002. In 1996, he was arrested on drug charges three times in one month. In October, Downey obtained an order from L.A. County Superior Court declaring that he has "lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen." That order cleared the path for Gov. Brown's pardon. "Pardons are not granted unless they are earned," the governor's office said in a statement.
"By completion of his sentence and good conduct in the community of his residence since his release, Robert John Downey, Jr. has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon," the official act reads. Pardoning of individuals who have served their time for nonviolent offenses has become a Christmas Eve tradition for Gov. Brown, who last year pardoned 105 California residents — though one had to be reversed after it was discovered that the man in question was recently disciplined by financial regulators.
It's unclear if Downey has any political aspirations or business plans that would be easier to achieve with the pardon, but maybe this was all just a very subtle, elaborate way to stick it to Mark Wahlberg. Either way, Merry Christmas!
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