MARK Wahlberg's petition to have his 1988 assault conviction overturned has been met with a plea from his prosecutor, who has urged officials not to pardon the actor as it would show that famous white people enjoy special privileges.
In an article for the Boston Globe, Judith Beals wrote that giving Wahlberg a pardon would be "extraordinary". She won a civil rights injunction against the actor and his friends after they allegedly threw rocks and shouted insults at black children during an outing in 1986.
Beals wrote: "Wahlberg's status as a 'role model to troubled youth' would not be helped by a public pardon, as he claims. In fact, a formal public pardon would highlight all too clearly that if you are white and a movie star, a different standard applies. Is that really what Wahlberg wants?"
She added: "Sometimes, wiping the slate clean is not the right thing to do... I prosecuted Wahlberg for his actions 26 years ago when I was an assistant attorney general. Now, as a private citizen, I see no reason why that history should be erased from the public record through a pardon...
"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... I'm glad Mark Wahlberg has turned his life around... But a public pardon is an extraordinary public act... On this, I am not sold," she wrote.
One of Wahlberg's victims, Johnny Trinh, who was punched in the face by then-16-year-old Wahlberg in 1988 has forgiven him. "Everybody deserves a second chance," Trinh explained.
Wahlberg has maintained that he isn't using his fame to get the pardon. "In no way shape or form was I trying to use my celebrity or success to say: 'Well, I feel entitled to get this because of the fame and fortune,'' he said.
"I've worked really hard to be a positive influence for kids growing up in communities like mine who don't really have a chance, and try to provide an opportunity for them to be more successful and that's why I'm doing it."
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