SACRAMENTO - California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday pardoned Robert Downey Jr. for a nearly 20-year-old felony drug conviction that sent the Oscar-nominated actor to jail for nearly a year.
Brown's office announced that Downey was among 91 people granted pardons for criminal convictions after demonstrating they had rehabilitated themselves.
While the pardon does not erase records of a conviction, it does restore voting rights and is a public proclamation that the person has remained out of trouble and demonstrated "exemplary behavior," according to materials on Brown's website.
Downey, who was once a courthouse mainstay for a series of drug-related arrests, has become perhaps Hollywood's greatest success story for career and addiction rehabilitation.
Since 2008, Disney has entrusted Downey to portray "Iron Man" in a series of blockbuster films, including "The Avengers," based on the Marvel comic books.
Downey, 50, is a two-time Oscar nominee for his roles in 1992's "Chaplin" and 2008's "Tropic Thunder."
The actor's legal troubles began in June 1996 when he was stopped for speeding on the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles County and authorities found cocaine, heroin and a pistol in his vehicle.
In 1999, he was sent to prison for nearly a year after he acknowledged violating his probation.
A proclamation released by Brown's office says Downey obtained the pardon after getting a judge to issue a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
The process showed Downey has "lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen," according to the proclamation.
It also states Downey "has paid his debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon."
An email sent to Downey's publicist was not immediately returned.
AP/Dec. 24, 2015
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.