Ex-Prosecutor: Mark Wahlberg Should Acknowledge Racism

Ex-Prosecutor: Mark Wahlberg Should Acknowledge Racism

Lawyer says star shouldn't be pardoned without apology.

Published January 15, 2015

Mark Wahlberg's youth came back to haunt him in recent weeks when the actor asked a judge for a pardon for incidents in 1986 and 1988 in which he was charged for hate crimes.

Now, a former state prosecutor named Judith Beals, who secured a civil rights injunction against a young Wahlberg after he hurled rocks and racial epithets at Black school children, says he shouldn’t be pardoned for attacks on a pair of Asian men two years later.

Page Six reports Beals said Tuesday she believes in “forgiveness and reconciliation,” but that Wahlberg’s request should be denied because he hasn’t acknowledged the racial element of his crimes in documents he filed with the state last November.

“That acknowledgment of the crime and that facing of history is absolutely critical in the issuing of a pardon,” she said.

The Boston native, who went from troubled teen to underwear sensation and then an A-list actor nominated for an Oscar, acknowledged in his pardon application that he was high on marijuana and drugs at the time. He said he’s dedicated himself to becoming a better person as an adult.

“I’ve been looking for redemption (since) the day I woke up and realized that I done some horrific things and was on a path of self-destruction, as well as causing a lot of people harm,” Wahlberg, 43, said in December. “When I decided to go and petition for a pardon, it wasn’t based on the things I accomplished in my career. It’s been the things I’ve been able to do in my personal life: giving back to the community and helping kids, especially inner-city kids and at-risk youth and kids growing up in that same situation.”

According to court filings in that 1986 case, which Beals prosecuted, Wahlberg and two white friends chased three black siblings in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, throwing rocks and yelling racial epithets.

The following day, Wahlberg and a larger group of white friends harassed a group of mostly black fourth-graders until an ambulance driver intervened. Two years later, Wahlberg hit a Vietnamese man in the head with a wooden stick while trying to steal alcohol from a convenience store. Wahlberg served 45 days of a two-year sentence for his crimes.

Beals argued that Wahlberg’s status and wealth should not place him in a better position than others to erase his misdeeds. She also suggested hate crimes should be held to a higher standard.

It's not clear when, if at all, the Massachusetts state parole board will hear Wahlberg's request.

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(Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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