Mark Wahlberg seeks pardon of 1988 conviction for assaulting two Asian men

Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg has asked the state of Massachusetts for a pardon of his 1988 conviction for assaulting two Asian men. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg has asked the state of Massachusetts for a pardon of his 1988 conviction for assaulting two Asian men. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Washington - Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg has asked the state of Massachusetts for a pardon of his 1988 conviction for assaulting two Asian men.

"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," the 43-year-old wrote in his pardon application which was filed on Nov 26 and reported by New England Cable News last Friday. "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 was 16 and high when he tried to steal two cases of beer in Dorchester, a dangerous neighbourhood in Boston, said Washington Post. He hit an Asian man carrying the beer with a wooden stick. While fleeing the police, he hit another Asian man in the face, said the Post. One of the men was blinded in one eye.

Wahlberg was convicted of assault after being charged with attempted murder and other charges, and served 45 days in prison, said New England Cable News.

He is married with four children now. He has given up drugs. He has started The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation to reach out to troubled youth, and attends church nearly every day, said New England Cable News.

But he said in his pardon application: "I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past. 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."

Explaining his application, he said his criminal record was problematic for his application for a concessionaire's licence to help him with his restaurant businesses, and for his work with at-risk youth.

"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," he said. "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."