Judith Beals wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe on January 12, 2015, headlined: “Don’t Pardon Mark Wahlberg.”
Why the Boston Globe decided to publish an op-ed written by her on Mark Wahlberg’s pursuit of a pardon is baffling. She writes: “I prosecuted Mark Wahlberg for his actions 26 years ago when I was an assistant attorney general.” She was admitted to the bar on December 17, 1985. She is now a resident at the Harvard Divinity School. She states she has retired from the practice of law. The end of the article says she “served in the civil rights division under Attorney Generals Jim Shannon and Scott Harshbarger.” I find many problems with accepting her views on Mark Wahlberg’s request for a pardon.
Here’s the first problem I found. The incident occurred on June 15 and 16, 1986. The attorney general at the time was Frank Bellotti. I wondered if she knew that.
Here’s the next problem: if she was involved in the case under Bellotti, her role was pretty much no more than that of a secretary. That was six months after she passed the bar. It was Assistant Attorney Gen. Joan Entmacher, the chief of Bellotti’s Civil Rights Division, who brought the case. Why did Beals exaggerate her role? Aren’t there any checks made on specious claims?
Another problem is neither she nor anyone in the attorney general’s office ever prosecuted Mark Wahlberg for a criminal act. Bellotti filed a civil complaint (not criminal). A civil trial was held on September 4, 1986, after which an injunction issued finding that “15-year-old Dorchester boy” violated the state’s Civil Rights Act. In the Boston Globe article about this they did not name the boy because he was a juvenile. Beals tells us the boy is Wahlberg having little problem disclosing his identity.
Then she says about the incident that happened in 1986 was at a time “when Boston was still under court order to desegregate its public school system and racial tension was high” which is not really correct. I represented the Boston Schools in the busing case and that was back in 1974 to 1976; by 1986 the racial tensions in the city had mostly disappeared and Judge Garrity who imposed the busing ended his day-to-day supervision in December 1982, and on May 31, 1985 withdrew from monitoring the case.
Why Beals tangential involvement in a Wahlberg civil matter give her a forum is beyond me. Wahlberg is not asking for any relief from the civil prosecution, It is the criminal case from which he seeks a pardon. Beals had nothing to do with that. Beals never prosecuted Wahlberg for any criminal act. Yet her story has been carried in the media portraying her as a former prosecutor of Wahlberg which she claims to be. A civil case is not a prosecution. The Washington Post, the Independent, and Time, among others, perpetuate this misconception.
The civil case with which Beals may or may not have had a slight connection occurred at Savin Hill Beach. At the time of its happening it made no news in the media that I can find. The attorney general learned about it because it was reported by a teacher afterwards. In the one newspaper article about it on November 13, 1986, no mention is made of any child being injured as alleged by Beals. (It is behind a fire wall)
I spent my teenage years in Savin Hill. Mark Wahlberg did not have the good fortune to live there. In my day, which was quite a few years before Mark’s, we’d never let kids from his neighborhood come to our beach and they usually stayed away. When I was 15 hanging around the beach in the summer my friends and I did lots of things, not the least was blowing up a PT boat, and got in lots of fights all of which were stupid and wrong. That is the why we have a juvenile court system to recognize that youngsters, especially boys, act irresponsibly. We try to protect them from being stigmatized for life because of their juvenile ignorance.
I was fortunate because the marijuana and cocaine and other drug culture had not set in. Mark Wahlberg who was 15-years-old in 1986 was not so lucky. He did some evil things abetted by youth and drugs such as harassing the black kids; even later when he was sixteen he committed violence on an Asian man. For the latter he was prosecuted and punished which Beals had nothing to do with.
Since that time he has become rich and a famous movie actor. He is married with four kids. He has established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation to help out kids and works with charities assisting homeless women and children contributing millions to help out.
He has asked for a pardon for his crimes. Judith Beals from of all places the Divinity School opposes his request. She continues to dissemble saying “hate crime remain so high in Boston” when they don’t. She says hate crimes should never be forgiven or wiped off the record even when done by a 15-year-old boy which seems to me is the total opposite mindset of a person in residence at that school.
Wahlberg is not asking that the incident at Savin Hill be forgotten or wiped away as Beals suggests. That was never part of his criminal record. He is asking that he be pardoned for his crimes. It is tragic that a woman telling half-truths has been given such a prominent role in opposing him. I suggest that Mark Wahlberg should be given a pardon as an example to all that you can turn your life around, do good for others, and you will be recognized and forgiven.
I hope the Parole Board recommends this and is not effected by the animus behind the writer of the op-ed or the people who gave her the forum on which to try to obfuscate the truth.