When actor Mark Wahlberg was 16 he beat a Vietnamese immigrant named Thanh Lam with a wooden stick and then later that night beat up another Asian man, Hoa Trinh, who lost sight in his right eye due to the beating. Wahlberg was arrested and spent 45 days in jail for the crimes. Now, nearly 30 years later, Wahlberg is asking for a formal pardon from the state of Massachusetts. Why? Wahlberg says if he receives a pardon, “Troubled youths will see this as an inspiration and motivation that they too can turn their lives around.”
Marc Ambinder at The Week compared Wahlberg’s crimes to those of Simon Cho, the world champion speed skater who, at age 20, “sabotaged the skates of a rival on the orders of his coach.” Cho was suspended for two years and has competed since. Cho didn’t commit a crime like Wahlberg, but as Ambinder points out, both “have lessons to impart about making mistakes and about redemption.” Cho apologized directly to his competitor. Think Wahlberg apologized to the two men he beat up?