Mark Wahlberg Unofficially Pardoned by His Victim, Reports the Daily Mail

MailOnline says Wahlberg has been forgiven by 'the only person who matters.'

The Mark Wahlberg pardon request saga continues. The actor is currently requesting to be pardoned in Massachusetts for assaulting two Vietnamese men in Dorchester when he was a teenager.

The Daily Mail has reported that they’ve tracked down one of Wahlberg’s victims, Hoa Trinh—who goes by Johnny—and that he says he wholeheartedly forgives Wahlberg for the assault that took place more than two decades ago.

“He was young and reckless but I forgive him now. Everyone deserves another chance,” Trinh told the Daily Mail. He also said that Wahlberg had not blinded him in the left eye during the incident, saying vision out of his left eye was already gone before the assault.

Surprisingly, the story says Trinh didn’t even know that Wahlberg had since become a big-time actor. His forgiveness is a move in Wahlberg’s favor, since official pardons are quite rare.

Another strange part of the story is the Daily Mail’s headline:


OK, that sums it up, but “the only person who matters”? Come on. First, what about the other guy?

Second, if pardons and forgiveness were only required by direct victims of crimes, then wouldn’t people would be getting off the hook for all sorts of things all the time? Can murderers then never be pardoned since their victims are unavailable? Should rapists whose victims forgive them have their records wiped clean? And isn’t the mere act of crime an offense against an entire community? What the heck do we have DAs and juries for anyway?

This is not to suggest one way or another what should be done in Wahlberg’s situation, but the case just isn’t as simple as the good old kindergarten “Say you’re sorry,” scenario. The Internet backlash against Wahlberg’s pardon request is evidence enough that there are some out there who still don’t think he should be cleared.

In other words, Trinh forgives Wahlberg, but have the people of Massachusetts?