Late comedian Lenny Bruce has been pardoned for an obscenity conviction, 37 years after his death.

The comic was convicted in 1964 of "giving an obscene performance" at the CAFE AU GO GO in New York, and died two years later, aged 40, of a drug overdose.

Yesterday (23DEC03), Governor GEORGE PATAKI said the pardon represented the city's commitment to Americans' constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.

He said, "Freedom of speech is one of the greatest American liberties and I hope this pardon serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms we are fighting to preserve."

The seminal comedian was renowned for his near-the-knuckle performances, which often included raunchy subject matters such as sex, religion and racism.

He had tried - unsuccessfully - to overturn his conviction before he died.

24/12/2003 01:12