TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jack Roland Murphy, the famed jewel thief and surfer known as Murph the Surf, has spent the last quarter-century going into prisons and telling inmates that they could still turn their lives around.
Murphy, now 75 and living in Crystal River, said he thought it was time he tried to get his own bit of redemption. He asked the state of Florida to restore his civil rights despite the fact he spent nearly 20 years in prison for murder.
I'd like to be able to go to these guys I talk with and say ‘Listen, I just came back from the governor's office and received favor' because I have been working with the system and trying to do the right thing, Murphy told Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet on Thursday.
The answer: No.
Scott was willing to restore Murphy's rights, but not the other three Cabinet members, including Attorney General Pam Bondi. Under Florida law the governor cannot grant clemency without the yes votes of two additional Cabinet members.
The jewel heist was the subject of a 1975 movie, Murph the Surf, starring Don Stroud and Robert Conrad.
Murphy spent nearly two years in jail.