Thanks to California 's governor. According to reports, the state of California reportedly put Downey on a list of about 95 people set to receive pardons for their convictions. In 1996, Downey was pulled over on a Los Angeles highway with drugs; cocaine, and various other substances in his possession and the vehicle. In 1999, he went to prison for at least a year after acknowledging he had violated his probation.
Also in the vehicle at the time, per records, was a pistol. Gov. Jerry Brown made the announcement via his website, to perhaps, a little backlash. Some say that Downey isn't deserving of a pardon, and only received such, because he's "Robert Downey Jr".