Monday, December 20, 2010

Hats off to Governor Christie!

You may recall my article (and others) last month expressing outrage and pure disdain for the State of New Jersey after a man named Brian Aitken was sent to prison for seven years simply for having two lawfully-purchased firearms packed in among his personal effects in his car.

Well Governor Christie just commuted his sentence, freeing him as soon as the paperwork is processed. Brian Aitken is about to walk out of prison a free man and will be able to spend Christmas at home with his family.
Gov. Chris Christie commuted Aitken's sentence, from seven years to time served, according to an order the governor signed today.

Aitken had appealed to Christie for commutation after being sentenced in August. According to the commutation order, Aitken will be released as "soon administratively possible."

In 2009, Aitken was arrested for possessing two handguns and ammunition -- the guns were unloaded -- after state police found them in the trunk of his car. Aitken was visiting his mother in Burlington County when she became concerned about his well-being and called police.

Aitken, who had recently moved from Colorado where he bought the guns, faced felony charges the same as if he had used the guns to commit a crime.
Thanks to Governor Christie for righting a wrong. I guess that the only real check and balance on an out-of-touch legislature and judicial branch that doesn't respect or follow the Constitution is the election of a Governor who does!

11 comments:

  1. Yeah! Bout damn time... Christie DOES play by the rules, and is doing a good job, in my opinion!

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  2. I would have preferred he gave him a full pardon. With a commutation he's still got a felony on his record over this travesty of justice.

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  3. Well, it should have been a pardon, being the forgiveness of said crime/accusation, instead of commutation, which means that the governor simply says that he has paid enough. Bryan Aitken didn't do anything wrong. His case should never have even been prosecuted; it should have been thrown out.

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  4. Bravo Chris Christie

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  5. I would have liked to see a pardon too, but for some reason, even Aitken's supporters did not seek one, asking for the commutation instead. I have to wonder if NJ law somehow bars a pardon at this stage in the proceedings because it would have seemed like the ideal option, but that said, let us not look a gift horse in the mouth--at least Brian is out of prison.

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  6. As an update, rumor on the NJ legal forums--and take the source for what it's worth--is that Aitken and his people wanted the commutation instead of a pardon so that he can take legal action in the form of a lawsuit against the prosecutor. I don't know that I totally buy it, but it's what I'm hearing. If you hear something different, by all means let me know.

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  7. I read somewhere, sorry, I can't remember exactly where, that he did not ask for pardon as he would have had to admit guilt to be pardoned. That would have affected any lawsuit that he has brewing. And, if it were me, would most likely have made me choke to death.

    Katia

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  8. That seems a little short-sighted. I think I would want the felony off my record more than I want a *potential* payday from a suit. Sometimes it's better to be clear of the idiots and go on with your life.

    Of course, the other side of that is that *somebody* has to fight those who are running roughshod over the rights of the people.

    Tough choice.

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  9. Pardon would have been preferable, but he might still be able to appeal the felony at this point, too.

    Can we just please elevate Christie to King?

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  10. It's about time he was freed!!!

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  11. He is still pursuing the appeal of his sentence. I'm not sure a pardon would have permitted that. There appears to have been some misapplication of law that could be grounds for a successful appeal. With a successful appeal, you get the chance to affect law for the entire state.

    I'm not saying that's their motive, but I'm sure the "not guilty" would be worth more than the "guilty but forgiven."

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