by the Left Coast Rebel
We didn't cover the story here but certainly were aware of it, the case of New Jersey resident Brian Aitken (pictured right) convicted to seven years in prison for the possession of two handguns that he legally purchased in Colorado.
Allahpundit provides some background:
...he’s a cause celebre among libertarians and Second Amendment fans — for good reason. In a nutshell: He bought three guns, entirely legally, when he was living in Colorado and brought them back to New Jersey with him when he moved home to be closer to his son. To make sure he had his i’s dotted and t’s crossed, he called New Jersey police for guidance on how to transport them. He had the guns in the trunk of his car, unloaded and safely locked in a case, and was allegedly en route to his new home in Hoboken when he got a call from New Jersey police asking him to drive to his mother’s home. She had phoned them because she was worried that Aitken was suicidal; when he arrived, the cops arrested him for possessing handguns without a permit.Today's news brings a welcome and surprising end to this story of the New Jersey police state prosecution and resulting jailing of Brian Aitken. Governor Chris Christie manned-up and sent Brian home for Christmas:
....whether Aitken was driving home or just driving around with guns is a question of fact, not of law; there’s no reason not to inform the jury of the exemption and let them decide what happened. But then, Morley also didn’t let the jury know that Aitken had called police in advance to make sure he was transporting his guns properly. (For more on the judge, read down to the end of this piece on Aitken to see which ruling led Christie to dump him from the bench.) Left with no grounds to acquit the guy, the jury convicted him of unlawful possession and sentenced him … to seven years in prison. A perfect ending to a perfectly Kafkaesque story.
This is a sign of true gusto and leadership from Governor Christie. It's too bad that George W. Bush didn't do the right thing right off the bat in the case of jailed border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, instead commuting their sentences on his last full day in office yet sitting idly by for two years as the two rotted away in prison.
Brian Aitken, who was convicted of illegally possessing two handguns that he had legally purchased in Colorado, will be spending Christmas out of prison.
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.”
Discussion at Memeorandum