Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Jersey: Christie to Usurp Legislature, Pardon "Classes" of Persons

As a presidential candidate, Thomas Jefferson promised to pardon everyone who sat in prisons because they convicted the Alien Sedition Acts of the Adams administration. We don't know if there were commentators accusing him of usurping the legislature and unconstitutionally considering clemency for "classes" of persons. Then again, back then, people were a lot smarter, when it came to pardons, than they appear to be today.

Now comes New Jersey governor Chris Christie who says he will pardon several out-of-staters who were legally permitted to carry their firearms in their home states, but were arrested in New Jersey under the State's "tough" gun laws.

NJ.com reports:
Elizabeth J. Griffith, of Daytona Beach, Fla., was arrested by U.S. Park Police on July 14 during a visit to Liberty State Park in Jersey City and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. She could face a ten year prison sentence because her Florida state-issued permit to carry a handgun is not recognized by New Jersey. 
Christie supports a firearm permit reciprocity law that would honor out-of-state gun carry permits, but says that he does not expect the Democratic-controlled legislature to cooperate. Says he:
"I think the law is wrong ... We need to be smarter about the way we do this ... this is just not the right way to do these things ... I don't know why the Legislature won't change something like this ... I can do what I can do during the intervening time, which is if I think someone's been treated unjustly, we're gonna use the pardon and the clemency authority the governor has under the constitution, as we've done with Steffon Josey-Davis, and Brian Aitken and Shaneen Allen, and we'll continue to do with others going forward if circumstances are appropriate."
This is different from President Obama commuting the prison sentences of some persons convicted under outdated sentencing laws which both parties in both chamber of Congress have deemed ineffective and unfair ... how ??? See story here.

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