Friday, April 14, 2017

New Jersey: Commutation of Sentence

Eyewitness News ABC7 notes Governor Christie has granted a commutation of sentence to "a decorated Marine veteran facing a mandatory three years behind bars on a gun charge." Marine Sergeant Hisashi Pompey's conviction stands, but the penalty is gone.
To combat gang violence, New Jersey lawmakers several years ago tacked on mandatory sentences for gun-related offenses. And even though Pompey's firearm was legal, it wasn't registered in New Jersey. The law has been updated to exclude service members, but it didn't apply retroactively to Pompey's case ... Six years ago during a visit to New Jersey, Pompey was at a Fort Lee nightclub when his friend got involved in a fight and grabbed Pompey's gun out of his holster and carried it into a confrontation with police. No shots were fired, and the friend was arrested. But so was Pompey. While his gun was legally registered in Virginia, he had no New Jersey permit and was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun ... Pompey had lost an appeal and was set to surrender to authorities next week, meaning his only hope was with Governor Christie, whom Pompey had petitioned for a pardon. 
Because his weapons charge fell under the state's Graves Act, the judge had no discretion in the sentencing. See full story here.

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