Early this month we reported on the story of Brian Aitken, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for gun possession violations in New Jersey. You may remember that Mr. Aitken was moving from one residence to another when he was arrested for having legally purchased, unloaded and stored handguns in his trunk:
In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaserâ€™s permit from New Jersey to own the guns and a carry permit to have them in his car.
He also was charged with having â€œlarge capacityâ€ magazines and hollow-point bullets, which one state gun-control advocate found troubling.
They gave Mr. Aitken seven years for this victimless crime. At the time, we were outraged by the sentence:
Mr. Aitkens should not have been arrested or tried in the first place. Second, the fact that he was given seven years for this victimless â€œcrimeâ€ is a travesty and afront to the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, which is supposed to protect Americans against excessive cruel and unusual punishments.
Can anyone rightly argue that this punishment is not excessive, unusual, or cruel? Then again, given our modern day justice system, this doesnâ€™t seem to be too unusual.
While innocent Americans, convicted of victimless crimes, are given excessive prison sentences for nothing, Wall Street bankers responsible for the destruction of our economic system and the lives of millions are not only not convicted, theyâ€™re rarely, if ever, even indicted.
Good news from New Jersey today – as we learn that Brian Aitkens has had his prison sentence commuted to time served by order of Governor Chris Christie.
Brian Aitken, who was convicted of illegally possessing three handguns he had legally purchased in Colorado, will be out of prison in time for Christmas.
Gov. Chris Christie commuted Aitken’s sentence Monday, from seven years to time served, according to an order signed by the governor. It was Christie’s first commutation since taking office almost a year ago.
“We are overjoyed at the news,” his younger brother Robert Aitken said in an e-mail. “It’s been an extremely emotional time and we all had our own doubts at one time or another I’m sure. I was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst — for this to be the first battle of a long war to get him out of jail.”
Mr. Aitken got lucky in our view. His personal story happened across the desk of the governor, but there are likely tens of thousands, perhaps millions of individuals sitting in prisons across America for victimless crimes.
And, while it is great that Mr. Aitken is no longer in prison, the idea that his prison sentence was commuted as opposed to a full pardon is somewhat troubling. Clearly, Mr. Aitken’s Constitutional protections were violated – at a minimum, the 2nd and 8th amendments. Aitken served four months of his life in prison – four months he will never get back – for harming no one.
We can only speculate about Governor Christie’s motivations in this particular instance. Did he commute Mr. Aitken’s sentence because he believed in compassion and justice? Or, is this a political move designed to increase his popularity among gun owners for a possible 2012 Presidential bid?
Whatever the case, at least one man can go free. If the Governor seeks true justice and compassion, perhaps he’ll spend some time looking at other victimless crimes in New Jersey and free others who have been unjustly imprisoned.
Hat tip Anthony and Commander Zero
has anyone ever sued a state like NJ or MD for either not coming to their aide fast enough to defend them or for their not allowing people to defend themselves? could be an interesting argument.
I donated money to his cause and I was glad to see him freed. I also wanted a full pardon, but it’s nonetheless encouraging to see this action – especially in a state with one of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws.
Thanks Gov. Christie and congratulations Brian.
First, there is significant case law protecting the police for failing to protect citizens. They are under no obligation to prevent crime or protect you. Only to investigate and persecute criminals after the fact.
Second, not trying to be mean, I am glad he is with his family for Christmas, but he is the dumbA$$ that moved to New Jersey. With Guns. DUH!
Now i want to know..did they give the man back his property? or is there some cop walking around with his guns?
If i were him i would sue the pants off that state..obviously they know they were wrong.
Where are the mans Guns you seized? Huh?
As far as im concerned he better report his guns stolen, and he has the cops name&Â badge number as the prime suspect., Return the mans property, or be sued for it, and prosecuted for theft of a firearm..maybe there is someone else that needs to to 5 to 7 for illegal possesion of his firearms?
Well they wouldn’t have given him back his property because he is still a convicted felon, and therefore cannot own guns.Â I wrote and called the governor in support of Brian, and am certainly happy to see him home, but am a bit disappointed as well to see his sentence commuted instead of a full pardon.Â Hopefully he can win his appeals process and have his felony conviction overturned.
well he shouldnt be concitered a convicted felon..and it will be amazing how fast they” lose” your shit, when you come to get what is rightfully yours.
and as it seems this state just made this man a taget for someone to violate..because he will now not have anyway to protect himself…or maybe that was part of the plan?
I bet a dollar if he is able to appeal this, they wont have his property to give back..he will be given a lame ass excuse and told to be on his way..
Excellent for Brian.Â He’s gotta be so damn happy to be free right now, he probably isn’t too upset about loosing his guns.Â I agree with you all though.Â He should get a huge paycheck for his troubles and his guns back cleaned and loaded!Â
Comments…..glad he is free to return home. sorry he did not get a full pardon and his guns back. seems to me that if i were in his shoes i would be packing my stuff and moving away, far away from new jersey and any other place that has gun phobia.
This government can go fuck itself. It’s a wonder that good people sit by and let themselves get run over by these reprehensible people. We need to clean these people out!!! Maybe our forefathers are right: it will take the loss of blood to keep this place from becoming progressive. And I don’t mean the loss of our blood, but theirs!
Of course everybody is happy the guy got out.
But it amazes me that so many are disappointed in the legal system for not doing the right thing.Â That is to be expected.Â He was not arrested or tried as a Man.Â It is simply a matter of one corporation punishing another, and then another corporation trying to resolve it for political gain.Â There was not a single Man present or speaking at any stage of the proceedings.
Good luck going to the corporations court as one of its rightless legal fictions.Â
Commutation of the sentence is not enough. The agreement to let him go probably stipulates that he cannot sue the state of New Jersey. He still has a felony arrest and conviction.
A full pardon cannot come soon enough for this man, and for US!
Commuted by the NJ gov because it was the proper thing to do?
Or perhaps this mess will go away.
See US Supreme Court opinions :
District of Columbia v Heller
McDonald et al v City of Chicago, Illinois et al
I sure hope Brian Aitken takes the money and runs as far away from Jersey as possible.
Comments…..I live in a world where soccer moms and dads, in there gas guzzling SUVs, are convinced by the corporate media that people like this should be convicted as a criminal. When I show them the Peace silver dollar that I carry in my pocket, to remind me of when we had constitutional money, they look at me and say things like wow that’s cool where did you FIND that. They have no clue that our economy, through the FEDERAL RESERVE, is being systematically destroyed and their blind faith in the dollar will decimate them when hyperinflation arrives. If they only knew that I conceal carry every chance I get. The CONSTITUTION states” the rights of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed upon.” The cops who arrested this guy should be ashamed of them selves. They swore an oath to defend the CONSTITUTION. I wish my dad and his brother were still alive to see how our spoiled rotten masses would rather watch some ridiculous reality show or buy some trinkets at CHINAMARTÂ than learn how they are being fleeced by the ultra elite ( BANKSTERS). They fought during WWII and were part of the last great generation. I fear for the future of my children. This country is headed for disaster the likes that have never been seen in the history of the world. How are we going to get out of this? We are headed towards a complete economic collapse and total Government control. I feel like we are repeating history and there is nothing we can do about it. Welcome to SERFDOM.Â
The only thing I don’t understand is what could possibly have possessed him to move from Colorado to… New Jersey?????
The only thing I donâ€™t understand is what could possibly have possessed him to move from Colorado toâ€¦ New Jersey?????
I dont know, but i would be moving back, and be buying all new guns and ammo..
and i wouldnt spend a dollar of mine in that state or give them any tax money