Superior Court Judge Michael Donio and New Jersey District Attorney Jim McClain decided to let Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, avoid a criminal trial on aggravated assault charges even after video evidence shows Rice dragging his knocked-out, then-fiancée out of an elevator.
In another case, the same judge and prosecutor are moving forward with the prosecution of a Shaneen Allen, who is a black, single mother who legally owns a gun in Pennsylvania, but didn’t know her firearm was illegal in the state of New Jersey when she drove to Atlantic City to prepare for her son’s birthday party.
Allen was pulled over for a traffic violation and immediately alerted police to the fact that she had a .380 Berse Thunder handgun in the car. She was arrested and charged with a felony for unlawful possession of a firearm (New Jersey does not recognize out-of-state gun permits). She now faces a minimum of five years in prison if prosecuted for telling the police about her gun.
Civil liberty advocates and gun rights groups are “Hopping mad that yet another good person with no criminal record, who made an honest mistake is being held to task by politically-motivated prosecutors,” said Nancy Schaffer of Colden NY, a gun owner and Second Amendment rights advocate.
Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program to avoid prosecution. Prosecutor Jim McClain said, “After considering all relevant information in light of applicable law, it was determined that this was the appropriate disposition.”
Shaneen Allen’s attorney tried to get her accepted into a pretrial intervention program to avoid prosecution, as well.
Judge Donio, who let Rice off, denied her motion to allow Allen to participate in a pretrial intervention program and avoid jail. Instead, prosecutors offered Allen 3 ½ year sentence instead of the 5 year minimum. She rejected the deal.
Allen legally purchased her firearm to protect herself and her two sons after being robbed twice in the last year.
“This is yet another example of the politically-motivated judicial system attacking law-abiding citizens simply because they own a gun,” said Stephen Aldstadt, President of SCOPE NY, a gun rights group that is getting out the vote to appeal the SAFE Act in New York.
“This is a single-mother who had been robbed twice and rightfully purchased a gun for her protection, and this judge and prosecutor want to lock her up, and as a result, have her children suffer immeasurably,” he added.
According to the Washington Post, Allen has already spent 40 days in jail.
The New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) is in an all-out educational push in an attempt to educate people in Atlantic City about their rights and juror rights. The group’s website states it is holding several events to do this.
A legal defense fund has been set up to help cover Allen’s legal fees.
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