Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > General Firearms Forums > Legal and Activism > New Jersey gun laws - Guilty till proven you qualify for an exemption

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Old 11-30-2010, 05:29 PM   #21
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I believe the judge was removed from office, due to problems with others of his cases. Very sad, and a broken "justice" system we have when this idiot was allowed to continue impacting others with his incompetence.

The cases he was tossed from office over, as well as any trials he presided over after the cases that lead to his dismissal, should at least receive another trial with a more competent judge.


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Old 12-05-2010, 04:00 AM   #22
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Except, how do you know that you don't know all the information you need to make a conviction.

You have a point. Even in the article, it mentions that the jury asked if there were ways to not convict Aitken, but the judge refused to tell them/allow them to be told.

When you serve on a jury, you're told "If you do X, Y, and Z, you're guilty of crime X. Your job is to determine if, beyond a reasonable doubt, person A did X, Y, and Z, and, by extension, is guilty of this crime. If you believe he did X, Y, and Z, you must vote guilty."

The jurors weren't comfortable with the decision, because they didn't know that the law actually was "unless you're doing K, in which case it doesn't matter that you were doing X, Y, Z." They were told that there were no exemptions to the gun law, and anyone in violations of the gun law were guilty.

Imagine, if you will, that you're a juror who has no knowledge of the fact that you can kill a person in self defense and it doesn't count as murder. You're told that if a person A kills person B, he is guilty of murder, and are presented with OVERWHELMING evidence that person A did, in fact, kill person B. If you were never told (or even aware) that the law has an exemption of "unless that person tries to kill you first, in which case it is okay to kill him back faster," the oath you took as a juror means that you'd have to find him guilty.

The problem was entirely the judge and his .... complete disregard for the law. A judge is supposed to present the law to the FULL extent for the jurors. I could even forgive if he didn't tell them off the bat. But REFUSING to let them know about the exemption was total B.S.
In response to your first sentence. From what I heard about this case, the defense argued during the trial that there is indeed an exemption in the law that would allow a person to posess firearms under certain circumstances. Now, if while we were in the jury room, and the Judge refused to provide the appropriate statute in writing to us, I, as a thinking citizen would realize that someone was hiding something. Either the defense attorney, who is also an "officer of the court", was lying, or the Judge for some reason was refusing to answer the jury's question. Who do I believe? To me, I now have "reasonable doubt". How can I vote to convict if I don't have all the info? I don't belive the defense attorney is lying and the Judge won't answer my questions.

I do agree with you that the major problem was with the Judge, but that does not excuse the jurors who have the ultimate say in the outcome of a trial. Not one of them it seems to me was willing to go out on a limb against this Judge and his incompetence. I for one would have refused to vote for conviction. NOT GUILTY!
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:51 AM   #23
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well the real issue is that the law is unconstitutional as it violates the guy's civil rights to bear arms.

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Old 12-05-2010, 06:09 AM   #24
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well the real issue is that the law is unconstitutional as it violates the guy's civil rights to bear arms.
Exactly, I am hoping that the high amount of coverage this case is getting and the fact that Evan Napane is his defense attorney may provide a SCOTUS case for NJ 2A restoration. NJ has basically inserted themselves into the Federal Safe Passage laws and preempted them in their prosecution of this man, the Judges apparent misconduct is a secondary matter...the fact remains that the arrest of this man was done under a misinterpretation of the Federal law. If allowed to stand, every NJ gunowner will be at risk of being arrested traveling to and from home and a gun range, exactly the type of abuse the Federal Firearms Transport laws were intended to prevent.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #25
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Exactly, I am hoping that the high amount of coverage this case is getting and the fact that Evan Napane is his defense attorney may provide a SCOTUS case for NJ 2A restoration. NJ has basically inserted themselves into the Federal Safe Passage laws and preempted them in their prosecution of this man, the Judges apparent misconduct is a secondary matter...the fact remains that the arrest of this man was done under a misinterpretation of the Federal law. If allowed to stand, every NJ gunowner will be at risk of being arrested traveling to and from home and a gun range, exactly the type of abuse the Federal Firearms Transport laws were intended to prevent.
You NJ gun owners got my respect for staying in the state and putting up with all that garbage. I am a NJ native but moved out in the early 80's, first to Vermont where firearms ownership is truly respected. I then lived in Iowa for awhile (now they went "shall issue") and have been in Pa for the last 3 years. Keep up the good fight. Hopefully some meaningful change can happen. You have got to get rid of those anti-gun Dems, then maybe something will happen. At least now you have got a decent man as Governor. Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:13 AM   #26
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Great News!

Just got this in response to my email to the Governor.

Quote:
Office of the Governor
Office of Constituent Relations
Post Office Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE ELECTRONIC RESPONSE


Please see below the signed commutation order for Brian Aitken, signed by Governor Christie at 4:30 pm today.

ORDER FOR COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE

WHEREAS, Brian D. Aitken was convicted of Possession of Dum-Dum
Bullets in the Fourth Degree in violation of N.J.S.A 2C:39-3(f)(l), Possession of
Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine in the Fourth Degree in violation of
N.J.S.A 2C:39-3(j), and Unlawful Possession of a Handgun in the Second
Degree in violation of N.J.S.A 2C:39-5(b) in the Superior Court, Law Division
(Criminal), Burlington County, New Jersey, and was sentenced on August 27,
2010 under Indictment No. 09-03-00217-1 to a seven-year term of imprisonment
with a three-year mandatory minimum; and

WHEREAS, the said Brian D. Aitken, caused to be made a written
application to the Governor for a Commutation of Sentence for the aforesaid
crimes of which he was convicted, and the State Parole Board, upon request of
the Governor in accordance with the law, has made an investigation of the facts
and circumstances concerning said application for a Commutation of Sentence;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS CHRISTIE, Governor of the State of New
Jersey by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution of New
Jersey and the statutes of this State, do hereby grant to the said Brian D. Aitken,
a commutation of the aforesaid sentence to time sewed, and satisfied on
December 20,2010.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Brian D. Aitken's release from the
custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections be effected as soon as
administratively possible, or within a reasonable period to allow for release
processing pursuant to customary policy and procedure. ,

This Order is subject to revocation at any time, at the discretion of the
Governor, without notice.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:42 AM   #27
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Great news thanks for the update. Had a long conversation with a couple of reps with the ANJRPC this weekend. They had a sit down with Christie and several NJ Senators in late November where they basically told them either repeal the one gun a month law and modernize the CCW laws or expect to be taken to court...opening salvo was filed on November 22...

http://anjrpc.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/docs/nj_rtc_complaint.pdf

Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs

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Old 12-21-2010, 04:17 AM   #28
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Yunus, Got the same email

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE ELECTRONIC RESPONSE

Please see below the signed commutation order for Brian Aitken, signed by Governor Christie at 4:30 pm today.

Good News!

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Old 12-21-2010, 05:23 AM   #29
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Yunus, Got the same email

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE ELECTRONIC RESPONSE

Please see below the signed commutation order for Brian Aitken, signed by Governor Christie at 4:30 pm today.

Good News!
Great news. The Aitken situation was completely idiotic, I'm hoping Brian can spend christmas with his family in their home, instead of a jail cell.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #30
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I don't know if his conviction will be expunged, but it should be.


Posted on Mon, Dec. 20, 2010

Christie frees man in gun case

By JASON NARK
Philadelphia Daily News

narkj@phillynews.com

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the Aitken family all they wanted for Christmas Monday.

Christie signed a letter ordering Brian Aitken, a New Jersey man sentenced to seven years in jail for having weapons he legally purchased in Colorado, to be released from Mid-State Correctional Facility as soon as possible.

Aitken, 27, was sentenced in August to seven years after a January 2009 arrest at his parent's home in Mount Laurel, Burlington County. Aitken's mother called the police on him after he was distraught over a custody issue and police found handguns, hollow point bullets, and high capacity magazines in a box in the trunk of his car.

Aitken claimed he was protected under a state exemption because he was moving from Mount Laurel to Hoboken at the time. A Burlington County judge refused to allow the jury to see the exemptions, claiming Aitken's defense team did not present enough evidence during the trial to show he was moving.

Aitken's father, Larry, could barely speak when reached Monday, but thanked "Governor Chris Chringle."

"From my family to yours, Governor, have a wonderful Christmas," Aitken said.

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