Maybe Shaneen Allen will get justice after all

After a review by the state attorney general, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday that it would allow a Philadelphia woman charged last year with illegally bringing into New Jersey a gun that was legally registered in Pennsylvania to enter a pretrial-intervention program and avoid jail time.

 

The prosecutor’s previous stance in the case involving Shaneen Allen, 27, was to make the case a “deterrent,” either forcing a plea or bringing it to trial. The mother of two could have faced up to five years in prison.

via A.C. to allow Phila. woman carrying gun to avoid jail.

 

If you’re not familiar with the case of Shaneen Allen, you should be. We’ve mentioned her before. Until now, her case has been a complete miscarriage of justice. An example of the courts and prosecutors putting politics ahead of public safety and the interests of justice. Now, it looks like maybe, just maybe, justice will be served.

Shaneen Allen is a single mom who, after being robbed previously, applied for and was issued a license to carry a concealed handgun in her home state of Pennsylvania. She wanted to protect her family and, in accordance with the law, had no criminal history. The only “crime” she has ever committed was making the mistake of driving into New Jersey and an otherwise trivial traffic violation that ultimately led to her arrest when she elected to be honest with the officer who pulled her over about her possession of a handgun.

The prosecutor, Jim McClain, initially had no interest in allowing Allen to enter a pre-trial intervention program like the one he allowed for Ray Rice. McClain said the charges against Allen were, “too serious to warrant divergence.” Shocking given that Allen’s procedural error is merely a “crime of location” in which no one was injured or in anyway inconvenienced other than Allen herself. By comparison, Rice knocking a his fiancée unconscious and then dragging her limp body out of the elevator like a piece of trash can only be described as a crime of violence and one that most people would think should be prosecuted. McClain’s priorities seemed to be 180 degree out of phase with the rest of the world.

But last week, McClain motioned to push the trial back. We worried this might just be McClain looking for another angle to stick the knife in but, as it turns out, the state attorney general stepped in. Shaneen Allen now has an opportunity for a pre-trial diversion McClain and Superior Court Judge  Michael Donio had originally denied to Allen but, granted for Rice. Hopefully, Ms. Allen can walk away from this and somehow retain her right to own and carry a firearm so long as she stays out of New Jersey.

-GM

Ray Rice treatment brings Shaneen Allen’s back to the front

“…Pennsylvania single mom Shaneen Allen was pulled over for a traffic violation and volunteered to a New Jersey police officer that she was carrying a legally-owned handgun with a Pennsylvania permit, the response of Donis and McClain was to deny her the same opportunity as Rice.

Allen lives in Philadelphia, right across the river from New Jersey. She has a Pennsylvania permit to carry a handgun. She thought it was recognized in New Jersey, just as it is recognized in over 30 other states. She was wrong. When she told the officer that she had the gun, she was arrested.

Now she faces a felony conviction and a mandatory 42 months in prison. Both Donio and McClain have been unwilling to dismiss the charges, or send Allen to a pretrial diversion program…”

via Carrying a gun way worse than beating your wife: Column.

Shaneen Allen and family

Shaneen Allen and family

It’s been simmering for some time but, Shaneen Allen’s case has now boiled to the surface in light of the video of Ray Rice striking his wife and knocking her unconscious. Why? Because the same judge and prosecutor who essentially let Rice walk for felony assault with bodily injury against his then fiancée, have been trying to make an example of a Allen, single mother with no criminal record who simply made a procedural mistake that harmed and endangered NO ONE.

Allen is facing up to ten years in prison because she was unfamiliar with New Jersey law regarding the possession of a handgun and hollowpoint ammunition.  In an otherwise uneventful traffic stop, trying to be honest, she told the officer she was carrying a handgun and things went downhill from there. While ignorance of the law is no excuse, there’s a great deal of discretion that could have been used by law enforcement, the court, and the local prosecutor that has not been exercised. And shockingly, Allen’s case has garnered the attention of the mainstream media who usually doesn’t care to have anything to do with defending the 2nd Amendment.  It has even caused New Jersey lawmakers to take a second look at New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. With all this new time in the spotlight, it’s a wonder that the charges against Shaneen Allen haven’t spontaneously combusted. But the latest word is, that might just be what happens.

 

It’s too early to celebrate. A delay of trial can simply mean additional evidence is being considered. They may just want to twist the knife in a little deeper. But it could also mean they are looking for a way to back out of a case they are concerned will not garner a conviction and will be thoroughly unpopular with voters. Let’s hope it’s the latter. This is one of those times that society does not stand to gain from the work of the local prosecutor and judge. And the fact these same people let Rice walk for a far more egregious offense really should cost them their jobs.  Especially as they push to do far worse to Shaneen Allen. Thus far, they haven’t so much as offered a pretrial diversion for Allen but, they did for Rice. Something that almost NEVER happens in similar cases of domestic violence. Apparently the judge and prosecutor are big fans of the NFL and/or Ray Rice.

-GM

New Jersey sued, accused of ignoring 2002 gun law – News – NorthJersey.com

New Jersey sued, accused of ignoring 2002 gun law – News – NorthJersey.com.

The other shoe drops as the Brady Campaign sues to force “smart guns” on the people of New Jersey. THIS is why “smart guns” should worry you. The technology itself isn’t the problem. The fact that anti-gunners will use it to create de facto bans at every opportunity is the reason we are not fans of this type of smart gun coming to market.

GM

N.J. Democrat: We will reverse smart gun law if NRA plays ball | MSNBC

“If, in fact, the NRA will make a public commitment to not stand in the way of the manufacture, distribution or sale of any gun that is limited by technology to the use of only its owner,” Weinberg said, “then I will ask the New Jersey legislature to amend the law.”

via N.J. Democrat: We will reverse smart gun law if NRA plays ball | MSNBC.

You’ll forgive me if I don’t just bend over and open my cheeks. Politicians are all liars. I’m often surprised when Democrats who claim they’ll do anything supportive of the 2nd Amendment aren’t struck by lightning on the spot. But it get’s better as N.J. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg says of the NRA, “whatever goalposts they set for you, they move them.” Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle, black.

-GM