BAIL REFORM: Pretrial Detention for ALL Accused N.J. ‘Graves Act’ Offenders?

That’s if the N.J. Attorney General’s Office gets its way.

While you were preparing for a long weekend of sun, Save Jerseyans, Trenton was hard at work inventing a new way to punish legal, law-abiding gun owners.

In case you missed it, mid-last week, the N.J. Attorney General’s office issued a new directive regarding the still controversial bail reform program which, among other changes intended to keep dangerous criminals off the street, “establishes a presumption that police and prosecutors will apply for pretrial detention for any defendant who commits a Graves Act [N.J.S.A. 43-6(c)] firearms offense.” 

The “Graves Act” provides for minimum terms of imprisonment and parole ineligibility for New Jersey defendants who commit enumerated gun-related offenses.

Regular readers know that Save Jersey has devoted dozens of articles to the individuals caught up by the inappropriately broad and deservedly infamous Graves Act.

Congressman Tom MacArthur meets with Shaneen Allen

No one in the general population cares if the book is thrown at a recidivist gang member; is it just for a judge to lack discretion when a never-been-in-trouble mother of two, who legally purchases a gun to protect her children from the perils of their dangerous neighborhood, accidentally drives into New Jersey and violates a wacky state statute?

Of course not.

But it keeps happening here over, and over, and over again.

The AG can’t tell the judiciary what to do (since the attorney general is part of the executive branch); this directive governs the decision-making of prosecutors and police statewide.

Almost three years ago, after the incident involving the mother (Shaneen Allen) referenced above, Chris Christie’s last attorney general issued a separate directive provided that, “[i]n cases where the prosecutor determines that PTI is not appropriate,this memorandum establishes a rebuttable presumption that the prosecutor will tender an initial plea offer that authorizes the court upon conviction to impose a non-custodial probationary sentence.”

Now? The next Shaneen Allen may need to sit in county lock-up for MONTHS awaiting… pretrial intervention? While her children do what, exactly?

Com’on. This is getting ridiculous, folks, even if you’re not a fan of the Second Amendment.

Treating citizens who commit honest mistakes like murderers, rapists or pedophiles isn’t justice.

Let’s put the ‘liberty’ back in our state motto (‘liberty and prosperity’ in case you’ve forgotten, which would be understandable) and ditch the Graves Act once and for all before any more innocents get hurt.

 

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