Gun control out of control, Life in New Jersey
The case of a New Jersey man who is serving seven years in prison for possessing two locked and unloaded handguns he purchased legally in Colorado is a perfect example of how a law-abiding citizen can unwittingly become a criminal due to vastly differing gun laws among the states, gun rights experts say.
Brian Aitken, a 27-year-old entrepreneur and media consultant with no prior criminal record, now spends his days "bored and depressed" behind bars at New Jersey's Mid-State Correctional Facility, his father, Larry Aitken, of Mount Laurel, N.J., says.
Brian was trying to get his life back on track two years ago when he moved back to New Jersey from Colorado to be closer to his young son and estranged wife. But on Jan. 2, 2009, his mood darkened when his planned visit with his son was canceled at the last minute. His mother, concerned for his safety, called the police, and when the police located him, they searched his car and found two locked and unloaded handguns in the trunk.
Aitken had purchased the guns legally in Colorado, and he passed an FBI background check when he bought them, his father said. And he said Brian also contacted New Jersey State Police before moving back back home to discuss how to properly transport his weapons. But despite those good-faith efforts, he said, Brian was convicted on weapons charges and sent to prison in August. . . . .
Brian's relatives and his lawyer, Evan Nappen, believe he had a legal exemption to have the handguns in his car because they say he was in the process of moving from his parents' home in Mount Laurel to Hoboken when the guns were found. A formal appeal and clemency petition have been filed with the office of Gov. Chris Christie, and a "Free Brian Aitken" Facebook group has garnered roughly 7,000 supporters. A brief on his appeal is due on Dec. 30, officials told FoxNews.com.
Nappen claims the moving exemption issue was raised both during the trial and in a pretrial motion to have the entire case dismissed, but he said the jury was never given the exemption statute because then-Superior Court Judge James Morley refused to provide it to them. . . .
Because of other strange rulings by Morley, Governor Christie has refused to renominate him when his term recently expired.
Morley, 62, is the presiding judge of the Burlington County criminal courts. His reappointment had been in doubt over comments made at the sentencing of a 45-year-old teacher’s aide who had sex with a 16-year-old student, as well for throwing out animal cruelty charges against a former Moorestown police officer who allegedly received oral sex from young cows because he said there was no way to prove the actions were actually cruel. . . .
The judges comments were:
During the sentencing of teacher's aide, Donna Goebel, Morley said "But for the defendant's status, there would be no crime here (because) the relationship was entirely consensual," according to the Courier-Post. He also noted that "It's possible she just wanted to be around someone who was nice to her and got caught up in something she shouldn't have."
Morley made national headlines when he threw out animal cruelty charges against suspended Moorestown Police Officer Robert Melia - who is facing much more serious charges of assaulting three young girls - because it was unclear if the sexual contact he engaged in with calves "tormented" or "puzzled" them.
"If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk,'" he said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. . . .