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MAN SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON RELEASED BY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 25, 2010) — December 15 was “Free Brian Aitken Day” for a young man imprisoned for alleged illegal possession of firearms, and the results are Aitken’s release from a New Jersey state prison on Monday.
Previous coverage of Aitken’s case reported that he had owned the firearms lawfully. A website established to raise awareness about the case and financial support now states, “Brian is enjoying his freedom this Christmas Eve thanks to all of you…..what an amazing group of supporters he has! Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you’ve done to help free him. Merry Christmas!”
The clemency order from Gov. Chris Christie was signed this past Monday. Since that time, Aitken has appeared on Fox & Friends with Alisyn Camerota to tell his story (see video on right). He served a total of four months of a seven-year sentence after refusing “five or six” plea deals, saying he wouldn’t “cop out to something he didn’t do.” Aitken had been imprisoned at the Mid-State Correctional Center at Ft. Dix.
In a news conference on December 10, Christie had indicated a possible clemency decision by referring to Aitken’s conviction as “judicial bullying.” The official announcement from Christie states that he granted Aitken a “Commutation of Sentence” and is signed by the governor and Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kisko.
Aitken had been arrested almost two years ago on illegal possession of firearms, although he had permits for the guns and the police officer involved testified that Aitken had been relocating from one residence to another, which qualifies under New Jersey gun laws as an exemption.
Brian’s girlfriend began a Facebook page following his arrest, which she told Fox News helped to raise national awareness of his plight.
Aitken’s business website describes him as a “digital entrepreneur,” and he has consulted for such companies as Toshiba, Dunkin Donuts, and Pfizer. Aitken is a graduate of Rutgers University, has worked in the field of publishing, and enjoys reading the works of Ayn Rand. His complete resume is here.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Gov. Christie’s goals for New Jersey are to lower property taxes and to “change the way government works.” Christie grew up in New Jersey and has four children. He previously served as a U.S. attorney for his state and “led a widely acclaimed charge against public corruption.” He was elected governor in November 2009 and began his term on January 19 of this year.