Shaneen Allen is not a new name on Political Realities. I have written twice about her plight after she accidentally went afoul of New Jersey’s antiquated gun laws. You can read those posts here and here. Suffice it to say, this young mother of two young boys from Philadelphia never envisioned being thrown in jail for bringing a gun legally purchased in Pennsylvania into New Jersey. As much as that may be, that is what she is facing. It seems the Garden State doesn’t abide by anyone bringing a gun into their state that isn’t approved and they are throwing the book at this young woman. Never mind the consequences this will have on her two young sons. Let’s all stand and applaud Atlantic County prosecutor Jim McClain for his willingness to go after lawbreakers and keep them from harming the rest of society.
Not so fast, says I. The case of Shaneen Allen has unfolded since last October. Let us fast forward to the incident between Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. He is now a former Ravens running back after it became known that he punched his wife in an elevator in New Jersey punching the woman who would soon become his wife. When I say punched, I mean he knocked her out cold. If you want to see the video, you’ll not have to look far on the world-wide web to find it. I don’t know what the altercation was about and don’t care. I have zero tolerance for a man hitting a woman like this. Let’s just say I have personal experience with what abuse does to a woman and leave it at that. If anyone should have the book thrown at them, it is someone like Ray Rice. But, that is not to be.
Remember the previous posts I pointed to at the beginning of this post? If you will read them, you will find that New Jersey has a program that can accept first-time offenders who qualify. It is designed to keep some of these offenders out of jail, akin to probation. It is touted as a pre-trial intervention process designed to keep people out of the system if they really do not belong there. For someone to be accepted into the program, they have to be recommended for it by the prosecutor and approved by a judge. Care to guess which first-time offender was recommended and approved for this program? No, it wasn’t Shaneen Allen. Ray Rice, the man who willingly punched his fiancée so hard he knocked her down and out, has been recommended by Jim McClain and approved by the same judge who sided with him when he refused to recommend Shaneen Allen for the same program.
There may always be instances of preferential treatment for people who are considered heroes by modern society. It shouldn’t be that way and it is sad that it is, but it seems to be the norm. You be the judge in the case of Shaneen Allen vs. Ray Rice. Does he deserve to go into the pre-trial process because of his now-former status as a running back in the NFL? Does Shaneen Allen deserve to be sent to jail for accidentally bringing a legally purchased gun into New Jersey? I can’t wait to hear Jim McClain’s thought process as he tries to explain how he came to each decision. But as it turns out, we may not be hearing that thought process. His office is refusing to comment on the cases and their possible conflation.
I just hope enough people speak out in favor of Shaneen Allen to sway Governor Chris Christie into granting her the pardon she deserves. At the same time, the book should be thrown at Ray Rice. NFL running back or not, he has no right to win such preferential treatment after punching his fiancée.