New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in the news again after recently issuing a pardon to a man who committed a robbery on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
The theft incident occurred in 1972, when John Berry was still a teenager. The 18-year-old Berry was plagued by a serious drug addiction that had him hooked on a number of illicit substances, including cocaine and heroin. While attending a music festival in Atlantic City, Berry decided to shoplift toy guns from a store located on the boardwalk. He later used the toy guns while committing another robbery.
Berry was eventually apprehended and charged with robbery and possession of stolen property. After being convicted, Berry was sentenced to NJ State Prison. However, rather than continuing his downward spiral, Berry viewed his situation as an opportunity to get back on the right track. He got clean and sober in jail and, upon his release, went through a detoxification program. He also completed a 12-step program and beat his drug addiction for good.
Berry’s path to redemption also included going on to college and later getting a job as a case manager for the Philadelphia Treatment Court, a court-supervised drug treatment program through which he helps other drug addicts beat their own addictions.
Governor Chris Christie recently acknowledged Berry’s contributions to society and full rehabilitation by issuing a pardon for his 1972 robbery conviction. Christie cited Berry’s story as an example of how drug treatment and rehabilitation offers a better solution to recidivism than harsh punishment and incarceration. Although Berry was incarcerated, it was his commitment to beating his drug addiction after being released from prison that allowed him to improve his life and become a contributing member of society.
While announcing the pardon at the New Jersey Statehouse, Governor Christie observed that sometimes people like Berry need “a little help along the way.” That’s one of the reasons Christie has pushed for drug treatment, as opposed to imprisonment, for non-violent drug offenders in New Jersey.
To learn more about Governor Christie’s recent pardon, read the Asbury Park Press article entitled, “Christie Pardons Recovering Drug Addict for 1972 Crime.” https://www.app.com/story/news/politics/new-jersey/chris-christie/2015/11/25/chris-christie-drug-addiction-treatment/76384460/
If you have been accused of a crime in Monmouth County, Middlesex County or anywhere else in New Jersey, contact Rudnick Law today. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will help you fight the charges. Call today to schedule a free consultation about your case.