A decorated Marine veteran facing a mandatory three years behind bars on a gun charge in New Jersey will not be going to prison after all.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stepped in and commuted Marine Sergeant Hisashi Pompey’s sentence earlier this month.
Attorney Evan Nappen, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. Law Shield of New Jersey, had told local media outlets that it would have been an absurd waste of taxpayers money to put Pompey behind bars, accomplishing nothing while ruining a good man’s life.
Six years ago during a visit to New Jersey, Pompey was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, which was legally registered in Virginia.
New Jersey lawmakers tacked on mandatory sentences for gun-related offenses several years ago, and even though Pompey’s firearm was legal, it wasn’t registered in New Jersey. The law has been updated to exclude service members, but it didn’t apply retroactively to Pompey’s case.
Pompey had lost an appeal and was set to surrender to authorities next week.
Pompey served his country over three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, for which he received medals for bravery.
Christie’s decision to commute Pompey’s sentence does not expunge the arrest from his record, it simply removes the punishment that resulted from the arrest.