Following extensive criticism over denying a Philadelphia woman a chance to avoid a prison sentence for illegally bringing her registered gun into New Jersey last year, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office has asked a Superior Court judge for more time to review the case.
A trial for Shaneen Allen, 27 - who was arrested Oct. 1, 2013, during a traffic stop on the Atlantic City Expressway in which she admitted having a firearm in her purse - was scheduled to begin early next month. A motion to drop the charges was denied by Judge Michael Donio in August.
Despite case law in which state courts granted diversionary programs for first-time offenders like Allen, Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Hay said the case had been pursued as a "deterrent."
Gun-law advocates, anti-domestic-violence groups, and others have attempted to draw parallels between Atlantic County Prosecutor James P. McClain's perceived leniency for NFL star Ray Rice, allowing him to enter a pretrial intervention program in the attack on his then-fiancee, against his hard stance on the Allen case. The football player did not use a firearm in the beating, caught on security video inside the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City last spring. New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney last week called on the state Attorney General's Office to review McClain's decision in the Rice case.