Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pardon us

President Bush issued 15 new pardons and commuted one prison sentence today. All 15 pardons were for men who were convicted of non-violent and mostly minor offenses, some dating back decades. Among the convictions were drug possession and distribution, illegal firearms dealing, false housing statements and wildlife infractions.

Two of the pardons issued were to New Jersey residents:

George Francis Bauckham of Oak Ridge was pardoned for the offense of unlawful detention, delay and secretion of mail by a postal employee. He had been sentenced on May 16, 1958, in New Jersey to five years probation and $100 fine.

Robert Michael Milroy of Cinnaminson was pardoned for the offense of importation of heroin. He had been sentenced April 2, 1975, in New Jersey to seven and a half years imprisonment, six years special parole, and three years probation.

Congratulations to the ex-ex-cons.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

NJ to drivers: no mor txtz!

Starting today in New Jersey, driving while talking on your cell phone without a handsfree device, texting or sending an e-mail from your Blackberry is a "primary offense." That means a police officer no longer needs another reason to pull you over.

And it's a $100 ticket. Unless, of course, you use it in a plea agreement:
The offense carries a $250 surcharge but only if a driver pleads guilty to it as part of a plea agreement. A driver who is ticketed for a cell phone violation does will not have to pay a surcharge, but a driver who is ticketed for a more serious offense such as careless driving and pleads down to a cell phone offense does pay the surcharge.
Was the change in the law really meant for safety or is it another way to shake down New Jersey drivers for more cash?

And tomorrow the tolls at the Port Authority bridges and tunnels go from $6 to $8.

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