Christie doles out 26 final-minute pardons

Gov. Chris Christie issued 26 pardons for people convicted of crimes in New Jersey in a last-ditch declaration made after 9 p.m. on a Friday at the end of his term.

The governor did not explain his reasoning behind any of the pardons, which came just days before Christie leaves office. 

“In keeping with the administration’s policies of creating second chances for deserving individuals, Governor Chris Christie today issued 26 orders for clemency including one order for a commutation of sentence,” the pardon message read.

“All 26 actions involve individuals with records covering a range of criminal offenses. Since taking office, Governor Christie has issued clemency to 55 individuals, including today’s actions, involving 52 pardons and 3 commutations of sentences.”

The pardons included Meghan Fellenbaum, a Pennslyvania resident who according to gun rights advocates was arrested for having a firearm locked in the trunk of her car while driving to pick up her girlfriend. 

They also included Hisashi Pompey, a New Jersey marine who faced gun charges stemming from a dispute at a Fort Lee night club. 

The legal circumstances of many of the pardoned individuals were not immediately clear because the governor’s office announced the clemency long after the state’s courthouses had closed for the week. 

The crimes for which people were pardoned ranged from drug dealing and harassment, to weapons possession, robbery, arson, receiving stolen property and even murder. 

Christie has offered clemency to 55 people during his tenure, according to the governor’s office. 

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy takes office on Tuesday. 

Here are documents released by Christie detailing the nature of the crimes for which the 26 people were pardoned. 

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