McClain cited a memo issued today by acting Attorney General John Hoffman, who told local prosecutors that "imprisonment is neither necessary nor appropriate to serve the interests of justice and protect public safety" in cases like Allen's. "In applying the factors set out in the clarification," McClain said, "I determined that the defendant in this case should be offered the opportunity to be admitted into the Atlantic County PTI [Pretrial Intervention] Program."
Hoffman's memo looks like a face-saving excuse for McClain, who more than a week agosignaled that he was reconsidering his hard-line approach to Allen's case, which had attracted nationwide attention. But if sparing McClain additional embarrassment is what it takes for him to abandon a clearly unjust prosecution, it's a small price to pay. Furthermore, Hoffman's memo should help similarly situated defendants. The Press says "the clarification also means McClain will now review other similar cases that have been denied PTI in the past."