At long last the case of North Brunswick Police Chief Carmen G. Canastra has come to an end, and the chief has been acquitted on all nine counts of a state grand jury indictment. Eight of the counts charged Canastra with obstructing justice by trying to persuade police officers to fix traffic tickets and the ninth count accused him of misconduct in office.
We are pleased with the verdict. It is disturbing to all law-abiding citizens to see misconduct suggested in the forces of law enforcement. And the public should be pleased to see that a jury of his phers has found Canastra innocent on all charges.
We are glad to note that the Middlesex County Prosecutor has interested himself in the Canastra case and asked for a complete transcript of it. During the course of the case, two North Brunswick police officers admitted that they had perjured themselves in ticket cases in municipal court.
The prosecutor should clearly be interested in this aspect of the case as well as perhaps other areas of the case. We have noted in commenting earlier on the case that a man is innocent until he is proved guilty, and that an indictment is not a conviction.
Canastra has endured a long and harrowing period of worry since his indictment in November of 1971 — and during the four long weeks of his trial — but he now stands completely vindicated, and we rejoice with his many friends that this law enforcement officer has been cleared.