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Appellate Division Reverses Defendant’s PCR Denial


by in Criminal Appeals

State v. Demitrius Middleton, unpublished opinion, App. Div. Docket No. A-4842-07T4 (June 10, 2010) – Denial of PCR reversed, case remanded for new hearing. “The record does not permit us to conclude that PCR counsel listed or incorporated all of the claims raised in defendant’s pro se verified petition. The PCR petition did not identify the three claims underlying defendant’s request for relief because his trial attorney failed to provide the representation guaranteed by the constitution. Nor did defense counsel mention defendant’s claim that he was not present when his judgment of conviction was amended to reflect a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility rather than a NERA term following this court’s remand for ‘reconsideration in light of Manzie.’ Moreover, we now have letters, the authenticity of which has not been established, that suggest defendant asked his PCR counsel to raise additional issues that were not addressed. Under the circumstances, we conclude that a remand is required. On remand, with assistance of different appointed counsel, the judge should consider any argument related to issues raised in defendant’s pro se verified petition that was not previously presented to the judge.”






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