On appeal from the Monmouth County Court, Law Division -- Criminal.
For affirmance -- Justices Case, Heher, Oliphant, Wachenfeld, Burling and Ackerson. For reversal -- None. The opinion of the court was delivered by Oliphant, J. Heher, J., concurring in result.
[5 NJ Page 42] Defendant appeals from a conviction of murder in the first degree returned against him in the Monmouth County Court, Law Division. The verdict recommended imprisonment at hard labor for life and that sentence was imposed. R.S. 2:138-4.
As there is no contention that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and the appeal is predicated solely on trial errors we do not deem it necessary to review the facts in detail.
Four points are made and argued as grounds for a reversal and we will deal with them seriatim.
It is first asserted the trial court erred in ruling upon the scope of the examination of a prospective juror.
A juror was called and defendant's counsel proceeded to examine him on his voir dire. After some questioning the following colloquy took place between counsel and the Court:
"Mr. Juska: I should like to pass further questioning at this time, your honor.
"The Court: Complete your questioning, Mr. Juska; I am not going to give you two examinations unless something develops during the course of the Prosecutor's examination that gives you the right to reexamine this witness.
"Mr. Juska: It is discretionary under the new rules -- that's the reason I asked.
"The Court: The reason I am exercising my discretion in the fashion that I do is because you shouldn't have two bites out of it, so to speak.
"Mr. Juska: I am only doing what the rules provide and you understand that I have to do that in a case of this kind.
"The Court: Unless something new develops during the questioning of the Prosecutor I shall consider ...