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State v. Lee

Decided: December 16, 1982.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALD LEE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Bergen County.

Matthews, Antell and Francis. Antell, J.A.D. (dissenting).

Per Curiam

Tried to a jury, defendant Ronald Lee was found guilty of burglary (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2(a)(1)), count one; and possession of a weapon, scissors with the blades taped together, under circumstances manifestly inappropriate for lawful use (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d)), count two.

Defendant was sentenced to five years imprisonment on count one and to a concurrent 18-month term on count two. A

penalty of $25 payable to the Violent Crimes Compensation Board was assessed on each count.

On this appeal defendant's contentions, as set forth in the brief submitted on his behalf, are the following:

LEGAL ISSUE #1

THE TRIAL JUDGE COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN HIS CHARGE TO THE JURY CONCERNING COUNT II OF THE INDICTMENT BY FAILING TO INSTRUCT THE JURY ON THE ELEMENT OF THE CRIME OF POSSESSION OF A WEAPON N.J.S. 2C:39-5(d) THAT THE DEFENDANT POSSESSED THE ITEM WITH A PURPOSE, INTENT OR KNOWLEDGE TO USE IT AS A WEAPON.

LEGAL ISSUE #2

ABSENT A JUDICIAL CONSTRUCTION THAT THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN DEFINING POSSESSION OF OTHERWISE LAWFUL ITEMS AS A CRIME IS THE INTENT TO USE THE DEVICE AS A WEAPON, N.J.S. 2C:39-5(d) IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY VAGUE AND/OR OVERBROAD.

LEGAL ISSUE #3

N.J.S. 2C:39-5(d) IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT SHIFTS THE BURDEN OF ...


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