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State v. Randolph

July 3, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES RANDOLPH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 04-03-1187.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 13, 2007

Before Judges Kestin, Payne and Lihotz.

Defendant, James Randolph, was charged with and convicted by a jury of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (Count One -- cocaine; Count Four -- heroin); third-degree possession of CDS with the intent to distribute it, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) (Count Two -- cocaine; Count Five -- heroin); and third-degree possession of CDS with the intent to distribute it within 1000 feet of a school, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (Count Three -- cocaine; Count Six -- heroin). Following merger, for purposes of sentencing, of the possession and distribution offenses into the two school zone offenses, defendant was sentenced, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-6(f), to two concurrent extended six-year terms of imprisonment with three years of parole ineligibility on each. Defendant has appealed from his conviction and sentence.

On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments:

POINT I

THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY THE TRIAL COURT'S AMBIGUOUS, CONFUSING, INCOMPLETE, AND PREJUDICIAL INSTRUCTION ON THE LAW OF REASONABLE DOUBT.

POINT II

THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO CONFRONT WITNESSES AS GUARANTEED BY THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED.

A. THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY EXCLUDED VITAL CROSS-EXAMINATION CONCERNING THE BIAS, PREJUDICE, AND INTEREST OF THE STATE'S EXPERT WITNESS.

B. THE DEFENDANT WAS IMPLICATED IN THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIMES BY UNKNOWN SOURCES AND ABSENTEE WITNESSES. (Not Raised Below.)

POINT III

THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY THE EXPERT'S CONCLUSION THAT THE DEFENDANT HAD POSSESSED CDS WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE. (Not Raised Below.)

POINT IV

THE WARRANTLESS SEARCH AND SEIZURE VIOLATED THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHTS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I PAR. 7 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION.

A. THE POLICE LACKED PROBABLE CAUSE TO CONDUCT A WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF THE DEFENDANT'S PREMISES.

B. THE POLICE DID NOT HAVE A PERMISSIBLE VANTAGE POINT TO JUSTIFY A PLAIN VIEW SEIZURE OF THE EVIDENCE.

C. THE DEFENDANT DID NOT ABANDON HIS PRIVACY EXPECTATIONS MERELY BY DROPPING A PACKAGE IN HIS OWN PREMISES.

D. THE POLICE CONDUCTED AN UNLAWFUL WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF PACKAGES SEIZED FROM THE DEFENDANT'S RESIDENCE.

POINT V

THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY ...


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