On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Ind. No. 91-05-2520.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Graves and Lihotz.
Defendant Larry Daniels appeals from an order denying his second petition for post-conviction relief (PCR), without an evidentiary hearing, entered on January 6, 2006. We affirm.
Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of purposeful and knowing murder, felony murder, armed robbery and related weapons offenses. An aggregate term of life with a thirty-five year parole ineligibility period was imposed on October 25, 1991. Defendant's conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. State v. Daniels, No. A-2243-91 (App. Div. Nov. 30, 1994). His petition for certification was denied. State v. Daniels, 142 N.J. 449 (1995).
Relying on our opinion in State v. Beilkiewicz, 267 N.J. Super. 520 (App. Div. 1993), we affirmed the denial of defendant's first PCR petition, which principally asserted errors in the jury charge. State v. Daniels, No. A-6537-96 (App. Div. Jan. 22, 1999). We determined that any error was harmless, because "there was no basis for a jury to find defendant guilty other than as a principal." Ibid. Certification was denied on May 11, 1999.
In 2001, defendant filed a habeas corpus petition asserting "faulty jury instructions, hearsay testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel," which was denied by the federal district court on November 1, 2001. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied defendant's "request for appealability" on January 9, 2003. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on June 3, 2003.
In late 2005, Defendant filed his second PCR petition, presented as an application to "correct an illegal sentence." See R. 3:22-12. In addition to a sentencing issue, defendant argued that his trial counsel was ineffective at the sentencing hearing, he raised issues concerning the jury instructions, and also claimed prejudicial error because a State's witness testified while shackled, wearing prison garb. The Law Division denied the PCR petition on January 6, 2006, concluding it was procedurally barred pursuant to Rule 3:22-4, -5, and -12(a). Additionally, the judge determined the claims were not supported by the record.
Defendant presents the following points on appeal:
TRIAL COUNSEL RENDERED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL WHEN TRIAL COUNSEL FAILED TO ARGUE FOR THE LEAST POSSIBLE SENTENCE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSED UNDER LAW.
TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT INSTRUCTED THE JURY IN A MANNER WHICH RELIEVED THE STATE OF ITS BURDEN OF ...