On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 03-01-0074.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Graves and Sabatino.
Defendant Jamal Stokes appeals from an order dated February 2, 2007, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR).
On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:
THE POST[-]CONVICTION RELIEF COURT ERRED IN DENYING MR. STOKES'S PETITION FOR RELIEF BASED ON HIS CLAIM OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, WHERE IT WAS SHOWN THAT HIS TRIAL COUNSEL FAILED TO [ADEQUATELY] COMMUNICATE WITH HIM AND PRESSURED HIM TO ACCEPT THE PLEA.
A. THE PCR COURT IMPROPERLY DENIED MR. STOKES'S PETITION FOR POST[-] CONVICTION RELIEF WITHOUT CONDUCTING AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING IN THIS MATTER.
TRIAL COUNSEL FAILED [TO] ARGUE ALL APPROPRIATE MITIGATING FACTORS AT SENTENCING AND THE COURT OVER VALUED AGGRAVATING FACTORS RESULTING IN AN EXCESSIVE SENTENCE.
MR. STOKES DID NOT RECEIVE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF APPELLATE COUNSEL IN THAT COUNSEL FAILED TO RAISE CERTAIN ISSUES ON APPEAL.
After considering these contentions in light of the record, the applicable law, and the trial court's findings and conclusions, we are satisfied defendant's arguments do not warrant extended discussion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We affirm substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Connor in his oral decision on January 19, 2007, with only the following comments.
On June 19, 2003, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, defendant pled guilty to first-degree robbery, as charged in count two of Atlantic County Indictment No. 03-01-0074, with the understanding that (1) all other counts of the indictment would be dismissed, and (2) the State would recommend defendant receive an eleven-year sentence subject to an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility to be served concurrently with a four-year sentence defendant was already serving.
When defendant entered his guilty plea on June 19, 2003, the court asked him the following questions, and he gave the following answers:
Q: You're able to read and write?
Q: Do you have any physical or any other problem which affects your ability to understand what's going on here today?
Q: Are you presently under the influence of any drugs or medication ...