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State v. Pratt

July 1, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
STEVEN PRATT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, No. 85-04-0520-B.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 18, 2008

Before Judges Wefing and Collester.

Defendant appeals from a trial court order denying his motion to correct his sentence. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

In 1986, a jury convicted defendant of murder. Defendant was fifteen years old at the time of the offense, and jurisdiction to try him as a juvenile was waived. R. 5:22-1. The trial court thereafter sentenced defendant to a term of thirty years in prison, thirty of which had to be served before defendant would be considered eligible for parole. N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(b)(1). This court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence, as well as the denial of defendant's two earlier petitions for post-conviction relief.

In May 2007 defendant filed a motion with the trial court in which he sought to correct his sentence as having been illegally imposed. The trial court denied his motion on the papers, without assigning counsel and without conducting argument. This appeal followed.

Defendant raises three arguments on appeal:

POINT I

DID THE LAW DIVISION VIOLATED THE APPELLANT DUE PROCESS RIGHTS ON HIS MOTION TO CORRECT ILLEGAL SENTENCE BY NOT MAKING A REQUISITE "GOOD CAUSE" SHOWING FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AND DISMISS MOTION WITHOUT A HEARING? CONTRARY TO N.J. CONST., ART. I. PAR. I AND 10, AS WELL AS R. 3:22-12(a)

POINT II

IS APPELLANT SENTENCE UNDER THE STATUTE IMPROPERLY BALANCE AND NOT UNIFORMITY BY THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT WHEN IT IS NOT USE AGAINST EVERYONE EQUALLY, MAKES THE SENTENCE ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTION [sic] UNDER LAW, CONTRARY TO N.J. CONST., ART. I, PAR. I, AND IN VIOLATION OF THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSES?

POINT III

APPELLANT CONTENDS IF FACTORS IS ONE UPON WHICH SENTENCING GUIDELINE AND LEGISLATIVE ENCOURAGES DEPARTURE TO DOWNGRADE IT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED, WHEN THE FACTOR IS PRESENT TO AN EXCEPTIONAL DEGREE OR IN SOME OTHER WAY MAKES THE CASE DIFFERENT FROM THE ORIGINAL ...


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