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State v. Abdullah

October 1, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ABDUL ALIM ABDULLAH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 98-07-1600.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 11, 2008

Before Judges Fuentes and Chambers.

Defendant Abdul A. Abdullah appeals from the denial of his post conviction relief (PCR) petition. Over a period of siX days commencing on June 24, 2002, and ending on July 3, 2002, defendant was tried before a jury and convicted of murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1)(2), two counts of second-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, two counts of third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d, and fourth- degree unlawful possession of a weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d.

After merging the relevant charges, the court sentenced defendant to a life term with thirty years of parole ineligibility on the murder conviction, and to a consecutive term of ten years with five years of parole ineligibility on the second-degree burglary conviction.

Defendant filed a direct appeal to this court raising the following arguments.

POINT I

THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO THE JURY CREATED A RATIONAL BASIS FOR A VERDICT CONVICTING DEFENDANT OF THE LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE OF PASSION/PROVOCATION MANSLAUGHTER. THE COURT'S FAILURE TO GRANT DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR A JURY INSTRUCTION ON THE LESSER OFFENSE DENIED DEFENDANT HIS FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO A FAIR TRIAL AND DUE PROCESS OF LAW. (U.S. CONST. AMEND. VI, XIV; N.J. CONST. ART. 1, PAR. 1,9,10.)

POINT II

NUMEROUS INSTANCES OF PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT DEPRIVED DEFENDANT OF HIS DUE PROCESS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL. (U.S. CONST. AMEND. XIV; N.J. CONST. (1947) ART. 1, PAR. 10.) (Not Raised Below.)

A. The Prosecutor's Repeated Comments That Defendant And His Alibi Witness Were Liars Was Improper.

B. The State Improperly Denigrated The Defense.

POINT III

THE ADMISSION OF GRUESOME CRIME SCENE AND AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPHS DEPRIVED DEFENDANT OF THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL. (U.S. CONST. AMEND. VI, XIV; N.J. CONST. ART. 1, PAR. 9,10.)

POINT IV

THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF THESE ERRORS DENIED DEFENDANT HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL AND A NEW TRAIL IS ...


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