On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Ocean County, Indictment No. 03-06-0726.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: February 4, 2009
Before Judges Cuff and Baxter.
Defendant Kathleen Jones appeals from the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). She is serving a fifteen-year term of imprisonment for first degree robbery subject to a NERA*fn1 85% parole ineligibility term and a concurrent fifteen-year term for use of a juvenile to commit a criminal offense following a guilty plea to two counts of a multi-count indictment.
On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments:
DEFENDANT DID NOT RECEIVE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL ON HER POST CONVICTION RELIEF PETITION IN THAT ASSIGNED COUNSEL FAILED TO RAISE AND ARGUE ISSUES CONTAINED IN HER PRO SE PETITION AND ACCOMPANYING CERTIFICATION.
DEFENDANT DID NOT RECEIVE A FAIR HEARING AND WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS ON HER PETITION FOR POST CONVICTION [RELIEF] BECAUSE THE JUDGE WAS UNDULY BIASED AGAINST HER (not raised below).
DEFENDANT [SIC] THE COURT BELOW ERRED IN FAILING TO CONDUCT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON DEFENDANT'S CLAIMS OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL.
Pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, every criminal defendant is guaranteed assistance of counsel. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 685, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2063, 80 L.Ed. 2d 674, 692 (1984). Whether "retained or appointed," such counsel must "ensure that the trial is fair"; therefore, "'the right to counsel is the right to the effective assistance of counsel.'" Id. at 685-86, 104 S.Ct. at 2063, 80 L.Ed. 2d at 692 (quoting McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 771 n.14, 90 S.Ct. 1441, 1449 n.14, 25 L.Ed. 2d 763, 773 n.14 ...