March 31, 2009
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
RAUL FLORES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 97-12-2206.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted March 18, 2009
Before Judges Stern and Rodríguez.
Defendant appeals from the denial of his second petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) following his murder conviction in 1998. We affirmed the conviction and the denial of his first PCR petition. Judge Patrick Roma denied his second petition as time barred and procedurally barred because the present claim could have been raised at trial, on the direct appeal and on the first PCR. See R. 3:22-4, -12.
We affirm the denial of the second PCR substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Roma in his written opinion of May 28, 2008. We also reject defendant's claim on the merits.
The defendant contends he was deprived of his rights under the Vienna Convention, and states if they had been honored he would have communicated with the consulate of El Salvador, or the consulate would have reached him before trial, he would have received effective counsel, and in any event, he would have received sufficient advice to avoid giving a confession. He asserts his counsel at the trial and appellate levels were ineffective for not raising the issue, and had the Vienna Convention been honored, the result of the proceedings would have been different. However, violation of the Convention would not warrant suppression of defendant's statement. See SanchezLlamas v. Oregon, 548 U.S. 331, 126 S.Ct. 2669, 165 L.Ed. 2d 557 (2006); State v. Carbrera, 387 N.J. Super. 81, 86 (App. Div. 2006). See also Medellin v. Texas, ___ U.S. ___, 128 S.Ct. 1346, 170 L.Ed. 2d 190 (2008). In other words, a violation of the Vienna Convention does not warrant suppression of a statement following an otherwise knowing and voluntary waiver and compliance with Miranda,*fn1 and does not affect an otherwise valid conviction.