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State v. Patel

October 16, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DIMPY PATEL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 98-04-0624.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 5, 2009

Before Judges Lisa, Baxter and Alvarez.

Defendant Dimpy Patel appeals from a January 25, 2008 order that denied his first petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). On appeal, he presents six arguments, each of which was raised on direct appeal, fully briefed, and ultimately rejected in our forty-five page opinion.*fn1 Because defendant's arguments in support of his PCR petition were the identical arguments that had already been rejected on direct appeal, the PCR judge concluded that defendant was procedurally barred from raising those arguments again in the PCR context. We agree and affirm.

I.

Tried by a jury, defendant was convicted on January 10, 2002 of three counts of first-degree murder, for which he was sentenced to three consecutive life terms, each with a thirty-year period of parole ineligibility. On the armed robbery count, the judge sentenced him to a concurrent twenty-year term of imprisonment, subject to an eighty-five percent parole ineligibility term as required by the No Early Release Act.*fn2 For related weapons offenses, the judge sentenced him to a consecutive five-year term, subject to a two and one-half year period of parole ineligibility.

On appeal from that conviction, defendant raised the following claims:

I. THE ENHANCED COURTROOM SECURITY PREJUDICED THE JURY AGAINST APPELLANT AND DENIED HIM A FAIR TRIAL.

II. THE STATE'S DISCRIMINATORY EXERCISES OF ITS PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES DENIED APPELLANT HIS RIGHT TO FAIR TRIAL.

III. APPELLANT WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS AND A FAIR TRIAL BY VIRTUE OF THE STATE'S MANNER OF PRODUCING GODOY AND CONCEALMENT OF BENEFITS PROMISED TO HIM.

IV. THE COURT ERRED IN [REFUSING] TO STRIKE GODOY'S TESTIMONY BECAUSE OF A CLEAR SEQUESTRATION VIOLATION.

V. THE COURT WAS REQUIRED TO INSTRUCT THE JURY THAT APPELLANT COULD NOT BE FOUND TO HAVE ...


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