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State v. Jackson

July 14, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ANDRE JACKSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Accusation No. 95-02-0049.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: May 12, 2010

Before Judges Cuff and C.L. Miniman.

Defendant Andre Jackson appeals the denial of his verified petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) in connection with his convictions of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a, and second-degree sexual assault, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2c. On July 21, 1995, defendant was sentenced to concurrent five-year prison terms on each count. Defendant is no longer in custody but is subject to community supervision for life, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4. The issues in this appeal surround the community supervision for life to which defendant is subject. We affirm.

The facts may be briefly stated.*fn1 Defendant pled guilty to the offenses charged and at his plea hearing testified that on October 2, 1994, he committed an act of sexual penetration on K.M. when she was less than thirteen years old. Specifically, defendant held K.M. down and had vaginal intercourse with her. Defendant also acknowledged punching K.M. in the course of committing the offense. Defendant also pled guilty to committing an act of sexual penetration on O.C. on December 22, 1994. Defendant admitted that he punched O.C. during the commission of the sexual offense.

Defendant signed a Supplemental Plea Form for Sexual Offenses in which he acknowledged, among other things, that he would be required to submit to an examination at the Avenel Diagnostic and Treatment Center to determine if he was a repetitive offender and, if so, might be confined at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center. He also signed a two-page list of "Additional Questions for Certain Sexual Offenses" in which he acknowledged that he must register with the chief law enforcement officer in any municipality in which he might reside and that he would have to re-register if he moved. He further acknowledged that the judge "in addition to any sentence authorized by the code will impose a special sentence of community supervision for life and that any person who violates a condition of a special sentence of community supervision is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree."

At the plea hearing, the court examined defendant's understanding of community supervision for life:

THE COURT: Then the next question is this new law, called Megan's Law.*fn2 Because you're pleading guilty to this crime, you're going to be required to register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which you reside or, if that place doesn't have a chief law enforcement officer, with the Superintendent of State Police. And if you're considering changing your residence, you must notify the law enforcement agency where you are registered and must reregister with the appropriate law enforcement agency no less than ten days before you intend to reside at the new address. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: I understand.

THE COURT: And if they find that you are repetitive and compulsive, then you must verify your address every ninety days with the law enforcement people. And if not, if you're not so characterized, then you've got to do it once a year. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: I understand.

THE COURT: You have to register. If you fail to register, you could be guilty of a fourth degree crime which carries with it a maximum term of eighteen months.

THE DEFENDANT: I understand.

THE COURT: And in addition to all these other things, you will be sentenced to a special sentence of community supervision for life. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Community supervision for life. What does that mean?

THE COURT: Your guess is as good as mine if you want to know the truth. I suspect that you will be required to register and check information with somebody just to make sure you're not -- just to make sure that you are properly registered, and if you don't do that, that you could go to jail for eighteen months. I think that's what it means.

Tell you the truth, Mr. Jackson, what it means, I don't think anybody in this room knows what it means.

THE DEFENDANT: It just seems rather vague, that's all.

THE COURT: It is rather vague. I don't know if it's constitutionally vague but it's not specific, that's for sure.

So do you still want to go ahead with this?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

THE COURT: I can't tell you what it means so all I can tell you is by agreeing to go ahead with this ...


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