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John Arias v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

July 28, 2011

JOHN ARIAS, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 29, 2011

Before Judges Messano and Waugh.

John Arias, an inmate at the New Jersey State Prison, Trenton, appeals from the December 9, 2009 final decision of the Department of Corrections (DOC) continuing his placement in the Management Control Unit (MCU). He raises the following points on appeal:

POINT I

NEW EVIDENCE OF APPELLANT'S INNOCENCE WAS NOT ADMITTED, REFERRED AND/OR VERIFIED BY PRISON ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS. THIS IS A VIOLATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARDS: N.J.C.A. [SIC] 10A:5-2.6, 10A:5-2.10 AND 10A:5-2.11.

POINT II

PRISON OFFICIALS FAILED TO PROPERLY INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY THE NEW DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE OF APPELLANT'S INNOCENCE, PRESENTED AT HIS MCU HEARINGS. THIS SERIOUS VIOLATION WARRANTS A REVERSAL OF THE PRISON ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION.

POINT III

PRISON OFFICIALS VIOLATED APPELLANT'S DUE PROCESS RIGHT TO HAVE A FAIR HEARING AND THIS SERIOUS VIOLATION MERITS A REVERSAL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION OF DECEMBER 9, 2009.

We have considered these arguments in light of the record and applicable legal standards. We affirm.

Arias was convicted in 1992 of murder, kidnapping, armed burglary, terroristic threats, and two counts each of criminal attempt and possession of a dangerous weapon for an unlawful purpose.*fn1 He was sentenced to a life term with a 45-year period of parole ineligibility.

In May 1994, after conducting a confidential investigation, DOC's Special Investigations Division (SID) concluded that Arias planned to escape from custody during a court appearance at which he was attempting to gain visitation privileges with his children. It was further determined that Arias planned to kill the mother of his children in the contact visitation hall. SID also concluded that Arias had an alternative plan that included taking a female civilian DOC employee hostage, and using the employee "as a 'bargaining ...


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