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State of New Jersey v. Gjelosh Docaj

July 3, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
GJELOSH DOCAJ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 03-07-1477.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 1, 2012 -

Before Judges Espinosa and Kennedy.

Defendant appeals from the denial of his petition for post- conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

Defendant was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1), (2), (count one); possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4(a) (count two); and possession of a weapon without a permit, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) (count three). The sentencing court merged count three into count one and imposed a sentence of life imprisonment subject to the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2 (NERA), with five- years parole supervision on count one, a concurrent term of five years on count two, and appropriate fines and penalties. The court also required defendant to pay $7,750 in restitution to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board.

Defendant filed a direct appeal in which he raised the following issues:

POINT I

THE INSTRUCTION ON PASSION/PROVOCATION MANSLAUGHTER MISSTATED THE LAW. (NOT RAISED BELOW)

POINT II

IN HER OPENING STATEMENT, THE PROSECUTOR IMPROPERLY URGED THE JURY TO CONSIDER "THIS . . . A TRIAL TO SEEK JUSTICE OF [SIC] HER DEATH."

POINT III

THE DETECTIVE WHO INTERROGATED DEFENDANT REPEATEDLY TESTIFIED THAT DEFENDANT "WAS NOT TELLING THE WHOLE TRUTH" AND "WAS TRYING TO HIDE SOME THINGS."

POINT IV

THE COURT TOLD THE JURY, WITH RESPECT TO THE ADMISSION OF DEFENDANT'S STATEMENT, THAT IT HAD ALREADY RULED ON "THE QUESTION OF ...


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