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State of New Jersey v. Quadir Graham

September 10, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
QUADIR GRAHAM, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 07-12-4002.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 6, 2011

Before Judges Reisner and Hayden.

Defendant, Quadir Graham, appeals his conviction, following a jury trial, on one count of third-degree possession of heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). The jury acquitted defendant of third- degree conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2; third-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1); and third-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute it within 1000 feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. The trial judge sentenced defendant as a persistent offender, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3a, to seven years in prison with a three-year period of parole ineligibility.

On appeal, defendant raises the following contentions for our consideration.

POINT I - THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. 1, PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY THE PROSECUTOR'S ARGUMENT THAT HIS WITNESSES WOULD JEOPARDIZE THEIR POLICE CAREERS BY LYING. (Not Raised Below).

POINT II - THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. 1, PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY THE IMPROPER ADMISSION OF OTHER-CRIME EVIDENCE. (Not Raised Below).

A. THE EVIDENCE WAS IMPROPERLY ADMITTED.

B. THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO PROVIDE THE JURY WITH A

PROPER LIMITING INSTRUCTION AS REQUIRED BY THE LAW.

POINT III - THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. 1, PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED WHEN THE STATE'S LAY WITNESS RENDERED A HIGHLY PREJUDICIAL OPINION THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS RUNNING AN ILLICIT DRUG BUSINESS. (Not Raised Below).

POINT IV - THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. 1, PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY THE ADMISSION OF UNFAIRLY PREJUDICIAL EVIDENCE. (Not Raised Below).

1. THE STATE PROFFERED EVIDENCE SUGGESTING THAT THE POLICE WERE CONDUCTING A GANG INVESTIGATION EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS CONNECTED WITH ANY GANGS.

2. THE STATE IMPROPERLY RELIED ON EVIDENCE THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS SITUATED IN A HIGH NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING AREA TO PROVE THAT HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE DRUG ...


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