Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Figueroa v. Nogan

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 17, 2018

ROBERTO FIGUEROA, Petitioner,
v.
PATRICK NOGAN, Respondent.

          OPINION

          ESTHER SALAS, U.S.D.J.

         Petitioner Roberto Figueroa (“Petitioner”), a prisoner confined at East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, New Jersey, at the time of filing, has submitted a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (D.E. No. 3 (“Petition”)). For the reasons below, the Petition will be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This Court, affording the state court's factual determinations the appropriate deference, see 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), [1] will recount salient portions of the recitation of facts as set forth by New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, in its opinion on post-conviction relief:

On September 15, 2008, defendant pled guilty to an amended charge of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4 (a) (1), as a lesser-included offense of first-degree murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(2). During the plea colloquy, defendant admitted that he shot the victim during an attempted robbery. Pursuant to the negotiated plea agreement, the trial court sentenced defendant to twenty years in prison, subject to the 85% parole ineligibility period required by the No. Early Release Act (“NERA”), N.J.S.A. 2C:43- 7.2. Defendant did not file a direct appeal from his conviction and sentence.
Several months prior to defendant's guilty plea, his codefendant, Michael Bonilla, was convicted following a jury trial of a number of charges related to the same incident, including first-degree felony murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3(a)(3), and first degree robbery, N. J. S. A. 2C: 15-1. The tria1 court sentenced Bonilla to an aggregate forty-five-year term, subject to NERA. Unlike defendant, Bonilla appealed his conviction and sentence. On October 31, 2011, we reversed Bonilla's first-degree felony murder and robbery convictions, and remanded the matter for resentencing on several other counts.
On remand, Bonilla pled guilty to the charge of first degree robbery, and the State agreed to dismiss the felony murder charge. Although the State requested the trial court to impose a twenty-year term, the court sentenced Bonilla to twelve years in prison, subject to NERA.
When defendant learned of Bonilla's resentencing, he filed a petition for PCR. He asserted that Bonilla hatched the plan to rob the victim, yet had received a twelve-year term for his role in the scheme, while defendant received a twenty-year term. Thus, defendant argued that his twenty-year sentence was excessive and his sentence was “grossly disparate” to that imposed on Bonilla.

State v. Figueroa, A-003369-15 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. 2016).

         The post-conviction relief (“PCR”) court denied relief and the Appellate Division affirmed the denial. Id. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for certification. State v. Figueroa, 159 A.3d 884 (N.J. 2017).

         Petitioner thereafter filed the instant habeas Petition. (See Petition). He raises only one ground for relief-that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated because his sentence was grossly disparate as compared to his co-defendant. (Petition ¶ 12).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         As amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), 28 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.