Two More Criminal Cases for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it will review two more cases.  Both are criminal appeals in which the Court granted certification.

In State v. McNeil-Thomas, the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Among other issues, was defendant entitled to a new trial based on the prosecutor’s summation, which included the presentation of video surveillance footage and the prosecutor’s comments on that footage?”  A two-judge Appellate Division panel, in an unpublished opinion, reversed defendant’s convictions and remanded for a new trial based on the conduct of the prosecutor.

The other case, State v. A.M., presents the following question “Was defendant entitled to suppress his inculpatory statement under the circumstances presented, including the participation of a police officer serving, in part, as an interpreter of defendant’s interrogation?”  In a published opinion, reported at 452 N.J. Super. 587 (App. Div. 2018), the Appellate Division ruled that defendant’s waiver of his “Miranda” rights was not voluntary, knowing, or intelligent, and that therefore his inculpatory statement should have been suppressed.  The case features the unusual circumstance of Judge Fuentes having written both the panel opinion, for himself and Judges Carroll and Gooden Brown, and a separate, concurring opinion of his own.