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State v. Brimage
New Jersey Supreme Court
706 A.2d 1096 (1998)
Christopher Brimage (defendant) was indicted for drug possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property. The statute gave the state (plaintiff) discretion to waive mandatory minimum sentences in negotiated plea deals to incentivize defendants to cooperate with law enforcement. The statute’s mandatory minimum sentence for Brimage’s offense was four years in prison and mandatory parole ineligibility for three years. The prosecutor did not waive parole ineligibility, because Brimage admitted the offense, did not cooperate with related drug investigations, and the prosecutor’s office had the resources to prosecute Brimage. Brimage accepted the plea deal and pleaded guilty to the charges as indicted but challenged the state attorney general’s plea-deal guidelines as applied to his case. The guidelines provided a standard plea offer of probation conditioned on 364 days in county jail for Brimage’s offense. Instead, Brimage was sentenced per the prosecutor’s recommendation of four years in prison with parole ineligibility for three years. Brimage appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Garibaldi, J.)
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