State v. Arroyo-Nunez

The New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s order that denied the parties’ joint motion to vacate the mandatory period of parole ineligibility of the defendant’s sentence. The parties filed that motion pursuant to the former Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive No. 2021-4, “Directive Revising Statewide Guidelines Concerning the Waiver of Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Non-Violent Drug Cases Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12.” The trial court denied the joint motion, and both parties appealed. The Appellate Division ruled that the trial court misinterpreted N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12 and also failed to recognize subsequent amendments to the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987 (“CDRA”) that reflected the state legislature’s changing attitude toward the criminal prosecution of drug offenders and its intention to ease the more punitive aspects of the CDRA.

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