State v. Gideon

In State v. Gideon, a jury convicted the defendant of aggravated manslaughter and related charges. Five years later, the defendant filed a PCR petition and alleged trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and call his girlfriend and mother as alibi witnesses. The PCR court dismissed the petition. Relying in large part on State v. Pierre, 223 N.J. 560 (2015), the Appellate Division reversed and ordered a new trial. The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division and reinstated the convictions. The Court distinguished Pierre and ruled that, considering the strength of the State’s case and the weakness of the defendant’s alibi, including the extent to which the proposed alibi witnesses would have contradicted the defendant’s account of the relevant events, the PCR court’s finding that the defendant failed to demonstrate prejudice should not have been disturbed.

Gideon