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Doris Cheung Receives Media Coverage for Appearing Before New Jersey Supreme Court in State vs. William Hill 

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New Jersey Monitor
1.23.24

Doris Cheung, Counsel at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., recently represented the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL-NJ) (Amicus) in the matter of State vs. William Hill et. al. before the New Jersey Supreme Court. Cheung’s representation of the ACDL-NJ was through the organization’s partnership with the firm’s Stein Public Interest Center under the direction of Director CJ Griffin.

The New Jersey Monitor published an article titled "New Jersey’s Top Court Rejects Challenge of Witness Tampering Law” covering this case. The article delves into the Supreme Court’s decision as to whether the state’s witness tampering law is constitutionally overbroad in connection with a “polite” letter that the defendant wrote to a carjacking victim.  Justice Wainer Apter, writing for a unanimous court, rejected the overbreadth argument but reversed the defendant’s conviction for witness tampering, noting that in this case, the statute was unconstitutionally applied.  The decision held that the defendant is entitled to a new jury trial where the State must either prove that the defendant possessed the higher level of intent to commit witness tampering, or entirely remove the contents of the letter from evidence. 

The Supreme Court’s recent holdings in this case and in Calvin Fair underscore the protections of our First Amendment right to free speech.  While the Hill decision sends a clear message that criminal prosecutions based upon the content of speech require a higher threshold of mens rea unless they fall into one of the traditional exceptions for unprotected speech, we are disappointed that the decision relied on an as-applied challenge rather than finding that the statute was constitutionally overbroad,” said Cheung.

To read the full article, click here.

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