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United States v. Valentine

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

November 5, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARISE VALENTINE, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PRODUCTION OF BRADY AND JENCKS MATERIALS AND WITNESS LISTS [ECF No. 92]

          Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge.

         Charise Valentine asks the Court to compel the Government to produce Brady materials and witness lists at least sixty (60) days before trial, and Jencks materials at least thirty (30) days before.

         Because Valentine fails to give the Court compelling reasons to deviate from its standard discovery practice, her Motion is DENIED without prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Government charged Valentine and four co-defendants in a twelve-count indictment, alleging Valentine was involved in a scheme to unlawfully distribute controlled substances while working as a medical doctor in a clinic. Valentine is charged with: Count One - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Controlled Substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846; and Counts Seven, Eight, and Nine - Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and Aiding and Abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2.

         A jury trial is scheduled to begin on May 4, 2020.

         The Court entered its Trial Notice and Standing Order regarding, in part, discovery and inspection of documents. The Court ordered that, upon request of defense counsel, the Government: provide all Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1) information and permit defense counsel to inspect, copy, or photograph any exculpatory/impeachment evidence as required by Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976), and Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 105 (1972). Nothing in the Order required the disclosure of Jencks Act material prior to the time its disclosure is required by law. The Court specifically noted the duty to disclose is continuing, even throughout trial.

         In its Discovery Notice, the Government summarized that government agents obtained evidence from numerous sources. The Government says it either affirmatively produced that information, or, agreed to make that information available for inspection upon defense counsel's request. The Government also noted its obligation to provide materials as required by Brady and its progeny in time for effective use at trial.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         For most criminal prosecutions, there are three governing rules that “exhaust the universe of discovery to which a defendant is entitled.” U.S. v. Presser, 844 F.2d 1275, 1286, n.12 (6th Cir. 1988). Those are: the Brady doctrine and its progeny, Fed. R. Crim. P. 16, and the Jencks Act. Id.

         The Brady doctrine, derived from Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1962), requires the Government to disclose evidence that is favorable to the accused and material to guilt or punishment, as well as evidence that could be used to impeach the credibility of a government witness. Presser, 844 F.2d at 1281.

         Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a) requires the Government to disclose, upon request, “any oral or written statements of the defendant, the defendant's prior record, any documents or tangible evidence within the government's possession, custody or control [that are material to the defense or to be used in the Government's case-in-chief], reports of examinations or tests, and a summary of any expert witness testimony.” U.S. v. Watson, 787 F.Supp.2d 667, 672 (E.D. Mich. 2011); see also Presser, 844 F.2d at 1285.

         The Jencks Act generally requires the Government, upon request from the defendant, to produce the statements of witnesses who will testify at trial. United States v. Short, 671 F.2d 178, 185 (6th Cir. 1982).

         I. ...


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