United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION AND ORDER ON PRETRIAL MOTIONS
MAURICE B. COHILL, Jr., District Judge.
Defendant Jashaad Coleman ("Coleman" or "Defendant"), is charged in a two-count indictment [ECF No.1]. At Count 1 Coleman is charged with aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, in the form commonly known as crack, a schedule II controlled substance, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2 and 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841 (b)(1)(B)(iii). At Count 2 Coleman is charged with possession, use and discharge of a firearm, that is, a 9mm handgun, during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii).
Presently before the Court are the following pre-trial motions filed by Coleman. Coleman filed a Motion for Early Disclosure of All Jencks Act Material [ECF No. 23]; a Motion to Disclose Evidence which the Government Intends to Use under Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b) and 609 [ECF No. 24]; and a Motion for Forensic Analysis of Firearm [ECF No. 25] which could produce exculpatory evidence under Brady v. Maryland , 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
I. Motion for Production of Evidence under 404(b) and 609 rECF No. 24]
Coleman seeks production of evidence that the Government intends to use against the Defendant at trial. Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence provides that "upon request by the accused, the prosecution in a criminal case shall provide reasonable notice in advance of trial... of the general nature of any... evidence [of other crimes, wrongs, or acts] it intends to introduce at trial" Fed.R.Evid. 404(b). Specifically, Coleman seeks the production of any uncharged "bad acts" that the Government intends to produce at trial. The Defendant asserts the prompt and dearly disclosure of all evidence the Government intends to use against the Defendant at trial is important as the Defendant will need adequate time to fully investigate and prepare his defense to such evidence. By way of this measure the Defendant is assured his Constitutional rights of due process, confrontation, and effective assistance of counsel.
In the Government's Omnibus Response it asserts it has not yet identified the specific bad acts is will seek to introduce at trial, but states there will be considerable 404(b) evidence that will be at issue at trial [ECF No. 26 at 2]. That being said, the Government has promised to provide the Defendant three weeks-notice prior to trial of the 404(b) evidence it will seek to introduce [ECF No. 26 at 3]. At the same time the Government will also provide to the Defendant any evidence it will seek to introduce at trial under Federal Rules of Evidence 412 ("Sex-Offense Cases: The Victim's Sexual Behavior or Predisposition"), 609 ("Impeachment by Evidence of a Criminal Conviction"), 803(24) C'Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay Regardless of Whether the Declarant is Available as a Witness"), and 804(b)(5) ("Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay - Regardless of Whether the Declarant is Unavailable as a Witness"). [ECF No. 26 at 4].
The Court finds that three weeks-notice prior to trial is an acceptable amount of time to provide the Defendant notice that will afford him his Constitutional Rights. Therefore, Defendant's motion is granted under the terms as specified by the Government. If the introduction of such evidence is contested by the Defendant, the Court will hear arguments on the issues at an appropriate time.
II. Motion for Early Disclosure of Jencks Material [EeF No. 23J
The Jencks Act provides in relevant part as follows:
(a) In any criminal prosecution brought by the United States, no statement or report in the possession of the United States which was made by a Government witness or prospective Government witness (other than the defendant) shall be the subject of subpoena, discovery, or inspection until said witness has testified on direct examination in the trial of the case.
(b) After a witness called by the United States has testified on direct examination, the court shall, on motion of the defendant, order the United States to produce any statement (as hereinafter defined) of the witness in the possession of the United States which relates to the subject matter as to which the witness has testified. If the entire contents of any such statement relate to the subject matter of the testimony of the witness, the court shall order it to be delivered directly to the defendant for his examination and use.
18 U.S.c. § 3500(a) & (b).
Defendant requests the Government produce all Jencks Act material in the interests of judicial economy and fairness [ECF No. 23 at 1]. The Defendant asserts that delayed production of Jencks Act material will have a prejudicial impact on the orderly administration of justice, including delays during the trial, and could deprive the Defendant of effective assistance of counsel [ECF No. 23 at 2]. Furthermore, the ...