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United States v. Lakin

August 29, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LOWELL THOMAS LAKIN, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on defendant Lowell Thomas Lakin's Amended Motion for Discovery and Inspection (Doc. 37), which adopts several of the discovery requests made in a prior motion (Doc. 10). The government has responded to the original and amended motion (Docs. 13 & 65).

I. Prospective Government Witness Names and Addresses

The defendant seeks an order directing the government to disclose the names and addresses of potential government witnesses.

"It is well-settled that the Constitution does not require pretrial disclosure of prosecution witnesses. . . . Nor does Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 . . . require such disclosure." United States v. Edwards, 47 F.3d 841, 843 (7th Cir. 1995) (citing Weatherford v. Bursey, 429 U.S. 545, 559 (1977)); accord United States v. Cruz-Velasco, 224 F.3d 654, 665 (7th Cir. 2000). The district court, however, may order such discovery "pursuant to its inherent power to assure the proper and orderly administration of criminal justice." Edwards, 47 F.3d at 843 (internal quotations and ellipsis omitted).

In this case the government has stated that it will reveal the names of certain key witnesses in early September and a full list of witnesses on the eve of trial for use in jury selection. It has also agreed to produce witness statements either two or five days before trial*fn1, depending on the length of the statement, and to produce Brady and Giglio material at least ten days before trial.*fn2 The Court finds that in light of these promised disclosures, further disclosure is not required to ensure the proper and orderly administration of justice in this case. It will therefore deny Lakin's request for names and addresses of potential government witnesses.

II. Arrest and Conviction Records of Government Witnesses

The defendant seeks the arrest and conviction records of the witnesses the government intends to call at trial. In response to Lakin's original discovery motion, the government responded that it would provide the requested arrest and conviction records shortly before trial, but in its response to Lakin's amended motion, the government has announced that it will only produce conviction, not arrest, records but that it will provide them thirty days before trial.*fn3

The Court finds that the government's assurances are sufficient. As for government witnesses' conviction records, the government has agreed to what Lakin seeks -- disclosure thirty days before trial. As for the arrest records, the government is not obligated to disclose arrest records unless something about those arrests requires disclosure under Brady or Giglio or unless the government plans to use them in its case-in-chief, Rule 16(b)(1)(A). The Court notes that the government has promised to abide by the disclosure requirements of Brady and Giglio and trusts that it will likewise abide by Rule 16(b)(1)(A). The Court will therefore deny Lakin's request for arrest and conviction records of government witnesses.

III. Written Statements of Non-Trial Witnesses

The defendant seeks disclosure of written statements of potential witnesses the government does not plan to call at trial. The government has responded that it will produce all such statements that are discoverable under the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 26.2. The Court further notes the government's assurances that it will comply with the disclosure requirement of Brady and Giglio.

While the Court has doubts about whether the statements of witnesses not being called at trial or any other hearing are subject to the Jencks Act or Rule 26.2, the Court is confident that the government will produce such witness statements ten days before trial if disclosure is required by Brady or Giglio. This is all Lakin is entitled to and the Court will require no more.

IV. Confidential Informant Identities

The defendant also asks the Court to order the government to disclose the names and whereabouts of any informants in this case or in any other case that may have led to the investigation or prosecution of this case. Lakin argues that if the informant is an active participant in or a witness to the ...


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