US v. Jade Jackson
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 8:11-cr-00545-RWT-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4658]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
JADE CLAYTON JACKSON,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Greenbelt.
Roger W. Titus, Senior District Judge. (8:11-cr-00545-RWT-1)
Submitted: April 28, 2017
Decided: May 30, 2017
Before NIEMEYER, WYNN, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
James Wyda, Federal Public Defender, Sapna Mirchandani, OFFICE OF THE
FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellant. Rod J.
Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Hollis Weisman, Assistant United States Attorney,
Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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In 2012, Jade Clayton Jackson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1112(a) (2012), and driving with a revoked license, in violation
of 36 C.F.R. § 4.2 (2017) and state law. The district court sentenced Jackson to 51
months of imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. Following his release
from incarceration, the district court revoked Jackson’s supervised release and sentenced
him to 24 months of imprisonment. Jackson now appeals. For the reasons that follow,
On appeal, Jackson argues that the district court erroneously admitted the
testimony of a laboratory technician regarding her review of raw data generated by
machines which tested samples of Jackson’s urine where the tests were conducted by
The testifying witnesses stated that based on her review of the
machine-generated data, the samples were positive for phencyclidine (PCP). Jackson
also challenges the district court’s admission of the laboratory reports generated by
certifying technicians who did not testify at the revocation hearing. Those reports stated
that the samples contained PCP.
“We review a district court’s evidentiary ruling in a revocation hearing for abuse
of discretion.” United States v. Ferguson, 752 F.3d 613, 616 (4th Cir. 2014). Pursuant to
Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.1(b)(2)(C), a defendant in a revocation proceeding is entitled to an
opportunity to question adverse witnesses unless the court determines that the interest of
justice does not require the witness to appear. Id. That rule “specifically requires that,
prior to admitting hearsay evidence in a revocation hearing, the district court must
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balance the releasee’s interest in confronting an adverse witness against any proffered
good cause for denying such confrontation.” United States v. Doswell, 670 F.3d 526, 530
(4th Cir. 2012). “If hearsay evidence is reliable and the Government has offered a
satisfactory explanation for not producing the adverse witness, the hearsay evidence will
likely be admissible under Rule 32.1.” Id. at 521 A district court’s failure to conduct
“any reliability finding or [make] any attempt to engage in the balancing test required by
Rule 32.1” is an abuse of discretion. See id.
With respect to the testimony of the technician regarding her conclusions from
reviewing the data generated by the machines testing Jackson’s samples, the district court
did not err in admitting that testimony. See United States v. Washington, 498 F.3d 225,
229-32 (4th Cir. 2007) (supervising chemist may testify to review of machine-generated
data where other technicians conducted the test without implicating a defendant’s right to
confront witnesses against him). In addition, with respect to the reports of the certifying
technicians, which contained the same conclusions reached by the technician who
testified at the hearing, we conclude that any error in the admission of these reports was
harmless. See Ferguson, 752 F.3d at 618 (stating standard for harmless error review).
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court. We dispense with oral
argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the
materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
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