United States v. Ritchie

Expert testimony from a former Drug Enforcement Agency chemist regarding the synthetic drug “spice” would have been cumulative and, thus, not material to the defendants’ convictions for drug crimes.

At trial, the defendants had been allowed to produce two other experts who offered the same substantive testimony, which failed to convince the jury. Still, the 4th Circuit vacated the convictions and remanded to determine whether the excluded third expert’s testimony was material so as to violate the defendants’ Sixth Amendment rights. The district court concluded that testimony from a third expert wouldn’t have changed the jury’s rejection of their opinions.

United States v. Ritchie, No. 4:15cr18, Sept. 28, 2018. EDVA at Newport News (Jackson).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Virginia

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