Interview Notes of Government Agents Under the Jencks Act

Most courts that have considered the issue have concluded that the Jencks Act does not require the government to retain and produce rough interview notes. This Note examines the language and purpose of the Act to determine whether interview notes should be considered Jencks Act statements. Part I examines the policy underlying the Jencks Act and argues that the majority position sanctioning pre-trial destruction of interview notes conflicts with these statutory purposes. Part II discusses the statutory language and argues that the status of the witness as a government agent or a private individual determines the applicable section of the Act. This Part then analyzes the proper operation of the statute in both contexts. The Note concludes that in both situations, a statutory duty exists to retain and, in most cases, produce rough interview notes.