Bank Robbery Suspect Wants NSA Phone Records to Prove His Innocence

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This is genuinely fascinating. A guy named Terrance Brown is on trial in Florida for allegedly masterminding the robbery of a Brinks armored truck. Prosecutors have used phone records to track the movements of one of Brown’s codefendants, but guess what? They don’t have phone data for Brown himself because his carrier apparently didn’t keep it.

You can see where this is going, right? Here’s the LA Times:

On Sunday, after federal officials acknowledged the NSA trove, Brown’s attorney, Marshall Dore Louis, filed a midtrial motion asking the NSA to turn over Brown’s phone records. “The records are material and favorable to Mr. Brown’s defense,” Louis wrote, adding that the request was “not intended as a general fishing expedition.”

Everyone quoted in the article expects the federal government to fight back like crazed weasels against this order, and I don’t doubt that they’re right. They’ll probably win, too. But it would certainly be an intriguing case for the Supreme Court to decide, wouldn’t it?

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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