OA19: Should Edward Snowden Be Pardoned?

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In this week’s episode, we look at some of the interesting details surrounding the intentional release of classified materials by Edward Snowden.  In particular, we looked at the legacy of Snowden’s leaks,  how they played out in the Second Circuit’s decision in ACLU v. Clapper, 785 F.3d 787 (2d Cir. 2015), and how they changed U.S. law.  In true Opening Arguments fashion, we don’t tell you what to think about Snowden… but we do tell you his impact on our government and the legal ramifications of what Snowden did.

We also tackle two fun listener questions.  One wants to know exactly how Andrew would go about defending the podcasts that made the phrase “puzzle in a thunderstorm” a household word while still maintaining decorum in court.   (If you’re one of those listeners who just loves hearing Andrew say massively inappropriate words and phrases, you’ll love this episode.)

Our second question takes a serious look at the crucial phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  What exactly does that mean?  We tackle burdens of proof and the most important four words in criminal law.

Show Notes & Links

  1. ACLU v. Clapper, 785 F.3d 787 (2d Cir. 2015).
  2. June 6, 2013 Guardian article showing FISA Court order of Verizon.
  3. The Guardian “Explainer” on Snowden.
  4. The criminal indictment of Edward Snowden.
  5. Count I:  18 U.S.C. 641
  6. Count II:  18 U.S.C. 793(d) (the Espionage Act)
  7. Count III: 18 U.S.C. 798
  8. Victor v. Nebraska, 511 U.S. 1 (1994).

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