“What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.”
You’re damn right, Mr. Markus. Markus, writing for his Southern District of Florida Blog, cracked the story that has made Florida papers and is sure to put a smile on every now-disillusioned American’s face.
Terrance Brown is one of five defendants accused of conspiring to hold up armored trucks in 2010. Prosecutors are using phone records to corroborate a co-conspirator’s testimony about the planning, conspiracy, and execution of the crimes, and to prove that the defendants were near the locations at the time of the robberies.
The testifying co-conspirator previously pled guilty to murdering a Brink's truck guard and is serving a life sentence, reports the Sun Sentinel. One wonders if the deal was life-for-testimony and how that might've impacted the content of his testimony. Unfortunately, Brown is presently unable to contradict that testimony, as his phone records are unavailable because his carrier, MetroPCS, didn't store records from before September 2010.
Meanwhile, you may have heard of a certain scandal -- something about the federal government collecting the metadata of every American cell phone (including location information, calling records, and other relevant bits of data). It's reportedly quite useful for tracking suspected terrorists. It might also be useful for, say, exonerating a certain alleged armored car robber.
And if not, it's at least a hilarious jab in the direction of our overly-intrusive federal government.
The U.S. District Court heard the defense's request and gave the prosecution a time to respond fully to the unusual motion. Meanwhile, it's uncertain if the phone records would even help. Brown, if he was even carrying a phone, may have used more than one. The defense requested records from two known phones and his wife, who is testifying for the prosecution, told the court that Brown himself didn't own a phone. He instead borrowed phones from family and friends.
There is only one word for the defense attorney, Marshall Dore Louis: Brilliant. Absolutely freaking brilliant. One has to wonder how many more attorneys will now be requesting information from this treasure-trove of GPS locations, calling records, and other cell phone "meta data." And if it becomes too much of a hassle to process the requests, will it provide any motivation to stop invading our privacy?
- NSA Scandal: More Thoughts and What's Next? (FindLaw's Technologist Blog)
- PRISM, the Other Beast: What is It? (FindLaw's Technologist Blog)
- Lawyer Posts Video of Client's Drug Deal on YouTube (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)