Ed Snowden says he'll stand trial and even go to prison in the USA if he can have a public trial and mount a public interest defense

Thanks GF. So there is some basis for his forlorn hope.
Still, I think he is pushing the proverbial uphill.

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Yup. Just as a disclaimer, IANAL, but I’ve asked experienced lawyers and apparently telling other jurors on a jury about jury nullification is at best risky. It seems to be something one has to know about ahead of time, which most probably don’t so when they’re told by the judge that they have to rule on the legality alone, most accept that as gospel. I don’t know if the defense can mention it, but the public interest defense would at least seem to imply the same thing.

I too sincerely hope Snowden knows better than to trust the US government.


Assange is in jail in the UK, not the US. And he would have been released today except a judge last week, at a hearing where JA was seen, decided he was a flight risk (which he undeniably is).

Imagine that I had the “why not both” meme handy to post here.

I think it’s a bit of both; he tends towards the sensational and hyperbolic, and he consistently misrepresents and/or oversimplifies legal issues in a way that tells me that he really doesn’t seem to understand some of the things that he is reading.

I am a lawyer, so this makes me feel the same way that you probably feel when you see articles that misrepresent and/or oversimplify the results of scientific studies.

But fundamentally why is a jury important? One purpose of a jury is the prevention of government over reach. Jury nullification has a seriously mixed history, but the concepts behind it lie at the core of a jury system. I think judge Sobeloff wrote a really good decision looking at the issue in the case US v. Moylan The broader context begins at mark 8, but 13 is an great quote (everything before 8 is about mens rea and not super related to this discussion).

We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.

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It’s not the first time BB’s been caught by clickbait headlines. He probably just saw lawsuit and filled in the gaps based on his view of the US government.

I won’t say it’s a wrong view, but i think in his link it even says the US isn’t trying to stop the publication so maybe he just skimmed and missed it.

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he is a whistle blower, plain and simple, and deserves all the protections promised.


I don’t think I’m either, but if its a choice between complict ignorance and naivety, I’d choose naivety every day.

The man is a real patriot and a hero. He has no choice but to grandstand a bit to make the point he has given up a normal life for clear.

I support his decision. He IS a whistleblower, and Americans decide the laws of our land, ultimately, not the government- the government is Us. We choose them too.

Lets vote out all the slime and get this man a fair day in court. He deserves that, I don’t think he needs to be pardoned to make his point and save us all from what he exposed- but a pardon would say a lot about what we feel is just as a nation. If I were him, I would only ask for what he does too, because risking everything, your life nonviolently, is how you make a point of this magnitude to an entire nation.

Ever since 9/11, as a kid, I saw the United States become the sad shell of what I grew up believing in it to be from my mom, a history teacher. We are shitting on our ancestors and what they fought to create everyday.

A nation has secrets, but totalitarianism should never be one of them.


I have a great deal of respect and gratitude for Mr. Snowden. However, I’m not sure what purpose his request for a fair trial serves.

No one – least of all Snowden himself – is naive enough to believe that he would ever receive a public trial where he was allowed to explain his motivation to a jury. On average, I expect that the authorities would throw him in the deepest, darkest hole they have, and then forget where they put the key. Best case scenario is that he’d receive a show trial where he was effectively gagged throughout the proceedings (legally, though probably not literally).

So my question to Mr. Snowden would be, “Why did you make this statement about conditions that you know are clearly impossible?”

To encourage people to realize/(think about why) these conditions are clearly impossible?


My question for everyone that feels that’s an acceptable reality, not just a likely one, is why not expect better, demand better of our country for treating people this way in the criminal justice system?

Not saying you seem to be cool with it, I get what you mean, I’m just tired of resigning myself to that outcome as a standard accepted reality

There’s not much you can do about what other people believe, the “accepted” part of “accepted reality”. I don’t think there is much evidence of the “reality” part, that an extremely high-profile white American citizen will be subject to this kind of extreme rendition.

It is pretty likely that he would be found guilty, since he probably is guilty of the things he’s charged with, however one feels about those laws. It is also likely that the current administration won’t pardon him. However, the best guess as to what would happen is that he would suffer roughly the same fate as Reality Winner, who was sentenced to five years in prison, the longest ever sentence given by a federal court for this kind of espionage. Possibly Snowden has calculated that 5 years in prison followed by some degree of freedom in the US is preferable to a lifetime of exile in Russia.


Yeah, Ed, about that…


The US gov’t will never agree to have a public trial b/c that would expose the illegality of what they are doing.

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