One of my regular readers sent this next article to me, and I thought it was interesting so I decided to follow up on this case. It appears this case is a really big deal, but until today I never heard of it. What really got my attention was a reader who commented saying the only way he will get jury nullification is if the jury is made up of anarchists, like Ulbricht. Interesting comment don't you think?
I will have some final comments at the end.
Jury Nullification and Why Ross Ulbricht’s Prosecutors Are Trying to Evade It, by Paul Rosenberg December 19, 2014
There is a basic principle that underlies any honest attempt at good governance:
Anyone given power over others must be subject to more scrutiny, and must be given less benefit of the doubt.
Judging from their complaints, nearly everyone in modern America feels that things are out of control, and the rampant violation of this principle has to be among the biggest reasons. The man who lives quietly on 4th Street is entitled to his privacy, but the actions of a policeman authorized to use violence must be scrutinized. Likewise the prosecutor who can ruin lives with the stroke of a pen. Power may never be given the benefit of the doubt by a free people; it must be suspect at all times. Anything less leads to tyranny.
Jury Nullification: The Embodiment of This Principle……To Read More……
Alleged Silk Road Creator's Lawyer DeniesBitcoin Is 'Monetary Instrument,' Moves To Drop All Charges, Andy Greenberg 4/01/2014
The trial of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged creator of the Silk Road Bitcoin-based black market for drugs, hasn’t yet begun, but it’s already raising hairy legal questions. First on the docket: Is Bitcoin even money? In a motion filed over the past weekend, Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel argued that all charges against his client should be dropped, including accusations of conspiracy to traffic in narcotics, launder money, hack computers, and run a “continuing criminal enterprise,” a charge often called the “kingpin” statute and used to prosecute mafia and cartel leaders. After being arrested in San Francisco last October, Ulbricht pleaded not guilty to all those charges in February…..To Read More…..
- Here’s more on the bitcoin component of this story. Ross Ulbricht: Hero or Villain?
Silk Road Trial Evidence Against RossUlbricht Revealed, by Caleb Chen 12/21/2014
Prosecutors’ evidence against Ross Ulbricht has been released in the build up to the January 2015 Silk Road Trial. Ulbricht stands accused of being Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), the head of Silk Road, one of the first in a long line of underground Deep Web/Dark Net marketplaces that rely on technology and cryptography to function.
Though it has been over a year since the arrest of Ross Ulbricht at the beginning of October in 2013, the list of evidence that will be used by the Silk Road prosecutors in the January trial was obtained recently by the Daily Dot. Ross Ulbricht’s defense attorney Joshua Dratel filed a compilation of objections to the list of 250 evidence exhibits which was not sealed by the court until a week later.
The entirety of the evidence exhibits allow us to extrapolate the likely flow of the Ross Ulbricht’s Silk Road Trial. Listed with the “government exhibit list” are the defense’s objections. For the vast majority of the evidence being presented, Ulbricht’s defense is objecting that much of the evidence presented is hearsay, unable to be authenticated, will cause prejudice, or unrelated to the presented charges…..To Read More….
Ross Ulbricht is finally getting his day in court, 15 months after plainclothes FBI agents grabbed him in the science fiction section of a San Francisco library and accused him of running the billion-dollar online drug bazaar known as the Silk Road. It’s a day that anyone who cares about crime, punishment and privacy in the shadows of the internet will be watching.
If Ulbricht doesn’t take a last-minute plea deal and his trial begins as scheduled in a New York courtroom Tuesday, it will be the most significant case of its kind—in many ways the only case of its kind—to play out in front of a jury. The Silk Road anonymous drug market he’s accused of creating was an unprecedented experiment in online anarchy and black market commerce. And Ulbricht’s insistence until now on taking his case to trial means its fundamental issues will be argued in public…..To Read More…
- Here’s the Free Ross Ulbricht site defending his position and asking for money for his defense. I'm only linking this site because the site adds comments that are worth viewing.
Final Thoughts - It seems to me he's guilty as sin. It also seems to me the federal government is playing fast and loose with the facts and the law. If he wasn't selling illegal drugs I could be a bit more sympathetic to his plight, but these "recreational" drugs undermine all that is foundational to a stable functional society and these people are using our values against us to destroy society for profit - we really do need to get that. People cannot function as productive citizens while high. And spare me the old saw about alcohol. Alcohol has been highly detrimental to society for hundreds of years, but that's one were stuck with by culture. That doesn’t justify adding destructive substances into society. It’s disturbing when society is compelled to defend the guilty in order to defend principles that go beyond guilt or innocence. This should be worth watching.....and the Jury Nullification article was worth the time.