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Silk Road Seized - Dread Pirate Roberts Arrested

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Due process is a joke.
-Renegade (August 07, 2014, 07:26 AM)
--- End quote ---

Not really. It's pretty precise for the most part. But it doesn't quite work the way people think it does - or think it should. Especially when we're sympathetic towards the defendant.

The biggest problem Ulbricht has is his allowing Silk Road to become associated with some things he had to have known would put it on very shaky legal grounds. Turning a blind eye and then claiming ignorance isn't a smart legal defence strategy. And displaying wilful ignorance is very often interpreted as an admission of culpability. Then he got foolish and decided to double-down and thumb his nose when it became general public knowledge there were concerns about the operation and activities taking place within Silk Road.

Sorry Ren, I don't see this as a kangaroo court just yet. (Although it could always turn into one.) I think the government prosecutors are dotting every i and crossing every t while his defence team is shot-gunning everything they can think of to muddy the waters and try to give them the moral high ground.

It's not going to work.

Like TechDirt, my real regret is that this isn't a good case to test the recent SC interpretations on limits for gathering evidence. It's a weak case on those grounds. And if those 4th Amendment motions are addressed in the final judgement, it will have the effect of legally weakening the SC's ruling by making judges (who generally do pay close attention to case law precedent) more likely to dismiss 4th Amendment challenges to the admissibility of evidence going forward.

Opponents of that SC ruling are probably hoping those motions by Ulbricht's legal team loom large in the upcoming trial for that very reason..

It appears the FBI are lying about how they found the Silk Road. <faux surprise! />  :o

“I find it surprising that when given the chance to provide a cogent, on-the record explanation for how they discovered the server, they instead produced a statement that has been shown inconsistent with reality, and that they knew would be inconsistent with reality,” Weaver said. “”Let me tell you, those tin foil hats are looking more and more fashionable each day.”
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Verdict: Guilty.  :'(

So, if anyone does anything on your web site that is illegal, you can go to prison for it. Nice.

Insert freedom:

^@Ren: I don't know how to break this to you...but attempting to get some evidence barred on a technicality in the face of what could be seen by a judge to be clear evidence of wrongdoing is an extremely risky legal strategy even under the best of circumstances. Because despite what people see in movies how the despicable criminal character walks out of court scot-free on a minor evidentiary technicality or constitutional rights violation (within 15 minutes of going before a judge no less) is mostly the stuff of Hollywood script departments. In reality, it seldom happens. And this is nothing new. It's the way most courts operate, and have been operating for several decades. If a "clear appearance of wrongdoing" is there, technicalities will seldom save you. As a recent TechDirt post put it:

...even for the more nuanced legal arguments -- or Ulbricht's attorney's chosen path of trying to toss out a bunch of alternate scenarios to sow "reasonable doubt" in the jury -- the simple nature of the fact that many people used Silk Road to buy and sell illegal drugs was always going to cloud the overall case against Ulbricht.
--- End quote ---

There's a recent case in Nevada where a US Magistrate Judge (not the same thing as federal District Court Judge btw) got pissed about some FBI shenanigans when it came to applying for a warrant, and has moved to void the warrant and suppress the evidence that was collected under it from an upcoming trial. Story here.

But a Magistrate Judge (who is really more a high-level administrative legal assistant) doesn't get to make the final decision. That's for a District Court Judge (i.e. real judge) to decide when it goes to trial. Be interesting to see if the District Court Judge goes with the recommendation of the Magistrate.

I'm guessing he/she won't. But hey! This is all happening in Nevada - so you never know... ;)

Ulbricht's lawyer was desperate. The judge wouldn't let them have any defence at all. He took what was left after the judge explicitly banned him from using several other defences.

That was no less a show trial than any you'd expect in North Korea.

Being overly kind, this:

The kangaroo also banned any mention of jury nullification.


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