A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction and life sentence of Ross Ulbricht, the accused mastermind behind the Silk Road online black market for illegal drugs.
By a 3-0 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New
York rejected Ulbricht’s claims that his trial judge deprived him of a
fair trial, in part by preventing him from introducing evidence of
“corrupt” activity by two federal agents.
It also rejected Ulbricht’s claim that the sentence was too
long, citing the “staggering” $183 million of illegal drugs sold on Silk
Road from 2011 to 2013, and a lower court’s finding it more likely than
not that Ulbricht arranged at least five attempted murders for hire to
protect Silk Road’s anonymity.
“That he was able to distance himself from the actual
violence he paid for by using a computer to order the killings is not
mitigating,” Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch wrote in a 139-page decision.
“Indeed, the cruelty that he displayed in his casual and confident
negotiations for the hits is unnerving.”