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Friday, June 2, 2017

Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht loses bid to void conviction, life sentence

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.”

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