The Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit yesterday upheld the conviction and sentencing of Ross Ulbricht for life without parole based on crimes associated with launching and operating the Silk Road website.
Ulbricht's lead lawyer Joshua Dratel argued on appeal that Ulbricht "has a constitutional privacy interest in IP address traffic to and from his home and that the government obtained the pen/trap orders without a warrant, which would have required probable cause."
Judge Gerard E. Lynch disagreed.
Ulbricht also argued that the computer age requires rethinking that third party principle, since we are giving up so much information about our whereabouts and associates that we are not consciously considering.
But Lynch said "We remain bound, however, by that rule until and unless it is overruled by the Supreme Court."
Ulbricht's defense argued that the search of all the contents of the laptop the FBI stole from him when arresting him was unconstitutionally overbroad, amounting to a prohibited "general warrant" and not a specifically targeted legitimate search.
Lynch disagreed with that.
Ulbricht's legal team further argued that the fact the government withheld information regarding corruption investigations into two agents who were part of the investigation against him, Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges and Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Carl Force, "deprived him of a fair trial....Ulbricht did not learn of Bridges's corrupt conduct until after trial when the criminal complaint against both agents was unsealed. Thus, in his motion for a new trial, he argued that the belated disclosure violated his due process rights under Brady v. Maryland."
Lynch didn't believe that was enough to reconsider the conviction,
Ulbricht's appeal argued that having a couple of his expert witnesses denied access to the stand harmed his fair trial; Lynch disagreed.
Finally, Ulbricht's defense wanted to argue that the cumulative effect of all the problems it found with the original trial resulted in a denial of a fair trial. No go, said Lynch: "The challenged trial rulings were well within the district court's discretion, and the various exclusions did not prevent the defense from offering evidence probative of innocence."
Regarding the sentence of life without parole for crimes that amounted to operating a web site that other people used to sell drugs, which the appeal considered unjust and unreasonable, Lynch was again not persuaded.
Ulbricht's mother Lyn Ulbricht, says she expects Ross appeal,
The above via Reason. More detail there.