Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ross Ulbricht Trial: Government Begins Closing Arguments

I can't imagine how this is going to go well for Ross Ulbricht.

The judge in the case put up a major road block to two key witnesses that Ubricht's defense lawyer planned to call. It was one of many rulings by Judge Forrest that went against Ubricht.

Forbes writes:
[I]t is disappointing that we will never get to see the defense Ross Ulbricht planned to have. We will only have its vague, ghostly outlines, and a brief glimpse—before the judge and prosecutors clamped down on it—into the madhouse of federal law enforcement. We nearly had an unprecedented insight into how the government polices the Internet. But that opportunity is now vanished, gone with the Silk Road trial that wasn’t.
The judge's roadblocks  seemed to have caused the defense to simply give up. We have moved to closing arguments, with extremely little in the way of a defense by Ulbricht's attorney. Here's Liberty Beat reporting on what went down today:
The defense then called it’s first witness, a former roommate and friend of Ulbricht’s who testified about his experience living with him. He described spending nights playing djembe and taking walks socializing with friends.

Following Ulbricht’s former roommate the defense called Prince to discuss her investigation. The direct examination of Ms. Prince was surprisingly short, lasting only a few questions.

At this point Judge Forrest instructed the jury that closing statements from the government and defense would begin. The prosecution spent an hour going over the evidence they have spent the last three weeks presenting. This included incriminating handwritten journals, testimony from friends, and government agents involved with infiltrating the Silk Road marketplace.

The prosecution spent an hour explaining the evidence and the charges Ulbricht is facing. At 1 pm the Judge called for a lunch break. When we return the government will finish it’s closing statements and the defense will begin presenting their closing arguments. Jury deliberation may begin today or early Wednesday.

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