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Ross Ulbricht's defense files appeal to have Silk Road convictions thrown out

Ross Ulbricht's defense files appeal to have Silk Road convictions thrown out

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In a massive appeal brief filed yesterday, Ross Ulbricht's attorney asked a court to overturn the conviction of his client, who was found guilty last year of orchestrating online drug bazaar the Silk Road.

Lays out seven points for appeal

In May, Ulbricht, guilty of operating under the online persona of Dread Pirate Roberts, was sentenced to life in prison. His attorney now argues that the court made missteps during the trial, and that Ulbricht is entitled to a another day in court. The attorney lays out seven points in the appeal brief, focusing on how the court's conduct unfairly stacked the deck against Ulbricht.

The point outlined most prominently in the brief suggests that evidence of law enforcement corruption was improperly suppressed from the defense. Two federal agents were eventually found to have acted corruptly during the Silk Road investigation — a DEA agent and a Secret Service agent — but the full evidence was not given to the defense until after Ulbircht's trial, the defense argues. "In fact, the full nature of [the agents'] misconduct has yet to be disclosed, as the government quickly reached plea agreements with both, resolving their cases without any additional disclosure to the public or the defense herein," the brief reads.

The brief goes on to outline several instances where the defense believes the court acted improperly, including the judge's decision to preclude two of the defense's expert witnesses, and allowing a search warrant that "lacked any particularity" under the law. (Ulbricht's defense has made similar requests to the lower court before.) In the last point, the appeal brief argues that the life sentence given to Ulbricht "was procedurally and substantively unreasonable."

The appeal brief is embedded below.