Derrick J Freeman and more than a dozen activists, many from NH, were in front of the Manhattan federal district court yesterday. Not only did they make news, they also got to judge to threaten the entire courtroom! More on that in a later post. For now here’s FOX NYC’s report on the Ross Ulbricht / Silk Road trial happening now, which features Free Keene blogger Derrick J!
Today was jury selection day at the very-important trial of Ross Ulbricht in New York City. Free Keene bloggers were out front of the federal district court in Manhattan, trying to get the word out about the insane penalty that Ross Ulbricht is facing if he’s found guilty at trial. Ross is accused of running the Silk Road underground marketplace and is facing decades in prison for it. Ross’ mother, Lyn has stood by her son and even joined the Free State Project. She has said that Ross will come to Porcfest in 2015 if he is not imprisoned!
However, getting him out of the cage he’s been in for 15 months awaiting trial is no easy task. The prosecutors are well funded and working within a system where they are on the same side as the judge. In the insane, inhumane US court system, jurors are generally precluded from knowing the penalty faced by the accused, as it may make them more likely to nullify a bad law if they feel the penalty is too severe.In a previous motion, the prosecution asked the judge to prevent Ulbricht from testifying about his liberty-oriented beliefs and they specifically mentioned wanting to prevent the jury from any possibility of jury nullification.
They are deathly afraid of jurors knowing about nullification. Indeed, according to Derrick J, potential jurors are being asked if they saw any signs outside the court. If so, the prosecution is dismissing them.
Several signs came from a heroic effort by Derrick J to help Free Ross that included liberty activists cranking out signage to bring for Ulbricht supporters, including:
“30 YEARS TO LIFE FOR AN HONEST WEBSITE?”
“WEB HOSTING IS NOT A CRIME. WTF?”
NH liberty activists have been doing jury rights outreach for years and defendants at trial in New Hampshire have been able to raise jury nullification as a defense, but this is federal court. No cell phones are allowed in. No cameras. Not even for the media. Just pencil and paper.
Guardian reporter Nicky Woolf, who came to Keene this fall and interviewed people, including me, about the police response to the Pumpkinfest Riots, took notice of the sign-holding this morning and interviewed Derrick J for his piece on the Ulbricht Trial from today.
Ross Ulbricht is the man accused of running the Silk Road underground market. He’s facing life in prison and his jury trial begins tomorrow morning. If Ulbricht did run the Silk Road, he’s a hero for making the black market a safer place. If he didn’t, then he’s a man wrongfully accused. Either way, he should be found not guilty by the jury.
Liberty activists from Keene including Derrick J Freeman, James Cleaveland, and Jay Freeville and activists from Manchester Andre Rosa and William Kostric are heading down to Manhattan today! They’ll be meeting up with liberty activists from as far away as Austin, Texas and will be doing everything they can to help Free Ross and bring attention to his case. Stay tuned here at Free Keene for more.
Robin Hood gets thrifty, for the people • Sign ordinance 101. Like getting punched in the d**k • Derrick J “unsuitable” to conceal carry • James goes on trial for recording the police • Messages from the folks • Rapsher, Shaunna, and James join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org
“No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’.”
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During the recent Trial of James Cleaveland, I recorded close-up video. Here it is, for anyone who is interested in another perspective:
I tried to include lots of close-ups of James, the witnesses who testified, the state attorney Jean Kilham, and of course Judge Burke.