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.
I moved to the Shire just under one year ago. Since then I have been thrown into being a right to travel activist, but not by choice. The car I purchased with bitcoin has been pulled over by police in New Hampshire over 10 times now. Most likely due to the liberty stickers on the bumper. I do not leave home with out a camera on me any more because of the amount of interactions I find my self in with the local government agents. Due to this, I have recorded conversations with police more than I have ever wanted to. In this situation, I was in violation of the government edict regarding the proper sticker on my windshield. This sticker represents if my vehicle had been inspected with in the last year. Due to the fact that my car was in violation of said edict, I attempted to talk to this officer in a way that broke down the uniform. I treated him as a human being who is issuing a letter of extortion to me. Is this a good tactic? I know there are many strategies for talking to the police but I was already being issued a ticket and took advantage of the situation in an attempt to emotionally reach the officer. I am sure I made mistakes in how I handled this, please leave any criticisms you may have. The video was recorded by the latest Free State Project early mover Ann Leverette.
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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