Debate Magazine

Silk Road Founder Files Petition for Rehearing

Posted on the 26 February 2019 by Darkwebnews @darkwebnews

Ross Ulbricht, founder of the notorious dark web market Silk Road, filed a petition for rehearing after his appeal was dismissed by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The rehearing request was reportedly filed because the panel overlooked or misapprehended various essential points.

The defendant believes the court should reconsider several points.

After a series of attempts at appealing his sentence, Ulbricht is still not giving up the legal battle with the U.S. authorities.

The History of Appeals

Back in 2015, Ross Ulbricht, the inventor of the marketplace Silk Road, known on the dark web as "Dread Pirate Roberts," was imprisoned to two terms of life plus 40 years, without the possibility of parole.

Since he was convicted, his lawyers submitted many appeals citing arguments connected to his trial. However, so far, the judges continually decline to review their decisions.

In February of 2018, Ulbricht appealed decisions by Judge Katherine B. Forrest dated February 5 and February 21.

Nearly one year later, the Court of Appeals nixed the appeal and published a Summary Order and Judgement.

However, it did not take Ulbricht too long to file a petition for rehearing for the same case in February this year.

The Petition for Panel Rehearing

Submitted on February 7, 2019, the petition mentions a rehearing en banc. This time, Ulbricht appealed an en banc session, which is a hearing before all the judges of a court instead of hearing by a panel the judges have selected.

En banc reviews are held for either very important cases or unusually complex cases, among which Ulbricht's case can be found.

According to the defendant, the panel failed to decide truthfully in some instances, ultimately neglecting his legal rights in the case.

Namely, the decision of the panel conflicts with another case's decision by the same court. In this other case, the court granted a new trial motion on a specific basis Ulbricht learned about after the trial was over.

Ulbricht argued the panel misapprehended and overlooked crucial points in his trial and he strongly believes the panel should rehear this matter.

One of the Ulbricht's arguments for the rehearing petition was the fact that the council refused to hand over the complete client file to the defendant.

In this instance, Ulbricht argued that he did not need his file in order to contain the evidence but to efficiently research his Rule 33 allegation.

Another overlooked important point, according to Ulbricht, is that despite his request, the government denied producing the pen/trap data prior to his trial.

Ulbricht also claimed that before the 2017 publication of a book about his case, American Kingpin, he did not believe that the government observed him at home with the use of unlawful electronic surveillance devices and imported the information in their collection of pen/trap data.

In addition, Ulbricht also pointed to the government's notification of the Rule 33 filing deadline, which was only three days before the deadline officially ended.


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