A recent STR Blog by Don Stacy, along with my Letter to a Young Juror, eventually worked on my slow brain to suggest that the freedom-loving community may soon have a big opportunity to turbocharge the process of eliminating government.
From Wired magazine I read that Ross “Ulbricht, who [prosecutors] say was Dread Pirate Roberts, the founder and operator of the online drug bazaar known as Silk Road who earned millions in commissions from the sale of drugs on the site, faces drug conspiracy and money laundering charges in the Southern District of New York. He also faces a more serious charge in Maryland of conspiring to have a former administrator of Silk Road murdered in exchange for $80,000. The deal was allegedly negotiated earlier this year between Dread Pirate Roberts and an undercover DEA agent.”
I have no idea about that bit concerning commissioning murder, except that it makes no sense at all if everything else alleged is true. Ross was apparently making tens of millions of dollars in Bitcoin, serving a large market of people wanting to buy and sell illegal drugs. Why jeopardize all that, by committing a real crime?
One explanation of that charge is to dissuade you and me from supporting him in any way; to undercut his popularity prior to trial. It's the kind of thing prosecutors do, to poison the jury pool. They may fabricate such an accusation out of nothing, knowing it will be dismissed – but by then the court will be in session, or about to begin. Support needs to raise a head of steam well before that day.
So for now, I will assume that the murder item is totally bogus. Even the price doesn't ring true; the alleged hit was not a prominent politician but a former “administrator.” $10K or $20K would suffice. That part of the story aside, then, IXQuick Free Ross Ulbricht to see the latest news and how one might help. Nothing else he allegedly did had a victim; he furnished an anonymous trade mart (eBay is a trade mart) on line, period.
Even if it's found he used illegal drugs, there is no victim. Even if it's found that he traded them, there is no victim. This is a victimless-crime case, and so is ripe for jury nullification. But in fact, he didn't even do those things, from what I've read; he just furnished a trade mart.
His will be a high-profile trial, and acquittal would bring huge gains for liberty:
the principle of jury nullification will become far more widely known
Ulbricht, and/or others, will be free to resume “Silk Road”-type business(es)
the value of anonymous, virtual money (Bitcoin) will become far more widely known
From the last of those, a heavy and possibly mortal blow may be struck against government monopoly money and the banks that promote it. From the second of them, the government's century-long “war on drugs” will head for collapse, along with much of the outrageous spying on financial affairs that it is designed to sanitize. From the first of them, a whole raft of laws prohibiting peaceful conduct may become unenforcible – with immense benefits for society.
In Chapter 4 of my Transition to Liberty I foresee that such laws will become unenforcible anyway during the last few years of the Government Era, as more than one-twelfth of the population from which jurors are chosen have graduated from the Freedom Academy; for it will not be feasible to empanel a jury without at least one member refusing to convict. But a successful campaign right now, to Free Ross Ulbricht, could bring forward that happy day.