Sunday, January 4, 2015

Silk Road trial sparks jury-rights campaign in NYC

Jury rights activists rally in NYC around Silk Road trial - National Libertarian news | - Garry Read:

January 3, 2015 - "The trial of Ross Ulbricht, accused by the federal government of running the Silk Road 'dark web' site on the Internet, kicks off on Monday, January 5, in New York City. Libertarians see the trial as yet another unjust victimless crime prosecution.

"Jury rights activist James Babb issued a press release Friday announcing a month-long jury nullification campaign in the area around the US courthouse in Manhattan to coincide with the Ulbricht trial. The protest will feature large phone kiosk advertising posters in the area while an army of activists distribute nullification pamphlets in an effort to educate people about their rights and responsibilities as jurors.

"A grassroots Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launched in December and scheduled to run through February 5 has already raised more than their target goal. 'Early support has come from libertarians and redditors,' George Donnelly of the Jury Rights Project/NYC explained on the Indiegogo site. Because of that six kiosk jury nullification posters are already prominently posted, ringing the area around the courthouse.

"While the immediate goal is to support Ulbricht the long range objective is to end victimless crimes prosecutions in the city in 2015. Many Libertarian News Examiner readers will remember that former Penn State professor Dr. Julian Heicklen was repeatedly arrested and sent to jail or to psychiatric hospitals for distributing Fully Informed Jury Association outreach pamphlets at this same Manhattan courthouse.

"The 30-year-old Ross Ulbricht faces life in prison as the alleged creator and operator of 'Silk Road,' an 'illicit online marketplace' that was shut down by the feds in 2013. Silk Road, according to the libertarian Reason Magazine, was a secretive 'darknet' site operated as an online commerce website like Amazon or Yelp where people around the world could anonymously buy and sell non-legal drugs and have them delivered to their door by their country's postal service."

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