Judge Forrest began the day by going over the instructions for the jury. Despite the strong precedent for juries acquitting defendants based solely on their disapproval of the law in question (jury nullification), which is one of the foundations of our Constitutional system, Judge Forrest explained that the jury is only allowed to decide on the facts of the case as it pertains to the law she has given them. While there have been cases where juries have completely disregarded these instructions, the jury was either unaware of their right to nullify the law, did not disagree with the law as it was presented to them, or both.
After only three and half hours of deliberation, the jury reached their verdict. The jury found Ross Ulbricht guilty of distribution of illegal drugs; guilty of distribution of illegal drugs on the internet; guilty of conspiracy to sell illegal drugs; guilty of operating a continuing criminal enterprise; guilty of aiding and abetting computer hacking; guilty of aiding and abetting trafficking of fraudulent identification; and guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Ross Ulbricht’s mother Lyn and father Kirk stated that they assume Ross plans on appealing the decision. Lyn also explained that this was not a fair trial due to the suppression of evidence and the court’s rejection of three witnesses. The three witnesses the defense was not allowed to call included computer science professor Steven Bellovin, bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos, and Andrew Michael Jones who operated as a moderator on Silk Road under the username Inigo. Jones was arrested in connection with Silk Road 2.0 and apparently had information about there being at least one other person operating as Dread Pirate Roberts.
(link to Lyn’s full statement http://www.audiopal.com/grab_your_widget.html?mId=64414006.2)
Ross Ulbricht’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 15th, 2015.