I reported the other day about a discovery request made by Ross Ulbricht’s defense team, led by Joshua Dratel, to the attorney general in Maryland regarding what they see as evidence that the digital trail of evidence that helped convict Ulbricht in a separate case, a conviction for which he’s currently in prison for life, was clearly tainted and not properly presented to them for their defense. (Ulbricht was convicted on seven counts connected to allegations he ran the Silk Road darkweb sales site, under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”)
It has long been a defense contention that, although they grant Ulbricht founded the Silk Road, that the “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR) acting during the time of the accused crimes may well have been someone else.
Via an email from Ulbricht’s mother Lyn Ulbricht today is more evidence that the multiple-DPR theory might be true.
The defense team has learned, she writes, that someone logged into the DPR account on Silk Road’s forum on November 18, 2013, whereas Ulbricht had been arrested and in custody since Oct 1. This fact has been mentioned in the discovery letter sent to Maryland this week, she says, though it was not discussed in the press conference on it Tuesday.
Lyn Ulbricht’s official statement on this:
Joshua Dratel said a long time ago that we only know the tip of the iceberg regarding the corruption in this case. This week we have seen another big chunk of ice revealed: evidence tampering and apparently at least one additional DPR. If this back-up of the forum database had not been saved or discovered; if log-ins made by DPR after Ross’ arrest were not found, no one would be the wiser. This begs the question: how much more is there? Unfortunately we may never know, as it’s the nature of digital evidence that it’s easily changed, planted or deleted without a trace. That my son — or anyone — would get a life sentence without parole based on vulnerable digital evidence, especially when it’s been corrupted, is a travesty of justice.
The Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense effort is running a fundraising webathon on Sunday December 4, which I’ll be participating in as a commentator on the benefits the Silk Road provided to the world and the injustice of Ulbricht’s sentence. See FreeRoss.org for all the details.