Ross Ulbricht Has Murder-For-Hire Charge Dismissed by Judge
Ross Ulbricht, the man convicted and imprisoned for operating the Silk Road marketplace, has received some rare good news. A district court in Maryland has dismissed a still-pending “murder for hire” charge — for which Ulbricht never faced trial, but which always featured prominently in prosecutors’ and law enforcement’s statements against him.
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The Ulbricht family has announced the official dismissal of an indictment against Ross by a district court in Maryland. Ross has consistently denied the accusation and charge.
Ulbricht hasn’t had much to be optimistic about in recent years. Despite a determined campaign by family and supporters, all attempts at appealing his life sentence — including his last ditch effort to get the United States Supreme Court to hear his case — have failed.
Maryland maintained these charges against him for almost five years — something his family believes “poisoned his case,” or negatively influenced people’s perception of him and ultimately contributed to the verdict he received.
While this charge never went to trial, it was often mentioned during his separate New York State trial by the government and mainstream media outlets. Thus, while the charge was never anything more than an unproven accusation, it seemed to be constantly given more weight than was justified.
Furthermore, its been claimed that because the judge actually used these unproven allegations to justify Ross’ heavy-handed life sentence, that the ruling should have been deemed unconstitutional under the Sixth Amendment.
Additionally, the case has been dismissed “with prejudice,” making it impossible for prosecutors to refile the case against him again in the future.
Supreme Court Denies Ulbricht’s Final Appeal
It follows the Supreme Court’s decision to deny his final appeal in late June, despite the belief that the ruling violated Ulbricht’s Sixth Amendment right to a trial-by-jury. This is believed to be the case because of the judge allegedly allowing unproven accusations to influence the ruling.
Now, with the Supreme Court route officially out of reach, the only hope Ulbricht has is if President Trump himself (or a future president) pardons him. This is an unlikely scenario that the family hopes becomes more probable, now the murder-for-hire charge has been dismissed.
What do you think of the courts dismissing Ulbricht’s murder-for-hire case? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, CBS News