Ross Ulbricht will spend the rest of his life behind bars. After being found guilty in 2015 of seven counts relating to the creation and operation of the massive online drug trafficking website Silk Road, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected Ulbricht’s appeal to overturn his life sentence.
Ulbricht argued in his appeal that the district court committed several errors that deprived him of his right to a fair trial and incorrectly denied his motion for a new trial. What’s more, he asserted that the life sentence was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable.
The three-judge panel on Wednesday affirmed both Ulbricht’s conviction and sentence in all respects.
Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht's lead defense attorney, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Wired.
The judges noted in their ruling that although they might not have imposed the same sentence themselves in the first instance, on the fact of this case, a life sentence was “within the range of permissible decisions” that the district court could have reached.
The Silk Road, which operated using the Tor network, launched in February 2011 and persisted as the preeminent online black market for all sorts of criminal activity until it was shut down upon Ulbricht’s arrest in October 2013.
After his conviction in 2015, Ulbricht petitioned for a new trial but was denied.
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