Why Does the Law Not Warn?

LawWarn Everyone who has children, or even nieces and nephews, understands that you have to warn a child before punishing him or her. If not, you teach the child a rash of bad lessons, like these: Punishment can rain down upon you at any time, with no warning. The world can’t be predicted. There are two kinds of people: those who order and punish and those who obey or suffer. The …

Justice Condemned: The Ross Ulbricht Case

RUJustice I’ve been in and around the US justice system for most of my life. I’ve always had relatives and friends who were lawyers, and I worked as an expert witness for more than 30 years. And however much I may disregard the state as an institution, I hold great regard for the common law, upon which the US justice system was based. So, when I tell you that Ross Ulbricht’s …

ROSC 20: A Storm Warning

rosc20 I walked into Jay’s expecting to find Johnny to be his usual gregarious self. And he was, so long as he was greeting people at the bar. Once we sat by ourselves in the restaurant, however, he changed. I had never seen Johnny scared before. I’d seen him angry, disgusted, and irritated, but not scared. We were barely through the usual “How’s your family?” stuff before he jumped into crypto. …

Herberts Shouldn’t Wear Tie-Dye

clothinghippies The term “Herbert” referred to a stiff, rule-keeping bureaucrat. Tie-dye was the clothing of hippies; it was made with bleach and strings. Being old enough to remember how things were “back in the day,” I’m always half insulted to see very fine establishment types – people whose livelihoods rest on uncritical obedience – trying to align themselves with nonconformists they would have hurried away from back in that day. Obedience …

Jury Nullification and Why Ross Ulbricht’s Prosecutors Are Trying to Evade It

There is a basic principle that underlies any honest attempt at good governance: Anyone given power over others must be subject to more scrutiny, and must be given less benefit of the doubt. Judging from their complaints, nearly everyone in modern America feels that things are out of control, and the rampant violation of this principle has to be among the biggest reasons. The man who lives quietly on 4th …

An Update on Ross Ulbricht, Allegedly the Dread Pirate Roberts

ross In 1998, Virginia Postrel wrote a book called The Future and Its Enemies. I’d be hard-pressed to find a better description for the current legal battle between the young man pictured above and the US government. That young man is Ross Ulbricht, and he seems to have been the agent of the future who created the Silk Road free market. I say “seems to,” because the people who are saying …