After the post-conviction relief extension was denied in February 2018, Ross Ulbricht legal representatives filed a Petition of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court based on the constitutional contravention in the investigation and his eventual imprisonment. Moreover, 20+ organizations supported the petition; nevertheless, the Court denied to even hear Ulbricht’s petition on June 28. The fight to free Mr. Ulbricht is now reinforced with a new petition that was recently launched on the Change.org website by his mother and other activists. The Free Ross organization is an attempt to have the Silk Road founder released from prison by Gubernatorial clemency or Presidential pardon.
No one has given up hope yet for the release of the Darknet Marketplace creator. According to a report, 6,242 people have signed the petition, which needs to receive at least 10,000 signatures. Today there are almost 35,000 signatures. If the target is realized again, at 35,000, then they will go for 50,000 and so forth. Usually, these petitions have no end and likely do not succeed at convincing the President, let’s say. However, if enough people sign, even as many as 100,000 or more, then Ulbricht’s fight will gain a national recognition. Then, maybe, a real conversation can be had about his pardon and eventual release from prison.
“It’s not the end!” Ulbricht’s mother screamed following the guilty verdict in court years ago when he was taken away in handcuffs. From that moment, Lyn declared she would never turn away from her child, whom she considers not guilty of any offense.
“My child, Ross Ulbricht, has been convicted for double life sentence plus 40 years’ imprisonment, without the possibility of parole, for a site he launched, when he was 26-years-old and enthusiastic about free markets and privacy. He is an Eagle Scout, a scientist as well as a peace-loving entrepreneur, and without any violent charges, nor criminal record,” she stated.
— Ross Ulbricht (@RealRossU) July 21, 2018
Unfortunately for him, the investigators working in the law enforcement agency did not share similar ideas as the Silk Road boss. Ulbricht was convicted for being the administrator of Silk Road, the notorious international darknet marketplace designed for the distribution of drugs, weapons, murder-for-hire, and much more. He was accused of operating under the moniker “Dread Pirate Roberts,” aka “DPR” when he was apprehended in 2013.
The activists together with Ulbricht’s legal team described Silk Road in the petition as, “an e-commerce platform just like eBay, where individuals chose what to list for sale. Both lawful and unlawful items were peddled, most frequently small amounts of marijuana.”
Mr. Ulbricht was sentenced in February 2015 after a four-week trial on all seven counts, from the distribution of drugs and money laundering to operating a progressing criminal venture. His two-lifetime sentences without parole was usually a sentence reserved for a drug kingpin.
The additional information integrated into the petition which includes information provided by Ulbricht’s mother claims that the case against her son was manipulated from the beginning and that he was not accorded an unbiased trial. Instead, he was the fall guy, the example to be made to all other criminals.
The petition further stated, “Keeping Ross behind bars forever helps nobody as it will cost taxpayers about $2 million as well as rob the society of a remarkably kind, liberal and innovative individual.”
When Ulbricht appeared before Judge Katherine Forrest, she informed him at that time she would give him “the harshest sentence possible.” The only thing that restrained her from issuing the death sentence was the law. The convicting judge additionally pointed out that she wanted to make Ulbricht an example that would be used to stop other individuals from carrying out such crimes in the future. She later issued him a walking death sentence instead.
“Ulbricht’s petition points out “grotesque disparity” between Ulbricht’s life sentence, which is incomprehensible for a young man with no criminal record as well as all non-violent charges, together with the conviction of other Silk Road defendants,” FreeRoss.org writes.
It has been three years since Ulbricht’s conviction. Since then both Gary Davis and Roger Clark, both major associates of Ross Ulbricht, have surrendered to the United States government, and have faced trials for conviction. Hopefully, a more positive outcome awaits Ulbricht in his future.