After being denied a post-conviction relief extension in February 2018, Ross Ulbricht’s family and legal team filed a Petition of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court based on constitutional violations in the investigation and at sentencing. The petition was supported by 21 organizations, however, the Court denied Ulbricht’s petition on June 28. The fight to free Ross Ulbricht, 33, is now reinforced with a new petition created on Change.org, 3 days ago by FreeRoss.org. There are currently 6,242+ signatures and the petition aims at reaching 7,500.
“It’s Not the End,” Mother Cried at Her Son When Taken Back to Prison Cell
“It’s not the end.” Lyn Ulbricht had cried at her son in the courtroom when a marshal set his hand on his back to signal it was time to return to the cell after hearing the sentence. That was in Manhattan’s U.S. district court in May 2015. That day, Lyn had declared she would never turn away from her son, whom she considers innocent. The fight to seek justice for their son is not over for this family.
“My son, Ross Ulbricht, is serving a double life sentence plus 40 years, without the possibility of parole, for a website he made when he was 26 years old and passionate about free markets and privacy. Ross, an Eagle Scout, scientist and peaceful entrepreneur, had all non-violent charges and no criminal history.” The petition says.
“A Sentence That Shocks the Conscience.”
Ulbricht was accused of being the creator of Silk Road, the infamous international dark site and drug bazaar created in 2011, under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts,” aka “DPR” and was arrested in 2013.
The physics graduate and alleged mastermind behind Silk Road, described in the petition as “an e-commerce platform similar to eBay, where individual users chose what to list for sale,” was convicted in February 2015 after a four-week trial on all seven counts, from drug trafficking and money laundering to maintaining an “ongoing criminal enterprise.” All to be served concurrently with no chance of parole. A sentence usually reserved to drug kingpins.
Judge Katherine Forrest said she would give Ross “the severest sentence possible.” Restrained by law from issuing the death penalty, she gave him a walking death sentence instead. “Ross’s appeal points out “grotesque disparity” between Ross’s life sentence—which is unheard of for a young man with no criminal history and all non-violent charges, and the sentences of other Silk Road defendants.” FreeRoss.org writes.
Ulbricht’s new legal team, Williams & Connolly, also argue that there have been discrepancies in the investigation, namely with the participation of two rogue agents leading the federal investigation into Silk Road.
“Ross is condemned to die in prison, not for dealing drugs himself but for a website where others did. This is far harsher than the punishment for many murderers, pedophiles, rapists and other violent people.” The petition says.
Ulbricht has been relocated from New York to a maximum-security penitentiary called USP Florence. The family says this prison is meant for some of the country’s most violent offenders and they don’t understand why Ross is being kept there for his life sentence.
Do you think the sentence faced by Ross Ulbricht was fair and do you think the Change.org petition will be heard? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Freeross.org and Shutterstock.
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