You may remember the name Ross Ulbricht. On October 1, 2013, he was arrested at the San Francisco Public Library and charged with running the Silk Road, an online free-marketplace that operated as a Tor Hidden service and used bitcoin for payment. He was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics, receiving a double-life sentence without parole plus 40 years.
Here's a picture from a recent tweet by Ross Ulbricht captioned:
Non-violent drug offenders serving life without parole. There are many of us in here. We ask for mercy. http://freeross.org/life-sentences-for-non-violent-offenses/
Recently the Supreme Court declined to hear Ross's appeal, cementing his draconian sentence. From https://freeross.org, there were many questionable & concerning aspects to his trial:
- Fourth Amendment privacy violations, warrantless seizures of internet traffic
- Unprosecuted, unproven allegations of murder-for-hire used against Ross
- Two corrupt federal investigators (now in prison) and more hidden from the jury
- Investigation of alternate perpetrator derailed by “rogue” federal agents
- Defense cross-examination repeatedly blocked
- Defense witnesses prevented from testifying
- Proof of evidence tampering
- Proof of multiple people behind the DPR accounts
- Parallel construction and other lies used to hide NSA involvementand convict Ross
I've followed this case for a while, but was reinvigorated by @whatbitcoindid's recent interview with Ross's mother, Lyn Ulbricht. The interview aired on What Bitcoin Did Episode 27 (also on the Let's Talk Bitcoin Network).
Thanks @whatbitcoindid for this amazing podcast and raising awareness. Please start posting links to your podcasts on Steem, so we can support your work!
Sign! Help! Freedom!
Listening to the podcast was (m/s)addening. At this point, there is not much more than a glimmer of hope for Ross's emancipation. If you don't think it's just for him to be locked in a cage for the rest of his life, please sign his Clemency Petition. As I type, the petition has 48,458 signatures. To make a dent, we'll probably need at least 500,000 signatures, so please spread the word.
Lyn has been an amazing & relentless advocate for her son. I have huge admiration for her commitment, and I know it must be hard as the legal proceedings have not gone their way. I had the opportunity to hear Lyn speak at the Crypto Shit Show II in Philadelphia (co-organized by Steemian @mikesalvi).
Her talk was through videochat. Attendees were gathered around, with Lyn's image projecting onto a brick wall:
Take what you will from this photo, but for me it symbolizes both the injustice inflicted upon the Ulbricht family as well as their strength in remaining positive and fighting on.