Ross Ulbricht may have lost hope of having his sentence shortened or reviewed when his final appeal fell through earlier this summer, but the 34-year-old Silk Road founder is far from done fighting for his freedom.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.
Though his only way of communicating with the outside world is through the few seconds of phone time he gets routinely, he is determined to keep in touch with his followers, who have been loyally pushing for his freedom since day one. Ulbricht is now posting tweets from maximum security prison with the help of his dedicated family.
Ulbricht was handed two life sentences plus 40 years for running the world’s first dark web marketplace, Silk Road.
This was in 2015, and although dozens of new markets have sprung up in the place of the now-defunct Silk Road, no leniency has been offered to the man who many still believe is wrongfully incarcerated.
Silk Road was run by Ulbricht under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.” After his arrest, he was slapped with six charges of attempted murder alongside charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.
None of the murder charges made it onto his final charge sheet, though it can be said that they played a big role in influencing Ulbricht’s draconian sentencing.
Ulbricht’s court case was an emotionally charged one as the murder attempt on his colleague, Curtis Green, and the deaths of people who supposedly bought drugs from the online platform took center stage and painted him as an unrelenting drug baron who would stop at nothing to protect his business.
Realizing that Ulbricht’s sentencing could have been wrongfully influenced by the murder-for-hire charges (which never made it to court), his lawyers attempted to convince the Supreme Court that the charges had nothing to do with his crimes and as such, his sentencing needed revision, but the court refused to rehear the case.
Citing the overwhelming evidence presented at the trial, Ulbricht was considered in the same breath as a dangerous drug kingpin that would commit even murder when his business was threatened.
Ulbricht’s legal team went on to insist that the district court which handed out the sentence only mentioned the attempted murder charges in passing and therefore it would be inaccurate to suggest that the ruling was made based on them.
One indictment remained out of the initial six murder-for-hire charges, and Ulbricht’s lawyers were able to get it dismissed earlier this summer.
Even the fact that two federal agents tasked with investigations into Ulbricht’s case have been charged and convicted of stealing Bitcoin was not enough to convince the Supreme Court that Ulbricht’s trial was flawed.
The court insists that it would not invalidate their testimonies despite the turn of events.
Even the dropped murder charges were swept under the rug as the court denied Ulbricht his appeal despite the inconsistencies in his trial.
Keeping in Touch with the World
Ulbricht might be tweeting just to stay in touch with the massive following he’s garnered over the years, but he’s also doing it to get U.S. President Donald Trump to notice his plight since a presidential pardon is his final hope for freedom.
A post that was published on July 27 confirmed that indeed the 34-year-old has been dictating his tweets to his family via phone, after which they’ve been posted word for word.
This is far from a permanent solution because Ulbricht’s may lose his phone privileges should the prison go into lockdown.
To further prove the authenticity of the account, Ulbricht sent a handwritten letter to his family which was scanned and posted both to his Twitter account and to the Free Ross website.
Many of his supporters have also been able to communicate with him directly through the aid of his family. Comments to his Twitter posts are printed and shipped out to him.
Ulbricht might be down, but he’s certainly not done yet. He expressed his gratitude to his supporters on July 19 after receiving close to a dozen pages of comments from his pardon petition on Change.org. According to him, these comments raised his spirits and deeply moved him.
Though Ulbricht is a non-violent offender, he remains imprisoned for life with no chance to appeal his case, leaving his freedom and indeed his destiny in the hands of the president.