TL;DR: “Well…I’m turning 35 in prison today,” tweeted the account associated with Ross Ulbricht. Dubbed by authorities and the media Dread Pirate Roberts, founder and curator of notorious dark web site Silk Road, Ulbricht was sentenced to two life terms plus 40 years without the possibility of parole. 27 March 2019 is his 35th birthday.
Ross Ulbricht Turns 35 Years Old in Prison
“The best birthday gift you can give Ross is your signature on his petition for clemency 🙏 Help us get to 150,000 and share the link with your network. #FreeRoss2019,” a thread comment urged. Many longtime cryptocurrency enthusiasts credit then-underground web marketplace Silk Road with being the use-case needed to show bitcoin’s potential. The site operated for two and a half years, 2011 through most of 2013, before US law enforcement officials seized it and arrested co-founder Ulbricht.
He was convicted, almost exactly four years after Silk Road’s launch, of narcotic trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic fraudulent identity documents. Ulbricht appealed his sentence and conviction, but was denied at the Second Circuit. Summer of 2018, the US Supreme Court refused to hear further appeal.
Supporters have taken to a direct petition of US President Donald Trump. “We are currently the fastest growing clemency petition on http://Change.org,” @ClemencyForRoss insisted. “The more signatures we have, the more chances we’ll get the attention of the president to commute Ross’s sentence. Once we reach 150k, the next milestone will be 200k.” Ulbricht is considered a non-violent, first-time offender, and even his harshest critics agree the sentence he received is excessive.
Ulbricht’s memory and the championing of his release has been kept alive by Lyn, his mother. She is a staple guest at conferences, on podcasts and YouTube channels, wherever she can get the word out. By and large, the cryptocurrency community has been very supportive. Those interested in finding out more about the case are encouraged to visit FreeRoss.org. The petition can be found at Change.org.
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