The Free Ross campaign petition on Change.org has so far surpassed 100,000 signatures.
The petition, which is addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump, is calling for the release of Ross Ulbricht who is serving a double life sentence without the possibility of parole for his role in creating and operating the now-defunct Silk Road darknet market.
Through the Twitter handle set up by his family, Ulbricht relayed the news of the achievement and thanked everyone who signed the petition.
The petition was launched by Ulbricht’s mother together with supporters of the Free Ross campaign in a quest for his freedom.
Case Against Ulbricht
Ulbricht was found guilty in May 2015 on charges of conspiracy to traffic narcotics, computer hacking and money laundering for the involvement and creation of the darknet market Silk Road.
It has been argued that he was unfairly sentenced since other suspects did not receive similar harsh sentences.
Furthermore, his creation offered a platform where people would buy/sell goods or services anonymously.
This attracted criminal activities in the platform, resulting in illegal drugs being the most traded items on the site.
Through the Free Ross campaign website, it is alleged that Ulbricht’s sentencing was marred with corruption and was mishandled by the prosecution.
It claims that the investigation violated Ulbricht’s constitutional rights and relayed unproven allegations.
A petition of Certiorari was filed but was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier this year. This essentially locked all Supreme Court doors hindering Ulbricht from appealing his sentencing again.
The only viable option left to secure his freedom was a presidential pardon.
However, a court in Maryland dismissed the murder-for-hire indictment which was taken consideration during his prosecution and sentencing.
Earlier this year, the petition received a boost from Eric Brakey, a U.S. Senate candidate in the just-concluded midterm elections.
Brakey signed the petition and voiced his support for the movement on Twitter.
However, Brakey did not win the seat, a setback for the Free Ross campaign since Brakey would have been a powerful voice for Ulbricht’s freedom.
Regardless of this, Ulbricht has received support from key people such as Erik Voorhees, a pioneer in the cryptocurrency world.
A Step Closer to Freedom
Ultimately, five years into his sentence, the petition achieving over 100,000 signatures might be the most optimistic thing to have happened to Ulbricht.
Additionally, more people have begun questioning his sentencing and the manner in which the investigation was carried out.
If the allegations are true, then it would certainly undermine the trust of the justice system.
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