Weeks before leaving office, the US. President Donald Trump is reportedly considering to pardon the mastermind of the now-defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht. Famously under the nom de guerre of Dread Pirate Roberts, Ulbricht was sentenced to a double life sentence plus forty years without the possibility of parole. Moreover, his appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit back in 2017 and the U.S Supreme Court in 2018 were unsuccessful.
According to the latest reports, the White House counsel’s office was reviewing documents related to Ulbricht’s case the President was recently acquainted with the situation and the pleas of the Silk Road founder’s allies. The report also asserted that three people with knowledge of the matter had claimed that Trump had previously expressed his sympathies and was weighing a pardon before Joe Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States.
However, it still remains if Trump has arrived at a final decision yet.
Silk Road: Blast from the past
Silk Road was known for allowing users to anonymously trade illegal goods and services in near-total secrecy. It used Tor, which happens to be an encryption network that routes traffic through the ‘dark web’. It essentially encrypts data and directs internet traffic through intermediary servers that conceal IP addresses before reaching a final destination. The platform also used Bitcoin.
The Founder and former administrator of the world’s most famous darknet drug market, Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence. But throughout the last couple of years, he has secured some high-profile and prominent supporters in the president’s political and social circle. He has reportedly received the support of some presidential advisers, and criminal justice reform advocates with connections to the administration and Trump family.
Following the development, Lyn Ulbricht, Ross Ulbricht’s mother was quoted saying,
“We’re very grateful for and admire all President Trump has done for criminal justice reform, especially passing the First Step Act, because that has freed thousands of desperate and deserving people, some of whom I know. We’re praying and remain hopeful that he will show mercy on Ross, as he has others, and commute his sentence to time served and give my son a second chance at life,”
This news comes just a week after repeated calls from the community to pardon Silk Road’s Ulbricht along with Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower and Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange. Since taking office as the 45th president of the United States back in 2017, Trump has granted executive clemency to 45 individuals charged or convicted of federal criminal offenses, as authorized under Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution.
Do the right thing and pardon Edward Snowden and Ross Ulbricht too.
— Jason A. Williams “Parabolic Guy” (@GoingParabolic) November 25, 2020