In 2015, Ross Ulbricht, the brain behind the Silk Road online marketplace, was given a double life sentence and he marked ten years of imprisonment yesterday.
He tweeted yesterday on Twitter that he fears he will have to spend the remainder of his life “behind concrete walls and locked doors.” He said, “All I can do now is pray for mercy.”
In 2013, Silk Road facilitated transactions that amounted to $1.2 billion using Bitcoins and received $80 million in commissions. He was sentenced to two life terms plus forty years and no possibility of parole.
The fans of Ulbricht claim that his sentence is too severe when compared to other people involved in the marketplace who received shorter prison terms, and some of them are even free.
There is also a DAO called “FreeRossDAO,” who bought Ross’s NFT collection for 1446 ETH, with the goal of freeing Ross, advancing prison reform, and sharing Ross’s work with the world.
The prosecution relies on the FBI seizure of the laptop in 2013 that resulted in Ulbricht’s arrest and eventual conviction. While some call for his release given the length of his sentence, others cite allegations that he was involved in questionable activities, including hiring hitmen.
The Silk Road saga still asks questions regarding the punishment of online criminal activities, as other platforms are used for similar transactions. Ulbricht’s case is still a subject of intense debate, with the supporters arguing to reassess his sentence.