According to a crowd-puller article by The Daily Beast, three separate anonymous sources have confirmed that the sitting US president is considering granting clemency to Ross Ulbricht, with two of them remarking that Donald Trump himself has privately expressed sympathy for the infamous creator of The Silk Road.
Ulbricht, also known by his online moniker Dread Pirate Roberts is the creator of the Silk Road – arguably the website that first encouraged the use of bitcoin to a large audience. The Silk Road was the first anonymous dark web marketplace that allowed the purchase of illegal drugs, having launched back in 2011.
Ulbricht was arrested on October 1 2013, and convicted on all counts in early 2015, receiving two life sentences plus 40 years without parole for crimes that most of his friends and supporters label as “victimless”.
The initiative to feee Ross Ulbricht has gathered massive support over the years – from political figures such as former governor of New Mexico and presidential candidate Gary Johnson, presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen and Congressman Thomas Massie and New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik, to free market-promoting and libertarian institutions such as Freedomworks, The Foundation for Economic Education, Reason Foundation, and last but not least – many cryptocurrency-related enterprises, such a Bitcoin.com, Shapeshift and Firo (formerly known az ZCoin).
Ideological alignment aside, a massive driver for support for Ulbricht has been people’s disappointment with the way American judicial institutions and investigation services have dealt with his case. This outlook is remarkably consistent with many of Donald J Trump’s remarks since before his inauguration and afterwards – increasing confidence in the legitimacy of the claims that clemency is being considered. The Daily Beast article reads:
Behind the scenes, he has the support of some presidential advisers, as well as criminal justice reform advocates with close ties to the administration and Trump family, including Alice Johnson…
After 2633 days of imprisonment, Ulbricht has not given up on his fight for clemency, and neither has his family. A petition for clemency for Ross Ulbricht has reached 365,841 signatures and given the unprecedented political situation in the USA, there is a good chance that their fight will result in a federal pardon.