You may have seen the news today that Ross Ulbricht, the man who created the Silk Road, the world’s most infamous black market “darknet” site, has been sentenced to life in federal prison with no possibility of parole. Given the unfair trial he was subjected to from start-to-finish, the fact that he did not take a plea, and because the feds want to “send a message” to underground market operators and participants, it’s sad but no surprise he got the maximum. Ross plans to appeal and fundraising is being done for that now.
One of the big questions at the time was, what did Ross want? We knew what his understandably-frightened mother and his court-obedient attorney wanted, but was their wish Ross’ wish?
Free Keene Bloggers James Cleaveland and Jay Freeville Outside the Ulbricht Trial
Local liberty activist David Crawford decided to write Ross and find out. Unfortunately, Ross didn’t write back until after his conviction, and in what may be the first publicly available letter from Ross Ulbricht, he exonerates the liberty-loving activists who came out to support him.
Ross thanks the activists for their support at trial and says he’s glad they were there, doesn’t think they did anything wrong, and appreciated their effort. He also expresses hope to not receive the life sentence. The full text of the letter appears below.
I got your letter a few weeks back, thank you for writing, and thank you for your support at the trial. I’m glad you were there protesting. You should be able to voice your opinions and hold signs, especially at a courthouse where it is especially important to have that freedom. I know it was touchy because the judge wanted to control what the jury was exposed to, but I don’t think you did anything wrong and I appreciate you trying to help even though I was found guilty in the end. Now I have to focus on sentencing. I really don’t want to get that life sentence even though I know the prosecutors will be pushing for it. Please thank the others that were with you showing me support at trial if you get a chance.
You can meet Ross’ mother, Lyn, at Porcfest 2015 next month, as she’ll be speaking about this harrowing experience at the yearly camping festival thrown by the Free State Project.
P.S. This story was originally posted in early March and then quickly pulled at the request of Ross and his family. They were worried it might affect his chances at sentencing. It didn’t. So, I’m reposting it now.
Ademo Freeman. CopBlock Founder, blogger, and motherfucker was arrested today for contempt of court in Zanesville, Ohio. He was there to see about a Zanesville CopBlocker, who was arrested for obstruction for filming last night. The bailiff in his Bambuser video challenged him to show him where he had walked in the courtroom with a hat on. This created an argument about filming in the courtroom to which Ademo responded, “I sued the last mother fucker who told me I couldn’t record in a courtroom, you wanna be next?”
The shitbag bailiff then went into the judge and told him Ademo called HIM a mother fucker! The judge found Ademo in contempt and told him he was sentenced to 10 days. After an apology, the judge relented and lowered the sentence to 5 days. People we know in Zanesville are worried about Ademos well being when he gets out, as they know how Zanesville cops are. (more…)
James is out, but has to deal with retrieving his box truck that was stolen by the police gang. Then, once he can escape Virginia, he’ll ultimately have to come back for what will likely be all manner of unnecessary court dates, costing him thousands in travel fees alone. Of course, “the state” people have no case, but they’ll draw it out as long as they can, likely. We’ll keep you informed here at Free Keene. Stay tuned for more on James’ situation.
Heroic activist, blogger, entrepreneur, and Free State Project participant James Cleaveland was sentenced in Judge Burke’s courtroom in Keene, New Hampshire for the charges of “disorderly conduct” and “resisting arrest”. His charges stem from a June 30th incident in which James was video recording police. According to officer accounts, James was ordered to move back from an “active scene,” and he complied. After complying with the first officer’s request, a different officer demanded he move back further. He refused and was arrested. (more…)
Ross Ulbricht is the man accused of running the Silk Road underground market. He’s facing life in prison and his jury trial begins tomorrow morning. If Ulbricht did run the Silk Road, he’s a hero for making the black market a safer place. If he didn’t, then he’s a man wrongfully accused. Either way, he should be found not guilty by the jury.
Liberty activists from Keene including Derrick J Freeman, James Cleaveland, and Jay Freeville and activists from Manchester Andre Rosa and William Kostric are heading down to Manhattan today! They’ll be meeting up with liberty activists from as far away as Austin, Texas and will be doing everything they can to help Free Ross and bring attention to his case. Stay tuned here at Free Keene for more.
Darryl W Perry walked into the Cheshire County House of Corrections this Friday. He walked out today, Monday. However, according to Mr Perry, he was not corrected.
Darryl was sentenced $163 in fines for the offenses of “Residency” and “Operating a Vehicle That is Not Registered”. What that means in plain English is that Darryl has a valid driver’s license in Arizona, but the State of New Hampshire alleges that Darryl is a resident of New Hampshire and must change his license over to New Hampshire.
New Hampshire law specifies that an inhabitant is not necessarily a resident, and Darryl asserts that he is not a resident. Therefore, he is not required to apply for a new license. Even if he wanted to, Darryl points out that he lacks the documents the State needs to prove residency. Even if he were able to acquire the forms and signatures necessary, he still wouldn’t be granted a new license because he has a warrant out of South Carolina (also for victimless crimes).
Darryl kept his spirits high throughout the experience. He had a celebratory lunch before going in and plans to have a celebratory supper now that he is out. Darryl produces a daily podcast and content at http://FPP.cc