If Trump freed Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, would you vote Trump in 2020?

Create the world's first underground online drug market - no problem for the FSP!

Ross Ulbricht, Heroic Founder of the Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht is the founder of the world’s first Darknet market site, the Silk Road. By launching the anonymous marketplace, Ross changed the black market in the most fundamental and positive ways in all of history. The Silk Road allowed users for the first time ever to purchase their drugs anonymously and from the safety of their homes rather than having to go out in the streets where robbery and ripoffs have been common occurrences in the black market.

The Silk Road lowered violent crime and increased the odds that the buyer was actually getting the drug they ordered, since dealers on the Silk Road were subject to anonymous competitors. That drove prices down and quality up. All the while, Ross, allegedly acting as site administrator, “Dread Pirate Roberts” helped his site’s users understand the ideas of liberty through a book club he ran. Ross was and still is a very principled voluntarist libertarian. Ross is also arguably the second most important person in the history of Bitcoin besides its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Silk Road put Bitcoin (BTC) on a lot of people’s radar at a very early time in Bitcoin’s history, as one needed to have Bitcoin in order to shop on the site.

Of course, the government thugs could not allow this newfound free market to stand so they targeted Silk Road and were able to uncover its location and admins back in 2013, bringing them up on multiple felony charges. One admin, “Inigo” aka Andrew Michael Jones was even a Free State Project signer who had visited Keene, though we didn’t know that about him at the time.

After a sham trial, where Ross was clearly railroaded, lowlife judge Katherine Forrest sent him to prison for two life sentences plus forty years. All for simply creating a website. Forrest believed this would “send a message”, but apparently no one cares. More sites like Silk Road popped up to replace it and despite many of them being taken down by the feds over the years, they keep springing up again and again. After all, there is a lot of money to be made and someone will always be willing to take the risk to supply the demand in the market. The cops can talk tough all they want – the war on drugs is a failure and anyone honest knows it.

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross outside his trial.

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross outside his trial.

This week, I spoke with Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’ mother. She told me about a new petition to get her son out. Given Ross’ appeals failed in the corrupt, evil “justice” system, his only chance at freedom is a commutation of his sentence from none other than Donald Trump. Though this certainly seems like a long shot, Trump has indicated some interest in criminal justice reform, so perhaps it’s not impossible. Lyn has already been circulating a petition nationwide which has garnered over 168,000 signatures. However, there is a new, special petition only for people in New Hampshire.

Lyn hopes the new petition will get New Hampshire likely voters to indicate their support for Trump commuting Ross’ sentence, ideally with the voter pledging they’ll become a single issue voter and vote for Trump in 2020. While the petition itself doesn’t pledge that the signer will vote for Trump, those willing to make that pledge should do so in the comments section. If you’re in New Hampshire or will be by 2020, please take a moment to sign the petition here. If you’re willing to vote Trump if he commutes Ross’ sentence, please indicate as such. It’s not like your vote means anything at the national level anyway, so why not?

Once the petition gets enough signatures, Lyn will present it to the head of the Republican party in New Hampshire in hopes that will help it get in front of Trump. It’s a long shot, but it’s the only chance Ross has. I’m signing, how about you?

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38 Comments

  1. This article is full of poor excuses about what he did and how it would affect the community.

    “The Silk Road allowed users for the first time ever to purchase their drugs anonymously and from the safety of their homes rather than having to go out in the streets where robbery and ripoffs have been common occurrences in the black market”.

    Really? Is this the best you can do? You don’t know what you are getting and who’s giving it too you. You don’t know what’s in it and how it’s made. Any pharmaceuticals ie… opiates, ie fentanyl, morphine, dialaudid, are schedule 2 narcotics. thinking you could handle these meds without a Dr. overseeing it’s use is asinine. Besides the only way you could get those drugs is because they were stolen. No one makes this stuff at home in a lab. The bottom line is whether you buy this drugs on the street or over the internet, you are taking your life and the lives of others to a no win situation.

    The “silk Road” was a site that offered everything illegal. It had nothing to do with the government wanting a ‘piece of the action” Trump signed orders to crack down on international and USA dealers. There is no way he will let Ulbricht go from prison. You can sign every petition under the sun and all he will get is a list of names that are nothing but drug addicts.

    Don’t forget there were suspicions of hiring for murder regarding his site.

    Ian, you really need to be educated about drugs and their effects on society both socially, physically, criminally, and how the American tax payer has to pick up the bill for overdoses, lost wages, crime, etc…

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-orders-crackdown-drug-trafficking-anti-cop-violence-n719001

  2. I forgot to add, here are the schedule 2 drugs. Show me any of those drugs that are made in any home drug lab. If you can get them, they were stolen and you have no idea what a dealer is giving you.

    https://www.drugs.com/schedule-2-drugs.html

  3. aww duhh At a minimum he’d have to pardon Ross before I’d give him my vote.

  4. @Jumping Jacks
    That’s not the point, drug addicts are going to get to drugs one way or another. Buying online is safer, online you can read reviews other people write about the product, people often test the drugs using test kits and write reviews. All in all, ordering drugs online is safer than in person in a lot of ways.

  5. JJ: Ian didn’t excuses Ross for anything. He praised him for his good work.

    “You don’t know what you are getting and who’s giving it too you. You don’t know what’s in it and how it’s made”

    You do realize that is the exact problem that Ross was solving. They had a doctor and a lab that was testing the drugs. As far as who is giving it to you I’m not sure it matters so long as you can trust that the product is good. That is what the rating system did. If someone shipped you something that wasn’t as expected you could rate the seller poorly.When you treat enough people poorly by giving them something else, not shipping the goods, etc then you won’t make as much money. If you are really bad it’ll entirely undermine your operation.

    “The “silk Road” was a site that offered everything illegal. It had nothing to do with the government wanting a ‘piece of the action'”

    This is wrong. The Silk Road was merely a platform for selling and buying goods online. It was little different than eBay where illegal stuff gets bought and sold all the time (just do a search for kodi box and you will see what I mean, most will advertise them in such a way that it is clear the boxes are for streaming pirated movies and TV shows). What users sold and bought was not the platforms problem. The problem for the platform was enabling users to have a safe system to do business and it did that. The platform wasn’t even all that libertarian. They did have some restrictions on what could be bought and sold. I can’t recall the details though. I think it might have been guns and child porn. Either way it’s hardly libertarian if there is a restriction like this because it then becomes a non-neutral platform. If anything Ross was too involved (assuming you ?believe? the police anyway and think he operated the platform the entire time).

    “There is no way he will let Ulbricht go from prison. You can sign every petition under the sun and all he will get is a list of names that are nothing but drug addicts.”

    About the only recreational drug that I am conscious that I do, but not necessarily when, is caffeine. I signed. I don’t know why you are so jaded jacks. You need to get some psychological counseling. Or maybe you are just into BSDM or something. You should probably keep those fantasies to yourself and ya know act on them in a consensual way once in a while. Then maybe you won’t be so uppity about what other people do with there lives.

    “suspicions of hiring for murder”

    Kinda like the millions of people the government murdered and you by way of supporting it?

    “Ian, you really need to be educated about drugs”

    I’m pretty confident Ian is well aware of the effects. If he wasn’t he’d probably not be able to do the many things he does on a regular basis. Unlike say the heroin addicts who can’t hold a job down he’s clearly not one of those people. Whatever drug use he does or doesn’t do isn’t impacting his life in any significant way.

    ” and their effects on society both socially, physically, criminally, and how the American tax payer has to pick up the bill for overdoses, lost wages, crime, etc…”

    You do realize that it’s doctors who are the primary reason people become addicted to harder drugs right? It’s a lack of education, not Ian, not Silk Road, etc that if anything are to blame. You go to a doctor for advice and treatment. You don’t expect them to put you in harms way. Now sometimes people don’t follow the advice of the doctors true. But it wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve been underwhelmed by the lack of education when being prescribed drugs.

    If a heroin addict dies because of an overdose that shouldn’t be on the taxpayers dime. It should however be on the dime of those who contribute to a system that serves a moral prerogative. It’s not governments job to protect me from myself.

    On the issue of crime. The reason that crime goes up with addiction is down to government attacking the free market competition in the market place and creating risks that show up to consumers in the form of higher prices. This problem is easy to solve by completely legalizing all drugs and flooding the market with cheap drugs. It’s worked elsewhere. No reason to believe it couldn’t work here other than. maybe government and idiots like you undermining it via taxation. Taxation can cause prices to go up and thus leave a black market to continue providing the cheapest option.

    “I forgot to add, here are the schedule 2 drugs. Show me any of those drugs that are made in any home drug lab. If you can get them, they were stolen and you have no idea what a dealer is giving you.”

    This is a government fabricated problem jacks. It also isn’t the case that the drugs have to have been stolen. Somebody I know at this very minute has oxycodon only because he didn’t need it all after a surgery. While I’m not going to say it is going to end up on the black market there is no reason that it couldn’t and it would not have been stolen.

    lol, just did a search for Examples of Schedule II narcotics and they explicitly include oxycodone: hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone (Dolophine), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and fentanyl (Sublimaze, Duragesic). Other Schedule II narcotics include: morphine, opium, and codeine.

  6. I agree Ross Ulbricht provided an important community service, and he deserves to be free, not punished for it by languishing in jail. However in the scope of all the things that a president of the United States can effect, the fate of any one person is still relatively small potatoes. I’m somewhat surprised that Ian, whom I admire and generally consider sensible, would pose such a question.

    If Donald Trump pardoned Ross and I was convinced that he did so because he really “got it”, that would be something worthy of consideration, but this would fly in the face of most of what we know about Trump and his motivations. Even in the unlikely event of such a pardon, it would take a LOT more demonstration of his commitment to pro-freedom policies to get me to vote for him, and I would still have to hold my nose while doing it because of his odious personal character and ethics. Realistically speaking, I just can’t see myself casting such a vote.

  7. Once the petition gets enough signatures, Lyn will present it to the head of the Republican party in New Hampshire in hopes that will help it get in front of Trump. It’s a long shot, but it’s the only chance Ross has.
    geometry dash

  8. Breaking a law isn’t the same thing as harming another person. Until that problem is recognized and addressed, there will always be a Ross Ulbricht. There are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of political prisoners in the U.S. It’s not a stretch to say that most people within the borders of the U.S. in some way are prisoners, since most people are subject to official victimization at any time of a myriad of victimless “laws”.

    I feel for his mom, what a horrible thing to know your son is imprisoned, and doesn’t deserve it. Don’t think I could vote for Donald Trump though.

  9. edit ^^^ “victimless crime laws” , not victimless laws.

  10. kk – Again, your statements are wrong. You have nothing to back them up. Dr.’s are not the primary reason why people get addicted. Again, your facts and statements are a mile off at best. I work with drug addicts everyday. You cannot tell me different.

  11. Jumping Jacks, you have come here to intentionally spread misinformation. Why is it your agenda to spread misinformation? An example of your misinformation is that you say that all the goods sold were illegal. This is wrong. Get your fucking information right. The primary reason why people get addicted by drugs is because the government has made it illegal. There was a review process on the Silk Road, but I guess the likes of you will not let facts get in the way of your agenda.

  12. JJ, I work in the drug field, and KK’s statements moreso reflect my beliefs and what I’ve seen from experience. Your claims all seem to be alligned with the likes of Jeff Sessions, and based upon things you read in tabloid headlines.

    While KK’s claim that Dr’s are the primary source of adduction may be an exaggeration, it’s a very close second, if not first reason for why. Definitely first if you also take into consideration the ripple affect it has. I’ve seen many times where someone gets prescribed Vicodin or a low to medium level narcotic, and end up with excess, that usually ends up either later being abused by the person prescribed them, or past along to friends/family. I’ve seen many times where someone talks about having a bad migraine or headache, and their friend/family member gives them some of their excess Vicodin to help

  13. I woke up this morning feeling good about life but then read the comments of this story and was blown away by the shear ignorance and hate coming from these people.. Jumping jack…. I seriously think you might have some serious deep seeded physiological issues… Trump has made it alright for every racist, bigot, in America to spread there infection, by giving them the courage to spew their hate. Shame on him and shame on you… Ross ulbricht did break the law and does deserve to pay a debt to society, but a life sentence does not fit the crime!

  14. No. It takes actual good leadership qualities for me to vote for the POTUS. Things like this are a distraction to that, no matter your opinion on the matter.

  15. Jacks honey, it really isn’t physicians anymore who are overseeing their patients pain management needs, now is it? These days, unelected bureaucrats have usurped that role. Now I realize that this goes directly against your busybodying nature, pookums, but patient care really isn’t a legitimate role of government. That responsibility should be left to the doctors who are actually paid by customers directly for their expertise.

  16. It’s as if you guys forgot that he tried to call a hit on somebody. This man is no hero, and he needs to stay where he is.

  17. It’s as if E Callahan forgot that charge was dropped by a prosecutor, because it was bullshit This man is a hero and did more to help the world progress than E Callahan will ever do. He does not need to stay where he is.

  18. Jason – Ross Ulbricht knew what he was doing. He knew selling drugs on his website was against the law. He knew the dark web was a dangerous and illegal road. He played the game and lost. Now he has to pay the piper. I don’t make the laws. He is in prison because a jury of of his peers found him guilty. He needs to stay where he is. Who knows how many drug transactions were made by his website. You don’t know how man people were seriously hurt or died from those transactions. He is being made accountable.

    If you are having a bad day, then you chose to have a bad day. Just like Ross Ulbricht, you need to own your actions.

  19. A judge found that based upon a preponderance of evidence, the murder for hire charges, which were not a part of original the case were allowed to be shown to the jury. Jumping Jack, presponderance of evidence is a civil law standard of evidence, not a criminal standard of evidence. How is that fair?

  20. Vote for a candidate because he pardoned a guy who ran a black market website. Say that outloud and hear the stupidity of the words ring in the air. If that is what we base presidential votes on, this country deserves whatever decline befalls it.

  21. Vote for Trump, a man singlehandedly destroying the country, if he agrees to pardon a criminal? No thanks. There are much more deserving people in prison than this guy. While a believe his sentence was much too severe, I believe the same of many crimes. The answer isn’t begging Trump to pardon him. It’s criminal justice reform.

  22. SK if you can find me another case where evidence was given to another jury that was based not on the reasonable doubt criminal standard, of which the prosecutions case is meant to argue his case, but based upon a presponderance of evidence, which is not a criminal standard, but a civil court case standard based upon simply the “probability” of an allegation being true, I will see the thing as you see it. But if you can not, then you should acknowledge that this is the problem with the case and that this sets an erraeneous precedent that evidence in a criminal case, can be given to a jury, based upon a presponderance of evidence.

  23. 1st off remember this, Democrats love crypto too! 2an off, Trump is NO libertarian. He says 1 thing and signs bills that say other. You CANNOT trust Trump. The religious part of the GOP is taking over the Gop and leaving the libertarians behind. 3rd off, your “article” is really bias sounding.

  24. My brother died after injecting weed he bought from Silk Road. They said the nugs went straight to his brain and caused a massive trip that killed him. Before that he was smoking fentanyl and eating acid paper. That stopped his heart once but he upped the ante and got into the devil cabbage that ultimately killed him.

  25. Vote for Trump? I can believe you would even suggest voting for that traitor and crook, draft dodger, what’s wrong with you people, if Obama would have committed .02% of the crimes this traitor did he would be sitting next to Bill Cosby, and 95% of you who would vote for this boy again are white, this man is destroying the Constitution and every other freedom he can savotage, wake up out of your Hitler Mind control before it’s to late.

  26. A way to “Safely” feed a killing addiction. And “safely” acquire the murderer for your target. Only criminal activity is protected in this “safe” environment. “An addict is going to buy drugs anyway” is not going to convince me to make narcotics available to my addict. But if you’re an addict or have other criminal intentions then sure you must think it’s great! The rest of us are more concerned in a healthy society where safety still means eliminating the addiction epidemic and not getting murdered.

  27. Max Young – I am so sorry for your loss

  28. I am also sorry for your loss, however using emotional anecdotes to justify why this man should die in prison just will not do when there are unanswered question about the facts of this case. For instance, tell me why the judge used a civil law standard evidence in a criminal justice case?

  29. What about the conflict of interest, whereby the Senator who called for the site to be shut down also recommended the judge on the case to President Obama?

  30. With all of the problems in the world, like pollution, poverty, terrorism, and carbon dioxide levels, it seems incredibly shallow that people would vote for a President because he pardoned a criminal. Ross Ullbricht was a talented guy-Eagle Scout, Academic Scholarship, Master’s Degree in Engineering-who made tens of millions of dollars illegally. However,in fairness, I do agree that his sentence of Life without Parole plus 40 years is clearly excessive.

  31. 3/29/2013 Ulbricht makes contact with “REDANDWHITE” someone he believes to be a contract killer and negotiates for a single murder. Ulbricht: “Blake (FriendlyChemist) is causing me problems. .. I would like to put a bounty on his head”

    3/29/2013 Ulbircht records in his private journal: “commissioned hit on blackmailer with angels”

    3/30/2013 Ulbricht: “he is threatening to expose the identities of thousands of my clients .. this kind of behavior is unforgivable .. It doesn’t have to be clean”

    3/30/2013 Ulbricht and the supposed hit-man conclude terms. $150K for a “hit” paid up-front. “Don’t want to be a pain here, but the price seems high. Not long ago, I had a clean hit done for $80k.”

    3/31/2013 Ulbricht transfers 1,670 bitcoin (around $150K) to the hired assassin’s wallet. “I’ve only ever commissioned the one other hit, so I’m still learning this market. I have no problem putting my faith in you and I am sure you will do a good job.”

    Here’s the transaction:

    https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/4a0a5b6036c0da84c3eb9c2a884b6ad72416d1758470e19fb1d2fa2a145b5601

    3/31/2013 Supposed hitman acknowledges receipt of payment.

    4/1/2013 Supposed hitman notifies Ulbricht that the person has been killed, and sends a picture to confirm. Although the “hit” apparently never occurred, Ulbricht certainly believed that it had. “Rest easy though, because he won’t be blackmailing anyone again. Ever.”

    4/1/2013 Ulbircht records in his private journal: “got word that blackmailer was executed”

    4/2/2013 Ulbricht acknowledges the murder. “Excellent work .. I have no need for any of his possessions, so you can do what you want with that stuff.”

    4/2-8/2013 Ulbricht and “REDANDWHITE” have protracted discussions about murdering four other people.

    4/8/2013 Ulbricht and REDANDWHITE agree terms for the murder of four people.

    4/8/2013 Ulbricht transfers 3,000 bitcoin (about $500k) to hitman’s wallet.

    4/8/2013 Ulbircht records in his private journal: “sent payment to angels for hit on tony76 and his 3 associates”

    Here’s the transaction:

    https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/e7db5246a810cb76e53314fe51d2a60f5609bb51d37a4df105356efc286c6c67

    4/15/2013 Ulbricht is notified that the murders have been committed. “That problem was dealt with.”

    4/15/2013 Ulbricht acknowledges the murders. “thanks, see you on chat.”

    5/22/2015 In a 78-page letter to the sentencing judge, Ulbricht (through his lawyers) admits that the “murder-for-hire” discussions took place, but argues that he was just “role-playing.” This, of course, invites the question why he would pay $700K worth of real money if he were just “role-playing in cyberspace”.

    6/29/2015 Judge Forrest, presiding in Ulbricht’s trial, finds by a perponderance of the evidence that the murders-for-hire occurred. “The Court finds that the evidence is clear and unambiguous and it far exceeds the necessary preponderance findings, that Ulbricht believed he was paying for murders of those he wanted eliminated, and that he believed
    they had in fact been murdered … The evidence of this murderous intent and the actions specifically taken by Ulbricht to commission the hits is based on trial exhibits including Ulbricht’s own journal and his chats with the individuals he hired to oversee the murders and it was not, as I have said, role-playing … He commissioned the hits, there is no discussion of hypotheticals, he paid actual funds. He paid hundreds of thousands of dollars which were, in fact, paid.”

    5/31/2017 US Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit, upholds the finding that Ulbricht commissioned multiple murders: “A reasonable jury could easily conclude, however, that the evidence demonstrated that Ulbricht ordered and paid for the killing, and that he believed that it had occurred … One of the government’s expert witnesses was able to link the payments for all five murders to Bitcoin wallets located on Ulbricht’s laptop.”

    5/31/2017 US Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit, discusses Ulbricht’s attemtped murders-for-hire: “Ulbricht commissioned at least five murders in the course of protecting Silk Road’s anonymity, a finding that Ulbricht does not challenge in this appeal. Ulbricht discussed those anticipated murders callously and casually in his journal … The attempted murders for hire separate
    this case from that of an ordinary drug dealer .. and lend further support to the district court’s finding that Ulbricht’s conduct and character were exceptionally destructive. That he was able to distance himself from the actual violence he paid for by using a computer to order the killings is not mitigating. Indeed, the cruelty that he displayed in his casual and confident negotiations for the hits is unnerving.”

    All documents available here: https://antilop.cc/sr/

  32. sure, but he won’t. .He’s too Patriotical. .. which is another reason not to vote for him

  33. 5/31/2017 US Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit, upholds the finding that Ulbricht commissioned multiple murders: “A reasonable jury could easily conclude, however, that the evidence demonstrated that Ulbricht ordered and paid for the killing, and that he believed that it had occurred … One of the government’s expert witnesses was able to link the payments for all five murders to Bitcoin wallets located on Ulbricht’s laptop.”

    Now this judge knows the thoughts of a reasonable jury. Nice. Can this Judge tell me his unique methods of reading the “‘reasonable juries” mind’s? These judges do not even try to hide their bias.

  34. Corey, a presponderance of evidence is a civil law case standard and not a criminal law case standard. A criminal law case standard is the reasonable doubt standard. The judge found based on a “presponderance of evidence” evidence submitted to a jury but not charged in the case, credible. That should tell you about the credibility of the judge.

  35. Feorge, ok then. The judge, the jury, the witnesses, the physical evidence, the appeals court judges all have no credibility. But you and the Ulbricht family do? Gotcha ..

  36. Corey you still have not given a valid argument on how a judge admitting evidence to a criminal court, evidence that was based on a presponderance of evidence is fair. Nice non-argument though.

  37. I don’t care what anyone says, the Silk Road and sites like it are HARM REDUCTION sites. Think about it: what kind of individual learns PGP encryption and browses TOR hidden services while tumbling cryptocurrencies to purchase drugs? It takes a privileged, stable individual to purchase drugs this way and not off some random ghetto corner. Free-thinking people would buy and sell drugs on these markets and accountability made sure that everyone received the product they requested without violence or scams. No one was going around shoplifting or boosting cars in order to buy crypto to buy drugs off the dark net…. people that use these sites are high functioning members of society that want to buy and use their drugs in peace.

    Trying to stop people from buying drugs is like trying to stop people from wanting sex, you will never outlaw something that powerfully in demand. Silk road and sites like it make the best out of this inevitability and make the practice of purchasing drugs as safe and responsible as possible.

    Fuck the government for threatening everyone’s freedom that wants to get high in peace.

  38. I would never vote for Trump but if he commuted Ulbricht’s sentence I would consider him less if a douchebag.

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