Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich recently took to Twitter to press Donald Trump to commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the darknet marketplace Silk Road, who is currently serving time for charges that include money laundering, drug trafficking, and cyber-related crimes. As The Inquisitr reported, Ulbricht was previously facing controversial murder-for-hire charges before they were dropped last year.
“Will @realDonaldTrump have the vision to commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht,” the social media personality tweeted Saturday.
Per Bitcoin.com, a petition for Ulbricht’s clemency has over 200,000 signatures to date. Ulbricht’s charges reportedly stem from crimes that took place on the Silk Road marketplace, and his supporters believe his sentences are unduly extreme.
Ulbricht’s trial also raised many questions about privacy rights, AMBCrypto reported. His mother, Lynn, suggested that her son’s 4th Amendment rights were violated to bring the charges against him.
“I think the government should be required to have a warrant to delve into our internet activity. Even the Supreme Court did not address this, leaving all of us vulnerable to secret government surveillance of what we do on the internet.”
The FBI’s story at the center of the case also reportedly contained some holes. For example, it still isn’t known how the FBI gained control of the Silk Road servers and whether it was done legally. In addition, DEA agent Carl Mark Force and Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who were crucial in uncovering Ulbricht’s identity, were under investigation for corruption at the time, including charges of stealing Bitcoins from Silk Road. Given that these officers had enough access to Silk Road that they could manipulate data, some suggest foul play.
Behind the scenes of THE NEW RADICAL: Ross Ulbricht's mom, myself, and Cody Wilson, the day before Ross' appeals court hearing to overturn his life sentence. pic.twitter.com/EZT9PYEwTZ
— ABL (@AdamBhalaLough) November 14, 2017
Curiously, Force was also the undercover officer that Ulbricht allegedly contacted to have Silk Road customer service agent Curtis Green killed, which led to the murder-for-hire charges that were later dropped. But since the investigation into the officers’ alleged corruption was ongoing, the information was not allowed to be presented to the jury.
“I don’t think you can have a fair trial if all the evidence, especially exculpatory evidence, is not made known to the jury,” Ulbricht’s mother said.
Others suggest that Ulbricht’s sentence is too harsh for a non-violent offender and believe the case is an example of why such offenders should be treated differently than violent offenders.
As for Cernovich, he was previously critical of Trump’s denouncing of Bitcoin — which was used for Silk Road transactions — and called it a “major mistake” that showed a “lack of vision.”