The Fight to Free Ross Ulbricht Continues With a Petition of Certiorari
Ross William Ulbricht is a 33-year old American who was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering, and computer hacking crimes tied to the Silk Road website created in 2011. Ulbricht was accused of being the creator of the Silk Road under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts,” and was arrested in 2013. In 2015 Ulbricht was convicted of the aforementioned charges and sentenced to life in prison. The family has been fighting for their son’s freedom for years due to the fact that there were many investigation discrepancies, and government agents who were caught red-handed manipulating the case. However, last year the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the decision to keep Ulbricht in jail for life.
Then this year Ulbricht’s new legal team, Williams & Connolly, tried to extend a fixed three year period with a motion called “Rule 33.” Although, the extension was not granted, and Judge Forrest denied the motion to extend the time for a Rule 33. The latest Petition of Certiorari with the Supreme Court argues two very important questions tethered to Ulbricht’s case.
- Whether the warrantless seizure of an individual’s Internet traffic information without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment.
- Whether the Sixth Amendment is violated when a judge uses uncharged allegations, never brought to trial before a jury, to support an excessive sentence.
Ulbricht’s Petition of Certiorari can be read here.
Another Fourth Amendment Case May Determine the Fate of Ulbricht’s Latest Petition
USP Florence Maximum Security Prison – September 2017
Additionally, the team at Freeross.org explain that twenty-one organizations have supported the petition and it was distributed for conference on April 13. Out of all the cases, that day 200 were denied except for Ulbricht’s case and another called Carpenter v. U.S. Ulbricht’s legal team believes the outcome of the Fourth Amendment Carpenter case will affect Ross’s petition conference. Freeross.org explains that the legal team may find out how the court’s rule by June 2018.
Alongside this news, Ulbricht has been relocated from New York to a maximum-security penitentiary called USP Florence. The family says this prison is meant for some of the country’s most violent offenders and they don’t understand why Ross is being kept there for his life sentence.
“Despite the horrors of his environment, Ross remains optimistic and strong, characteristically making the best of it,” explains Ross’s mother Lyn Ulbricht.
He has immersed himself in his case, spending a lot of time in the law library, and otherwise focusing on staying healthy mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.