Why The Silk Road Case Matters – An Interview with Ross Ulbricht’s Mom
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Why The Silk Road Case Matters – An Interview with Ross Ulbricht’s Mom


hey guys so I’m here with Lyn Ulbricht
Ross’s mom and we’re just hanging out in our room at the end of world crypto con
it’s been a it’s been a fun a long week but we’re gonna chat and hang out so
thanks for coming on the show I don’t know if this is a show but you know
always fun to talk with you oh yeah it’s been great hanging out with you so for
those who we’re not gonna really dig into the whole story of Ross because
that’s something that you know will link to some other interviews you’ve done
below what we’re gonna talk about today a little bit more is is why why you
should care about this case and the impact that it really has on you know
the fact that this could happen in in our society and so but maybe before we
dig in for those who aren’t familiar with Ross like can you give us just like
I kind of thousand-foot overview okay yeah because it is a complicated case so
you can go to freeross.org as well and there’s lots of information you can dig
pretty deep in there with it’s all cited and footnoted and all that but
essentially when Ross was 26 years old he created the Silk Road website with
the intention of providing an open free market that was private and used Bitcoin
as the means of exchange and it was relative it was pretty much all just
open whenever people wanted to exchange except if it heard a third party so it
was based on the non-aggression principle of voluntary interactions so
for example there was no child porn because that you know amuses a child
that’s the third party or stolen property or other things that hurt
others were not permitted but otherwise it was unregulated it was just open
whatever but you know people wanted to buy or sell and there was the platform
and so people did choose to exchange drugs most commonly used or amounts of
cannabis but it wasn’t that was not regulated it was permitted so for this
for his involvement in it Ross received a double life sentence plus 40 years
without parole he’s for all nonviolent charges no violence involved first time
offender this is crazy this is this is such an abuse of
government power to do that to a young first-time peaceful offender and so
unnecessary so I’ve been fighting for to get them out of this for over six years
now and so yeah that’s kind of the story in a nutshell I think what’s really
scary about that is like that someone could make a website and have this
happen to them like and that’s what scare like you think that you know we’ve
been told like oh the criminal justice system you’re you know innocent until
proven guilty and it’s like all of this stuff but that’s it’s scarily not true
now it’s true we’re and that’s one of the things that’s larmy through this
whole thing because I went into this well we live in America you know we
haven’t we have fairness and trials we have just justice system I have seen up
close and personal this is not true it’s absolutely not and you cannot count on a
fair trial at all and in fact you’re penalized for going to trial and no it’s
a it would take a whole show just to go eat all this but you’re yet correct we
don’t and we’re losing our freedoms very fast and you know people need to be
concerned but just one reason this case is important which is what you’re
talking about it’s it’s it sets a precedent so it’s not just about Ross it
sets a precedent in the courts and in our justice system for more of these
kind of egregious draconian sentences which really violate the Eighth
Amendment which has no cruel and unusual punishment this is a cruel and unusual
punishments very unusual for a nonviolent first-time offender and it’s
it is cruel it’s a walking death sentence for something he did on a
computer when he was 26 years old so yeah that’s a bad president I mean
that’s gotten him into like all these high-security but I mean like you said
this that is torture that is horrible because you’re in the
really dangerous situations for building a website
yeah and Ross actually wrote an article called who deserves this making the case
that it is torture and what happened he went around to his fellow prisoners and
said if you had a choice between this unending sentence or decades and decades
of being in here or actual torture you know flogging or burning or whatever you
want to pick for a dilemma at a time which would you pick they all picked the
torture the actual physical torture which shows this is torture you know and
we’re doing and it doesn’t solve anything really except hardening people
to be criminals and it costing a lot of money taxpayers why does this matter
like why should the average American or even just citizen of really the world
like be concerned with what’s happening with this case well you know the we have
something called the Constitution doesn’t apply to other countries but I
think American policy does impact the world
for better or worse and there have been several of the amendments that would
have been blatantly violated in this case and that weakens all of our
protections and I can quickly go down them first of all there’s the First
Amendment because the judge flat-out said that she was punishing him for his
philosophy of libertarian voluntary interaction she said it’s in the
sentencing transcripts it’s right there and this is you know we’re not supposed
to be imprisoned and condemned to die for our philosophical or political
beliefs in the United States this is not supposed to happen here so that’s the
First Amendment the Fourth Amendment was violated and this one all the way to the
Supreme Court because right now under the third party doctrine the government
can without a warrant without probable cause in secret with no oversight delve
into all of our internet activity and use it however they like without our
knowledge and in Ross’s case they also um
targeted his home with a directional antenna where they tracked him in his
where you went and without a warrant if they can do that to you they can be
doing it to you right now and this is this is not this is a Fourth Amendment
problem and that was brought to the Supreme Court and they punted it down
the road then there’s the sixth amendment well there was the Fifth
Amendment because the fifth gets very a lot of things because that’s due process
in a trial and Ross’s trial well just one example there there were two corrupt
agents they’ve been proven to be corrupt they were stealing they have the ability
to act as the administrator Dread Pirate Roberts or any a lot many other aliases
they stole 20 thousand Bitcoin or something
they’re in prison now and this was not allowed to be told to the jury the jury
had no idea these guys existed and actually the judge didn’t know that one
of them existed the prosecution kept him secret from the judge even until after
trial this is this is a due process Fifth Amendment violation and so that’s
that then there’s a sixth amendment and the sixth amendment one of the aspects
of it is to protect the accused from rogue judges and prosecutors saying we
don’t care if a jury ruled on something we don’t care what they ruled we’re
saying it’s true and this happened with rosslyn case of this murder for hire the
judge it was never brought to trial it was never proven it was never given to a
jury to rule on he was never convicted of it and yet the judge used it and said
I know better than a jury I think it’s true and I’m going to use it to enhance
this sentence and by the way there was an indictment Maryland for this that
included this murder for hire that has now been dismissed with prejudice so
it’s there is nothing out there in the legal world about this and yet the media
you know talked about it and they gave it to the media but in any case that was
a violation Sixth Amendment violation again brought to the Supreme Court again
not interested and this has been going on I mean Justice Scalia wrote about it
before he died that this is this should not be that our Constitution guarantees
this protection and it is so these are just examples of
things that are being shredded in our rights they’re being weakened and then
you can just take the drug exception to in court because if something’s about
drugs well that’s the drug that’s drug so there’s a drug exception so who cares
about the Bill of Rights Wow so you know and they’re you know this is
complicated you can go into a lot more but it’s just an overview and this is
all in Ross’s case and also his case is kind of a Alex winter said this it’s
kind of a pivotal point for the drug more cryptocurrency
financial independence and all that and other issues privacy there’s many
precedents being set and we even have a page on our website web precedence and
this all matters because you know people go in the future and go on going that’s
what they refer to oh there’s that precedent you know we can do this map
because it’s precedent is set so these aren’t just about Ross’s rights being
violated this is about ours being in peril and so it does matter and and if
Ross is commuted his sentence is commuted that helps push back on this
tendency right on that precedence and then it doesn’t yeah cuz it’s saying no
this isn’t right and what’s crazy to think about is like if you weren’t so
like vocal and attending all these commerce isn’t doing everything to do
with the petition like Ross this case probably would have just kind of fallen
into oblivion and you think about how many people don’t have someone like you
that’s fighting so hard for them like that’s it’s scary like how many people
are just locked up that I’ll shouldn’t thousands and thousands and I know them
and I know their families and look I’m you know they’re they don’t know they’re
overwhelmed they don’t know what to do they don’t have my big mouth it’s
finally being put to use and so you know but know their families are being
destroyed they don’t know what to do and their loved ones are being caged for
ridiculous ridiculous amounts of time I mean I mean I personally know so
Ross knows many and it’s it’s not it’s not what we should be doing in this
country it’s not what we used to do this is a new thing this is from the this is
since the drug war and the tough on crime laws that are ridiculous and they
don’t give they don’t really produce results it’s not like they stop people
using drugs and I think what’s kind of scary about it too is like one of the
things you said was they were trying to kind of just set a president make an
example and they said it and that’s like you said like we should be protected
against that and so the fact that that can just happen right is a big deal
right we’re supposed to be judged as an individual not to be used by the
government to send a message that’s not that’s not what our justice system was
supposed to be mm-hmm exactly so for those of you that have not signed the
petition yet like obviously we’ll put everything below that you can check out
but really this this case is important and having conversations with people you
meet letting them know about Ross can be a super impactful thing I know that I’ve
had lots of conversations with friends of mine who like oh I heard something
about that what is that and when you really tell them what happened it’s it
opens their eyes because they just if you’re not aware of it you don’t even
know necessarily what’s going on or the corruption that’s happening yet in the
system and I witness to it you know I mean I didn’t know about it either and
um but I don’t think there’s been one person that I’ve told about the Ross’s
sentence that hasn’t been absolutely shocked all right you know you don’t
think this is going on it is going on and life sentence for nonviolent
first-time offender no you know you think he had bombed a building or you
know mowed down people the machine gun or something like that
he’s totally peaceful in it and it was you know he’s young he was idealistic
and does he need to pay for that for the rest of his life it’s just it’s just too
much it’s just awful and um so that’s all you need to realize to sign the
you don’t have to think oh I think everything he did was good he even says
it wasn’t he’s like you know I’m sorry I didn’t but it you have to think is this
justice is this how we want our justice system to work that we do this and
please go to pre-wrath org slash petition which we have gotten 6,000
signatures in this week yeah let’s talk about that possibly think oh my gosh
it’s all great and I’m really we’re heading for a quarter of a million and I
want to be able to go to Congress people and legislators and the president and
say a quarter of a million are actually what I really want to say is a half a
million but we’ll get there people care about this mm-hmm
please consider this you will we will approve of your doing this and it sends
a message and um and we’re also asking people in different states to go free
Ross people to go with signs and talk to media at the Trump rallies you know to
get his attention to have him see know these are people this we care about this
and of course if anybody has political connections we’re just trying to get to
the president and have him look at this and and really consider it objectively
and and and all the facts and finally of course we always need financial support
you know because lawyers cost a lot of money
other people cost whatever my name is only thank us you know sold it that’s
one of the ways that they crush you is if the government has unlimited money
and you know I can’t just go over to basement print more like they can like
they can quantitive you have a button so any help that way or just um you know
there’s lots of ways you can help you get in touch with me it’s be really
great and sign the petition please share it – yeah definitely sign the petition
tell people you know about it donate absolutely so we’ll link to all
of that below thanks so much for taking the time so yeah
Chao would be over coffee you know at the end of the conference and so well
yeah you’re even a good friend and help me
actually I stayed with in your room no budget
yeah no and I’m happy for the opportunity yeah thanks

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