Approximately a month before leaving the White House, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pardoning Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who’s serving a double life sentence plus 40 years.
This happens as the “free Ross” campaign has picked up steam, with many new people signing the online petition to release him from prison.
Trump To Pardon Silk Road Founder?
Founded in 2011, Silk Road quickly became the largest online black market for selling illegal drugs and other illicit products. It enabled users to browse anonymously, and its primary payment method became bitcoin.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) closed the website in October 2013, and the agency arrested the founder – Ross Ulbricht. Two years later, he received two life sentences without parole for non-violent offenses.
However, citing anonymous sources, the Daily Beast reported that the current US President is considering reversing the sentences. The people familiar with the matter have said that the White House counsel’s office had received documents related to Ulbricht’s case.
Moreover, they claimed that Trump has “privately expressed some sympathy” for the Silk Road founder and has added his name to the list of potential pardoning.
The report noted that Ulbricht had gained numerous influential backers in the president’s political and social circle, but it’s still unclear if Trump has made a final decision.
It’s worth noting that Trump has a little over a month to act upon the pardon. President-elect Joe Biden will have his inauguration on January 20th, 2021, and will take office.
As of November 2020, President Trump had granted 44 pardons over nearly four years in office. This number is significantly lower than the leaders – President Franklin Roosevelt (2,819 pardons), President Harry Truman (1,913 pardons), and President Dwight Eisenhower (1,110 pardons).
The Community Is Vocal As Ever
Since the Silk Road used mostly bitcoin for its transactions, Ulbricht’s case has been discussed widely within the cryptocurrency community. The situation only intensified following the aforementioned developments.
Michael Goldstein, the founder of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, said in a tweet that if Trump indeed pardons Ulbricht, it would be a “tremendous restoration of justice.” He joined those who believe that the investigation and imprisonment were “corrupt, cruel, and unfair.”
The “free Ross” campaign also received new supporters. The online petition created by his family added new signatures. As of now, over 365,000 have signed it, with the target set at 500,000.
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