I was put in handcuffs for the first time when I was 29 years old. I was labeled a prisoner that day and have since spent 2,096 days and nights in the captivity of the U.S. federal government. I’m still in prison, condemned to die here with a life sentence and no parole. Prison is nothing if not boring, so I’ve had many hours to think about all sorts of things, including who, if anyone, really belongs here.
Ross Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts went to prison for life so you could learn a lesson. Toe the line, stay free. Dare to take firm action against the government, and you’ll end up like him. The alleged operator of the Silk Road, an unregulated dark web retail site that predominantly sold personal amounts of marijuana, received a double life sentence plus 40 years for his actions.
This comes in spite of the fact that none of his crimes were violent, he has no convictions of actually selling illicit substances, and the trial violated his constitutional rights in several important and unfair ways. But on Friday, more direct proof of the unfairness came to light; the owner of Silk Road 2.0, Dread Pirate Roberts 2, received a 5-year sentence for far worse crimes.