back to article Life in prison not appealing to Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht – appeal filed

Silk Road boss and armchair drug lord Ross Ulbricht has appealed both his conviction on narcotics trafficking and other charges and the life term in prison to which he was sentenced. Ulbricht's attorney Joshua Dratel notified the court of the appeal via the standard form, which reveals little about his strategy other than that …

  1. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

    Ulbricht doesn't want life in prison? Shocker. I thought people loved long stints in prison 8-)

    I do sympathize to some extent with his reason for running it -- to be honest, he basically thought people should be able to buy/sell/trade whatever they want for their personal use, rather than being personally interested in, say, guns and drugs... it was like some kind of ultimate libertarian experiment with the money coming in as a side effect. But, he had to have known the feds would take a dim view of this activity, he got pinched, and it seems like a fair cop. Really, whoever stole those Bitcoins should be charged for a crime, but it doesn't affect the strong evidence against him. Given the scale of the operation, the US's excessive (IMHO) sentencing especially for drug crimes, he had to expect a stiff sentence. And, given he went as far as (allegedly) ordering a hit, it seems like he may have ended up going down the path of Walter White (in Breaking Bad), ending up with dirtier and dirtier hands as he went along.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

      " to be honest, he basically thought people should be able to buy/sell/trade whatever they want for their personal use,"

      I recall a phrase about 'the road to Hell' and good intentions...

    2. Chronigan

      Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

      " to be honest, he basically thought people should be able to buy/sell/trade whatever they want for their personal use,"

      What are you basing that on?

    3. BobRocket

      Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

      He opened the Silk Road to make money, he had already tried a couple of legitimate businesses and these had failed so he decided to take advantage of the higher margin that an illegal market offers.

      He thought he was too clever to be caught, he wasn't

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

      So what legitimate personal uses are there for cyanide?

      1. M Gale

        Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

        Gold and silver mining?

        Electroplating?

        Or, you know, poisoning someone you don't like.

      2. Brangdon

        Re: So what legitimate personal uses are there for cyanide?

        Suicide.

    5. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

      If he doesn't want to serve life in prison he should sack the useless twat representing him - it's getting more like a poor sitcom every week.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: He doesn't want life in prison? Shocker.

        it's getting more like a poor sitcom every week

        Yes, he will literally be trying the Chewbacca defence [1] by the time this thing gets to its final appeal.

        [1] Family Guy, for the uneducated.

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    I would love to know

    if his Lawyer has ever successfully defended anyone coz from the outside looking in he seems about a good a lawyer as Mr Bean.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: I would love to know

      Well, to be fair to Dratel:

      1) The evidence was incontrovertible

      2) His client hobbled his own defence by simply claiming it wasn't him in spite of the evidence

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    He doesn't like Chopped -Liver-Tuesdays in the mess?

    Shock.

  4. Cameron Colley

    I think a life sentence was to be expected.

    We all know that in the Land Of The Free being a capitalist without paying the correct bribes to government is bound to get you in trouble. I think Mr Ulbricht ought to think himself lucky that he'll only be raped and beaten sometimes rather than being tortured for the rest of his life also like the people who committed the crime of buying the Casio F-91W and happening to have a darker than average skin.

    I would expect anybody with the slightest bit of intelligence to know that if you want freedom you don't live in the US.

    Not to say that I condone Mr Ulbricht's actions, just surprised that he hadn't read any news ever because if he had he would have left the land of the chains long ago.

    1. FutureShock999

      Re: I think a life sentence was to be expected.

      As someone whom has moved around the world, I have to say I agree with you. In the US, as long as you can claim that you are a CAPITALIST, in some way, and pay the right political taxation (either in real taxes or bribes, er, campaign contributions), you are above the law. For the rest, you are merely the subject of it.

      As for your last point, I am sure he will have many years to think "It's a WEBSITE. I could have operated it from ANYWHERE....". A little late now to think how nice a beach house in Mexico with satellite web coverage would have been...or a yacht moored in the Caymans. He certainly had the money to be mobile, even buy another citizenship as an "investor". But like many Americans, raised to think that it is the only country that really matters or is civilised enough to live in...now he can live in it the rest of his life, just not the way he had hoped.

      Obligatory Talking Heads call-out: "I got three passports, a couple of visas, you don't even know my real name..."

  5. Six_Degrees

    Well, an attorney is supposed to provide a zealous defense for his client. And that's what's happening here.

    The appeal doesn't stand a chance of success, from the sounds of it. But Ulbricht's lawyer is doing exactly what he's supposed to do, and I won't fault him for it.

  6. AbelSoul

    Could've been worse

    she handed him multiple sentences: one for five years, one for 15 years, one for 20 years, and two for life. But while the judge decreed that Ulbricht cannot be paroled, the sentences are to be served concurrently – so life it is.

    What relief, eh?

    Life without parole is so much better than life plus forty years.

    And it could've been even worse than that.

    Still, even crucixion's supposed to be a dawdle.

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