Assault On Free Speech
Ross’s libertarian beliefs were forbidden to be mentioned at trial. After all, his political philosophy supports Ross’s claim that he designed and created Silk Road as a “free-market economic experiment” with an emphasis to protect user privacy, not as a drug market.
At sentencing, the judge spotlighted what she believed were Ross’s philosophical and political views. The judge also stated: “It is also notable that the reasons that you started Silk Road were philosophical and I don’t know that it is a philosophy left behind.”
Clearly Ross’s sentence was, in part, based on political thought and speech. Using such considerations for a sentence violates the First Amendment.
Additionally, during trial, Ross’s peaceful libertarian views were forbidden from being mentioned in front of the jury, as some jurors might sympathize with those views.
- ▲ – DailyDot article – December 16, 2014 (“Silk Road prosecutors want to ban Ross Ulbricht’s libertarian politics in court”)
- ▲ – Appeal brief (page 13)
- ▲ – Ross’s sentencing script (Appeal appendix page A1516)
- ▲ – Ross’s sentencing script (Appeal appendix page A1534)
- ▲ – DailyDot article, December 16, 2014 (“Silk Road prosecutors want to ban Ross Ulbricht’s libertarian politics in court”)