Assault On Free Speech
Ross’s libertarian beliefs were forbidden to be mentioned at trial. After all, his political philosophy supports Ross’ claim that he designed and created the Silk Road site as a free market experiment that protected the privacy of users, not a drug market.
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’ sentence was, in part, based on political thought and speech. Using such considerations for a sentence is strongly counter to the First Amendment.
This was argued in the Petition for Panel rehearing , but denied by the Appellate court on Aug. 29, 2017.