Assault On Free Speech

Ross’s libertarian beliefs were forbidden to be mentioned at trial.[1] 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.[2]

At sentencing, the judge spotlighted what she believed were Ross’s philosophical and political views.[3] 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.”[4]


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.[5]