WIDESPREAD SUPPORT FOR ROSS ULBRICHT’S CLEMENCY

In prison since 2013, Ross has been steadfastly supported by family and friends, as well as by many across the political spectrum. There is a strong consensus that Ross’s sentence is unjust and that he deserves a second chance.

Ross’s clemency has broad, diverse, and bipartisan support. It includes over 250 organizations, eminent individuals and leaders who have voiced their support publicly or in letters. Ross’s petition is the largest clemency petition to the President on Change.org with nearly 600,000 signatures.

“In no way can a sentence so egregious—or anything remotely close to it—be justified. The punishment does not fit the crime, is wildly disproportionate and its injustice is manifest…Ross Ulbricht’s disparate, draconian sentence risks undermining the American people’s faith in our justice system.”

– 44 Criminal Justice Organizations (in joint letter)

“We are deeply concerned that the extreme disparity—indeed, the almost mind-boggling severity—of Mr. Ulbricht’s sentence has had and will have a corrosive effect on public respect for the justice system and the federal sentencing scheme…It is clear that further incarceration is likely to serve no additional rehabilitative function in this case…We strongly support Mr. Ulbricht’s petition for clemency.”
– 11 Former Federal Prosecutors & Justice Department Officials (in joint letter)

“Like so many others, I am shocked by the harsh sentence imposed on this first-time offender…Mr. Ulbricht’s sentence is disproportionate to his crimes.”
– Rand Paul

U.S. Senator, Kentucky

“This is the greatest violation of the 8th Amendment that I am aware of in the United States today…What Ross Ulbricht did from a computer screen does not deserve 2 life sentences + 40 years without the chance of parole…This is cruel and unusual punishment…This guy should not rot in jail and die there. He deserves a second chance.”

– Thomas Massie

U.S. Representative, Kentucky

“Ross shouldn’t be pardoned, but his ridiculous sentence should be commuted and he should be set free.”

– Warren Davidson

U.S. Representative, Ohio

“Should Ross Ulbricht’s unduly harsh sentence be left to stand, it would be harmful to both our legal system and the trust that the public places in our courts to impartially administer the law.”

– Gary Johnson

Former Governor, New Mexico

“I have studied up on Ross’s case…There was a lot in his case that smelled rotten to me, including the initial supposed allegations of murder-for-hire, which the government didn’t actually charge in the end…Ten years is sufficient. He deserves a commutation of sentence.”

– Vivek Ramaswamy

2024 GOP Presidential Candidate

“I will immediately investigate this case when I become president and if I find that Ross Ulbricht was punished as an example, then I will give him clemency. That is not consistent with American justice and it’s wrong.”

– Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

2024 Independent Presidential Candidate

“A double life sentence seems awfully severe for what Ross Ulbricht did. I would absolutely look at his case as president.”
– Larry Elder

2024 GOP Presidential Candidate

“This case is starting to come in more clearly. #freeross”

– Richard Grenell

Former Acting Director, U.S. National Intelligence

“The over-sentencing and unfairness in Ross’s case is an example of how our system sometimes fails to balance justice with mercy…I am proud to join the many prominent figures in politics and law who have raised their voices to support clemency for Ross.”

– Kenneth W. Starr

Former Solicitor General

“The Libertarian Party has requested the President grant a full pardon to Ross Ulbricht.”

– National Libertarian Party

“A sentence of double life, plus forty years, without parole is unjustifiable. Decades of incarceration for Ross Ulbricht would be a great tragedy and serve no useful purpose.”

– Diane Goldstein

Executive Director, Law Enforcement Action Partnership. 21-year Police Veteran

“We have become overly aggressive with our criminal justice system in the U.S. We imprison more people, and apply longer sentences, than any country on the face of the planet. People like Ross should be afforded the opportunity of redemption as soon as possible. For Ross, that is now.”

– Neill Franklin

Former Executive Director, Law Enforcement Action Partnership. 34-year Police Veteran

“As a current elected Sheriff and former D.E.A. Agent, I am shocked…I pride myself in upholding respect for the law and keeping my county safe. I also believe in the importance of adequate deterrence of misconduct. However, one of the basic tenets of our American principles is that the punishment should be just and proportionate to the crime. Mr. Ulbricht’s sentence is neither just nor proportionate…Mr. President, please grant Ross Ulbricht clemency.”

– Sheriff David Hathaway

Santa Cruz County, Arizona

“When you read Ross Ulbricht’s history, you find out he is not a vicious criminal…I would pardon him…Two times life imprisonment and never committed a violent crime! It’s time for the American people to wake up!…I hope that anybody capable of being close to the president might give him a little nudge.”

– Ron Paul

Former U.S. Representative and Presidential Candidate

“It is clear Ulbricht’s sentence is disproportionate to his crime…It is unconscionable that anyone should be condemned to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a first-time, nonviolent offense.”

– Albert Wynn

Former U.S. Representative, Maryland

“Ross Ulbricht’s sentence is wildly excessive, and the president should address such disparities in justice.”

– Justin Amash

Former U.S. Representative, Michigan

“The length of Ross Ulbricht’s sentence is unconscionable and wicked. I hope to see an end to this terrible injustice.”

– Rod Blagojevich

Former Governor, Illinois

“An entire book could be written on Ross Ulbricht’s takedown, subsequent trial, and his recent appeals process, especially because most articles about his case present false or misleading information.”

– Jesse Ventura

Former Governor, Minnesota

“Commuting Ross Ulbricht’s sentence and giving him a second chance would represent a major positive step in the direction of a more just system.”

– 15 State Legislators (in joint letter)

“A shocking miscarriage of justice.”

– Noam Chomsky, Ph.D.

World-Renowned Linguist and Public Intellectual. Laureate Professor, Author

“A commutation of Ross Ulbricht’s sentence…would be celebrated by so many of us who care about justice, fairness and mercy.”
– Sister Helen Prejean

World-Renowned Anti-Death Penalty and Justice Advocate, Author

“The Silk Road and trial of Ross Ulbricht involve many important and complex issues that impact the life of Mr. Ulbricht and us all.”
– Keanu Reeves

Actor

“No matter where you stand on the Silk Road and Ross’s case, this is an egregious sentence.”
– Alex Winter

Actor, Director, and Producer

“Ross Ulbricht is the American dream. He is an entrepreneur.”

– Russell Brand

Actor, Comedian, Activist

“Ross—I’ve signed your petition. You have very clearly been treated unfairly by our criminal justice system and my heart is with you and your family…Terrible to learn that the judge considered pending charges during sentencing that were later dismissed…This is not how our criminal justice system is supposed to work.”

– Eric Brakey

State Senator, Maine

“Ross Ulbricht was given an inordinate double life plus forty-year sentence after an investigation and trial that many believe were riddled with irregularities…If given back his freedom, I am convinced that he will be a benefit to our country…Many of us feel that there is no reason to waste taxpayer dollars on incarcerating this young man any longer.”

– Stewart Jones

State Representative, South Carolina

“The sentence that he received was very cruel and very unjust…What purpose does it serve to still keep him incarcerated?…The punishment just does not fit the crime. He is an example of our broken criminal justice system…Ross has not murdered anyone. He hasn’t committed any heinous crime…Let this man go. He has done enough time. Give him a second chance!”

– Alice Marie Johnson

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Author

“I have endorsed Ross Ulbricht’s full commutation, and I am hopeful that the president will commute his sentence in its entirety.”
– Weldon Angelos

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate. Founder, The Weldon Project

“For a first-time offender like Ross Ulbricht, who has expressed profound remorse for his actions, there is no rationale that justifies the cruel and excessive punishment he received. This is a sentence that is injurious to us as a society and cries out for serious review.”

– Amy Povah

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate. Founder and CEO, CAN-DO Foundation (Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders)

“We are a nation of second chances. But a sentence of life imprisonment without parole affords no second chance, which is why such a sentence should, at the very least, be reserved for the worst crimes committed by repeat offenders. Needless to say, Ross’s crime is nowhere near that category and his sentence is grossly excessive.”

– Shon Hopwood

Appellate Lawyer, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, Author

“Ross Ulbricht’s sentence is excessive and overly punitive, especially given the circumstances of his case. Such long prison sentences do not make us safer or allow us to heal. Ross and so many others deserve a second chance.”

Janos Marton

National Director, Dream.org (formerly #cut50)

“Ross Ulbricht does not deserve to die in prison. The severe punishment of a fundamental death sentence in Ross’s case shocks the conscience and is morally and fiscally unjustifiable. It is time to give Ross a real chance at redemption and the opportunity to prove he can be a benefit to society.”

– Brittany K. Barnett

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate. Co-Founder and Executive Director, Buried Alive Project

“I, and much of the tech community, strongly believe that Ross Ulbricht deserves an act of clemency and the chance to experience freedom again.”
– Michael Arrington

Founder, TechCrunch. Venture Capitalist

“Ulbricht’s life sentence won’t deter others from giving Americans access to the drugs they want. It won’t ‘protect’ society. It won’t ‘serve justice’ in some moral or cosmic sense. It will just waste another life behind bars and cost non-incarcerated taxpayers about $2 million over Ulbricht’s 50-year remaining life expectancy.”

– Henry Blodget

CEO, Business Insider

“Now would be the perfect time to revisit Ross’s injustices and set the man free…Free Ross Ulbricht, Mr. President!”

– Lisa Kennedy Montgomery

Host, Kennedy Show on FOX Business

“A double life sentence plus 40 years for this? Ross Ulbricht’s case shows the gross injustices in our ‘justice’ system.”

– Father James Martin

Jesuit Priest, NYT Best-Selling Author, Editor-at-large of America Magazine

“It is apparent to any decent person that Mr. Ulbricht does not deserve this unconscionable sentence of double life without parole.”

– Father George William Rutler

Priest, Church of Saint Michael the Archangel. Author

“A sentence almost unheard of…A young first-time offender who was never charged with causing any death or bodily injury…A high-profile criminal prosecution that heaped intense scrutiny and pressure on the sentencing judge, resulting in a sentence of life imprisonment without parole for a first-time offender.”

– Kannon Shanmugam

Renowned Supreme Court and Appellate Litigator

“No American is safer because Ross Ulbricht is in jail for life. He is just one more casualty of our futile war against drugs.”
– John Stossel

Commentator and Television Personality

“I am but one of thousands—growing to millions—of people who intend to see Ross Ulbricht walk free, putting an end to a saga that began in 2013 and that constitutes one of the worst examples of prosecutorial abuse the United States has suffered yet.”
– Catherine Fitts

Assistant Secretary of Housing under President George H.W. Bush

“Providing second chances to people who deserve them makes our families and our communities stronger. Ross’s case is a prime example of why our criminal justice system needs to be reformed.”

– Mark Holden

Former Sr. Vice President and General Counsel, Koch Industries

“I am strongly opposed to a first-time, non-violent offender like Ross being condemned to a slow death sentence…I feel a sense of profound and terrible injustice…Seven years in prison is more than enough”

– Palmer Luckey

Founder, Oculus VR. Desiger, Oculus Rift

“A double life sentence with no parole? This is something a responsible criminal justice system should reserve for the most heinous of offenses, of which Ross Ulbricht isn’t remotely guilty. Such an assault on justice, on top of the irregularities of Ross’s trial, is an assault on all of us who value liberty, fairness and the rule of law. Free Ross Ulbricht!”
– Lawrence W. Reed

President Emeritus, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

“Two life sentences + 40 years for a first-time nonviolent offender. It is insane…He is the very definition of scared straight. This guy is not going to reoffend. He isn’t a danger to society.”
– Beau of the Fifth Column

Journalist and Youtube Personality

“Coming up on 10 years in prison, it is time to revisit Ross Ulbricht’s sentence. First-time non-violent offenders, who accept responsibility, should have a shot at redemption. Our system should be about rehabilitation, not just incarceration.”

– Tyler Winklevoss

Leading Venture Capitalist

“Free Ross! We need that guy in the economy. That’s all there is to it. He is clearly one of the great entrepreneurs in the world. He should be pardoned, he should get out of jail.”

– Tim Draper

Leading Venture Capitalist

“Ross Ulbricht is the victim of a criminal justice system that is in dire need of repair. Issuing a commutation to time served…would be a laudable step in the right direction.”
– Robert E. Marling Jr.

Former CEO and Chair, Woodforest National Bank

“In America, we over-criminalize and Ross Ulbricht’s life without parole sentence is simply too harsh…Surely, we as America can do better.”

– Ronald Simpson-Bey

Executive Vice President, JustLeadershipUSA

“If you make all creators of conduits responsible, you could not have had an internet or a phone system. Most criminal activity is conducted over phones and usual technologies. The owners of those technologies are not held liable for the use of the technologies.” (on a 2017 panel about Ross Ulbricht)
– George Gilder

Leading Tech Visionary, Economist, Best-Selling Author. Co-Founder, Discovery Institute

“It is ludicrous that Ross Ulbricht, or anyone for that matter, gets locked up for life. People change. Ross, like so many others, needs clemency.”
– Mike Novogratz

Leading Investor. CEO, Galaxy Investment Partners

“Commuting Ross Ulbricht’s sentence to time served will be a positive step in the cause of criminal justice reform.”

– Mara Verheyden-Hilliard

Executive Director, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund

“…An absolute failure of our courts…The punishment Ross Ulbricht received truly has no place in civil society.”
– Paul Wright

Executive Director, Human Rights Defense Center

“Ross’s case highlights the insanity of the current system. His draconian sentence fails to make anyone safer. It fails to offer him the opportunity of redemption. And it wastes massive amounts of taxpayer dollars. Why we are ok with a non-violent offender sentenced to die in prison is beyond me.”

– David Safavian

General Counsel, American Conservative Union

“I have followed Mr. Ulbricht’s case closely and have been struck by a multitude of problematic aspects in it…the sentence that was imposed on this young man with no prior record for all non-violent offenses is especially troubling.”

– Arthur Rizer

Former DOJ Prosecutor

“Ross Ulbricht deserves a second chance to be an integrated member of our society…It is now time to put an end to this cruel and unnecessary sentence…This instance of exceptional over-sentencing and abuse of power is a tragic situation that many, many hope will be rectified.”
– Frayda Levy

Chair, Americans for Prosperity

“I believe that Ross Ulbricht would be an ideal recipient for clemency. He is a young, bright, non-violent, first-time offender who can use his talents and skills to contribute to our society.”

– Jason Pye

Director, Rule of Law Initiatives at Due Process Institute. Former VP of Legislative Affairs, FreedomWorks

“As an entrepreneur myself, I stand with Ross Ulbricht and his return to freedom. He has served enough of a terribly harsh and disproportionate sentence.”
– Cyan Banister

Tech Entrepreneur, Leading Angel Investor

“Ross Ulbricht is far from the criminal some media falsely reported…It is extremely concerning that he was condemned to die in prison. Like a growing number of Americans, I believe he has been in prison long enough…It is now time to give him a second chance.”
– Scott Banister

Tech Entrepreneur, Leading Angel Investor

“A double life plus forty-year sentence is inhumane and egregious. Like many, I am in favor of clemency for Ross, who does not deserve to die in prison for a first-time offense.”
– MiAngel Cody

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate. Founder and Executive Director, The Decarceration Collective

“This miscarriage of justice demands rectification. SSDP stands with the hundreds of thousands of people who wish to see Ross Ulbricht released as soon as possible.”

– Jason Ortiz

Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

“By no equitable measure does Mr. Ulbricht’s sentence of double life plus 40 years, without parole, meet the standards of our Constitution or our American values. Furthermore, Mr. Ulbricht’s judge used uncharged allegations at sentencing that were never ruled on by a jury.”
– Lauren Daugherty

CEO, Young Americans for Liberty

“How, with a good conscience, are we able to allow Mr. Ulbricht—a young entrepreneur with no prior record—to die behind bars?”

– Wolf von Laer, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Students For Liberty

“Ross’s sentence is an absolute disgrace. The fact that it exists is something that every American should be ashamed of.”
– Kevin McKernan

Leading Researcher. R&D Lead, Human Genome Project at MIT

“Mr. Ulbricht’s draconian sentence flies in the face of evolving standards of decency.”
– Jolene Forman

Staff Attorney, Legal Affairs for Drug Policy Alliance

“We as a country should not condone this type of arbitrary, disproportionate punishment—let alone for a first-time offense—and should aim to restore justice where it is due…It seems clear that Ross Ulbricht deserves an act of clemency.”

– Mark Warden

Former State Representative, New Hampshire

“I feel that when people hear the amount of time men and women get in prison they should automatically investigate and help get justice! I received that justice but many more need justice! And that’s why I support the commutation of Ross Ulbricht.”
– Charles “Duke” Tanner

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate. Former Professional Boxer

“This is a perfect example to highlight that the sentencing and carceral history of America has proven to be much more about reactions to emotional externalities, than it was ever intended to be about behavioral ‘corrections’ or plausible public safety measures. We agree that Ross’s sentencing case mirrors an archaic and myopic view that our society has outgrown.”
– Kate Boccia

President and CEO, National Incarceration Association, Inc.

“We as citizens must take up the causes of individual liberty such as Ross’s incarceration. I will be joining in the effort to convince the president to issue clemency.”
– Jim Cantrell

Leading Aerospace Engineer. Former National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group Member. Founding Team, SpaceX

“This is a miscarriage of justice pure and simple. Ross Ulbricht made some mistakes, but sentencing him to die in prison for nonviolent crimes where government entrapment played a large role is beyond the pale. We must do better.”

– Ilya Shapiro

Director of Constitutional Studies, Manhattan Institute

“Ross William Ulbricht, a first-time offender, received a much harsher sentence than prosecutors sought. The sentence was based on judicial findings related to allegations of serious crimes that not only were never found by a jury but were not even among the charges leveled at trial.”

– Heidi Boghosian

Former Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild

“We believe that such an abuse and overreach of judicial and government power is a grave offense to our fundamental American values of liberty and justice and must be corrected…We, our party and our members are particularly attuned to Mr. Ulbricht’s case.”

– 46 State Chairs (in joint letter)

National Libertarian Party

“This young man has been condemned to die in prison for the non-violent offense of designing a software interface that was misused by its end users. That disproportionality is concerning…He was found guilty of non-violent crimes. Those crimes do not justify a life sentence.”
– Conrad Black

Former Leading Newspaper Publisher, Historian, Author

“The current U.S. penal system needs to be improved significantly. The best argument for this is the DOUBLE-LIFE-PLUS-40-YEARS sentence given to Ross Ulbricht for a NON-VIOLENT crime. This sentence sounds like a vendetta rather than a civilized punishment. America can, and should, show mercy to all first-time and non-violent offenders like Ross. Mercy for Ross!”
– Zbigniew Rybczyński

Academy Award-Winning Film Director

“Ulbricht’s nearly unheard-of sentence is overly punitive, destroys hope and is seriously disproportionate…He has not received justice…I am a firm believer in second chances. Eight years of confinement behind bars should be more than sufficient in Ross Ulbricht’s case.”

– Mike Kinman

Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena

“Ross Ulbricht’s sentence is an unreasonable, shocking punishment that far exceeds the wrongdoing.”
– Kathy Manley

Legal Director, Coalition for Civil Freedoms

“As a member of the European Parliament, Ross Ulbricht has my full support. I hope he will be released, otherwise it would mean there is no justice at all.”

– Jiri Mastalka

Member, European Parliament

“I am in full support of Ross Ulbricht’s petition for commutation of sentence. A multiple-life sentence for a nonviolent crime is a great injustice…I urge the President to commute sentences like the double-life sentence Ross is serving.”

– Michael Santos

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate. Prison Consultant, Author, Professor of Criminal Justice

“There is a glaring absence of justice in Ross Ulbricht’s sentence. This must be redressed.”
– Terry Cooper, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Public Policy at USC, Public Ethics Expert

“Ross Ulbricht’s sentence is a travesty. It’s absolutely disgusting what has happened to him. People in power have conspired to make him out to look like a horrible villain and all he is guilty of is building a website. I hope we see him out of jail very soon.”

– Saifedean Ammous, Ph.D.

Visiting Scholar, Columbia University Center on Capitalism & Society

“I wholeheartedly support a commutation of his sentence…Ross Ulbricht should be given a second chance as soon as possible.”
– Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, Loyola University New Orleans

“To be honest, I don’t care about who gets pardoned, I care about who doesn’t. Please, President, free Ross Ulbricht…and all non-violent drug offenders.”

– Nick Gillespie

Editor-in-Chief, Reason Magazine

“Our bill of rights forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Mr. Ulbricht’s punishment is both. It is cruel because of the unquestionable harshness of the sentence. It is unusual because disproportionately lighter sentences have been given to others convicted of similar, or even worse, crimes.”
– Whitney Bilyeu and Tyler Harris

Chair and Executive Director, National Libertarian Party

“I have met Ross. He is a good human. His punishment is absurdly disproportionate to his crime. Anyone who cares about justice should be a signatory to his clemency petition.”
– Erik Voorhees

Leading Blockchain Entrepreneur. CEO & Founder, ShapeShift.io

“Ross Ulbricht’s punishment is patently excessive and inhumane. I have never seen such a clear example of injustice inflicted on a defendant at every juncture.”
– Roger Ver

Leading Blockchain Investor. Executive Chair, Bitcoin.com

“Clearly Mr. Ulbricht is the victim of shocking injustice.”
– Jeff Deist

President, Mises Institute. Former Chief of Staff, Congressman Ron Paul

“Ross’s case raises so many issues of due process, prosecutorial overreach and outright fairness. A sentence of double life plus forty-years? This case fails the standards of our cherished Constitution and our American values. In the interest of justice, I strongly support clemency for Ross Ulbricht.”

– Suhail A. Khan

Chair, Conservative Inclusion Coalition

“The trial and sentence of Ross Ulbricht demonstrate the heights that over-criminalization, the Drug War, and technophobia have reached in the United States. They also show how Fourth Amendment and Due Process rights have hit rock-bottom.”

– Jim Harper

Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. Former Executive VP, Competitive Enterprise Institute

“Ross Ulbricht received two life sentences, plus 40 years, in a travesty of a trial.”
– Tom Woods, Ph.D.

Author, Historian, Political Commentator

“Ross Ulbricht’s double life plus 40-year sentence for his role in creating the Silk Road online marketplace is blatantly unjust.”
– Kat Murti

Board of Directors, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

“The story of Ross Ulbricht is one of the worst travesties of justice I have ever seen.”
– Bernard Kerik

40th Police Commissioner, New York City Police Department. NYT Best-Selling Author

“Ross Ulbricht is clearly the victim of over-sentencing for a non-violent, first-time offense. He was essentially condemned to die in prison for what others chose to buy and sell on the platform he created when an idealistic twenty-six-year old entrepreneur.”
– Matt Kibbe

President, Free The People Foundation. Former President, FreedomWorks

“A double life sentence for a non-violent crime: unwarranted, egregious, and completely over-the-top. Ross, we love you and pray for your quick release back into free society. President, you must pardon this young man, he has so much to offer!”

– Hershel Nunez, Jr.

Former State Representative, New Hampshire

“Ross Ulbricht meets all the criteria for clemency: non-violent offenses, no prior record, impeccable conduct in prison, and acceptance and repentance for his mistakes…The right thing to do is to commute his unreasonable sentence.”
– Nena Whitfield

President, Ladies of Liberty Alliance

“Ross Ulbricht’s prosecution shocked me. I’ll never look at justice in America the same way. When I was a schoolboy, we were taught about Soviet show trials where the verdict was decided beforehand by apparatchiks and a trial was staged to legitimize it. I never expected to see such a thing in America… but I did.”
– Paul Rosenberg

Author, Engineer, Consultant to NASA and U.S. Military

“There is a lot that went wrong in the prosecution of Ross Ulbricht…Misconduct by agents, inflated allegations, judicial bias, and serious doubts of guilt. It is a good case for the President to look at for commutation.”
– Robert E. Barnes

Leading Civil, Criminal and Constitutional Attorney

“The U.S. has a mass incarceration problem. One reason is because of unconscionable sentences like the one Ross received.”

– Dirk van Velzen

Founder and CEO, Prison Scholar Fund. Received Former President Obama's Volunteer Service Award

“None of the offenses for which Ross was convicted involved acts of violence. He received an extremely harsh and brutal sentence that violates the principles of justice and rehabilitation.”
– Jacob Hornberger

President and Founder, The Future of Freedom Foundation

“Spike Cohen and I are calling for the immediate pardon and release of Ross Ulbricht.”

– Jo Jorgensen

2020 Presidential Candidate, Libertarian Party

“That he was given a sentence of death in prison for a free market website has deeply shaken and disheartened many of us. Not only is a double life sentence plus 40 years for nonviolent charges shocking to any reasonable person, but there is also a long list of questionable issues pertaining to Ross Ulbricht’s investigation and trial.”
– Spike Cohen

2020 Vice Presidential Candidate, Libertarian Party

“I signed the petition to free Ross. I’m asking everyone to sign. Very harsh and overdone punishment.”

– Mark Finelli

World Trade Center Survivor. Former Corporal, Marine Corps (Iraq)

“Ross Ulbricht could be a great asset to our country if given the opportunity. We treat some of our nation’s enemies in war with more leniency than Ross has been treated.”

– Enrique Martinez

Former Engineer and Officer, U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Center

“I support clemency now to commute the cruel and unusual punishment of Ross Ulbricht.”
– William Yeniscavich

Attorney, Retired Pentagon Army Inspector General

“When you look at the crazy sentence there and what actually happened, there’s a lot of questions about Ross Ulbricht and whether that was a miscarriage of justice.”
– John Bachman

Host, Bachman Show on NewsmaxTV

“Ross Ulbricht was never prosecuted for harming anyone. The prosecutors did not name one victim at trial. He is now serving two life sentences without parole, plus forty years. This is a horrifying sentence for any non-violent first-time offender.”
– Jim Babka

Founder and President, Downsize DC Foundation & DownsizeDC.org

“A cause worth supporting. Sign the petition to help.”
– Lew Rockwell

Founder and Chair, Mises Institute. Former Chief of Staff, Congressman Ron Paul. Author

“Ross Ulbricht is not someone we need protection from, and certainly not someone who should die in prison. He is an innovative, brilliant entrepreneur who could help our country and contribute greatly…His punishment is undeniably out of proportion.”

– Alexander Heid

Leading Computer Security Expert. Co-Founder, HackMiami

“I was at Ross Ulbricht’s trial and sentencing and it was the biggest miscarriage of justice I’ve ever seen. This is a man who is non-violent and wanted to spread the idea of free markets and now is behind bars for two life sentences plus forty years. It’s absolutely atrocious.”
– Naomi Brockwell

TV/Film Producer, Conference Emcee, Producer for John Stossel

“What’s happened to Ross is an absolute travesty. The sentence was very unjust and a really bad precedent for the American people. It is a very important thing to have him released.”

– Robert Viglione

Co-Founder, Horizen. Former Physicist and Mathematician

“Keeping Ross Ulbricht locked up is profoundly unjust.”

– Robby Soave

Senior Editor, Reason Magazine. Author

“Ross Ulbricht’s intention was to make the world a safer place. I don’t think that his creating a website that he thought was going to help the world is something he should spend his life in prison for.”

– Ross Connolly

Deputy State Director, Americans for Prosperity

“Whatever you think of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road, does not deserve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.”

– Charlie Lee

Renowned Computer Scientist. Creator, Litecoin

Supporting Organizations

Abolitionist Law Center
Public interest law firm seeking to end mass incarceration through movement lawyering. Promotes the rights of prisoners and the wrongly convicted by educating the public about injustices in the criminal legal system, and about abusive conditions in the prison system.

American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF)
Informs and mobilizes public support for criminal justice reforms based on conservative principles, and to work with government officials to effectively implement those reforms.

Joined National Lawyers Guild’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition

American King Foundation
Nonprofit organization that focuses on criminal justice reform, re-entry, and reuniting American families throughout the United States that have been affected by the laws of mass incarceration.

A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing)
Nonprofit advocacy organization of parents, concerned citizens, individuals in recovery, healthcare professionals and community leaders working together to educate the public, media and decision makers about the true nature of the disease of addiction, and to expand access to treatment services.

Bitcoin.com
Stands firmly in support of financial freedom and the liberty that cryptocurrency provides globally to empower people to not be marginalized by governments and financial institutions.

Buried Alive Project
Nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness and help eliminate life without parole sentences for federal drug offenses through transformative legislation and litigation.

CAN-DO Foundation
Nonprofit foundation that advocates Clemency for All Non-violent Drug Offenders. Committed to educating the public about the conspiracy law and mandatory minimums, and providing support to those incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses.

Cato Institute 
Public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.

Joined Reason Foundation’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice(CJCJ)
30-year-old nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes a balanced and humane criminal justice system designed to reduce incarceration and enhance long-term public safety.

Clemency.com
Project of Brandon Sample PLC, a federal criminal defense law firm, whose mission is to assist clients with pardons, commutations, reprieves, amnesty, remission and other clemency related matters.

Coalition for Civil Freedoms
Coalition of national and local organizations and prominent individuals, whose mission is to educate about the erosion of civil and political freedoms and prisoner abuses within the U.S. criminal justice system.

Joined National Lawyers Guild’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
Public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty.

Joined Reason Foundation’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (CLDEF)
Fights against the government’s assault on the written text of the constitution, and the true rule of the Law.

Joined Downsize DC’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Crack Open the Door
Nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights for those who have been sentenced to Life without parole for nonviolent drug crimes in the federal system. Jason Hernandez, its founder, was granted clemency by President Obama on December 19, 2013.

Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (CJPF)
Founded in 1988, CJPF is one of the oldest drug policy reform organizations in the United States. Their primary mission is to educate the public about the impact of drug policy on the criminal justice system, and work on criminal justice reform.

Downsize DC Foundation
Policy advocacy organization which aims to limit the size of the U.S. government in the United States through awareness and petitioning.

Submitted an amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

DownsizeDC.org
Advocacy group supporting the Zero Aggression Principle and legislation that reduces excessive force and ending prohibition.

Joined Downsize DC’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Dream.org (formerly #cut50)
National, bipartisan effort to cut crime and incarceration across all 50 states. #cut50 brings together leaders impacted by the criminal justice system with unlikely allies spanning the political divide to push for criminal justice solutions.

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)
Organization dedicated to ending the American “War on Drugs”, whose mission is to advance policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition.

Submitted one amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s appeal to the Second Circuit and one amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition

Due Process Institute
Bipartisan nonprofit that looks past ideological divides to find common ground in order to restore principles of fairness in the criminal justice system.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The leading organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation.

Joined National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s appeal to the Second Circuit.

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Nonprofit organization that works locally, statewide, and nationally to end criminalization, state violence, and mass incarceration and win dignity, power, and equality for all communities.

Ex-Cons for Community and Social Change (ECCSC)
Nonprofit organization that challenges ex-offenders to act as community servants by continuing their rehabilitation through community service and becoming productive members of society. Their mission is to change the dynamic of trauma, violence, and recidivism in communities.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums(FAMM)
Advocates for smart sentencing laws that protect public safety, and has been responsible for policy changes that have eliminated and reformed mandatory minimum prison sentences for thousands of individuals.

Foundation for Economic Education(FEE)
Their mission is to inspire, educate, and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society.

Free & Equal Elections Foundation
Nonprofit, grassroots organization whose mission is to empower American voters through education and advocacy of electoral reforms.

Free State Project (FSP)
An agreement among 20,000 participants to move to New Hampshire to reduce the size and scope of the government in order to achieve “Liberty in Our Lifetime.”

Free The People
Educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the values of liberty: free choice in everything from drug policy, to healthcare and retirement, to every aspect of the sharing economy.

FreedomWorks
Organization with over 6 million members promoting free markets and individual liberty.

Joined National Lawyers Guild’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)
National jury education organization seeking to educate about citizen rights, powers and responsibilities when serving as trial jurors.

Future of Freedom Foundation
Educational organization whose mission is to present the principled case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.

Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice
Advocates for reforms to the criminal justice system. Believes the criminal justice system should focus on rehabilitation and not only punishment.

Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Lobbying organization formed to preserve and defend Second Amendment rights.

Joined Downsize DC’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Gun Owners Foundation
Research arm of GOA that exists to educate about the importance of the Second Amendment and provide legal, expert and support assistance.

Joined Downsize DC’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Human Rights Defense Center
Advocates on behalf of the human rights of people held in U.S. detention facilities.

Joined National Lawyers Guild’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Judge Nancy Gertner
Former U.S. federal judge who built her career around standing up for women’s rights, civil liberties and justice. Senior Lecturer of Law at Harvard Law School.

Joined Drug Policy Alliance’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s appeal to the Second Circuit and National Lawyers Guild’s Supreme Court amicus brief [PDF].

Justice Action
Organization of criminal justice and mental health activists targeting abuse of authority. Created in 1979, it is one of the oldest independent prisoners’ rights and advocacy services in Australia.

Justice For Families
National network of family leaders, impacted by the justice system, working to end mass criminalization, particularly of youth and in communities of color.

JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA)
Dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. Empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform.

Joined Drug Policy Alliance’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s appeal to the Second Circuit.

Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice
Works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance health, equity, and justice for everyone. Their work is informed by community organizing methods and philosophies, draws on public health practices and tools, and is grounded in a racial equity framework.

Ladies of Liberty Alliance(LOLA)
Educational organization with the mission of educating and empowering female leaders within the liberty movement and spreading the ideas of individual liberty and free markets.

Last Prisoner Project
Nonprofit dedicated to reforming the U.S. criminal justice system through progressive drug policy. Through legal intervention, constituent support, advocacy campaigns and policy change, they aim to release every last drug war prisoner.

Law Enforcement Action Partnership(LEAP)
Nonprofit group of current and former police, judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals who use their expertise to advance drug policy and criminal justice solutions that enhance public safety.

Joined Drug Policy Alliance’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s appeal to the Second Circuit and Drug Policy Alliance’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Libertarian Party
America’s third largest political party. Unanimously passed a resolution requesting that the President of the United States grant Ross clemency and has made Ross’s release an official part of its platform.

Liberty on the Rocks (LOTR)
International network of Libertarian thinkers. Designed to educate, connect, and activate liberty enthusiasts around the world.

Life for Pot
An organization that spotlights offenders who have received the sentence of Life without Parole for marijuana offenses. Founded by Beth Curtis, the sister of John Knock, a first-time, nonviolent marijuana offender who has been serving a life sentence without parole since 1996.

Moms United
Movement of mothers, parents and families who are taking a leading position to end the violence, mass incarceration and overdose deaths that are a result of current punitive and discriminatory drug policies.

Nation of Second Chances
Webby Award nominated photo and video storytelling series about nonviolent drug offenders released from prison through President Obama’s historic clemency initiative.

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
Organization of 40,000 attorneys in 28 countries whose mission is to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or other misconduct.

Submitted an amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s appeal to the Second Circuit.

National Incarceration Association, Inc.
Their mission is to provide families, loved ones and advocates of the incarcerated, reliable information and resources while also coordinating actions among community and those who have the authority to make measured changes and reform our system of justice for the better public interest and safety.

National Lawyers Guild (NLG)
Progressive public interest association that unites lawyers, law students, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers and legal activists.

Submitted an amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Ohio Justice Policy Center (OJPC)
Their mission is to create fair, intelligent, redemptive criminal-justice systems through zealous client-centered advocacy, innovative policy reform, and cross-sector community education.

Parallel Polis
Czech Republic think tank focused on the promotion of digital freedom and free markets. Based on the writings of Vaclav Benda, Czech dissident during the height of communist domination in Czechoslovakia.

People’s Law Office
Chicago law office that focuses on public interest law, representing clients believed to have been the subject of attacks by governmental officials and agencies.

Joined National Lawyers Guild’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Prisology
Nonprofit organization dedicated to fixing the U.S. criminal justice system, for the benefit of taxpayers, policymakers, prisoners, ex-offenders, their families and for the good of our entire nation. Helped make retroactive drug sentencing reform possible for 46,000 federal prisoners, saving taxpayers up to $4 billion.

Prison Scholar Fund
Nonprofit that provides incarcerated people the tools they need to become successful members of their communities by funding college, vocational, and technical courses. PSF also provides transition and employment assistance after release.

R Street Institute
Public policy research organization whose mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.

Joined Reason Foundation’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Reason Foundation
Organization committed to advancing the values of individual freedom and choice, limited government, and market-friendly policies.

Submitted an amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Restore The Fouth
Nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and eliminate programs that violate it.

Restoring Liberty Action Committee
Action committee dedicated to restoring liberty in the U.S.

Joined Downsize DC’s amicus brief [PDF] supporting Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

Right On Crime
National criminal justice reform initiative in the U.S. that aims to gain support for criminal justice reform by sharing research and policy ideas, mobilizing leaders, and raising public awareness.

Rio Grande Foundation
Research institute affiliated with the U.S. nationwide State Policy Network. Dedicated to increasing liberty and prosperity for all of New Mexico’s citizens.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Nonprofit human rights advocacy organization that aims to teach change through human rights advocacy for social justice. It was named after U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, a few months after his assassination.

ShapeShift
Leading instant digital asset exchange that offers global trading of a variety of digital assets via web and mobile.

StopTheDrugWar.org
Nonprofit organization whose goal is to replace the illicit drug trade and criminalization with a combination of regulation, health and social programs addressing substances’ risks and harms.

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy(SSDP)
International student-led advocacy and education organization of thousands of members working to end drug prohibition and reforming drug policy.

Students for Liberty (SFL)
Largest libertarian student organization in the world whose mission is to educate, develop and empower the next generation of leaders in support of freedom. SFL nominated Ross for alumnus of the year 2016.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC)
Nonprofit research and advocacy institution that advances solutions and builds coalitions to reduce mass incarceration and foster safer Texas communities.

The Decarceration Collective
Premier collective of lawyers, community organizers, and criminal justice policy consultants working together to dismantle mass incarceration and defend federal prisoners serving life sentences for drug-related offenses.

The Ladies of Hope Ministries (The LOHM)
Their mission is to help disenfranchised and marginalized women and girls transition back into society through resources and access to high-quality education, entrepreneurship, spiritual empowerment, advocacy and housing.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF)
Progressive legal organization that focuses on cases regarding free speech and dissent, domestic spying and surveillance, police misconduct, and government transparency.

Joined National Lawyers Guild’s amicus brief [PDF] in support of Ross’s Supreme Court petition.

The Taifa Group
Dynamic social enterprise firm in Washington, DC, whose mission is to advance justice. Led by Nkechi Taifa, a criminal justice veteran and founder of the Justice Roundtable coalition.

The Weldon Project
Dedicated to funding social change and financial aid for those who are still serving prison time for cannabis-related offenses. Founded by Weldon Angelos, a first-time offender who was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling cannabis. Thanks to a bipartisan campaign supporting his release, he regained his freedom after having served 13 years in federal prison.

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform (VCJR)
Educational and advocacy nonprofit aimed at developing a more coordinated criminal justice system that values the humanity of all people, restores relationships, and uses incarceration as a last resort for public safety.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)
Pro-liberty student organization with more than 900 chapters and 300,000+ members nationwide.