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Trump Commits to Commuting Ross Ulbricht's Sentence if Re-Elected

Trump Commits to Commuting Ross Ulbricht's Sentence if Re-Elected

May 26, 2024

Trump Commits to Commuting Ross Ulbricht's Sentence if Re-Elected

Former President Donald J. Trump has promised to commute the life sentence of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht if he wins the upcoming presidential election. Trump made the announcement during his speech at the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, D.C. on a Saturday night. Addressing the convention attendees, he stated, "If you vote for me, on Day 1, I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht to a sentence of time served.”

Ulbricht, who has served 11 years of his sentence, was convicted in 2015 for creating the darknet marketplace known as Silk Road. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 40 years without the possibility of parole.

The announcement of Trump's pledge was met with enthusiastic applause from the convention crowd, with many supporters holding up "Free Ross" signs. Bitcoiners and Libertarians alike argue that Ulbricht's sentencing is excessively harsh and infringes on his constitutional rights. In 2018, the Libertarian Party formally requested then-President Trump to issue a pardon for Ulbricht, but he did not do so before leaving office in January 2021.

Earlier on the same day of his convention speech, Trump expressed support for the cryptocurrency industry on his social media platform, Truth Social. He wrote positively about the sector's potential, contrasting his stance with that of President Joe Biden, whom he accused of wanting the industry to "die a slow and painful death."

During the convention, Trump also vowed to "stop Joe Biden’s crusade to crush crypto" and pledging support for the right to self-custody. Trump has only recently adopted a more favorable public stance towards Bitcoin, even becoming the first major party presidential candidate to accept campaign donations in Bitcoin.

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