Hope Amid Lockdown: Ross Ulbricht’s Mom Speaks Out About His Prison Isolation

Where is Ross Ulbricht now?
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Many in the cryptocurrency are familiar with the story of Ross Ulbricht. Here’s a brief summation: 

Arrested in 2013 and convicted of five non-violent charges stemming from his alleged role in Silk Road, a black market online portal popular with drug dealers and others engaging in online transactions, Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without parole in May of 2015.

Despite the relentless efforts of his mom Lyn and well as scores of supporters worldwide, federal appeal efforts to release Ross have been unsuccessful. Now on the heels of President Trump’s remaining days in office, a flurry of effort is in the works fueling lingering hope of a pardon.

In a candid interview by email with Gokhshtein Media, Ross’ Mom Lyn Ulbricht opens up about his current status in prison and what gives her hope of his eventual release. 

How is Ross doing these days? And what are the conditions like at the facility where he’s housed? 

Because of Covid, Ross has been living in an 8 x 10 metal box, fed through a slot in the door, 22 – 24 hours/day since March (presently 24/7). 

As his mom, what are your greatest concerns for him at this point? 

It is horrible to think of Ross, who loves freedom, the outdoors and life so much to be confined in such inhumane conditions.

Describe his mindset and thinking in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, social and racial unrest, and political climate? 

Ross is essentially cut off, as he’s been locked down since Covid came on the scene. He does his best to stay positive and healthy by reading, working out in his cell, and meditating. 

Your thoughts about all of the outpouring of support Ross has received from those who believe his imprisonment is a complete travesty? 

Ross, I, and our family are so very grateful to all the wonderful people who have spoken out, signed the petition at freeross.org, donated to our struggle, and walked beside us through the years. It has given us the strength and ability to persevere towards our goal of Ross’s freedom. 

What is most urgently needed right now in order to advance his cause?

A presidential commutation to time served of his extreme, cruel and barbaric sentence of double life + 40 years without parole.

As we head into 2021, what continues to give you hope in terms of Ross’ release? 

My faith in God and the firm belief that Ross will be free. And that President Trump has demonstrated with the First Step Act and clemency that he believes in second chances. I pray he will give Ross one. 

What sorts of plans does he have for his life when that day arrives? 

I imagine he will want to spend time with family and lots of time outside in nature, which he loves and has been deprived of for over 7 years. 

Are there any specific causes he’ll be looking to pursue? 

Ross is a compassionate person who cares about other people. He has helped countless other prisoners in many ways during his time in prison. 

When free, he has said that he wants to support the criminal justice reform movement. He does his best, even from prison, to contribute to society. For example, his essay ZKANN | A Possible Solution to the Content Problem aims to use Artificial Intelligence to solve the problem of how to preserve privacy on WhatsApp and other platforms while not enabling harmful content like pedophilia to spread secretly.

Experts have analyzed his idea and said it has great promise, but it needs development, which is impossible in prison. This clearly shows how Ross’s talents are being wasted in prison and how he could contribute to the world if free.

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