Ross Ulbricht, the convicted founder and operator of online black market Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison yesterday after being found guilty of narcotics and computer hacking charges in February.
The severity of the sentencing quickly set off a firestorm of comment and criticism, with debates centering on the alleged hypocrisy of the federal government and the morality of its handling of illicit Internet crime in context of its actions against the traditional financial sector.
Such criticisms, however, were interspersed with live drama, as standing outside of a New York courthouse, Lyn Ulbricht voiced concern for her son Ross Ulbricht’s safety as he heads to maximum security prison.
“I fear for his safety,” she said, according to footage of the press conference. “I fear for his life.”
Lyn Ulbricht added that a medium-security prison, in her opinion, would be more appropriate given his behavior since his arrest in late 2013, but acknowledged that “with his sentence, I don’t know if that can be possible”.
During her comments, Ulbricht criticized the government for keeping Silk Road open, suggesting that federal officials should share the blame for deaths said to be tied to the dark market’s operation.
She told reporters: