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Silk Road Creator Sentenced to Life Without Parole

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The focus of this trial seemed to be mostly about the drug trades, and from the sound of it that was the bulk of Ulbricht's "Silk Road" site traffic. But, Ulbricht wasn't just opportunistically taking advantage of international drug laws, he was also idealistic, with apparent leanings toward anarchism.

Was a life sentence without parole justified? Based on existing law, I think the answer is obviously "yes." But assume drugs were legal, and then even one kill-for-hire transaction took place on the Silk Road -- would that constitute a life sentence for the site creator, or even any conviction at all? Should Ulbricht have been tried in part (and more harshly) for his anarchist ideals? I'd say he was too old to pass for "youthful ignorance."
Edited by JASKN

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Laws drafted to uphold individual rights and protect individuals from initiation of force by others differ substantially from laws deigned to protect the individual from himself.

The judge was upset and wanted to "make an example," (which is unjust in itself) because Ulbricht was against the laws on principle. Given that the laws weren't just, he would fall in with the debate about Edward Snowden, too. But framed as you have by looking at laws protecting against force versus those protecting against who knows what, it makes it easier to consider if his ideals should carry weight in his conviction. If he'd, say, been a terrorist who tried to cripple the CIA, I guess it wouldn't even matter what were his ideals, because judging his actions morally wouldn't be debatable, and a conviction wouldn't be a controversy.

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