Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday after being found guilty of creating and running Silk Road, a black market drug running organization. With the life sentence without the possibility of parole, Judge Katherine Forrest gave Ulbricht the harshest sentence possible. During the trial, the judge had been asked to make an example of the Silk Road kingpin, according to Wired and the judge did just that.
“The stated purpose [of the Silk Road] was to be beyond the law. In the world you created over time, democracy didn’t exist. You were captain of the ship, the Dread Pirate Roberts,” the judge told Ulbricht as she read his sentence. She added that the organization was created to assert that Ulbricht was above the law. The sentence of life without parole was a way to illustrate that the creator of Silk Road was, in fact, not above the law at all.
Before he was sentenced, Ulbricht had written a letter to the judge hoping for leniency. In this letter, he admitted that Silk Road was a mistake. He added that he had already had his youth, and he knew he was going to lose his middle age. The criminal mastermind asked the judge to allow him to have his old age outside of prison. In the end, the letter wasn’t enough to convince Forrest.