Earlier this year, iconic Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison for creating and maintaining the most prolific underground online drug market to date. Ulbricht's first letter written from his New York City cell has been released.

Dear Porcfest,I am writing to you from my cell in New York City. Sorry I couldn’t make it this year. Unfortunately the worst case scenario has played out for me and I’ve been sentenced to spend the rest of my life in prison. I am an eternal optimist though and will never give up hope for my release. I have confidence that the appeals court will recognize the errors by some and outright corruption by others in the government and give me some sort of remedy. It could be a new trial, where hopefully the whole story can be told or the case could be dismissed altogether.

In many ways, my struggle is just getting started now that it’s going to the higher courts, so I still need your help. Mounting an effective appeal is not easy. I’m confident in my team, but there’s only so much we can do without your donations. What we can be sure of is that the government will spend as many of your tax dollars as needed to keep me behind bars, so please help however you can.

I hope my story has shed light on some of the issues we face these days. There are many, but please don’t let what’s happened to me lead you to despair. Keep standing for liberty and respect for our rights. Keep fighting for your freedom and evenutally we will win.


Although his life sentencing is much more dire than the 30 years Aaron Swartz faced before he committed suicide, Ulbricht seems optimistic that his sentence will be reduced, and urges people to not give up the fight.

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons