Ross Ulbricht at USP Florence Maximum-Security Penitentiary
USP Florence Maximum Security Prison – January 2018
By Lyn Ulbricht
A lot has happened in the past six months as we continue to fight for Ross’s freedom. On December 22, 2017 Ross and his legal team of Williams & Connolly, one of the top firms in the nation, filed a Petition of Certiorari with the Supreme Court. The petition argues that Ross’s case presents two important questions of constitutional law, and has broad significance impacting both our Fourth and Sixth Amendment protections:
Whether the warrantless seizure of an individual’s Internet traffic information without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment.
Whether the Sixth Amendment is violated when a judge uses uncharged allegations, never brought to trial before a jury, to support an exessive sentence.
On February 5, 2018, twenty-one organizations from across the political spectrum supported the petition in five amicus (friend of the court) briefs. Then on April 13 the petition was distributed for conference, meaning the Justices will consider it. About 200 cases were denied by the Supreme Court that day, but not Ross's!
According to his lawyers, this means we can be pretty sure the Court is holding Ross’s petition pending another important Fourth Amendment case, Carpenter v. U.S. How the Court rules on Carpenter will determine what happens with Ross’s case. This can happen any time, probably by June.
Meanwhile, since July 2017, Ross has been held at USP Florence, a maximum-security penitentiary, where the Bureau of Prisons puts its most violent and dangers offenders, short of the Super Max. This is despite the fact that Ross is a first-time offender with no history of violence. Rather, the designation is a result of his life sentence.
Despite the horrors of his environment, Ross remains optimistic and strong, characteristically making the best of it. He has immersed himself in his case, spending a lot of time in the law library, and otherwise focusing on staying healthy mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
We hope and pray our next communication brings good news in our ongoing struggle.
We are grateful for your support, as always,
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