Book Report: American Kingpin

American Kingpin Cover

Double life imprisonment, plus forty years without the possibility of parole (couldn’t they just say until the day you die?). If you ask me whether he deserves that sentencing, I’ll tell you to form your own opinion after reading the book. But it does make you think about the justice system here in the US—it’s probably not fair 100% of the time.

Ross Ulbricht let his success go to his head and thought nothing of killing to keep his position. There’s no proof that any of the hits actually happened, but the fact that he paid a huge amount of money for them speaks for itself. That and the fact that he was selling drugs and other illegal items to people all over the world—definitely not okay, but does he deserve life in prison for it? People can and do change, as do laws. Is it fair that someone should spend a majority of their life in prison for breaking a law that may one day become legal? If drugs and the selling of drugs were ever 100% legalized, how would that make the folks feel who are currently serving life sentences for drug-related crimes?

I don’t do drugs and never have, but stories like this make you think a lot about the war on drugs and whether it’s effective at keeping people safe. Or if it’s doing the complete opposite by creating black markets, overdoses, and other issues related to a lack of education and proper support. Portugal decriminalized drugs in 2001, and drug-related deaths in 2015 was 6 per million. In the US? 312 per million.

Most people go through life thinking that tomorrow they’re going to do something great. Tomorrow will be the day that they wake up and discover what they were put on this earth to do. But then tomorrow comes—and goes. As does the next day. Before long, they realize that there aren’t that many tomorrows left.

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Book Overview 2019