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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:35 PM

WTP Petition : Remove United States DA from office for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz

Posting this in General Discussion because I don't know if it's been posted (couldn't find it when I searched). So far it has 21,255 of 25,000 needed signatures:
It is too late to do anything for Aaron Swartz, but the who used the powers granted to them by their office to hound him into a position where he was facing a ruinous trial, life in prison and the ignominy and shame of being a convicted felon; for an alleged crime that the supposed victims did not wish to prosecute.

A prosecutor who does not understand proportionality and who regularly uses the threat of unjust and overreaching charges to extort plea bargains from defendants regardless of their guilt is a danger to the life and liberty of anyone who might cross her path.


[link:https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen-ortiz-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck|

20 replies, 1124 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply WTP Petition : Remove United States DA from office for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz (Original post)
Justin_Beach Jan 2013 OP
northoftheborder Jan 2013 #1
Justin_Beach Jan 2013 #2
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #3
DirkGently Jan 2013 #4
Justin_Beach Jan 2013 #5
reorg Jan 2013 #6
dlwickham Jan 2013 #10
reorg Jan 2013 #11
dlwickham Jan 2013 #13
Agony Jan 2013 #7
dlwickham Jan 2013 #14
reorg Jan 2013 #8
ReallyIAmAnOptimist Jan 2013 #9
reorg Jan 2013 #12
dlwickham Jan 2013 #15
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #16
reorg Jan 2013 #18
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #19
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #17
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #20

Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:43 PM

1. Is he a Bush holdover?

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:48 PM

2. Nope, an Obama apointee

albeit one with a bit of a Delores Umbridge quality:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/ma/meetattorney.html

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:51 PM

3. No, she isn't...

http://www.justice.gov/usao/ma/meetattorney.html

Carmen M. Ortiz has dedicated much of her professional career to public service. Nominated by President Barack Obama, as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Ms. Ortiz was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2009. She is the first Hispanic and the first woman to represent Massachusetts as United States Attorney.

As the chief federal law enforcement officer in Massachusetts, Ms. Ortiz supervises the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of all civil matters in which the federal government has an interest. She oversees the work of more than 200 attorneys and support staff in Boston, Worcester and Springfield.

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:57 PM

4. A ludicrous prosecution. The guy stole, literally NOTHING.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:32 PM

5. Not to mention ...

JSTOR, the supposed victim in the theft of nothing, declined to prosecute and urged the DA to drop charges.

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Response to Justin_Beach (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:04 PM

6. and JSTOR even changed their policies

following the "incident", making non-copyrighted material as well as a limited number of current articles freely available to everyone.

They admit that Aaron Swartz's prank had an "impact" on their decision.

http://about.jstor.org/news/jstor%E2%80%93free-access-early-journal-content-and-serving-%E2%80%9Cunaffiliated%E2%80%9D-users

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Response to Justin_Beach (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:32 AM

10. that's not what it says on JSTOR's website

The criminal investigation and today’s indictment of Mr. Swartz has been directed by the United States Attorney’s Office. It was the government’s decision whether to prosecute, not JSTOR’s. As noted previously, our interest was in securing the content. Once this was achieved, we had no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter.

http://about.jstor.org/news/jstor-statement-misuse-incident-and-criminal-case

doesn't say anything about urging the government to drop the charges

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Response to dlwickham (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:46 AM

11. they also say

The case is one that we ourselves had regretted being drawn into from the outset


http://about.jstor.org/statement-swartz

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Response to reorg (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:36 AM

13. so where do they say that they didn't want him prosecuted

I'm still waiting for someone to back up that line

I'm not accusing anyone of lying or misrepresenting JSTOR's position; I just want someone to show me where that had been said

I think this was a situation where JSTOR was damned if they did or damned if they didn't

Swartz is being made to be some kind of martyr and the powers that be at JSTOR, which unless you were an academic had probably never heard of before this, wanted to wash their hands of the whole mess

the first fact is that JSTOR and Swartz came to an agreement where Swartz would return the materials he illegally downloaded with an guarantee that none of the material would be made available for free out in cyberspace or wherever and JSTOR would accept his mea culpa

the second fact is that he still illegally downloaded something like 4 million pages of documents despite returning the materials

it's like a thief and a jewelry store agreeing to let things be if the thief returned the diamonds he stole but that the fact that he stole doesn't not go away

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:08 AM

7. This petition is screaming toward 25k signatures

in 2 days

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Response to Agony (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:38 AM

14. and the secession petitions hit those same numbers in about the same about of time if not quicker

what's your point?

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:26 AM

8. the prosecutor actually in charge of the case

appears to be Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen P. Heymann, according to DOJ information:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/ma/news/2011/July/SwartzAaronPR.html

and this article, with some interesting comments from Aaron Swartz' lawyer:

Heymann was looking for "some juicy looking computer crime cases and Aaron's case, sadly for Aaron, fit the bill," Peters said. Heymann, Peters believes, thought the Swartz case "was going to receive press and he was going to be a tough guy and read his name in the newspaper."

Heymann, the deputy chief of the criminal division in the Boston-based U.S. Attorney's office, also headed the computer crimes task force there, a position Peters said "doesn't carry much prestige and respect unless you have computer crimes cases."

...

Peters said Heymann was threatening Swartz with potentially longer prison sentences if Swartz didn't accept his plea deal offers.

"He was very intransigent," Peters said of Heymann. "It was his philosophy that as you got closer to trial the plea offers only got worse. But the offer he was making was so unreasonable that having it get worse didn't concern me much."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/aaron-swartz-stephen-heymann_n_2473278.html


Total signatures right now: 24,511

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:31 AM

9. Can't they find any bankers or CEOs to prosecute?

Very sad.

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:58 AM

12. 25,015

threshold reached within two days, looking forward to White House response

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Response to reorg (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:39 AM

15. WH response will be

this is a moot point since the charges against the defendant have been dropped

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:46 AM

16. The white house just quadrupled the signature threshold for petitions.

 

Occupy Wall Street ‏@OccupyWallStNYC

Practicing democracy gets harder & harder. The @whitehouse just quadrupled the signature threshold for petitions. !#%$*
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57564203-93/white-house-raises-petition-signature-threshold-to-100k/

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:35 AM

18. so they already reacted, LOL

"AS OF JANUARY 15, 2013", one day after the demand to sack the prosecutor reached the signature threshold.

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Response to reorg (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:27 PM

19. Yep. Make no mistake.

 

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:49 AM

17. Rep Zoe Lofgren Is Introducing “Aaron’s Law” to Prevent Future CFAA Abuses

 

Stun ☠ ‏@57UN

Rep Zoe Lofgren Is Introducing “Aaron’s Law” to Prevent Future CFAA Abuses
http://blog.greenpirate.org/rep-zoe-lofgren-is-introducing-aarons-law-to-prevent-future-cfaa-abuses/
Retweeted by Anonymous

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Response to Justin_Beach (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:52 PM

20. It's not a DA...it's a US Attorney who prosecutes

Cindy Ortiz I think her name is.

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