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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:20 PM

Swartz didn't face prison until feds took over case, report says

Source: CNET

by Declan McCullagh, January 25, 2013 1:14 PM PST

State prosecutors who investigated the late Aaron Swartz had planned to let him off with a stern warning, but federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz took over and chose to make an example of the Internet activist, according to a report in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Middlesex County's district attorney had planned no jail time, "with Swartz duly admonished and then returned to civil society to continue his pioneering electronic work in a less legally questionable manner," the report (alternate link) said. "Tragedy intervened when Ortiz's office took over the case to send 'a message.'"

The report is likely to fuel an online campaign against Ortiz, who has been criticized for threatening the 26-year-old with decades in prison for allegedly downloading a large quantity of academic papers. An online petition asking President Obama to remove from office Ortiz -- a politically ambitious prosecutor who was talked about as Massachusetts' next governor as recently as last month.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57565927-38/swartz-didnt-face-prison-until-feds-took-over-case-report-says/



Links in the above excerpt:

the report (alternate link)
(Ortiz, who) has been criticized
petition
(politically ambitious prosecutor who was) talked about

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Reply Swartz didn't face prison until feds took over case, report says (Original post)
reorg Jan 2013 OP
99th_Monkey Jan 2013 #1
FiveGoodMen Jan 2013 #25
friendly_iconoclast Jan 2013 #2
Vattel Jan 2013 #3
randome Jan 2013 #4
reorg Jan 2013 #5
randome Jan 2013 #6
reorg Jan 2013 #8
randome Jan 2013 #10
reorg Jan 2013 #11
randome Jan 2013 #14
reorg Jan 2013 #19
1monster Jan 2013 #38
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #34
Downwinder Jan 2013 #12
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #15
randome Jan 2013 #16
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #17
randome Jan 2013 #18
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #20
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #26
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #21
mlr Jan 2013 #7
Downwinder Jan 2013 #9
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #13
fasttense Jan 2013 #35
CranialRectaLoopback Jan 2013 #22
frylock Jan 2013 #23
struggle4progress Jan 2013 #24
Downwinder Jan 2013 #27
graham4anything Jan 2013 #28
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #29
Ivywoods55 Jan 2013 #30
CanonRay Jan 2013 #31
McCamy Taylor Jan 2013 #32
mtasselin Jan 2013 #33
Nine Jan 2013 #36
randome Jan 2013 #37
Puzzledtraveller Jan 2013 #39
Marrah_G Jan 2013 #40

Response to reorg (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:22 PM

1. WTF is wrong with DoJ??

I think it's spelled "H-o-l-d-e-r" .. Why did our Prez w/ a
landslide mandate reinstate this fascist leaning tool of
wall st.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:52 AM

25. Why, indeed!

Must have been what he wanted.

Certainly not what I wanted.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:26 PM

2. Carmen Ortiz can kiss any political career in Massachusetts goodbye...

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:30 PM

3. Disproportionate punishment is rampant in our criminal justice system.

It should be contrary to the 8th amendment but justices like scalia and thomas have made a mess of 8th amendment law.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:36 PM

4. And why did the feds get involved? Because MIT asked them to get involved.

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:40 PM

5. LOL

or so you claim, without ever providing documentation.

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Response to reorg (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:47 PM

6. That's why MIT is investigating its role in this.

Swartz apparently wired into the JSTOR system using a laptop in the basement of the building. I know he had a lot of good theories about information in the digital age but he also stepped over the line.

Thinking he could have 'won at trial' after in essence sabotaging the JSTOR network was ridiculous.

There is a lot of blame to go around in this. MIT. Ortiz. Swartz' attorneys. And Swartz himself.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/aaron-swartz-mit_n_2480627.html

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Response to randome (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:29 PM

8. Your links flat out contradicts your claims

Privately, several MIT officials expressed concerns that prosecutors were "overreaching" by charging Swartz with federal crimes

this thing snowballed out of MIT's hands

"When the federal government chooses to prosecute, you don’t get to say no."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/aaron-swartz-mit_n_2480627.html


Silverglate told CNET today that:

"Continuance without a finding" was the anticipated disposition of the case were the charge to remain in state court, with the Middlesex County District Attorney to prosecute it. Under such a disposition, the charge is held in abeyance ("continued") without any verdict ("without a finding"). The defendant is on probation for a period of a few months up to maybe a couple of years at the most; if the defendant does not get into further legal trouble, the charge is dismissed, and the defendant has no criminal record. This is what the lawyers expected to happen when Swartz was arrested for "trespassing at MIT." But then the feds took over the case, and the rest is tragic history.

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Response to reorg (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:40 PM

10. They don't say WHY the feds took over the case.

Somehow the Secret Service became involved. Whether that was due to MIT's insistence on making an example of Swartz or something that occurred simply because of the 'snowball' effect that MIT mentioned, neither factor means that Ortiz went out of her way for 'political ambitions'.

She had nothing to gain by offering a 4-6 month plea bargain. How would this help her politically? It would have been a minor case had Swartz not killed himself.

And if Swartz did, indeed, physically wire a laptop into the JSTOR system, that sounds more along the lines of 'breaking and entering' than 'information needs to be free'.

Swartz is more responsible for his suicide than anyone else.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:03 PM

11. because they knew who he was?

See e.g. here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022262127

also:

Whatever the legal and procedural merits of Ortiz’s pursuit of Swartz, aggressive over-prosecution is normally the fate of anyone deemed to be an online activist.

Bradley Manning faces life imprisonment for leaking evidence of US war crimes, should the US military ever cease regularly delaying his trial. Manning was even found by a US military judge to have been systematically mistreated while in custody.

Barrett Brown currently faces 45 years in prison for, inter alia, posting a URL and quoting a Fox News threat to kill Julian Assange in a tweet.

Hacker Jeremy Hammond faces life in prison for allegedly breaking into the emails of self-promoting “alternative CIA” Stratfor, a global intelligence company. Hammond’s case is in the hands of a judge who is married to one of the hack’s victims. ...


The list goes on and on — there’s the over-the-top raid on Kim Dotcom in New Zealand, which turned out to be illegal, along with the spying on Dotcom by a New Zealand intelligence agency that is now the subject of an inquiry.

http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/01/21/online-activists-and-exemplary-punishment/


and:



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Response to reorg (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:16 PM

14. Conspiracy theory stuff.

Bradley Manning released millions of classified documents to a foreign national. He has his supporters but the authorities have plenty of evidence without trying to 'punish' every single one of them.

Barret Brown knowingly tried to hide evidence after a search warrant was issued.

Jeremy Hammond for hacking? Um, I guess hacking is okay if it's against someone you don't like?

And Dotcom? I download stuff all the time. It's probably technically 'illegal'. So is what Dotcom was doing. Good for him for finding a way to stay out of it but, come on, the guy is knowingly violating copyrights.

We can argue about this forever but it doesn't change the fact that Swartz is primarily responsible for his own suicide.

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Response to randome (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:34 PM

19. like your "theory" about MIT

which has no basis in fact whatsoever?

The point you are trying to obfuscate is the outrageous disproportionality of it all.

And you are spreading false information. Dotcom wasn't downloading anything. He is being prosecuted/persecuted for allegedly exploiting the fact that others may be offering and distributing files over his servers without having the license to do this. Barrett Brown is already in prison and threatened with 45 years for sharing a publicly available link, not for trying to hide "evidence".

http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/11/when-sharing-a-url-is-a-criminal-offence-as-the-internet-chills/

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Response to reorg (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:42 PM

38. Try debating this guy, and a few other, on the related subject of Julian Assange,

and you will find that it is like trying to dig a hole in water using a teaspoon as a shovel. Your difinitive facts will be ignored or dismissed, and his talking points will be reiterated in various forms, ad nauseum.

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Response to reorg (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:26 AM

34. Thanks for adding this link.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:04 PM

12. Language makes a difference.

Physically wire a laptop means plug in an ethernet cable.
Into the LSTOR system means internet access from a MIT address.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:22 PM

15. Oh, I get it! Wrecking a person's life beyond proportionality is acceptable for politics!

All for plugging a laptop into a network port with an ethernet cable and downloading academic journal articles! Yep! A prison sentence along the lines of what serial killers get sure sounds like justice!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:25 PM

16. He was offered a 4-6 month plea bargain that probably would have resulted in probation.

Swartz and his attorneys chose to fight this. Then Swartz committed suicide. You can say it was over-reach, unfair, whatever, it still doesn't support the idea that Ortiz did this for 'political purposes'. She had nothing to gain by winning what would have been a minor case if it hadn't been for Swartz' suicide.

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Response to randome (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:28 PM

17. No, the minimum the feds were thinking of offering was 4-6 months of hard time.

And they were pushing for much longer.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:32 PM

18. It's common practice to 'bargain' for closure of a case by threatening more time.

But Swartz wanted to make an example of himself. Then he made the ultimate example of himself by committing suicide. Calling prosecutors 'subhuman filth' for doing their jobs is over the top, IMO.

Maybe everyone did not act perfectly in this case but, AGAIN, Swartz is responsible for the outcome he chose. No one forced him to hang himself.

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Response to randome (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:37 PM

20. They were not "doing their jobs", they were engaging in political repression.

If they were being remotely professional and remotely proportional, they would have either let the state handle the case, or offer Swartz probation.

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Response to randome (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:55 AM

26. No one forced the federal prosecutor to try to destroy his life

This was staggering prosecutorial overreach.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)


Response to reorg (Original post)


Response to reorg (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:34 PM

9. It is the duty of he Prosecutor to promote justice not to collect scalps.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:15 PM

13. And meanwhile, the banksters that crashed the economy...

laundered billions of dollars of Mexican gangster drug money, stole thousands of people's homes through fraudulent foreclosures, etc. fucking etc. get a blind eye from the DoJ, little more than a tiny fine and a wag of the finger.

But if you dare to plug a computer into an ethernet port (GASP), download a whole bunch of (GASP) academic journal articles, and in an act of (GASP) civil disobedience, distribute them in protest of JSTOR's outrageous paywalls for research funded by taxpayers, the feds decide to completely ruin your life, hit you with a felony record, throw you in prison for 35 years and drive you to suicide.

Holder, and Ortiz, are evil, corrupt, murdering pieces of subhuman shit.

Yes. Fucking murderers. In my view, they murdered Swartz so they could put another notch on their guns.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:35 AM

35. You are absolutely right backscatter712. n/t

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Response to reorg (Original post)


Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:21 AM

23. i hope the online community destroys her miserable fucking life..

Too many fucking asshole prosecuters out there looking to boost their careers and leaving ruined lives in their wake.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:39 AM

24. Swartz turned down a plea bargain offering of a six month sentence in a low security facility; then

he committed suicide

While he could in theory have received a sentence of some decades for the crime alleged -- fraudulent access to an online database of academic articles and the subsequent downloading of several million such articles, presumably for the purpose of making them available at no cost to others without access -- might seem excessive, there's no good evidence that he could really incur the maximum possible sentence in practice

But if he was actually guilty of the charges -- as he seems to be -- the offered six month sentence may not have been unreasonable: its magnitude alone of the act suggests egregious crime

One must, of course, regret that Swartz chose to deal with his inner demons by killing himself



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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:07 AM

27. They were warned by his atty.

They said do it.
So he did it.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:24 AM

28. Zimmerman in Florida,Cops that beat Rodney King, Cops on Danzinger Bridge in New Orleans,also

 

Zimmerman in Florida
Cops that beat Rodney King
the cops that are now in jail for the killings on Danzinger Bridge in New Orleans

all initially were let go until justice took its course or will take its course

Who here thinks Zimmerman is not guilty of murder?

by the way, it was weeks in jail, not decades. Why promote false memes so easily proven false?

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:14 AM

29. signed the petition it was at > 48,000!!

 

supposed to trigger a response after 25k

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:27 AM

30. Swartz's made his own decision to kill himself...

There are millions of young people, far younger than this young man was, that are sentenced to prison for YEARS for non-violent crimes. These young people are sentenced to prison for anywhere from three to twenty or more years, I know some who have received twenty years for selling drugs...they broke the law and are now doing their time....they did not kill themselves. My opinion is this young man broke the law and we do not know how much time he would have received for what he did, all we know is that the Feds took over the case. What other documents were in the "bundle" of documents this young man downloaded? We do not know all of what transpired and people are always assuming they know all the evidence. It is very sad that this young man chose to take his life, very sad...but it is also sad that he chose to break the law. Young men serve time everyday, every minute of the day and do not choose to take their lives, should we lay blame to the government if all of these young men choose to take their lives at the prospect of spending time behind bars? I think not. Life is choice driven, and taking one's own life is also. This story, and so many other stories that deal with our youth, is sad on so many levels.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:33 AM

31. Anybody need more evidence that Eric Holder is nothing but a corporate tool?

I wish Obama would dump this guy already.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:30 AM

32. I still blame Disney.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:32 AM

33. Obama

As much as I dislike Holder don't think for a minute that the man that I voted for twice does not know what is happening. They will protect the wall street crowd and the gangsters and banksters, oh they are the same. There are several layers of justice in this country those for the rich and the rest of us.

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Response to mtasselin (Reply #33)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:52 AM

36. Obama was the same as Romney or McCain?

Gee, I wonder why you bothered voting at all.

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Response to mtasselin (Reply #33)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:08 AM

37. Obama is not Superman.

Do you really think he micro-manages every aspect of the world? He has his hands full trying to make progress on his three priorities: guns, immigration and climate change.

If he can make even a little progress on all three, he will have accomplished a lot.

There will always be injustice in the world. But trying to fix everything often means nothing gets fixed. Triage is the best we can hope for, I think. It's unfortunate but it's reality.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:27 PM

39. Not surprised here, but I'm not infatuated with my federal government either.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:49 PM

40. She will never get my vote for Gov.

I would sit the race out first.

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