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View Diary: Aaron Swartz Was Going Home With a Slap On The Wrist. Then The Feds Got Involved (274 comments)

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  •  how do you explain the vast gulf between the (16+ / 0-)

    penalties the state considered appropriate and what the feds thought was? clearly some kind of disconnect there

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 12:29:27 PM PST

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    •  The feds were willing to give him 4-6 months, ... (0+ / 0-)

      the state was willing to give him what amounted to a suspended sentence.  The difference between the two is not a "gulf", much less a vast one.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:32:33 PM PST

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      •  The prosecutors don't have the final say (8+ / 0-)

        in sentencing the judge does using the guidelines of the US Sentencing Commission. The other issue was they insisted he plead guilty to all 13 charges which for the most part were overreach. The worst thing that Aaron did was violate the TOS of JSTOR, a "crime" most everyone on the internet does everyday.


        "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
        TheStarsHollowGazette.com

        by TheMomCat on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:41:59 PM PST

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        •  It's been reported repeatedly ... (0+ / 0-)

          that the last plea offer was that he plead guilty to one felony.  But Swartz didn't want to do that because he didn't, according to his lawyer, want to be known as a felon.

          As to the rest, millions of people break speed limit laws every day yet only a handful, comparatively, are caught and cited.  Should all those cases be dismissed because lots of people do it and don't get caught?

          Lastly, what Swartz did was FAR worse than mere violation of TOS, which doesn't come with criminal penalties anyway.  What he DID do were the criminal acts with which he was charged, as delineated in the indictment.

          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

          by Neuroptimalian on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:06:34 PM PST

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          •  It appears you failed to read (5+ / 0-)

            the CNet article

            Last Wednesday (1.9.2013), less than three months before the criminal trial was set to begin, Ortiz's office formally rejected a deal that would have kept Swartz out of prison. [..]

            If Swartz had stolen a $100 hard drive with the JSTOR articles, it would have been a misdemeanor offense that would have yielded probation or community service. But the sweeping nature of federal computer crime laws allowed Ortiz and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, who wanted a high-profile computer crime conviction, to pursue felony charges. Heymann threatened the diminutive free culture activist with over 30 years in prison as recently as last week.

            Or for that matter any of the links in the article
            Just days before he hanged himself, Internet activist Aaron Swartz's hopes for a deal with federal prosecutors fell apart. [..]

            Mr. Swartz's lawyer, Elliot Peters, first discussed a possible plea bargain with Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann last fall. In an interview Sunday, he said he was told at the time that Mr. Swartz would need to plead guilty to every count, and the government would insist on prison time.

            Mr. Peters said he spoke to Mr. Heymann again last Wednesday (1.9.2013) in another attempt to find a compromise. The prosecutor, he said, didn't budge

            If I get stopped for speeding I expect to pay the penalty, a reasonable fine and penalties on my drivers license, not 35 - 50 years in prison and millions in fines, not to mention the thousand of dollars in legal fees.


            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

            by TheMomCat on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:47:14 PM PST

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          •  Comparing a felony charge with a speeding ticket? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eXtina

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:31:37 AM PST

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            •  A legal argument was advanced, ... (0+ / 0-)

              I rebutted it.  You'll recall that the argument was based on a claim about rules which "most everyone" breaks but for which not all are called to account.  

              And by the way, drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by more than a certain amount WILL be charged with a felony.

              "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

              by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:24:18 AM PST

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