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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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  •  They decreased the sentence but required a felony (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, greengemini, jayden, chimene

    charge.  He and his lawyer couldn't bargain them down from that point, in part (I read) because MIT wasn't agreeing to a lesser deal.

    So, they planned on going to court and winning - even his friends said he was working positively on how to help his defense succeed.

    I don't like overzealous prosecutors in the least, though I think that various factors were at play and the family wanting to blame prosecutors solely for this is a natural reaction from the grief they are experiencing - it may or may not be the only vector to consider.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 12:49:06 PM PST

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    •  They didn't "require a felony charge", (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      he was already charged with 13 of them.  The actual situation was that, as part of the plea bargain, Swartz would have had to have pled guilty to a felony.  You can't get a plea bargain while maintaining total innocence, it just doesn't work that way.

      "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 04:30:44 PM PST

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      •  Perhaps my wording was off, I'm not a lawyer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neuroptimalian, eXtina

        but I didn't intend to say anything different than what you just offered: the lowest bargain they went down to still required that he plead to a felony - he and his lawyer could get that part dropped and decided on going to court.

        Yes?

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:29:17 PM PST

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        •  You are correct ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader

          except for the part about "he and his lawyer could get that part dropped".  The requirement would always have been that he plead to at least one felony.  The prosecution's only other option was to dismiss all charges, which they clearly weren't willing to do.  (I suppose it's possible they could have required him to plead to a misdemeanor, but I'm not certain what all the actual charges were and whether any of them could have been reduced.  Given the volume of the theft (2.8 million documents), I doubt that would have been considered a reasonable plea bargain, though.)

          If I understand you correctly.

          "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 08:01:12 PM PST

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        •  The lowest offer they would accept (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, eXtina, Lady Libertine

          was a guilty plea to all 13 counts of the indictment in exchange for a recommendation of 6 months in prison. The sentence is up to the judge's discretion. The prosecutors can' t guarantee the judge will agree.


          "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 08:53:34 PM PST

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          •  It's true that sentences ... (0+ / 0-)

            are left to the judge's discretion, that prosecutors can guarantee nothing in that regard.  That said, judges usually go along with the recommendations unless they feel there is some over-riding reason not to.  Defense lawyers also make arguments and recommendations, which the judges also consider in making their determinations.

            "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 08:16:31 AM PST

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