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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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    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

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

    [ Parent ]

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