Prosecutor says she never asked for maximum penalty against Aaron Swartz

WBUR posts a statement by US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Meanwhile, a California congresswoman is proposing changes to the law used to go after Swartz to try to keep anybody else from going through what he did.



    Free tagging: 


    I'm curious

    if Mr. Swartz had been a complete nobody, without his pedigree so-to-speak, would this congresswoman, or 99.9% of the population, have given a rat's you-know-what about him killing himself? How many suicides of good people, some even 'brilliant' like Aaron Swartz, have occurred in the congresswoman's home state and the rest of the country over the past 7 days?

    No, I'm not denigrating Aaron Swartz's memory. May he R.I.P.

    She didn't say she asked for anything less either

    Her statement is worded like you might expect from a top lawyer - it has a lot of words, but doesn't mean much. She said she never asked for the maximum. But she didn't say how much she did ask for - she could have asked for 34 years instead of 35, and her statement today would be factually true. All the press releases her office put out stressed that the maximum penalty would be 35 years and a million dollar fine. It's pretty disingenuous for her to try to claim she wasn't holding that threat over his head.
    Part of the reason the maximum is so high is that her office piled on 9 felony charges after the original charges, many of which were overlapping. If she actually thought 35 years was excessive, she didn't need to pile on all those charges.

    She does an amazing job of shifting all the blame on Congress for passing the laws, and the judge who would have been choosing the sentencing. "Don't blame me, I was just following orders," seems to be her message.

    Meanwhile, her corporate whore husband ...

    ... went twitting about how it was soooooooooo unfair that the press release by Aaron's family didn't mention the 6 month plea offer!

    Imagine! A grieving family of a person hounded and harassed by his wife didn't THINK OF POOR PITIFUL CARMEN ORTIZ in a memorial statment!!!


    The best thing I read about his lawyers...

    But at the same time, Peters said, he was worried about Swartz’s emotional vulnerability and planned to try and bypass trial prosecutors, Stephen Heymann and Scott Garland, and use a letter-writing campaign from local academics to convince Ortiz to change the proposals.

    I'm not a genius or a lawyer, but a letter writing campaign as your defense? WTF.

    7-8 years

    Swartz’s lawyer, Elliot R. Peters of Keker and Van Nest LLP, echoed these sentiments to me today in an interview. Peters refused to speculate about why Swartz committed suicide. He described Swartz as a “very sensitive and very smart person” who had been “very scared” by the Government prosecution. Peters told me that, in his opinion, the Government had been “awfully unreasonable” in their approach to the case. He said that they insisted that Swartz plead to all 13 felonies. They said that even if Swartz pled guilty, they were going to seek a prison sentence. They told Peters that if the case went to trial and Swartz were convicted, they would seek a prison sentence of 7 to 8 years. They told Peters that they thought the judge would impose that sentence. (Peters told me he didn’t agree; he thought the case was defensible and that even if Swartz lost, Peters didn’t think the judge would have sentenced him to custody time.)

    7-8 years.....

    If he was found guilty of all charges. Of laws and penalties set by lawmakers. And he still had the chance to take 6 months and be a hero to apparently a lot of people.

    Was he guilty? I still fail to see the outrage. People want to be civilly disobedient but don't want to admit to what they think is right, nor do they accept the punishment.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    7-8 Recommendation

    It wasn't even guaranteed that he'd get 7-8 yrs, just that the prosecutor would recommend it. He'd have to be convicted by a jury of all the charges, including all the ones that everyone says are overcharged and inappropriate, and the judge would have to impose exactly what the prosecutor recommended, which no judge ever does.

    Or 6 months, which we now learn was actually 4-6 months, and that was the recommendation, which the judge would again have to go along with for him to get that sentence while his attorney recommends probation.

    So as someone else said, apologists, do dream on.

    And what about the others

    involved in this who influenced heavily Mr. Swartz? May be 'mentors' like Professor Lessig shouldn't encourage any behavior he himself wouldn't risk doing, rather than just use this young man's suicide as an opportunity to make him a martyr for a cause?

    Wow, now we're attacking Lessig?

    And just what do you think Lessig's agenda is?

    Before you reply, I'd point out that one of the things Lessig advocates for is your ability to do exactly what you're doing now - posting unsubstantiated drivel on the Internet without having to even offer up a name.

    Y'know, I'm sensitive to victim blaming...

    I'm sensitive to victim blaming, but...good grief:

    A female student flagged down an NUPD officer on Forsyth Street and reported that on Monday, Jan. 7 in a room in Hayden Hall during a scheduled class, she encountered a man, roughly 6’2” in height, who appeared “grungy,” wearing dirty gray sweatpants with a larger rip near the inner thigh and a dirty gray sweatshirt sitting inside the class. She stated the man informed her he was a teacher’s aid and offered her tutoring sessions. She then gave him her phone number and reported that, after further thought, she started to feel uneasy, thinking he may not have been who he said he was.

    On the plus side: life lesson, no harm done, I guess.