Remember, this was on HN just a week ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5003335
Once again we see the true nature of criminal prosecutions: the prosecutor's tactic is to bring outrageous charges that could result in decades in prison, bankrupt the defendant one way or the other (seizing assets or making the case so complex it bleeds him dry), and then use that to coerce a guilty plea. It's no wonder that trials by jury are becoming so vanishingly rare that even the Supreme Court has written that "in today’s criminal justice system, the negotiation of a plea bargain, rather than the unfolding of a trial, is almost always the critical point for a defendant." 
Do we really want to live in a country where your right to a trial is an empty right?
Edited to add: many people in this thread want to name and shame the individual prosecutor in this case. That is seriously misdirected effort that is not going to solve the systemic problems. It may even exasperate them, as it falsely implies that the problem is with individual overstepping prosecutors rather than a system in which it's the norm.
Seeing her dismissed and disgraced is in fact the only thing that will send such a message to such Javerts, as they have disabled the voice of the people by routing around jury trials and they are appointed rather than subject to elections. Carmen M. Ortiz is running for higher office on the backs of high profile prosecutions, and now on the body of Aaron Swartz. It is incumbent upon us to see that she does not get there, that this behavior is NOT rewarded.
Lyons is the first defendant in the U.S. to be charged and
convicted of violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The statute was enacted by
Congress in 2006 to deter the use of the U.S. banking
system to pay Internet gambling debts incurred by U.S.
Unites [sic] States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said,
“Today’s convictions should serve as a message to those
involved with illegal gambling schemes that the government
will apply the full weight of its resources to identify,
investigate and prosecute individuals who seek to profit
from offshore gambling.”
The defendants face up to 20 years in prison on the RICO
charges; five years in prison on the illegal gambling
charges; and two years in prison on the wire act charges.
Lyons also faces three years in prison on the tax charges,
five years in prison on the interstate travel in aid of
racketeering and UIGEA charges and 20 years in prison on
the money laundering charges.Additionally each count also
carries three to five years of supervised release and
fines up to $250,000.
The wording of the petition should be as strong as possible. I'm off with my children now, but if I get back tonight and I see a decent petition on this, I will definitely sign it.
Edit: D'oh, the petition has already been written. I just had to sign it.
And a second petition to pardon Aaron:
As with the Enron fellow who died during his appeals, Aaron will never legally be guilty of whatever it was he was specifically charged with because his case was never adjudicated to finality.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Proclamation_4311 is a famous example disproving that.
0) Start with background:
Looks pretty senior. Runs the federal government's DOJ office in Massachussetts, with an office of 200 people. By no means the SecDef or anything, but senior enough that serious pressure will need to be brought to bear.
How to do this?
1) Research her past cases and start blogging them/analyzing them. Almost certainly she has a history of extremely aggressive prosecutions. Find any statements from her on this or past cases that are factually inaccurate; highly likely as we are talking about a technical matter where "series of tubes" comments are likely. By the end of this you will have a profile. Perhaps you can show that she disproportionately pursues excessive sentences, or perhaps you can show that she makes technical mistakes about the internet. There are few records that will stand up to deep critical scrutiny. Maybe a bit of statistics to see if she is an outlier relative to other US Attorneys or to her immediate predecessor.
2) Go to LinkedIn. Find your closest contact at the Boston Globe. Work with them to write a story on Ortiz. Tell them they are the only ones that can do it. It is important to actually get a reporter to get Youtube video of Ortiz either answering questions or running from them, as they have much more license to get in the face of a US Attorney. A guy on the street who tries Michael Moore-ing Ortiz with an ambush interview on her way to work is likely to get cuffed for harassing a peace officer or something.
3) Repeat the above step for anyone in Boston with a media credential. A good step is to find anyone who has gotten Ortiz on the record before, e.g. Elizabeth Murphy from the Boston Herald (http://www.mainjustice.com/2013/01/07/mass-u-s-attorney-carm...). Tell them the truth, which is that only the press can hold a prosecutor like this accountable. They need to push for quotes on the record and press conferences, and ask over and over whether she believes her actions were right and her conduct was justified.
4) Determine who her technical superiors are. These are the people in DOJ who are above her on the org chart:
Looks like US Attorneys report to the Deputy Attorney General (James Cole), who reports to the Attorney General (Holder), who reports to Obama. A direct top-down attack is going to be tough as these are national figures.
5) Determine who her political superiors are. This is a much broader list. Everyone from the mayor of Boston to the governor of Massachusetts to both MA Senators to the chair of the MA Democratic party can take a swing here. Those are all players within the MA political establishment that she needs to listen to. Might be obvious, but it's critical (and easy) to make the case to other Democrats, as Swartz was a Democratic activist and this was truly blue-on-blue violence (though Ortiz is hardly a "Democrat" in the sense of mercy and fairness). Undercutting her political support and making her realize she has no more political friends in the world will cause her big problems.
6) Relatedly, go through the press and make a list of everyone who has ever endorsed her in public for anything, from the local Latino/a groups to the people who got her on Obama's shortlist to the local Democratic politicians. Call them up, explain that her overzealous prosecution led to the suicide of a 26 year old computer wizard (and Obama activist!), and ask them on the record whether they will support her for higher office. Ask them whether Ortiz shoudl resign. Blog this, with SEO for the headline: "X declines to support Carmen M. Ortiz for further office." or "Y calls on Carmen M. Ortiz to resign for spurious prosecution of Aaron Swartz."
7) Asymmetric warfare. This one is not illegal, but you would want one of your law school friends who worked in the US Attorney's office or in the press to do it (especially the latter as they will have some immunity). The concept is to interview as many of the 200 people in the MA Attorney's office as possible to determine how many of them feel good about these events, think Ortiz was in the right, or feel like Ortiz has been a good leader. It is quite possible that someone will describe a political or even personal scandal known only to subordinates or immediate associates. An Eliot-Spitzer-Client-9 level scandal uncovered in this fashion would absolutely knock her out of the ring, though it wouldn't be as satisfying as seeing her forced to step down for pursuing this case. But getting Capone for tax evasion is still getting Capone.
8) Swartz's friends. Anyone who has blogged or written about this case is someone who can likely be counted on to amplify the messages above and keep the pressure on.
EDIT: Aha. Looks like this same person went after online gambling under UIGEA to "send a message".
However, it is a story that could serve a larger purpose than just ruining this woman's career. I would like to this effort put into something more constructive like the decriminalization of copyright infringement. It could be relegated to a civil issue, especially online (versus manufactured goods).
There will be other overzealous prosecutors to replace her, but if the law is changed. It could serve a greater purpose.
"Naming and shaming" gives her name recognition and boosts her credentials as "tough". Any publicity is good publicity for a politician.
Instead, you and your friends should be asking the Senators and Governor of Massachusetts (aka the gatekeepers to this person's career path) why someone who demonstrates such contempt for the concept of justice is representing the United States government. You should ask President Obama and the Attorney General why their administration tolerates that contempt.
If you want the law changed, you need to attack those who are perpetrating injustice.
Fixing one statute isn't going to cut it; they'll just keep on at it with the ones remaining. The fix has to be systemic or it's nothing but a band aid on a gunshot wound.
My point is simply that this is a systemic problem. We can't have one prosecutor removed and then stop. We have to make this entire model of prosecution illegitimate. It's going to take a sustained, organized movement to make real change.
Which isn't to say it can't be done. It damn well has to be done. But it isn't going to be easy.
If the likes of 4chan or reddit attack a federal prosecutor personally, all they will do is spur political action against reddit and 4chan. The underlying cause of their action will be ignored and forgotten.
(Note: SOPA is not an exception; major Silicon Valley companies spent serious amounts on lobbying to get that bill dropped. The internet opposition had exactly zero impact on its political fate.)
Identifying the tactics used to effectively strip people of their rights to open trials is the object here. Juries exist specifically to guard against abuses like this. If the DOJ has found a way to make getting in front of one exceedingly risky and certainly ruinous, then they should be called to account for what is a clear subversion of basic Constitutional protections.
We can't get Aaron back. But we can make sure that everyone understands why he found himself in such a desperate situation in spite of having done nothing to warrant the insane penalties he was facing.
I still like the idea of doing something bigger to help keep this situation from happening again.
I unfortuantley do not know how I would even start doing one, but some comments have data like "97% of all people plead guilty" we could see what the average number of time in Jail is, pull out some quotes.
I posted abt it here http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5048729
and the types of question we would need to figure out relating to court costs and things like that.
From a practical matter a prosecutor might decline to prosecute if they can't get the cooperation of someone (needed to testify or provide evidence) but this should have no bearing on whether to prosecute or not.
You could have a crime committed and the crime is worthy of prosection. The fact that someone believes (as an extreme example) that a person who committed assault against them shouldn't be prosecuted doesn't and shouldn't really matter (keeping in mind of course the practical nature of prosecuting without cooperation). Unless of course they say "no assault occured" which is different then "assault occurred but I don't want anything done".
"We were just following orders" and "We were just doing our jobs" and "We were doing what the law told us to do" aren't the indefensible moral positions you seem to think they are. Laws are written by men and enforced by men. Just the idea that all prosecutors are slaves to these laws is so incredibly naive I almost don't know what to say to you, but I'll try to sum it up:
At best, this was a simple copyright issue that the two parties chose to work out. At worst, this was a white collar crime, and with all white collar crimes, your political capital determines what happens to you. Aaron had no political capital. The support of people like Lessig or Doctorow or the EFF is meaningless in DC. Carmen Ortiz understood this. Now here we are.
Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and
circumstances of this matter, as it does in every case
involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential
violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG
has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to
decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who
has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on
the events associated with the December 23, 2012 broadcast.
Careful; that's a double-edged sword. Would you prefer that individual prosecutors have the authority to ignore the law? That didn't work too well in the pre-civil-rights South, when lynchings went unprosecuted.
It's far better to have a government of laws and not a government of men; then you can assign responsibility where it belongs, with the people who write the laws.
Who do you think decided to tell JSTOR to shove it and prosecute him anyway under a federal computer crimes act? All prosecution is political and white collar crimes doubly so. Men decide to be vindictive, men decide which laws, and the men who prosecute knowing it takes millions of dollars to successful defend from a false accusation from the federal government.
We don't live under laws. We live under men. There's no politically neutral AI calling the shots. Its people trying to get promotions and making names for themselves and who knows what other motivations. The selfless prosecutor exists only in movies and TV.
No, all laws are political. Enforcement of the law, especiallly at the federal level, is apolitical. White collar crimes are not special; indeed, white collar crimes are by far the worst types of crimes because they strike directly at the foundation of the system itself (i.e., trust).
There's no politically neutral AI calling the shots.
Exactly. Letting prosecutors pick and choose which statutes they enforce would make prosecution political. This is what happened in the South for 100 years when blacks were prosecuted aggressively and white defendants were not (especially in cases with black victims). It's also the reason why prosecutors at the federal level generally do not have discretionary authority to decide what crimes they will enforce absent a presidential directive or a directive from the head of their agency.
It's also the reason why prosecutors at the federal level
generally do not have discretionary authority
The United States Attorney, within his/her district, has
plenary authority with regard to federal criminal matters.
This authority is exercised under the supervision and
direction of the Attorney General and his/her delegates.
The statutory duty to prosecute for all offenses against
the United States (28 U.S.C. § 547) carries with it the
authority necessary to perform this duty. The USA is
invested by statute and delegation from the Attorney
General with the broadest discretion in the exercise of
The authority, discretionary power, and responsibilities of
the United States Attorney with relation to criminal
matters encompass without limitation by enumeration the
Investigating suspected or alleged offenses against the
United States, see USAM 9-2.010;
Causing investigations to be conducted by the appropriate
federal law enforcement agencies, see USAM 9-2.010;
Declining prosecution, see USAM 9-2.020;
Authorizing prosecution, see USAM 9-2.030;
Determining the manner of prosecuting and deciding trial
Recommending whether to appeal or not to appeal from an
adverse ruling or decision, see USAM 9-2.170;
Dismissing prosecutions, see USAM 9-2.050; and
Handling civil matters related thereto which are under the
supervision of the Criminal Division.
I have had several friends prosecuted for trumped up nonsense that should have been slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanors at the most.
I would prefer to see an AG exercise their privilege to not prosecute in cases where, even assuming the facts in the complaint are true, it is unclear that a crime has been committed. Particularly where there is no individual who has been harmed.
"Tough on Crime" is a messed up way to operate a justice system. "Fair on Crime" should be the standard we hold our officials to.
Pull the other one now.
You are implying things that I did not say.
Please quote specifically what I said that gives you the impressions that I am "so incredibly naive". In other words indicate where I said or implied that prosecutors don't have discretion and what that has to do with what I did say which had to do specifically with the person "harmed".
So how about you save your emotionally charged call for an internet brigade until everything has settled down, yes?
What I do know is that the issue is larger than Aaron himself.
And what part of forcing a single attorney out of her job is "greater change"? What part of that is being "proud"?
Hey guys! You might be effective if you do this now, so don't do it! Wait for no one to care before you start trying!
Agreed. She should lose her friends and family too, if they are good people. They should drop her out of their lives.
Because of this, advocates for reform risk playing right, straight, smack into the hands of the system by resolving to do nothing more than stop one out-of-control public official. Soon enough, others will rise (in fact, they already have). And what will happen when the unlucky victims of malicious prosecutions don't have "the Internet" to back them up? To protect the public at large, the system itself must also be changed.
"Seeing her dismissed and disgraced is in fact the only thing that will send such a message to such Javerts, as they have disabled the voice of the people by routing around jury trials and they are appointed rather than subject to elections."
Could the real cause be that federal criminal statutes are too broad, and often shoved into bills at the last minute or for no good reason, and that mandatory minimum sentences for poorly-defined crimes litter every major piece of legislation to come out of Congress recently?
Before casting blame for malicious prosecutions entirely on prosecutors who are merely enforcing laws passed by Congress, let's look inward at ourselves, and wonder how we could be so stupid as to vote for people whose philosophy it is to write criminal statutes so broad that all justice is left to prosecutorial discretion. It could be argued that it is the American public who are ultimately responsible for malicious, pointless prosecutions.
But that's not the whole story. Currently, the public is totally cool with voting for people who write criminal statutes so broad that falling out of favor with the government can mean prosecutors can jail you for the rest of your life for no reason any empathetic person would agree with. It is also the public that is voting for people who appoint prosecutors incapable of using appropriate discretion.
"It is incumbent upon us to see that she does not get [to higher office], that this behavior is NOT rewarded."
And this is why your post is good and useful. Let's just remember that the legislative process, and therefore voters, are ultimately responsible for the lack of empathy and discretion in our judicial system.
I hope some time justice will also spread in judiciary...
...as they have disabled the voice of the people by routing around jury trials.
Aaron had the option of going to trial. It was his constitutional right. He chose to kill himself instead.
...and they are appointed rather than subject to elections
The history of the South should provide enough justification for why federal prosecutors are never elected. You do not want enforcement of federal crimes subject to popular whims or to political pressures. Too often, political pressure leads to overzealous enforcement of criminal statutes, not reasoned enforcement (see, e.g., Maricopa County).
No matter. The fact that this woman cannot be disciplined by electoral measures is what necessitates the use of the Internet and the press:
Isn't that part-and-parcel of naming-and-shaming?
Most of the commenters seem to think that name-and-shame means "write about it on your blog" or "retweet something", I guess. A tweet doesn't get someone fired; calling your local congressperson is definitely the thing to do.
It was not a real option. He had run out of money for an expensive, complex case. He was sure to lose.
For someone of Aaron's talent and reputation there is no reason that he could not have gotten past a felony conviction and lived a successful life.
I can only interpret Lessig's post:
"...the question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.” For in the 18 months of negotiations, that was what he was not willing to accept..."
I don't know what the government actually offered, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that Aaron would have been able to get a deal with a relatively light sentence, maybe just probation. It sounds from Lessig's post like his hangup was that he wasn't willing to accept a felony conviction. I hope that's not the case because even with a felony record he most likely would have lived a long and successful life.
Being sentenced and getting a record for doing something you feel is right is not something everybody takes equally lightly. Personally I couldn't care less but I can see how someone with stronger principles would react much stronger to this.
Almost certainly zero impact for this. Easily ignored. The prosecutor in this case, however, probably could not easily ignore her friends and family dumping her.
Getting 4chan to apply the right amount of pressure to the right place seems to be like trying to get an apathetic redneck to remove a tree stump for you. Chances are he's either going to whack it a few times with an axe and declare it unmovable, or blow it up. (To be fair, blowing it up works great, but can get people in trouble rather easily)
You talk to her friends and family about her, and you'll just make her a hero in their eyes, the same way Aaron's actions made him a hero to reddit and 4chan.
This is Timothy McVeigh thinking, and it makes you a loser just like it did to McVeigh. You can never kill or destroy enough people to defeat Washington, D.C.
To win you have to think like Osama bin Laden: turn the system against itself. Wholesale, not retail. Scale up, not one off. TSA, not EFF.
It's appalling that your criticism of Timothy McVeigh is that he wasn't enough like Osama bin Laden. Do you really think either one of these should serve as a model?
(Shrug) bin Laden got shit done. McVeigh did not.
They both ended up exactly where they deserved, but you can't ignore the fact that one of them was an effective political strategist while the other one was nothing but a plain old mass murderer.
To the extent that bin Laden's ultimate goal was to cause severe financial damage to US interests, there's no question but that he succeeded grandly. Sure, 99% of the damage that resulted from 9/11 was self-inflicted by the Bush administration, but the outcome was the same as if bin Laden had destroyed trillions of dollars in US wealth himself.
That's the lesson of Timothy McVeigh: if blowing up an entire building full of your opponents has no effect, then writing a stern letter to your Congressman is laughable.
As far as bin Laden being a good role model, he won didn't he? He got inside Washinton, D.C.'s decision loop and systematically turned it against its own interests. Trillions wasted on war, distracted from fixing economic problems, Turkey handed to the mullahs on a silver platter, occupation of ungovernable territories, etc.
Second, that you think calling the poster a "loser" is important is telling. What do you think that will accomplish? Has insulting people ever won them over to your position, in your experience? Or were you banking on everyone's agreement, effectively forcing an internet shaming?
Nobody has ever won against Washington, D.C. by scoring a symbolic personal victory against a few minions. Even if you are like McVeigh and willing to accept a certain degree of collateral damage, it has no effect. It turns out that blowing up a Federal building is the political equivalent of putting itching powder in Uncle Sam's shorts.
So if that is the case, sending an outspoken email is a pre-defeated strategy. It is the action of someone who lost before they started, a loser.
What? McVeigh murdered innocent people. The parent is proposing investigating the prosecutor for breaching the mores and laws that govern her profession using the legal system already in place. These are not exactly equivalent.
I have no interest in defeating Washington, D.C. I have no desire to "win" if "winning" requires me thinking "like Osama Bin Ladin" (or do you mean not thinking? because I think he's dead, last time I checked).
There's no worse fear for a bureaucrat than to be hoisted by their own petard, to face a misconduct investigation, and possibly criminal and civil charges. A lot of harm can be prevented if her public service career is ended early on the count of what she has done to Aaron (and presumably others): I'd rather her career end as an associate in a think-tank (or whatever), rather than as the next Rudy Giuliani (who also started his career as a DA).
1) US Attorneys routinely routinely overcharge defendants to an almost absurd degree;
2) The most commonly used federal statutes, such as the Wire Fraud statute, are so broadly written that people with no criminal intent could reasonably be found guilty; and
3) The maximum sentences for convictions under these broad statutes are so absurdly high that no one in their right mind would dare risk a trial.
These factors, combined with often merciless prosecutors, add up to a recipe for a potential disaster such as the one we have seen here. The system is very much geared to send to prison anyone that is charged with a crime, based on the system's trust in the concept of prosecutorial discretion. Unfortunately, many prosecutors abuse their discretion, and there is no way to inject uniform sanity into our system as it currently exists. Sadly, the prosecutor in this case likely won't even offer as much as an apology to Aaron's family, as most of them seem to feel justified in their behavior.
Unfortunately that's down at the moment but you can use the Google Cache:
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plea_bargaining_in_the_United_S... and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044358930457763...
This is a decades old paper, but still quite relevant for the reasons why the conviction rate is so high in Japan.
No, it actually isn't. You have to look at convictions, acquittals, and dismissals to form an accurate assessment of the outcome of criminal prosecutions. When you factor in dismissals, the conviction rate, whether by a plea of guilty or no contest, or as a result of a trial, drops to 90-91%.
Moreover, in many cases the cause of a dismissal is that the prosecutor requested it, e.g. because the entire charge was a farce meant to intimidate the defendant and it by that point had either failed or (more likely) succeeded to do so and no longer needed to be maintained.
If someone is formally charged with a federal felony, that means they have been indicted by a federal Grand Jury; i.e., a majority of the 23 Grand Jurors felt that there is probable cause for charging the defendant(s) with the alleged offense(s). People indicted by Grand Juries should end up getting convicted the vast majority of time, otherwise Grand Juries (and the prosecutors that bring cases before them) aren't serving their function, and their findings of probable cause are erroneous.
I actually don't think a conviction rate of 9 out of 10 is too high; rather, too many things are illegal (and felonious in particular), and the penalties are too severe. But I don't think the actual trial and pretrial systems are irredeemably bad, as many of the posts here are suggesting.
Without knowing why the rate is what it is, it seems pointless to talk about it at all. A 99% rate could be great, and a 50% rate could be great, depending on why it happens.
This is profoundly ignorant. As a Grand Juror, you will have a mountain of documents dumped on you, alleging or suggesting various crimes. The validity, accuracy, or even meaning of those documents, isn't debated or even examined.
A Grand Jury will indict anyone where the law enforcement officers have done a minimal amount of investigation and have gathered something. The process is there to prevent mass prosecution, in other words, to make sure the government does some minimal amount of work at least.
It does not, in any way, suggest guilt of any sort.
They could present a Grand Jury with documents from another case and not a single Grand Juror would be the wiser. Obviously that would be illegal and grossly inappropriate, but the fact that this could easily be done suggests that the process isn't there to determine any realistic "probable cause" ... just to make sure a minimal amount of work was completed.
Don't be ridiculous. What I would prefer is that more of the innocent people who are currently charged not be convicted or coerced into a guilty plea by the prospect of outrageous penalties and soul-crushing legal fees.
>People indicted by Grand Juries should end up getting convicted the vast majority of time, otherwise Grand Juries (and the prosecutors that bring cases before them) aren't serving their function, and their findings of probable cause are erroneous.
It is pretty obviously the case that they fail spectacularly at this function.
"a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted." - New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler
And until that changes (if it even can), the conviction rate should not be anywhere near as high as it is.
>too many things are illegal (and felonious in particular), and the penalties are too severe.
On this we agree.
Swartz was guilty. Even Lessig's post decrying Swartz' treatment intimates as much. Again, perhaps the things he did shouldn't have been crimes, or at least not felonies, and the penalties shouldn't have been so severe, but you need to distinguish between innocent people being wrongly prosecuted for things they did not do and bad law making criminals out of good people.
> "a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted." - New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler
Judges, prosecutors and legal academics in general exhibit hostility towards juries, grand and petit alike. There are rare exceptions, such as Antonin Scalia. But in general, the legal profession resents the continued involvement of the common man in the judicial process, especially in as crucial a role as pre- and post-trial arbiter of fact.
Whatever perceived defects exist in the grand jury process, such as its secrecy or the absence of the accused, these can be remedied while still keeping intact the basic structure of 23 average citizens making, by majority, a determination of probable cause.
In fact, rather than being part of the problem, if juries were so emboldened, they could mitigate many of the injustices of our system themselves through the use of jury nullification.
I didn't read it as such. I read it as Lessig saying that what prosecutors accused him of doing was a crime, but that Swartz may have informed him of contrary facts in confidence which he was not at liberty to disclose.
Moreover, we don't know that someone is guilty until after they have been convicted, right? Swartz was never convicted (and obviously at this point never will be), so he is innocent until proven guilty.
But your point about distinguishing between guilt under the law and moral culpability is well-taken. I much more strongly care to ensure that the sort of thing Swartz was accused of doing not be illegal than care whether Swartz in actual fact did the thing that I believe should not be illegal.
>In fact, rather than being part of the problem, if juries were so emboldened, they could mitigate many of the injustices of our system themselves through the use of jury nullification.
I don't disagree with that, and it isn't the jury I blame for the outcomes, it's the process. As you mention, the Grand Jury hears from only one side in a sealed proceeding. The outcome of that is entirely predictable. And changing it would be quite welcome, but unless and until we change it, we can't assume that as-implemented it works as the theory says it should, contrary to all available evidence.
He may have been guilty of something. It sounds like the charges against him were at the very least trumped up far beyond what would have been reasonable for the actions he is known to have taken.
The grand jury hearings have no bearing on the determination of guilt, much less on the adequacy of the prosecution's case.
Still, wording is important: both I and the parent poster should have said 97% was the percentage of convictions which resulted from pleas, not the percentage of indicted defendants which plead guilty. I think taking percentage of convictions is the correct metric to use - given the ideals of innocent until proven guilty and the right to trial, you would hope that most convictions were the result of a trial rather than a vanishingly small (and getting smaller) 3%.
It's also quite telling that even with statistics haggling, the anonymous poster still conceded a whopping 90%.
If more people knew about it, do you think "we the people" could reign in out of touch congress critters that write these laws (don't repeal or change them) and the over zealous executive branch (prosecutors and police) that attempt to rack up and level up charges.
Didn't change the law in the direction they wanted, and didn't achieve justice either.
Also, one "short coming" of jury nullification is that it doesn't actually nullify the law, just the outcome of individual trials which, yes, can be abused as it was in the South. The precedent it can create, if enough juries nullify similar trials, is reducing over zealous prosecution and prosecutors. So, when a true RICO case comes up the law can appropriately be used. But when RICO is used in a case just to trump up charges, prosecutors will be less apt to pursue if its going to hurt their record of convictions and careers.
I have a friend who is a prosecutor and I had heard him talk about his work before. Everything he said was focused on winning. He was proud that he was able to dig out cases from the past where people went free, and then send them to jail. He was proud how good he was at prosecuting people. For all I know, he kept a score.
Is being so driven by the end goal a good thing? Sure it is, when you are prosecuting an actual bad guy. But, as it was my impression from my friend, it didn't really matter to him how bad the guy; all that matters is whether he can win. In that case, the system is at fault for allowing this kind of competition with human lives, but the individuals are at fault for playing the game.
Rosa Parks was not the first person to be denied a seat on a bus. The mishandling of rape cases has been a problem in India for a long time and it took the tragic case of the (so far, anonymous) woman who was brutally gang-raped to spur international furor. And think of the numerous laws named after victims...Megan, and so forth
The system is supported by people. Someone is responsible.
Not naming the people responsible is only good for them and is probably what they want.
Federal prosecutors are appointed, not elected, which makes the effort to name and shame them even more tenuous. Trying to fight the culture of overzealous prosecution as a whole would make it more likely that the elected official who appoints them (the president) does a better job.
I still support undermining any effort of hers to get elected to higher office, though.
Disagree. Ostracizing and shaming everyone who supports such tactics is the reasonable way to mitigate this crap. Ostracizing and shaming worked for the civil rights movement, it can work here too.
What services do you need to purchase/hire that you wouldn't get in a normal court case?
Is it because you spend a lot more time in court or in preparation?
Do you need to choose among lawyers with special certification? What type of paperwork do you need to produce?
In the Latin America (where I am) I could easily see the biggest expenses being bribes and it is in general what I think of when you need a problem solved. (Not a good thing at all...)
P.S. Making an infographic about a case like this vs a regular court case would be an interesting project and could help us make the case for Aaron...anyone want to help by looking for data / making one on your own?
Most of the rules are the same, but the game is played at a much higher level and the stakes are higher.
There's a good essay on exactly that point, descriptively entitled "Fix the machine, not the person". Written by... Aaron Swartz.
It's perhaps interesting that, in a thread with dozens of HNers calling for everything from naming and shaming to harrassment, no-one so far has linked to his opinion on this.
This kind of thing is far too common. The prosecution may be allowed to presume guilt, fine. But the law should prevent an overzealous prosecutor from rendering moot the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments (not that I'm a constitutional scholar, just applying the "common sense" rule here).
Seizing assets is wrong in 99% of cases, and eliminates the right to mount an effective defense. It is morally bankrupt.
"Making an example" of someone is complete garbage. That is not justice, it is cruel and unusual punishment. It seems to more often be used by DA's with political aspirations than for legitimately egregious crimes.
This is why I vote against anyone who lists "tough on crime" as a credential. It's not. "Fair on crime" is a virtue, "tough on crime" is bullying and an abrogation of justice. Citizens should have an expectation that punishments for doing something wrong will suit the offense. Anything otherwise is a violation of the 8th amendment.
If there is doubt over whether or not an action is even a crime, a DA should be using their discretion to NOT prosecute. When the "victims" of a "crime" don't even want to press charges, you have to question the motives of a DA that pursues the case anyway.
This is such a disgusting violation of power it makes me want to vomit blood. Why on earth do judges have the right to prevent people from appealing to the court of public opinion? That's immoral, abusive, and absurd. If people can't disclose what is happening to them, then abuses of power become frequent.
The problem isn't with government per se, it's with the typical intellectual.
This prosecutor is quite the collector and displayer of awards: http://www.necc.mass.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Carmen-O...
She is a PR asset to this university: http://www.pr.com/press-release/366324
Evidently some people want her to run for higher office: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2013/01/...
Governor Ortiz? Make sure it isn't: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/12/07/patrick-reported...
And if you are a big biotech company, you can readily negotiate a deal to avoid prosecution: http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/gsk/plea-ex-k.pdf
Oh, and piling on in the JSTOR case, while pleading down to two years for an actual money-stealing ATM skimmer with real victims: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/11/08/romanian-man-who...
Make sure this black spot eclipses them all. Contact the organizations she is a member of and/or a recipient of some award. Make sure the leadership of that organization knows that she lacks a sense of proportion and that this tendency to overreach cost a good man his life.
Make this an exercise in how to correct these injustices, and make her an example to other prosecutors.
And please pardon my skepticism if it is in fact Carmen Ortiz, but I'm not familiar with the case and I think a healthy dose of skepticism is a good idea whenever "internet justice" is called upon.
Anyway, rest in peace Aaron.
Let's not just go after one person, let's go after everyone she ever knows, even if they have no involvement in this particular incident? Are you going to suggest we tar, feather, and lynch them too?
You do this by airing ads against her if she ever runs for office or seeks higher appointment. You do not attack other people associated with her; that crosses the line.
Contact her professional network, and let them know you don't approve of her actions. No tar. No feathers. Just make your own opinion known in the circles that matter to her career.
What exactly do you hope to accomplish by this? Federal judges and prosecutors already get this every day from people who do this for a living. And you know what? It doesn't work.
Who cares if you don't approve of what they're doing? They don't measure themselves based on your approval. They measure themselves based on their record of convictions, however they are earned. They are not directly accountable to you.
If you want to change something, let your local Congressional representative know you disapprove of how this prosecutor conducted herself. Your Congressperson is accountable to you, and he/she is the one in the best position to make change happen in this context.
She hounded someone to suicide, and the repercussions for that are light if they are limited to ending her career.
Most criminal defendants do not kill themselves. It was Aaron's choice to take his life, not hers. Her professional and personal contacts will never agree with you that she hounded someone to suicide. Telling them "she did wrong" when it is not clear that she did anything out of the ordinary in this case will have zero effect on getting her "shamed" and will have no effect on ending her career.
The internet does not determine whether these people get jobs. People in the legal industry and in the federal government determine that. And right now as a member of the legal industry, I can tell you that despite my extreme distaste for prosecutors, based on all publicly available facts about this case she did not do anything wrong. She did her job, pursuant to the laws as they are written. You don't like that? Change the laws.
Going after her without changing the laws will not work.
That's a pretty arrogant statement in light of the general opinion regarding this case. It's also arrogant to think that someone, somewhere, will not find some means to destroy her career when at least tens of thousands will try.
You simultaneously claim that attempts to make an example of her will fail, and that such attempts should not even be made. Pfft. Something something before a fall.
Making it a political liability for prosecutors to act a certain way will surely influence things.
Mr. President, one of your appointees made it to the top of the petition list...
No, sir, it's not good news
Shall we draft a response for your approval?
No you don't know her personally...
Hey, at least she's not Deval's Lt. Gov.
"Restrict your protest to the appropriate democratic channels" is the rallying cry of those who wish to suppress dissident.
Depending on how many of the counts Swartz is found guilty of, the sentence could conceivably total 50+ years and fine in the area of $4 million.
What an absurd and unreasonable level of punishment. Carmen Ortiz, the prosecutor who was behind this needs to be publicly shamed.
 (source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/reddit-co-founder-c...)
The Boston Globe named her "Bostonian Of The Year" in 2011.
Like most things, it seems complicated. She's done a lot of good for society, but it looks like she really screwed up in this particular case.
Just a week ago this was on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5003335
I don't think they seized Swartz' assets in this case but they didn't need to - they made his defense as expensive as possible and bled him dry.
And since she was appointed by President Obama, it is entirely appropriate for those of us who feel strongly that she misused her position; to ask him to remove her from office for failing to exercise her discretion appropriately.
Beware, given the people's love of tough-on-crime politicians, drawing any attention to her career as a prosecutor, even if negative, might only help her. Most people outside of HN probably see Aaron Swartz as a criminal and this tragedy isn't going to have serious sway. Consider that factually innocent people get convicted because of prosecutorial aggression and there are no public scandals.
The public's attitude towards crime needs to change before naming and shaming prosecutors will be effective. We should try to change it - quote figures to show that people needn't fear being victims of serious crime, appeal to the American founding and the ideals of innocent until proven guilty, make economic arguments that locking people up for disproportionate amounts of time is costly and pointless. This approach will move the needle on the public's attitude and will slowly fix the system which did this to Aaron Swartz. It's more nebulous and less satisfying than trying to destroy the career of a bad prosecutor, but it won't be wasted effort.
And, of course, there are no strong "innocent convicts" special interest groups because their constituencies, though numbering in the millions, have no money and can't vote.
Also, remember that Swartz was a key player in the SOPA/PIPA campaign. Do you think anybody in the government is sad about this? There will be no support from Obama on this. I doubt you could get an acknowledgement of any kind out of him.
Of course this would make it difficult to jail alcapones perhaps.
I don't follow. Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion -- because he committed tax evasion. He also allegedly (and very likely actually) committed a whole list of other serious crimes they didn't prove. But tax evasion is an actual crime that should actually be prosecuted. If Al Capone had made all his money placing legal bets in Las Vegas and then failed to pay tax on the winnings, he could and should have been convicted just the same for failing to pay his taxes. He should also, if proved, be convicted of any murders or racketeering or other such things he participated in.
What he shouldn't be is charged with a law that you could just as easily be charged with, with multi-decade prison sentences attached, just because law enforcement is too corrupt or incompetent to prove the real crimes that he actually committed.
I suppose my point is that it might make it easier though for those who order violent crime to distance themselves from it enough that it becomes extremely difficult to every give them a custodial sentence.
For more, check out The Lucifer Effect. Doing evil in the name of your "job" is a bug in the human psyche.
We need to do everything we can to mitigate its effects, and that starts by not staying stupid shit like "Hate the game, not the player" that's intended to absolve people of the guilt and shame they should be feeling for acting immorally.
The judicial system is one of the few areas where "just doing your job", no matter how 'evil' it may seem, is morally right. Even the most heinous and obviously guilty defendant deserves the best defence available. And similarly, is a prosecutor enforcing a law that society chose to enact inherently evil?
It is far, far better to take all this outrage and anger and direct it towards changing the outdated laws that govern computer crime.
That's not what happened here: society did not enact laws that made his actions illegal, and certainly did not inact punishments to the extent of a felony and 35 years in prison.
This is perhaps the clearest case I've even seen for prosecutorial abuse (excepting situation where the prosecutions literally fabricates evidence). More info here: http://unhandled.com/2013/01/12/the-truth-about-aaron-swartz...
Bottom line: in this case, society is not to blame and no, the prosecutors weren't just "doing their job".
We are dealing with prideful arrogant people. They need a vivid example in order to get their attention. Destroying this case's prosecutors' careers is only a good start.
Destroying her reputation. Stripping her of every professional friendship by making her a pariah. Piling on in every conceivable forum against her. Making it cost her every every she ever earned, her home, her retirement, and every penny of any family member willing to help her would be perfectly fitting and proportionate in that light.
And yet you will see people here say "Write a note to your Congressman" and that should be the limit of it. Bah.
Needs 25,000 signatures by February 11.
Please help us get it there. Thank you.
I've always hated bullies, even as a kid. In elementary school I would come to the aid of those being abused. And over the years, I still get angry, but I so rarely do anything anymore. It's too big, too complex, too scary.
No more. It is time to shine light into the dark corridors of American power, to get personally involved. The only way for the abuse of power to continue is for us to ignore it.
Morally wrong to download taxpayer-funded research? I'm sorry Larry, you lost me.
More on the academic publishing "industry":
Then you've got a pretty significant misunderstanding of Larry, especially as he clarifies what he found morally wrong in the next phrases of the paragraph:
> The causes that Aaron fought for are my causes too. But as much as I respect those who disagree with me about this, these means are not mine.
And if not morally wrong, then at least legally wrong.
In fact this is exactly the case with anyone working directly for the federal government, doing research or otherwise. You're told in no uncertain terms that at any moment information on your work laptop can be FOIA'd in which case you will have to immediately hand over the contents of your hard drive (if it has been determined there is a reasonable likelihood that it contains the FOIA'd information). Obviously if you're working on classified state secrets the process is different (also personal information is redacted from the documents). There's no reason research can't be accomplished successfully given the condition that the public has a right to that information at any given moment.
Academia can be extremely competitive. Like, if a competing lab got ahold even of the title of your upcoming paper, they would and do rush to duplicate your results, and try to publish before you to get the scoop.
For that reason, I don't know if open access to everyone's hard drives would work.
Nobody gets to "own" an idea. This possessiveness and reputational greed is what is causing all of these problems.
They should be allowed to make copies of it (in which case it isn't theft). They should not be allowed to deprive you of your copies of the information.
Second, the taxpayers did fund your research (assuming you research at a university), even if you had to work for that funding, and the results should be publicly available as default. Or can you provide a reason for why it shouldn't?
Personally, I'm biased even without the taxpayer argument since I believe in online learning (duolingo, OCW, etc.). I also know most published papers will only be skimmed at some later date by people highly involved in that field, and so having the information available to interested taxpayers doesn't seem to me to be an issue.
What is your field? And why don't the members of this field just create their own on-line publishing venue?
Understand that Aaron's entire purpose was to Liberate Information that should have been free in the first place, so what he was doing was the exact opposite of abuse.
To the best of my knowledge, and from what I can recall in the case, the real issue was the Physical Break and Enter - which should have resulted in all of 40 hours of community service and an apology to MIT.
You could argue publicly funded researchers shouldn't submit to non-open journals, but that's not an argument for depriving publishers renumeration for the work they've done. The profit margin for both closed and open-access journals is typically around 20% (for some of the top-tier journals it goes upto 30%) - except with open-access journals it really is the taxpayer who is paying for the publication as the author's institution typically picks up the cost (as opposed to non-open journal where the cost is distributed among customers of the journal).
Is this empty rhetoric really necessary? There were no architects. It took over two decades of government (mis)regulation, whole banking ecosystem of incentives and repackaging, not to mention plenty of people willing to take loans they knew they wouldn't be able to pay back to bring about the crisis.
Same with some great moral wrong of downloading a stack of papers and making them public. Many paid for by the public or even already publicly available.
"And why did synthetic C.D.O.’s become popular? One reason was that the subprime companies were starting to run out of risky borrowers to make bad loans to."
Everyone shares responsibility, sure: but culpability is proportionate with the harm. Individual mortgage holders are a rounding error in this analysis.
CDOs created a liquid vehicle for those credit exposures.
Because of market inefficiencies the prices of the liquid CDOs went much higher than the underlying mortgages (equivalent to you adding up the constituents of the S&P 500 and finding the index trades much dearer than the stocks because of, say, a financial transactions tax that makes trading the stocks individually difficult).
Arbitrageurs attempted to correct/take advantage of the mis-pricing by turning the underlying assets into CDOs.
Sometimes, due to the difficulty of procuring the underlying assets, synthetic CDOs were created that quacked like regular CDOs but were made of plastic. Synthetic CDOs use swaps to amplify the underlying assets' credit exposures - these swaps need two sides, a long and a short.
In the midst of the housing boom it was difficult to find people willing to bet against the housing market. Issuers decided to let the short side help construct the reference portfolio of the synthetic CDO on the assumption that if houses are safe as houses it's the same as letting a gambler choose which of the casino-provided dice are rolled.
It's easier to say Magnetar was evil, but as usual, the truth is substantially more nuanced (or, banal, from higher up - market inefficiencies and artificially advantaged participants, i.e. federally protected banks, mixed to produce enormous yet fragile superstructures).
Can someone expound on MIT's role or ability to impact the prosecutor's case against Aaron? Did they aggressively push for some kind of trial? Did they just wash their hands of it? What is the OP referring to?
Although since procs do their own thing and the feds were probably out for his blood after his previous PACER stunt, I'm not sure even an express assertion from MIT that they wanted to let it go would have changed anything.
If Napster and Bittorrent could do it for music and movies, we can do it for research.
Various technologies are possible, but the key point is to spread these publications as easily as possible.
And regardless of what you think of "piracy," justice is all
the more on our side with these government-funded, unremunerated publications which are part of humanity's drive to push forward the frontiers of knowledge.
These laws get passed when the innocent victim is a sympathetic white girl, why can't they get repealed when the innocent accused is a sympathetic white boy?
There's really no need to inject 'prosecuted white guy' into the conversation.
>No laws are being rewritten posthumously for 'sympathetic white girl'.
We pass laws for specific sympathetic victims all the time. We often even name them after the victims. Megan's law, Amber alerts, etc.
It isn't that they're white that matters, what matters is that they're sympathetic. At best, if we assume society is fairly racist, maybe we see them as more sympathetic because they're white. But let me admit that was a mistake and move past it, because it's going down the wrong path.
The point is that most of the innocent accused in the existing justice system are poor, uneducated, largely unsympathetic urban youth who no one in power cares about. There is no powerful lobby to fix it for them.
In this case we have a brilliant kid who everyone loved, who was subjected to the same injustice. This should never have happened -- not to him, not to the others. So we should rally behind this tragedy and while we have the support of public opinion, prevent it from happening again, to anyone.
There are numerous examples of laws that have 'little innocent white girls' as catalyzing moments, to the extent that they are often named after the victims, if only in popular media. Just from the top of my head and a few seconds on google: numerous proposed "Caylee's Laws", Chelsea's Law, Marsy's Law, Jessica's Law, Megan's Law...
There is a metric bucketload of laws named after people here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_eponymous_laws
I don't really feel like filtering that by "young female victim", it would be too depressing.
Aaron is the alleged perpetrator of a potentially serious felony. Moreover, he is the perpetrator of a crime that most people cannot distinguish from hacking (because unlike the HN crowd, most people are not technology literate beyond knowing how to download apps). Aaron would not be a sympathetic defendant to most of America; he would be just another one of the same hackers who try to steal money from their bank accounts.
It doesn't matter what they say he did, it matters what we say he did. And we say he did good. Which we can get people to believe, because we're right, and there are millions of us.
This whole "tech people are irrelevant and no one listens to them" meme dates back to the 1990s before tech people were relevant and people started listening to them, and before there were millions of us instead of thousands.
There are a lot of us. We're generally pretty smart. We control a lot of important stuff. We can fix serious problems if we collectively set out to do it.
You can say "politics doesn't work that way" a hundred times, but politics works the way that people make it work. And we're people.
It is irrelevant whether Aaron is bad or good; the law addresses only guilt and leaves morality to others. Legally, what matters is (1) whether he committed the alleged acts and (2) whether those acts (which are currently crimes) should be crimes.
It doesn't matter what they say he did,
You're right, because now he's dead and we do not allow the prosecution of dead men.
* it matters what we say he did. And we say he did good. Which we can get people to believe, because we're right, and there are millions of us.*
You have people on HN, on reddit, and 4chan who agree with you, and the bloggers who work for the NY Times. As I already discussed, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you will convince other people (i.e., the tecnically illerate supermajority of America) that what he did was "good" once they understand that what he did is considered hacking.
People in SV keep saying that, and then they churn out yet another social network or photo sharing app. At this point, I'll believe statements like that, even if made on HN, once they are backed by actual action and not just words.
Yes, you are people. But you're a small minority of America that generally avoids politics and interacting with the rest of America. Until that changes, and you involve yourself in America beyond just relatively unimportant stuff, like unpaid access to academic journals, you won't have much success changing anything.
We are not in a court of law. We are in the court of public opinion, where it is very relevant whether Aaron is bad or good.
>there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you will convince other people (i.e., the tecnically illerate supermajority of America) that what he did was "good" once they understand that what he did is considered hacking.
Half the point of this exercise is to make those people understand that "hacking" doesn't mean what they think it means. By these prosecutors' definitions, what they each do every morning by logging into a website using an ad blocker in violation of its terms of service or filling in a fake name to a web form is just as much considered "hacking" -- which is the problem. These laws are asinine. They make us all felons. Normal people can understand that without having to know what curl is.
>People in SV keep saying that, and then they churn out yet another social network or photo sharing app. At this point, I'll believe statements like that, even if made on HN, once they are backed by actual action and not just words.
I read your other post where you attributed the SOPA defeat to lobbying rather than activism. I don't agree with you. If you talk to Congressional aids, it was the volume of letters and the phone calls from real people who did it. It broke records.
If you don't agree with that, how about the Arab Spring? The activists themselves attribute their success to social media. Granted many of them are now learning that being citizens in a new democracy is harder than it looks, but you can't deny that there are actions there rather than just words.
What kind of actions are you looking for anyway? We are not going to have that sort of semi-violent revolution in the United States. That just isn't in the cards. But we can have political change without violence -- which is going to involve a lot more "words" than "actions" but is more than capable of getting results.
And what do you care? If we're willing bust our butts trying to change things, why do you have to shit on the attempt?
I want to fix things. Other like minded people want to fix the same things. We have ideas. We have resources. We are going to try. You can help if you want, but if you don't want to help then please go away and if you encounter anyone more helpful on your way out the door then kindly send them back this way.
And let me say this: If you're arguing that we haven't been living up to our potential, I agree with you. We don't need "another social network or photo sharing app." But we are capable of more than that. So don't tell us that we can't do it -- it helps nothing for you to convince anyone to believe you and have them go back to making more social networks and photo sharing apps. This is more important than that.
"Thus Master Wayne is left without solutions. Out of options, it’s no wonder the series ends with his staged suicide."
In Swartz's case, though, it seems he wasn't being prosecuted for copyright infringement: he never actually released the JSTOR documents. Instead he was being charged with unauthorized access to a computer system, and miscellaneous other related things.
Fans of The West Wing may remember this quote from Robert Jackson:
“The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. He can have citizens investigated and, if he is that kind of person, he can have this done to the tune of public statements and veiled or unveiled intimations. Or the prosecutor may choose a more subtle course and simply have a citizen’s friends interviewed. … While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.
“Your positions are of such independence and importance that while you are being diligent, strict, and vigorous in law enforcement you can also afford to be just. Although the government technically loses its case, it has really won if justice has been done.”
Thus, they need no financial or social incentives; the work itself is their incenctive, much in the same way that tackling a hard programming program is incentive in itself for a talanted programmer.
Terminate prosecutor Carmen M. Ortiz for overzealous prosecution of Aaron Swartz, leading to his suicide.
Can someone explain this statement? Can a person not raise a defense fund from the public?
Elsevier, Springer, Pearson et al. beg to differ. Which is probably the basis for the overdiligent prosecution.
All the love for aaronsw, but he wasn't ever sentenced and if what he was alleged to do was a civil disobedience act, it was hidden behind his lawyers.
But I fear our citizenry is just too lazy to really understand all the different candidates and vote for the best one for the job. Instead they depend on abstract figures such as conviction rates, aggressive attitudes on crime, etc to determine who gets their vote.
Can be frustrating at times.
Additionally I just read that the prosector in Aaron's case, Carmen Ortiz, is being considered as a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. It might be something for the hacker community in that state to organize and utilize the web (social media, etc) to make sure she does not go that far.
> Mr. Swartz was indicted last Thursday by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, and the indictment was unsealed Tuesday. The charges could result in up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
there must be more people behind this though.
I'd imagine he'd appreciate hearing from you directly:
23 Kenwin Rd
Winchester, MA 01890-1309
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 748-3181 (ofc)
(617) 748-3100 (ofc)
(617) 748-3974 (ofc fax)
(617) 223-4607 AMA01(SHEYMANN)
And surely his friends and family care deeply as well...
Philip Heymann https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004045145173
Ann Heymann https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004049494750
Becca Heymann https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1243020036
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Carry on, Internet.
David E. Green is VP public policy at NBC Universal. He should be aware of what a pariah Heymann is.