I have some sympathy. His wife, a public servant, is implicated in the suicide of a well-loved young man and a great deal of anger is coming her way. It's deeply distressing when one's spouse is attacked, especially by outsiders, and I respect him for sticking up for her in public.
His message and his timing are terribly misguided, but he is at least trying. No doubt she appreciates the support and, I hesitate to say, he does have a point: the 6 month offer hasn't been widely discussed by the mob.
(Just for the record I think it's a scandal that these charges were ever bought. Proportionality utterly failed here, and I hope the government and the nation learns something from this tragedy.)
the 6 month offer hasn't been widely discussed by the mob
It's been discussed. It's just that it's been dismissed as irrelevant. What is relevant is that the process itself has bankrupted a brilliant man, distracted and stressed him for two years of his life, and required that he declare himself a felon, abdicating his right to vote, among many other rights, for a fucking TOS violation, that the "victim" did not even want to pursue. Additionally, it's quite likely the bargain would have included some degree of probation during which a man whose passions run deep in computing, would be banned from touching a computing device of any kind.
How you government sycophants sleep at night is beyond me. Is there nothing the agents of the Almighty State can do that would make you stop defending them?
> How you government sycophants sleep at night is beyond me. Is there nothing the agents of the Almighty State can do that would make you stop defending them?
Wait, OK wow. I'm pretty sure I said it was a scandal, and a tragedy, and they needed to learn from it. I stopped short of calling for her to be fired because there are enough people pouring fuel on that fire. The changes that need to happen are far bigger than one person's job.
I'm also fairly sure that my comment simply explained why a husband of an embattled wife might choose to come to her defense in public. How you get from that to "government sycophants" is as beyond me as my ability to sleep is beyond your comprehension.
Finally, the irony involved in your baseless attribution of bad motive to my post when we're discussing a prosecutor's attribution of evil intent to what you call a 'TOS violation' is profound. It's a pity, because the first paragraph of your post contains a reasonable point, less the swearing.
Sorry, I should clarify that the sycophant label was not actually directed at you per se, but at the larger group of people coming out of the woodwork on HN to defend this disgusting display of highly selective prosecutorial discretion.
I'm mainly looking at you, philwelch. Your defense of law & order has been incomparable since the beginning of this story. May your jackboots be forever bloody, good sir!
The 6 month offer was in exchange for bypassing his right to a trial and being stuck with a felony conviction, to say nothing of spending half a year in prison. This all under duress of spending over a third more years in prison than he had lived to date for a crime roughly on par with running black squares off the school printers.
I agree with what you said with respect to the state of mind he must be in but you'd think an IBM exec would realize that there's nothing he could say that could possibly help.
He's making public ass out of himself exactly when his wife's career is vulnerable. That won't help her and in the long run I can't see it doing anything good to their marriage.
WRT the six month "offer," Lessig pointed out that Aaron wasn't willing to accept a felony conviction. The "punishment" for being a felon lasts for years and years beyond the prison sentence so it's easy to see that a felony + six months is way more than just six months. But it's easy to see why Ortiz was sticking to the felony charge. If Aaron had gotten a misdemeanor then she couldn't have boasted about "convicting" a "dangerous hacker".
You'd think that someone at his level would understand that shutting up is the best thing to do. Right or wrong, when you're in the public eye in this manner, close your doors and let the PR/lawyers sort it out. The best you could do is offer your personal condolences to the family and leave it at that.