I have little sympathy for prosecutorial overreach , but it seems somewhat ironic and counterproductive that she should face such harsh consequences without there being at least an attempt to establish the facts of the matter independent of the lynch mob that is now on her heels.
If we allege that she used her position to bully someone, we should at least not fall into the same trap ourselves.
This is mostly to send a message to her and other prosecutors, and to get the Obama administration to examine the problem and give a response.
I think we're all well aware that she's probably not the worst prosecutor in the govt. I'm sure others have caused as much harm to those without the fame and network Aaron had. However, these are the people we entrust to uphold our laws, and we need to hold them accountable to justice, not their careers.
Hopefully this is just the start.
Lynch mobs have already done all the investigating that needs investigating.
Those grieving Swartz's death have my sympathy. Those fanning their natural anger to vengeance do not.
Remember when Bush sacked a bunch of US Attorneys for insufficient ideological purity? If not, this might joggle your memory:
Getting someone fired won't honor Swartz - at least that's my opinion. It won't change the law - and that's a fact.
I remember the Bush era firings. I didn't think they made a positive change in America. I don't think firing Swartz's prosecutor will either. I think we are better served by people who learn from their mistakes.
They have no impetus to change until there's enough anger to make them afraid.
Pinning all that on one person allows something to be done without causing change.
There's nothing that guarantees any of the people involved will learn from their mistakes, but what we do know is that their actions were a terrible injustice. America isn't going to magically become a better place because one person gets fired, but I don't see anybody arguing otherwise. I see people arguing that such a dramatic abuse of power should have consequences, and that is the point.
This didn't come about overnight. The Feds were sending people to jail for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine based on the argument that two lovers must have shared it with each other twenty years ago - and those people are only out of prison if they're dead.
It's not dramatic. It's ordinary. Prosecutors treat the courtroom the same way some people treat the golf course - as a place to demonstrate their skill.
When "good guys" screw up, they must take the same responsibility they ask of "bad guys". When "good guys" resort to bully or torture weaker opponents, they are as bad as anyone.
The whole system is flawed; it rewards high-profile convictions, instead of justice. Wrong success metrics -> wrong job description -> wrong outcome.
So, I have a lot of sympathy for those grieving Swartz's death AND fanning their natural anger to vengeance. They are not at odds. That's why I signed both petitions, and really hoping to see them coming through.
Of course none of this will get her (nor Steve "Is he suicidal? Let's lock him down; the jail is safe" Heymann) fired, but hopefully it'll spark the debate within Obama's administration about the (appropriate) role of prosecutors in this country.
Yeah, call me optimistic.
Here's the ACLU page on the Mehanna case:
This case did not result in a suicide; it did, however, feature a sentence of over 17 years.
Losing her job is a harsh consequence??
I can only imagine that being in such a position causes a huge amount of stress. It seems very hypocritical to me to one the one hand blame her for driving Aaron Swartz into suicide, and then putting her under similar pressure based on possibly premature conclusions.
Versus being targeted by the full weight of the US attorney's office that is so convinced of the truth of its accusations and that it knows all the relevant facts that it piles on trumped up charges to force someone to not defend himself in court?
When the internet crowd has the ability to have her imprisoned against her will, you can compare the situations.
We are talking about firing someone, not even a weekend in prison. Give me a break.
I have never met either Aaron Swartz or her, but I do know that both, the prospect of a ruinous trial as well as the prospect of being blamed for someones death and being publically shamed out of my position by an angry mob would put me under a huge amount of psychological pressure.
I saw a story on Techmeme yesterday where the husband of the attorney supposedly said a plea was offered of six months. I'm not sure if the story was true but, if it was, it would put the story in a different light.
Most likely she's working with her crisis PR team to figure out how to get in front of the issue. Which would involve a complete housecleaning of the office in MA.
As that article points out she is a political appointee and as such, is a legitimate focus for political outrage.
I just want to get the story straight to know where I stand.
+50 in 30 minutes
Signatures required: 99,999
"This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.