That's why the issue is contentious. Was the government of South Africa justified in taking special deterrence measures to deter Nelson Mandela from pursuing his anti-democratic efforts to unlawfully oppose the government? This is absolutely crazy talk. The fetishization of democracy cannot be allowed to undermine principled opposition to bugs found in its operation. I agree with Kerr that civil disobedience merits punishment -- that's kind of the point. But he's completely wrong about prosecutorial discretion. It's completely correct that the prosecutorial indiscretion of treating civil disobedience as if it were traitorous to democracy is a political act, and should be answered by political means.
An "Al Capone" approach would be more like some of the actions of Anonymous -- performing security penetrations to collect, say, secret government or corporate data and then publishing it. Accessing publicly-funded research or public-domain documents and making them available is much more Rosa Parks.