The fact is that suicides are statistically aberrational behavior, even among people in high-stress situations. There are lots of factors that lead to suicides, not just the final stressor that might precipitate them. Our standard of blame cannot be so lax as to hold people accountable for atypical reactions to situations.
I am not sure you are willing to be acquainted with the facts, regardless of how they are presented or who presents them.
I don't think you are close enough to the facts of the situation to speak with such resounding authority about them.
Indeed, if you're talking about laying the blame for Aaron's suicide on the feet of Carmen Ortiz, isn't it patently ridiculous to consider the intimate facts of his situation relevant? Are we now to charge prosecutors with being sensitive to the details of the personal lives of the people which they prosecute?
Why shouldn't a prosecutor consider the personal circumstance of the accused? Certainly this is done in a variety of ways in the law, the decision as to whether a crime has been committed, the decision as to whether to charge an individual, what charges are brought against that individual.
Particularly in the case where prosecutors have wide discretion, such as in the case of computer crimes, the question really should be, on what basis are prosecutors making decisions?
And in the event that prosecutors are making capricious or unjust, or disproportionate decisions, then shouldn't they be faced with the consequences of their actions? Shouldn't they consider that they can both ruin and in some cases contribute to the end of someone's life?
Even if you don't think this is part of jurisprudence per se, do we not have an obligation to our fellow man?
Your case is that the culpability for Swartz's death rests solely with Swartz. Swartz's friends and family have asserted with unanimity that Swartz's life was dominated by this prosecution. Ergo, the series of events culminating in Swartz's suicide would not have happened had he not been prosecuted, or, more importantly, prosecuted in this particular way.
When you assert that Ortiz's office is not culpable, it sounds very much like you are contradicting the prosecution's role in Swartz's life and death.
I try really hard not to be one of those laymen that regards all lawyers as soulless, but this right here is the kind of thing that leads to that opinion of the law profession.
"But they handle tens of thousands of cases" should never be used as a defense in the death of a litigant -- a person. At the very least, the death of a litigant should force all parties involved to examine their actions and see if they might have been able to do anything reasonable to prevent it. Justifying it in the abstract, saying essentially that it's OK as long as it's not too many, is despicable.
A justice system that does not behave as though it is dealing with human lives is one which will corrupt itself into encouraging prosecutors to win cases, instead of seek justice.
Outside this particularly sympathetic context, I'd say people want their justice system to be fairly neutral and not swayed by the specifics of peoples' circumstances.
What is your agenda? It seems as if you think the system is fine, and cannot and should not improve. Why?
To have an effect, condemnation has to be of sufficient magnitude, such that the problem is acknowledged and recognized. It has to be necessarily grandiose in its nature. Given that you agree that the system is not fine, and can improve, where does your contention lie? How can you deny a problem from being recognized if you wish to solve it?
"Ohhh your wife was shouting at you? I hear ya, buddy. I'll drop most of the charges and you won't have to go to jail for murder..."
I mean, come on. We can't take people's personal circumstances that are unrelated to the crime into account. No matter if you are rich or poor, married or single, working or unemployed, kids or no kids, you should get equal treatment under the law. I can't believe people are arguing that "possibly suicidal" people should have charges reduced. If that was true, everyone charged with a crime would claim to be suicidal...
That's a hell of a lot more than Carmen Ortiz has decided to do.
You are defending your profession at the expense of your humanity.
I can not think of any more powerful way to state my criticism of your comments here.
It doesn't even make sense--every day engineers and scientists make decisions trading off cost, effectiveness, and preventable death. The accountants and actuaries then sign off on it. It's not a deficiency of the professions, that's just how human society operates. Contrary to your assertion, we do not launch an investigation any time someone dies in a car accident. We don't start posting how the engineers at Ford are morally culpable for the death because if only they had used a more expensive XYZ widget our loved one would still be alive. Sometimes bad things happen and it's not anyone's fault.
Do I get to inveigh against all software developers every time armed drone C&C software plays a role in killing a civilian somewhere?
Then of course you could counter-argue that the person doing the criticizing was related to some of the people that were killed, and therefore they might not be impartial either, even though I never said (nor would have suggested) otherwise, and even though that does nothing to make you look less prejudiced.
And then the whole stupid thing could continue to spiral out of control until someone else suddenly showed up late to the argument and brought with them some absurd analogy that requires some serious stretching to be at all applicable to the discussion at hand...
But your logic wouldn't work even if we stipulated that he defended the prosecutor, because defending prosecutors doesn't make you a prosecutor.
It's you, who tried to cut short a debate by saying that Rayiner was defending "his profession" and talking his own book, who's making the dubious argument.
Nobody is calling you out on it because we're all upset about Aaron Swartz and we can obviously all see which way the wind is blowing on the topic here. But I like Rayiner and would like to see him stick around here, so I'll say it: you're out of line. Stop it.
Some of those people grow up in a culture that prepares them for the possibility that they will be jailed, even possibly unjustly imprisoned.