Hacking Defendant's Suicide Spurs Debate Over Prosecutorial Overreach

, The National Law Journal

   | 3 Comments

Political activist Aaron Swartz was charged in 2011 in Boston federal district court with the unauthorized use of a university's networks to download millions of articles from the online archive JSTOR. His suicide last Friday instantly triggered a wave of criticism aimed at prosecutors' alleged overzealousness in the pursuit of criminal charges.

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What's being said

  • Dissident

    Isn't President Obama the chief prosecutor? What has he said about this matter?

  • CV

    Such a black and white approach to the law is appalling. Mr. Swartz may have acted unwisely and rationalized his principles versus the reasonableness of his actions, but he caused no actual "damage" - at least none that JSTOR felt worth of pursuing in a civil court. And civil court would have been a much more civilized approach to his hacking activities. 13 felonies on his record for life? That's ridiculous based on the information in this article. Certainly his "rebellion" against structure and stricture should not have cost his life.

  • TC

    All the rationalisations in the world fail to compute the existential bankruptcy of the ethics of wielding a war criminal hammer against a legally-underequipped genius.

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