Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aaron Swarz

This Aaron Swarz thing is really eating at me.

This was a youthful, non-violent, first offender committing an act of civil disobedience, for no personal gain, out of idealism.  He committed suicide when an overzealous federal prosecutor would not plea bargain down from seeking a sentence of 50 years -- and he was isolated from the activist community, which had been supporting him in his proposed activities.

Granted, the value of the copyrighted material he proposed to publish was large, but similar white collar crimes in others, others who profited from their actions, resulted in much lesser sentences.

The Enron people got 25 years or so, and one of them may get out with 14

Raj Rajaratnam, who did super huge scale insider trading, got 11 years

We need to have better control and standardization rather than unbridled prosecutorial discretion.

Anyway, if you, like me, are bothered by the Aaron Swarz prosecution, there is a petition going around.

Also, Aaron reminds me of my own son, who is a Stallmanite.

1 comment:

  1. I for one feel there is a fair amount of prosecutorial misconduct in the world.

    Cases the government goes all in on, and when I am looking at the evidence I feel they can't prove the case.

    The accused has to work like dogs to defend at great expense (it can change your life, take away all your money, your retirement, etc.) and in the end either the prosecutors don't prove the case and lose or they win because of money and power brought forth by the government. The people's money misused. Our money.

    This goes on a lot. Too much. I have never served on a jury but I am mindful of my rights as a juror to judge these things as well as the evidence. Judges hate that but there is nothing they can do about it.