In Memory of Aaron Swartz

January 18, 2013

Aaron Swartz’s Politics
“As we think about what happened to Aaron, we need to recognize that it was not just prosecutorial overreach that killed him.  That’s too easy, because that implies it’s one bad apple.  We know that’s not true.  What killed him was corruption.  Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest.  It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”

Totally Bogus Statement Concerning The Aaron Swartz Prosecution
“Basically, this whole system is wide open to abuse, and it’s clear from Ortiz’s actions that she, too, was abusing the system in this manner: pushing for super high possible jail time as a huge and scary weapon to try to pressure Swartz into accepting a lower rate — but also making him a convicted felon.”

Prosecutor as Bully
“That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying.  I get wrong.  But I also get proportionality.  And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.”

Government’s Prosecution of Aaron Swartz Pushed Him Toward Death
”I think Aaron was frightened and bewildered that they’d taken this incredibly hard line against him…He didn’t want to go to jail.  He didn’t want to be a felon.”

Aaron Swartz and the Corrupt Practice of Plea Bargaining
“But none of these rights matter if the defendant never gets to trial.  And thanks to the legal fiction that plea bargaining is a voluntary negotiation between the prosecutor and defendant, our justice system effectively gives people dramatically longer sentences for exercising the right to have a trial at all.”

Real Consequences for Prosecutorial Abuse in Case of Aaron Swartz
“The US has become a society in which political and financial elites systematically evade accountability for their bad acts, no matter how destructive.  Those who torture, illegally eavesdrop, commit systemic financial fraud, even launder money for designated terrorists and drug dealers are all protected from criminal liability, while those who are powerless – or especially, as in Swartz’s case, those who challenge power – are mercilessly punished for trivial transgressions.”

The Prosecution of Aaron Swartz Paints Obama’s Justice Department
And Heymann knew about Swartz’s mental health problems.  In an interview with the Boston Globe, Andy Good, Swartz’s first lawyer, said: “I told Heymann the kid was a suicide risk, … they were aware of the risk, and they were heedless.”  In what Good says is typical of prosecutors when dealing with a target who is a potential suicide, he recounted Heymann’s response as: “Fine, we’ll lock him up.”

Aaron Swartz and Jean Seberg
“The psychological toll of being targeted by the government for political beliefs is massive, the stuff that filled Soviet-era gulags.”

Watch Aaron Swartz Explain How SOPA Was Stopped

Inspiring Heroism of Aaron Swartz
“He could have easily opted for a life of great personal wealth, status, prestige and comfort.  He chose instead to fight – selflessly, with conviction and purpose, and at great risk to himself – for noble causes to which he was passionately devoted.”

Statement from the Family and Partner of Aaron Swartz
“We’re grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world.”

Remember Aaron Swartz
“Aaron’s insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable—these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter.”


Aaron Swartz’s Last Gift

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