Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prosecutor's Husband Slams Family, Others Blaming His Wife for Death of Aaron Swartz

At Guardian UK, "Aaron Swartz: husband of prosecutor criticises internet activist's family":
IBM executive married to district attorney tweets anger after family suggests overzealous prosecution contributed to his death.

The husband of the US district attorney involved in the Aaron Swartz prosecution has publicly criticised the activist's family for accusing his wife of complicity in the suicide, amid claims the aggressive litigation was driven by their desire for a test case.

Tom Dolan, an IBM executive married to Carmen Ortiz, used his Twitter account to attack the family of Swartz, who died on Friday. One tweet, posted on his @TomJDolan feed, said: "Truly incredible that in their own son's obit they blame others for his death and make no mention of the 6 month offer."

His comments, made three days after Swartz's death, attracted outrage on social media. The account has since been deleted.

When asked about Dolan's tweet and whether it was appropriate, Christina Sterling, a spokeswoman for Ortiz, told the Guardian she had "no comment" to make at this time.

Swartz, 26, who helped create Reddit, had been facing charges of breaking into Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer system to access academic articles from the JSTOR digital library with the intention of making them freely available.

His family have accused prosecutors and MIT officials of contributing to his death by pursuing a harsh array of charges for "an alleged crime that had no victims". His death, and what critics have denounced as an over-reaching prosecution, have prompted calls for changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and for a halt to such prosecutions.

If he had been found guilty of the charges, Swartz faced up to 35 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines, although it has emerged that negotiations between his lawyers and prosecutors had included a potential plea bargain of six months in prison.

Condemnation of prosecutors over the litigation against Swartz continued on Tuesday. A petition to the Obama administration to remove Ortiz from office reached 28,188 signatures, past the crucial 25,000 signatures needed for a White House response.

In July 2011, Ortiz said in a statement about the case: "Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars. It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away."
More at the link.

Here are the tweets:

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz

Via BetaBeat, "IBM Exec Husband of Aaron Swartz Prosecutor Takes to Twitter to Defend His Wife."

RELATED: As I highlighted earlier, Swartz was a cowardly Chomsky-loving radical in the mold of the depraved Anonymous and WikiLeaks criminals. He was a regular guest blogger at communist Henry Farrell's Crooked Timber, and this post lays out his far left-wing program: "Toward a Larger Left."

And you know, I'm sure most people, after they're gone, would love have the support of the criminal hactivists, like how Anonymous showed its love for Swartz: "Anonymous hacks MIT after Aaron Swartz's suicide."

They're all a bunch of cowards. Progressives, anarchists, the Think Progress goons and they're readers ... they're all a bunch of cowards and communists. Fuck 'em.

PREVIOUSLY: "Can We Just Not Get All Sentimental About Aaron Swartz, to the Effect of Martyring the Dude, or Anything Like That?"