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Aaron Swartz Laid To Rest

"The funeral for 26-year-old US hacktivist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide after federal charges snowballed, is held at Central Avenue Synagogue in Chicago."


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"On Tuesday, the family of Aaron Swartz laid the Internet activist to rest just outside Chicago, Illinois. According to reports, Swartz committed suicide last Friday after an ongoing legal battle involving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the online academic document company JSTOR. Swartz's father has publicly blamed the US government for his son's death, but now a California Congresswoman is calling to update the computer fraud and abuse act which could have landed Swartz a 30 plus year sentence behind bars. Trevor Timm, activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, joins us with his take on the proposition."

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"On Tuesday, Internet prodigy-turned-activist Aaron Swartz was laid to rest near Chicago, Illinois after he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment last week where he reportedly committed suicide. Hundreds gathered to remember the achievements of the 26 year old that was facing allegations of wire and computer fraud in a case involving the Massaschusetts Institute of Technology. Manny Rapalo brings us more."

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"On Tuesday, the funeral services of Aaron Swartz took place outside of Chicago, Illinois. Swartz reportedly committed suicide on Friday, and his family says the US government is to blame for the legal action taken against the 26 year old for allegedly hacking into secured computers. RT web producer Andrew Blake brings us more from Highland Park, Illinois."

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Ortiz Defends Prosecution.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said Wednesday that prosecutors recognized that there was no evidence against Internet activist Aaron Swartz that warranted severe punishment.

The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts has been criticized for her handling of the prosecution of Swartz, who committed suicide last Friday.

"The prosecutors recognized that there was no evidence against Mr. Swartz indicating that he committed his acts for personal financial gain, and they recognized that his conduct - while a violation of the law - did not warrant the severe punishments authorized by Congress and called for by the Sentencing Guidelines in appropriate cases," Ortiz said in a statement reported by various media . . .

In discussions with Swartz's counsel about a resolution of the case, Ortiz's office sought an appropriate sentence that matched the alleged conduct, which she described as "a sentence that we would recommend to the judge of six months in a low security setting." His defense counsel would at the same time have been free to recommend a sentence of probation, she added.

"Ultimately, any sentence imposed would have been up to the judge," Ortiz said in the statement. "At no time did this office ever seek - or ever tell Mr. Swartz's attorneys that it intended to seek - maximum penalties under the law."

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Lawyer Told Prosecutor Swartz Was Suicidal.

A lawyer who formerly represented Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz on hacking charges said Monday he told federal prosecutors about a year ago that Swartz was a suicide risk . . .

Andrew Good, a Boston attorney who represented Swartz in the case last year, said he told federal prosecutors in Massachusetts that Swartz was a suicide risk.

"Their response was, put him in jail, he'll be safe there," Good said . . .

Swartz's most recent attorney, Elliot Peters, said prosecutors told him two days before Swartz's death that Swartz would have to spend six months in prison and plead guilty to 13 charges if he wanted to avoid going to trial.

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The Bitter Taste Of Suicide.

Whatever the circumstances that led to his suicide may be, we look at Swartz and see a young man who possessed the rare talent to leave a lasting mark on the world.

Instead, his survivors will grapple with anger, sadness, guilt, and unanswered questions for years to come. For some, their lives will never be the same. And always, that is the bitter fruit of suicide.

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See also: Remembering Aaron Swartz in The [Monday] Papers.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on January 17, 2013


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