“He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles,” his father said at the funeral. [Chicago Sun-Times]
EARLIER TODAY the funeral of tech genius and one of Reddit’s major forces Aaron Schwartz was held. The fallout of his death is becoming a contagion of horrific details that needs to end with new laws on computer crimes and how they’re handled.
The legal intricacies and what was unfolding just before Schwartz took his own life are harrowing to read.
Over at Talk Left, Jeralyn has a must read post on the subject.
I think the Government’s over-reaching here was not so much in the initial charge, but in the hardball it played when it realized Aaron wouldn’t cave in. Unfortunately, this is not an atypical prosecutorial response – it’s actually fairly routine. What makes this case different is that, while we don’t know for sure, it seems like the Government filed the superseding indictment for the purpose of racheting up the pressure to plead guilty, ignoring the warning that he was a suicide risk. If it wanted to send the message that the more he resisted, the worse things would get, it succeeded — Aaron is dead, it can’t get worse than that for him. But it seems as unnecessary as using a hammer to kill an ant. – Jeralyn Merritt