Aaron Swartz’ Family: Death Result of ‘Prosecutorial Overreach’

Aaron Swartz

Brilliant tech activist Aaron Swartz took his own life last night. Now his family has put out it’s official statement on his death with a blog post.

It’s a fitting and touching tribute. It remember his life and spirit and you can truly sense their pain and suffering. It’s easy to tell how much they loved and supported Aaron, and that his brilliance was not an anomaly.

Things get interesting at the end as the spirit of Aaron’s fight for social justice clearly survives him within his family and friends. At the end of the post the family says is death is the result of “prosecutorial overreach” in the case of the federal prosecution in his MIT-JSTOR case (which neither MIT or JSTOR had any interest in pursuing), threatening Aaron with over 35 years in prison.

Here’s the paragraph in full:

Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney’s office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community’s most cherished principles.

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