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back to article Aaron Swartz prosecutor accused of 'professional misconduct'

The legal team acting for now-deceased internet activist Aaron Swartz has filed an official complaint with the Department of Justice alleging two counts of professional misconduct by Assistant US Attorney Stephen Heymann in his handling of the case. Heymann knowingly suppressed evidence that could have been used to dismiss the …

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WTF?

Wow!

Even after the guy is dead his legal vultures are still looking to make a dime off someone! Anyway, didn't Swarz admit his guilt already?

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Re: Wow!

"Even after the guy is dead his legal vultures are still looking to make a dime off someone! Anyway, didn't Swarz admit his guilt already?"

Go fuck yourself.

Maybe read some facts before engaging brain. Or is obvious troll obvious? Not so sure.

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Holmes

Re: Wow!

I think obvious troll is obvious.

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@DavCrav: Re: Wow!

"Maybe read some facts before engaging brain. Or is obvious troll obvious? Not so sure."

Now, if I understand you correctly, you are taking these accusations from Swartz's legal team as being true. Somehow that strikes me as being maybe just a wee bit naive. Defense lawyers are by definition highly impartial advocates and ultimately have no responsibility to prove what they say. (Prosecutors, if you don't know, have to prove their charges to a variety of judges, a grand jury, a trial jury, and it all has to survive the subsequent scrutiny of appellate courts.) If there is any class of people less deserving of belief than defense lawyers, then you'll have to tell me who it is.

These accusations from Swartz's lawyers need to be treated with a tremendous amount of skepticism. Which you evidently do not want to do.

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Re: @DavCrav: Wow!

@Turtle: Well, all the defence team are saying is that it looks considerably like a witch hunt. Since that's been pretty obvious for quite a while, even before Swartz's suicide, they aren't saying anything new, just repeating well-established facts (facts in the sense of things that are true, like the fact that the policeman that killed Ian Tomlinson is guilty as sin, not what occurs in court).

Edit: the fact that 97% of US cases are plea bargained -- read defendants/victims browbeaten into submission by prosecutors -- should be a pretty good statistic. See, for example,

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443589304577637610097206808.html

This particular problem in the US "justice" system is well known and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

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Boffin

Re: @DavCrav: Wow!

...Except that under the current circumstances, the group that acted as a defence team for AS are now prosecuting the individual who prosecuted (and, according to many, persecuted) AS. So now the defence are the prosecution, and the prosecution is the defence.

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Re: @DavCrav: Wow!

"...Except that under the current circumstances, the group that acted as a defence team for AS are now prosecuting the individual who prosecuted (and, according to many, persecuted) AS. So now the defence are the prosecution, and the prosecution is the defence."

That reminded me of the Daily Mash headline "Outrage over reaction to Clarkson reaction reactions".

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Black Helicopters

Re: Wow!

Guilty of what? Maybe Aron didn't want to be the next suckerberg/brin figurehead for the cowardly US "intel" establishment so they harrased the life out of the poor guy. A totally shameful and avoidable situation and another damning reason these spooks are not fit for purpose. The terrorists are alive and (un)well in cheltenham and langley.

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Facepalm

Re: Wow!

Ah, Matt, dripping as ever with the milk of human kindness, I see.

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Thumb Down

Don't feed the troll

Hey troll, when will you do something with your life? ANYTHING of ANY value.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow!

Bryant, were you born a twat or did you become one through regular practice?

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Flame

So

You are offered justice for accepting being a felon, Something very fishy in the US system of felony.

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FAIL

I could never understand why this isn't treated as blackmail.

"If you admit you did it, we will be lenient. Otherwise, we will put you in the slammer for a bazillion years."

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To be fair, IF the accuses is, uh, guilty-ish, a plea bargain might be the most satisfactory solution.

Remember, in a fair number of cases (including, I believe, this one) the actual facts are not really in question. The issues that would effect the outcome of any trial are things like can the evidence be used against the defendant? or did the defendant's actions meet all the requirements of the crime?, etc.

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Well yes, plea bargains are often the appropriate route to take and are beneficial to both sides.

The problem is, they exist so the courts can get things cleared through, not necessarily to serve or even expediate justice.

If you have to accept lesser punishment and a record for something you didn't do, or cop to a series of charges that aren't all correct, because of some jackass that wants to use the weight of the system as a weapon against you, then that is abusive.

This is common in America. Take the plea bargain, or the prosecution is going to do everything in their power to get you convicted and sentenced harshly.

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this is what a "law" system without personal responsibility looks like

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Angel

Let's hope

The pig doesn't get away with it and is hung by his intestines.

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Devil

@Turtle: There are some things we _have_ to take as true, because they were submitted under penalty of perjury to the court.

For example, we have to take as true the fact that the Government (i.e. Heymann) argued that the evidence (from the search of the laptop, etc.) should not be excluded because the Government hadn't had possession of the equipment, therefore the clock should not have been running.

But IF the email described in the complaint exists and contains the information narrated in the complaint, the Government is in a bit of trouble: they said they didn't have the equipment, but they knew they did.

So does that email exist, and does it say what they claim it says? Well, it beggers belief that a lawyer would file that complaint without having a copy of the email in question, so it seems far more likely than not that, yes, the email exists and the email says what they claimed it said, and therefore the gov. is in trouble.

What remains to be seen is whether the trouble that the government is in was a result of (a) malice (b) incompetence or (c) an honest mistake.

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Vic
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> was a result of (a) malice (b) incompetence or (c) an honest mistake.

Or (d) All of the above. Except (c).

Vic.

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Or...

@Vic,

e) a desire to show the little people that you are the high and mighty, and you can fuck over anyone you want, and get away with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Secret Service

What is this "Secret Service"? And what service do they provide? If it's secret, then why do I know about it? Is my life in danger? So many questions. Not enough time.

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Re: Secret Service

It's one of these American things. It isn't really secret, it does several distinct jobs, and they are the Federal experts on investigating computer crime, rather than the FBI.

It's one of the older parts of the US System, and I have no idea of why the got the Computer Crime job. Maybe the politicians were wary of giving the FBI too much power.

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Re: Secret Service

US federal law enforcement is a big area with lots of agencies. The Secret Service has two big jobs - protecting the president, and anti-counterfeiting/anti-financial-crimes. They seem to take it on themselves to do major computer crime investigations, and usually look like clowns when doing so. They raided Steve Jackson Games in the early 90s because the game company was making a cyberpunk game ... the Secret Service really thought that the game book was some sort of crime manual.

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Re: Secret Service

[The Secret Service is] one of the older parts of the US System, and I have no idea of why the got the Computer Crime job.

The Secret Service used to be the security and investigation branch of the Department of the Treasury. Consequently they got the remit for a number of aspects of finance-related crimes, and IT-related crime was initially viewed by the Federal government as in that category.

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Anonymous Coward

" hung himself"

Hanged himself. Hung himself implies cosmetic surgery

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Anonymous Coward

Yes Swartz admitted he was a criminal and illegally hacked

What goes around generally comes around.

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What a crock of shitze

This is typical and a futile attempt to try and discredit the DOJ for properly convicting a criminal. Swartz wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, he was just a tool. He chose to take his own life because he wasn't man enough to do the time for his crime.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a crock of shitze

In what way was he a criminal? If the victims weren't interested in pressing charges, and no-one was physically injured, why were the DoJ so keen to prosecute?

This sounds like a bullshit prosecution, brought about because there's no "House Un-American Activities Committee" around to allow the neocons to "legally" harass people like Swartz.

It's just a point scoring exercise so that Heymann will have something to put on his resume when he runs for higher office.

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Happy

Re: What a crock of shitze

That was the previous question. The current question is if that Aaron Swartz fuck can take it like he likes to dish it out. Let's see if HE is man enough to do the time for his crime.

My money is on his big black cell mate.

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FAIL

Re: Johan Re: What a crock of shitze

".... The current question is if that Aaron Swartz fuck can take it like he likes to dish it out....." Aaron Swarz is dead, he committed suicide before the trial started.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a crock of shitze

Tomas K. Could I have a look at your CV, please?

What exactly do you say you have done for the advancement of society and technology? What risks did you take in the process? How far did you go in the name of what you believed in, despite any medical conditions or other impairments you might have had?

Just so I can put your judgement in context, you see. Thank you.

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FAIL

Re: AC Re: What a crock of shitze

".....What exactly do you say you have done for the advancement of society and technology?....." Yeah, cos Aaron healed the wounded, cured the sick, put an end to global hunger and then invented the Internet on his coffee break, right? In fact, what seems to make him a "hero" in the eyes of numpties like you is he claims to have defeated SOPA all on his lonesome, and got caught twice downloading massive amounts of documents in breach of the terms of his access to those works. Wow, how will humanity survive without him - not!

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None of this will matter

I think the DOJ acted wrongly, outrageously so. It won't matter if Swartz's lawyers file a complaint. The complaint board will most likely find that while mistakes were made, it wouldn't be anything to punish for, because that's what they almost ALWAYS determine. It doesn't matter how much anguish, suffering or harm that government lawyers cause in their actions, even in the worst case scenario they're almost never fired. Even when judges dismiss cases because of DOJ misconduct, the review board has a history of deciding that the judge was just wrong. It's a badly broken system.

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Happy

Re: None of this will matter

You guys have the right to bear arms right? To defend yourself against a tyrant, right? So you equip some nutjob with a high precision sniper rifle, he splatters Aaron Swartz' grey matter all over the street and ass whipe Matt will argue that it would be a waste of tax payer money to prosecute him.

Sounds like a plan no?

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Meh

Re: None of this will matter

Replace "Aaron Swartz'" with "Stephen Heymanns" and the above message will make sence.

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FAIL

Re: Johan Re: None of this will matter

".....So you equip some nutjob with a high precision sniper rifle, he splatters Aaron Swartz' grey matter all over the street....." Aaron Swarz is already dead, so no need for a sniper. On a lighter note, I think your posts are compelling evidence for the limiting of Internet access to those with an IQ in at least double figures.

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FAIL

Re: None of this will matter

"Replace "Aaron Swartz'" with "Stephen Heymanns" and the above message will make sence." Nope, still doesn't make sense, it still just looks like the bleating of one of the I-can-pay-but-won't-pay freetard numpties.

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Stop

It's like a vineyard here!

More whine than the Rhone valley!

Aaron Swarz is dead by his own hand, having already admitted his guilt, and silly, political "revenge" actions like this just waste the courts' time. The email in question will be easily explained away - "well, your honour, I THOUGHT we had the laptop in our care when I sent that email, but I later realised it was still in police evidence" - and amounts to nothing more than desperate straw grabbing. Since the case never went to trial - Aaron decided on the ultimate necktie before it could - the laptop's contents were never even raised in court. Will it bring Aaron back? No. Will it change any laws or legal guidelines? No. Will it waste US taxpayers money? Yes. Will it make the authorities even more determined to track down others like Aaron? Certainly. The lawyers won't care, it's just another payday for them whether they win or lose, but the people funding this obviously have more money than sense.

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I'm on to you

Hey Matt, you don't seem concerned about the tax payers money that was wasted on prosecuting Aaron Swartz. Why is that?

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Facepalm

Re: I'm on to you

"......you don't seem concerned about the tax payers money that was wasted on prosecuting Aaron Swartz. Why is that?" Swarz was charged with a crime, so the investigation and prosecution of that crime was proper and what taxpayers expect.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Go

Suicide By Prosecutor

Cheaper than suicide by cop and less of a p.r. nightmare.

The courtroom savings are phenominal.

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Anonymous Coward

Why am I not surprised Eric Holder is no better than Ed Meese

and Barack Obama is just a black Richard Nixon?

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Pirate

Re: Why am I not surprised Eric Holder is no better than Ed Meese

".....a black Richard Nixon?" There has been a renewed interest in Nixon-bashing lately. I was beginning to wonder why, then I saw the re-re-re-release of stories about how Nixon "committed treason" and "sabotaged" the 1968 Vietnamese peace talks in Paris. Why is that old story suddenly worthy of a re-run? In the classic words of Poirot, who has a motive? Maybe it's because Nancy Pelosi did her bit of "treason" out in the open when she violated the Logan Act with her visit to Syria in 2007. A bit of Dem infighting going on, maybe, what with Obambi being intelligible for a third term as POTUS?

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WTF?

Re: Matt Bryant "what with Obambi being intelligible for a third term as POTUS?"

Kids say the cutest things.

My guess is that you meant "ineligible" and not "intelligible". But then you could have meant "Obambi is intelligible", and were signalling the Thatcher Conservatives following you that Obama is Okay.

After all he's been playing hardball with Assange, Manning and assorted hackers for a long time and now he's going to send drones after American citizens without due process.

That must warm the cockles of your heart

(off topic)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/nyregion/most-ny-gun-shows-to-take-steps-on-background-checks.html?_r=0

At the gun show last week, I could have bought anything I wanted by printing my name on a piece of paper, then signing it, with my driver's licence number. Provided I had fat wad of $100 bills.

I put my Walther in a lap top carrying case with the model, make, origin of manufacture on a piece of paper taped to the case. Along with the price $1100. I took your advice about keeping it and priced it high.

One of the guys I went to the show with is going to Texas next week. If I want a Judge or Public Defender all I have to do is give him $800 in cash before he goes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "In the classic words of Poirot, who has a motive?"

I thought his classic words were "Cherchez la femme."

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Happy

Re: Re: Matt Bryant "what with Obambi being intelligible for a third term as POTUS?"

".....My guess is that you meant "ineligible" and not "intelligible"....." Sorry, blame the wife's iPad's auto-correct. No children involved, unless you're implying Apple have developer shops in China full of kiddies?

".....After all he's been playing hardball with Assange, Manning and assorted hackers for a long time...." Ah, it always makes me laugh when Lefties finally realise those that create the biggest security infrastructures for spying on their own citizens, and are scared the most of "the people", are usually those on the Left.

".....That must warm the cockles of your heart....." Well, I'm not exactly crying over it, and the fact so many Lefties are does add a certain comic tone.

".....At the gun show last week, I could have bought anything I wanted....." So, how many people got shot at the show? What, none!?! Surely not, all those irresponsible gunowners in one spot, all unable to resist their prediliction for blazing away, AND NOT ONE SHOOTING!?!?!? Maybe the screwballs like Adam Lanza skipped the fair because they might have thought they stood a chance of their targets shooting back if they weren't the only person armed....

".....If I want a Judge or Public Defender....." Hmmm, both a bit too "Desert Eagle" for my liking. The shotgun capability is pretty poor, IMHO, and there are better .45 Colt revolvers. Have you had a reason to shoot a shotgun in the years you've had the PPKS in a box? I take it you don't hunt. Even the oddball .45 Colt would seem just appealing to "good 'ol boys" - if you must, get a Glock in .40 or a proper pump-action shotgun, both better options for home defence. Of course, the better option in your case would be to sell the PPKS and use the cash to buy some history books.

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Mushroom

@Matt

I think you're being a little unfair here:( I really don't know all the detail but we ARE talking about a human being after all - if he was depressed (and scared) then maybe some questions do have to be asked?

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Boffin

Re: @Matt

"I think you're being a little unfair here....." Deliberately so. I do think it is tragic that anyone as young as Aaron should take his own life, but the reality is he put himself in the situation with his publicity stunt of mass-downloading copywrit items a second time, and Aaron put the rope round his own neck. Do we hear any sensible debate on how we should focus on stopping other such tragedies by looking for the depressed and helping them with their issues? No, all we hear is the usual bleating and frothing about striking back at "the Man". I'm sure in his family's case it helps them to think they can push all the blame for Aaron's suicide onto an official they probably have a differing political opinion to, but Aaron was talking about being depressed and suicidal years ago.

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Happy

Re: @Matt @Deliberately so.

If you are a 'fair person' (I realize that not everyone wants to be fair) does that mean you can be fair Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but 'deliberately unfair' on Thursday?

If 'deliberately unfair' is like being 'deliberately fat', it will take more than a day not to be fat. If 'deliberately unfair' is like being 'deliberately drunk', then you probably don't have as much control over it as you think you do.

There is a reagent strip that allows you to test exactly how toxic your milk of human kindness is.

Ask your dispensing chemist.

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