Once again Boston Federal Prosecutor Carmen Ortiz has overreached and ruined the life yet another promising young man. When Internet prodigy Aaron Schwartz downloaded 4 million academic articles from the JSTORE site (legally, with a guest login at MIT), she (with MIT’s backing) threw the book at him, charging him with 13 dubious felony charges for what should have been a civil matter. The Feds offered Schwartz a four-month sentence if he pleaded guilty to all charges. He declined, and committed suicide rather than face a million-dollar trial. Read more at http://www.wbur.org/2013/01/15/swartz-attorney-ortiz
Ortiz is the same prosecutor who put the young Tarek Merhanna of Sudbury in Federal prison for 18 years on trumped-up charges of terrorism. Like Merhanna, Schwartz held dissident beliefs, in this case on intellectual property rather than religion. Schwartz did nor hack any more than Merhanna shot or bombed.
Ortiz is a disgrace to the principles of justice and should be forced to resign. She is a present danger to civil liberties in this country. We have had enough of her brand of law enforcement and the homeland security fetishism that is casting unconstitutional dragnets and bent on making dissidence a crime.
I want my state and federal representatives to condemn Ms. Ortiz’s actions and go on record to urge her to step down. Frankly, I think Attorney General Eric Holder should also leave office. His record on upholding civil liberties is much more dismal than that of Ortiz, and the courts are being cowed by DoJ suits into accepting whatever the government says when pressing charges of subversion and alleged terrorism based on flimsy secret evidence. Our founding fathers would weep if they witnessed these kangaroo courts.
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