Aaron Swartz, a 26-year-old computer prodigy and Internet activist, was facing decades in prison for violating federal hacking laws when he took his own life earlier this month. Many commentators, including Lawrence Lessig and Glenn Greenwald, have argued that prosecutorial zeal drove Swartz to hang himself. They’re certainly right. Yet as Jerry Brito observes, prosecutorial discretion would not have mattered much if the possibility of such draconian punishment did not exist.
GET REASON MAGAZINE
Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online
- Peter Suderman: Obamacare's 12 false premises and broken promises. Plus: The long, tortured quest for a conservative health policy.
- Consumers should drive medicine
- Jacob Sullum: Prosecutors disarm defendants by freezing their assets
- Ronald Bailey: The Aloha State’s dishonest anti-biotech campaign