In a press release, university officials said the report finds that MIT never sought federal prosecution, punishment or jail time, or opposed a plea bargain with Swartz, whose suicide triggered a national debate over whether prosecutors were overzealous in pursuing charges against the computer prodigy.
“I am confident that MIT’s decisions were reasonable, appropriate, and made in good faith,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in a statement. “I have heard from many in our community who believe our actions were proper and justified. Others feel differently, and the review panel identifies alternate paths we could have followed, including becoming more actively involved in the case as it evolved.”
MIT's report, readable here (pdf) does ask what the college might have done had it shifted a little bit away from pure neutrality, maybe trying to encourage the Department of Justice to drop the charges down to misdemeanors to openly showing support for Swartz to getting more involved with issues surrounding the ambiguous federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the law used to prosecute him (and which friendly legislators are now trying to update to try to scale back prosecutor overreach). Interestingly, none of the discussion points in the paper suggested supporting the Department of Justice's behavior.