U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz Releases Statement Regarding Aaron Swartz's Death

The conduct of the U.S. Attorney's office was "appropriate" in the bringing and handling of the case, says Ortiz.

Carmen Ortiz has released a statement regarding the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz. In it, the U.S. Attorney defends her department's conduct, calling it a "difficult task" to enforce the laws that govern the use of computers and the Internet. "The prosecutors recognized that there was no evidence against Mr. Swartz indicating that he committed his acts for personal financial gain, and they recognized that his conduct... did not warrant the severe punishments authorized by Congress."

As well as expressing sympathy to Swartz's family and friends, calling his suicide a "tragic result," Ms. Ortiz reveals that prosecutors were seeking a six-month jail term in a low-security setting. "At no time did this office ever seek—or ever tell Mr. Swartz's attorneys that it intended to seek—maximum penalties under the law. Do you think that a six-month, low-security sentence was acceptable, or do you feel that, after Swartz's tragic death, the law needs changing?

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  • SJ1967

    In my opinion, she is nothing but a highly paid, power hungry, liar and she must have forgotten what she did  and said in prior communications about his sentencing.  4 charges then hey 9 charges, but we knew it didn't warrant harsh sentencing..  What???   Does she think we can't do any research or read???   As the sister of a law enforcement officer, the one thing I was told is never ever trust a person of the law, they are not your friend, and if you anger them (which Aaron embarrassed them with SOPA/PIPA and because he was more technologically savvy then they will ever be and he was young and much better looking, etc), they will do whatever they can do to ruin you and feel a sick satisfaction that they did their job.  Many police officers, some judges and prosecutors have huge power issues.  When given too much they abuse it.  Seen it all too often.  On a side note, in my opinion, she should wear pink and giggle like Ms. Umbridge off of Harry Potter, she reminds me of her - she looks all prim and proper and she wants you to think she is doing what is CORRECT, but she is abusing the system for her personal gain. Where is the centaur?


  • Jim Terwiliger

    Typical instead of being proactive and using her teams resources to go after criminals, she instead uses our money to defend her image and cover up her wrongdoing

  • yaelgrauer

    The government seeking a 6-month sentence for 13 felonies doesn't mean the judge would grant 6 months. Carmen Ortiz must not realize that people don't know how to use the internet.

  • BeloSol

    Not mentioned, by Ortiz or her husband, is that Swartz would then be a convicted felon. 

    Swartz was aware of the restrictions this would create on his ability to argue for the cause of Internet liberty and freedom.  What restrictions would be imposed on his personal activities, upon his release? 

    Ortiz and her husband say nothing of this ... perhaps he would be forbidden to operate a computer, forbidden to access the Internet?  Worse than jail time, for a person who wants to bring about change ... 

  • John Morrow

    Might have been something to think about before setting out to commit the felonies in the first place.

  • BeloSol

    Quote: "... before setting out to commit the felonies ..."
    Hmmm ... I don't think there's going to be a trial, or a conviction, as a poster here indicates.  Since I'm not an attorney, I defer to the opinion of a very computer-literate law professor, who believes there's a big difference between the allegations and what Swartz actually did.

    Reference for the skeptical:

  • Jim Terwiliger

    trumped up charges by a team of lawyers who are either too scared, too inept, or too corrupt to go after actual criminals (ie HSBC,John corzine,Libor,mortgage banks)

  • JustMe

    Well played, who shall we believe? Let's get Darrel Issa in there, he'll get to the bottom of this!