Details Come Out On US Attorneys Withholding Evidence In Aaron Swartz Case

from the more-evidence dept

Last week, we wrote about Aaron Swartz's girlfriend, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, releasing a statement accusing the DOJ of a variety of things that hadn't really been covered before, including lying, seizing evidence without a warrant and withholding exculpatory evidence. That resulted in an interesting discussion in the comments, in which a few DOJ defenders suggested that since there were no details, we were probably making this up (as if we don't have better things to do). Now, however, the details have come out. In a letter that was sent at the end of January (but just now leaked to the press), Swartz's lawyers highlight how Assistant US Attorney Steve Heymann was responsible for the charges above.

The key issue is the search of Aaron's laptop. Cambridge police seized the laptop on January 6, 2011. The Secret Service did not obtain a warrant until February 9, 2011, even though it had clearly been involved since before the arrest and was leading the investigation. Swartz's legal team, quite reasonably, argued that the evidence from the laptop should be suppressed due to the massive delay in obtaining the necessary warrant. Heymann hit back that it was the Cambridge Police who had the laptop, so the Secret Service had nothing to do with it until it got the warrant. There was a court hearing about all of this, and Heymann again insisted that the Secret Service had no responsibility until after the warrant.

However, right after that hearing, Heymann apparently approached Swartz's lawyers to reveal a key email from the lead Secret Service agent on the case, Michael Pickett, to Heymann himself. The email had been sent on January 7, 2011 in which he noted that he was "prepared to take custody of the laptop anytime, or whenever you feel is appropriate." In other words, the Secret Service clearly had de facto control over the laptop, directly contrasting Heymann's claims. Furthermore, withholding that bit of evidence, which would have raised serious questions about Heymann's claims to the court, until after the hearing just makes the whole thing even more sketchy.
We were surprised to learn of the existence of an email that demonstrated that the Secret Service both had effective control over Mr. Swartz's electronic devices and knew it needed to obtain a search warrant as of January 7, 2011, especially in light of AUSA Heymann's representation that they had neither "seized" nor "possessed" it. The email made clear that the Secret Service had control over these items of evidence and were able to search them whenever AUSA Heymann desired. This evidence contradicted the Government's representation to the Court that federal law enforcement could not be held responsible for the delay between the items' seizure and their search. The email confirmed what we had previously suspected: that AUSA Heymann and Agent Pickett directed and controlled the investigation of Mr. Swartz from the time of Mr. Swartz's arrest on January 6, 2011. The email also confirmed to us for the first time that AUSA Heymann's involvement in the case had commenced very early in the investigation and that Agent Pickett was following AUSA Heymann's orders on the search and seizure issue.
Given that, Swartz's legal team questioned if there were more relevant items that had not been turned over when required. A further search by the US Attorney's office apparently found quite a bit.
Meanwhile, on December 21, 2012, AUSA Heymann produced yet another, much larger set of documents relevant to Mr.' Swartz's motion to suppress. This voluminous, disorganized production consisted of hundreds of previously-undisclosed emails, as well as hundreds of other documents, including undisclosed investigative reports, 'photographs, spreadsheets, and screen captures. Many of the newly-disclosed emails and reports further illustrated that the Secret Service was in control of investigating Mr. Swartz, and that Heymann was himself involved in the investigation even before Mr. Swartz was arrested on January 6, 2011.
They argue that this was a failure to disclose exculpatory documents, combined with evidence that Heymann appeared to know about but leave out.

Furthermore, the claims of prosecutorial misconduct are bolstered by showing how Heymann and others in the US Attorney's office appear to have abused the plea bargaining process, in that it's not supposed to result in a punishment that is massively different than what would happen via a full trial. Of course, in practice, prosecutors almost always ignore that rule because it gives them a bigger stick when going in to negotiate. Given that it was regular conduct, however, perhaps makes this particular claim a little less certain. Still, it's more evidence of how single-focused the DOJ was on this case.


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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    That resulted in an interesting discussion in the comments, in which a few DOJ defenders suggested that since there were no details, we were probably making this up (as if we don't have better things to do).

    Will we hear the sweet sound of silence from the trolls in this article? I swear I'll open an exception and click the pinkish links just to see how they will twist it ;)

    But more on topic I was not surprised and didn't doubt a single word from Swartz partner when she released her ire at the Govt. The case against Swartz was so shaky from the beginning that, knowing the US Govt as we do by now, some misdeeds were bound to be confirmed at some point. Much like Megaupload case. Just give it time and enough people pushing and researching for the sordid details and they'll eventually come out.

    I've come to the point I always doubt the US Govt now. Even when they seem to be right. (Mind you this is valid for Govts in general but I'm focusing at this article in my comment).

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    The email had been sent on January 7, 2011 in which he noted that he was "prepared to take custody of the laptop anytime, or whenever you feel is appropriate." In other words, the Secret Service clearly had de facto control over the laptop, directly contrasting Heymann's claims.

    So you think the mere offer to take control over a piece of property is the same thing as having already taken control over it? That's a stretch.

     

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    Wally (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    We might here the sweet sound of silence from the trolls in this article Ninja :-) But I doubt that stops others from trolling the claims of AAG Heymann's claims.

     

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  4.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re:

    Reading comprehension fail. You are focusing in a very narrow part of the whole...

     

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  5.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    "So you think the mere offer to take control over a piece of property is the same thing as having already taken control over it?"

    Well, I think it is a bold faced lie to say you had no control over something after it has been offered to you. Basically following your logic, government can take something without warrant and then just play a massive shell game saying "Oh, we don't really have it, Fred down in storage does"

     

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  6.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:54am

    My Asperger's Syndrome Senses are tingling....(never ignore things we notice ;-) )

    "Furthermore, the claims of prosecutorial misconduct are bolstered by showing how Heymann and others in the US Attorney's office appear to have abused the plea bargaining process, in that it's not supposed to result in a punishment that is massively different than what would happen via a full trial."

    Has anyone else noticed a pattern in the Presidential Cabinet where the appointed cabinet heads are pawning off their responsibilities and letting the middleman or their assistants take the fall for direct bad decisions they make?

    "That resulted in an interesting discussion in the comments, in which a few DOJ defenders suggested that since there were no details, we were probably making this up (as if we don't have better things to do)."

    Jesus H. Christ!!! If there were no details (not really any new news there), they probably should have dropped the charges and tried not to get an Alford Plea out of Aaron Swartz.

     

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  7.  
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    markmeld (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    I'm a deeply cynical person. I'd rather not be cynical but I am. I don't believe we have meaningful judicial oversight that will prevent more overreach and abuse by the federal prosecutors. The amount of public outcry over Aaron Swartz would have to be enormous and sustained to budge the balance of powers to reform the judicial system. My hat is off to Techdirt for doing it's part in raising the profile of this case; cure my cynicism, please.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    If you can come get something at any time you want, it is effectively your property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    That was my reaction. The ability to take control does not constitute control itself.

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    Gosh, forget about Swartz sneaking in and "liberating" data...

    to focus -- much too late -- on what ARE standard for gov't thugs. (Emphasis for the hard-of-understanding: I don't condone gov't official acting outside the law, either.)

    Anyway, Mike's "At The Bench" focus on legal wrangling -- and yet again, I concede that ALL Mike reports about it may be true: heck, I'd bet on it -- EVEN IF all true, doesn't actually affect the case against Swartz. I doubt it'd be thrown out on these grounds.

    Are you saying Swartz got what he deserved? -- No, technically he escaped justice, and as a person, it may be a tragedy. My advice would have been argue the case to a jury, and I'd bet half a peach that with a spirited explanation he'd have gotten off entirely. My opinion is that he got bad legal advice from a lawyer -- actually, my opinion is there's no other kind: they're all minions of The System, dedicated to taking your own money to help put you into jail, you should never trust any in that medieval guild an inch.

    So what's your point here, out_of_the_blue? -- DON'T take actions that offer The System a chance to make an example of you, especially not in this area.

    So... You're saying just give in to the copyright maximalists? -- NOPE, I'm saying recognize the parts of copyright that are reasonable, mainly, leave other people's data alone; don't imitate Big Media and steal, instead fight them with Populist principles in the class war that you're enmeshed in whether you like it or not.

     

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    Rex Rollman (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:09am

    Being "prepared to take custody of the laptop anytime, or whenever you feel is appropriate", is not the same as being in control of the laptop; at least not to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:09am

    US Attorneys Withholding Evidence

    Honesty form an attorney!

    That is honesty from some one who spends years studding how lie, cheat, and scam. Are you kidding?

    If you want morality go to a priest where if they are not busy performing sexual exploration you may find some.

    But an attorney, a professional scam artist "for get it".

     

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  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    We might here the sweet sound of silence from the trolls in this article Ninja

    Wake me up when Mike is willing to have a substantive and direct discussion about the propriety of what Swartz did. I know, it'll never happen. It's easy to claim he did no wrong, but it's much harder to back it up in a debate on the merits. That's why Chicken Mike runs away every time.

     

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    Corrupt, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:14am

    Corrupt government

    no surprise that the corrupt DOJ and associates withheld evidence. The US government itself commits daily crimes upon Americans, then says "not really" because their interpretation is different. Also they can't tell us their interpretation because it's secret. Trust us, they say. Just like Hitler did.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    This is pretty weak. There are often investigations involving local, state and federal law enforcement. Each is investigating violations of their respective statutes. It is not uncommon for one agency to process a piece of evidence (such as the local police processed the laptop for fingerprints) and later turn over the piece of evidence to another agency investigating the crime. The laptop was under the control of the local cops and the DoJ knew it could obtain it from them and needed to have the proper judicial order. The local police do not report to the DoJ nor answer to them, but like all LEO's certainly cooperate.

     

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  16.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Way to move the goalposts and try to shift the conversation to Mike instead of the misconduct of the prosecutors.

    Did it work? :game show buzzer: No, no it did not.

     

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  17.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:26am

    Re: Gosh, forget about Swartz sneaking in and "liberating" data...

    I almost automatically hit the report button but while you seem incapable of attacking Mike you managed to make a reasonable comment after a very long streak of stupidity that made me ignore you. But the first phrase caught my attention and I decided to give it a shot without much hope.

    So I agree with you to some extent. You got confused towards the end when you mixed copyright into the thing. You see, copyright was one of the minor charges in this specific case, the real problem was the abuse of the CFAA (or whatever was the acronym). Nobody should simply bow to the system and let things happen. I would be more inclined to agree with you if you said "work with the system to destabilize itself" or something in these lines but that would still be offering the system reasons to go after some activist. And supposing you take measures without revealing your identity. This is yet one more chance the system may use against you when the time comes. You see, damned regardless the approach.

    Now, as for the copyright tangent I agree with you that there may be beneficial ways to implement copyright. However such ways don't benefit the established 'rich class' inside the media corporations and they made it so the plebe cannot change it. So yes, generalized civil disobedience may be one way to force change. If you play by the rules you keep feeding the powers that encrusted those laws into the whole system.

    As a finishing note I hope you post more reasonable comments like this. It'll be a pleasure to engage you in discussion and even agree with you this way.

     

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  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Gosh, forget about Swartz sneaking in and "liberating" data...

    Incapable of NOT attacking*

     

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  19.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    Re:

    I don't see any difference between: "Oops, we did't get a warrant. Here, you hold this evidence until we get one" and "Oops, here comes the fuzz. Hold these drugs for me."

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    I have always believed, and many of my law enforcement friends and family agree, that the penalty for prosecutorial misconduct should be equal to the sentence that the accused would have faced if convicted. So, 35 years for Heymann, or just seven months if he agrees to cop to a felony.

     

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  21.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re:

    Actually we were both wrong. The trolls are still being noisy by just attacking Mike and ignoring the article. Amusing.

     

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  22.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: My Asperger's Syndrome Senses are tingling....(never ignore things we notice ;-) )

    If there were no details (not really any new news there), they probably should have dropped the charges and tried not to get an Alford Plea out of Aaron Swartz.


    An Alford Plea, is a plea that says there likely IS enough evidence to convict me, but I plead not guilty, and accept this plea deal. Since there wasn't enough evidence why would you even try for an Alford Plea?

    Then there is the fact that many Federal Courts are not likely to accept alternative pleas such as 'No Contest' or 'Alford Pleas'.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    Well, I think it is a bold faced lie to say you had no control over something after it has been offered to you. Basically following your logic, government can take something without warrant and then just play a massive shell game saying "Oh, we don't really have it, Fred down in storage does"

    So if I tell you my car is available for your use so you can stop by any time to pick it up, you then have taken control of my car even before you come over and borrow it? I don't see it.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re:

    If you can come get something at any time you want, it is effectively your property.

    It's not "your property" until you take possession.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Way to move the goalposts and try to shift the conversation to Mike instead of the misconduct of the prosecutors.

    These accusations are very serious, and if true, quite alarming. Prosecutors have a duty to disclose and a duty of candor, and the ones I know take those duties very seriously. I'd love to hear the prosecutor's side of this. I know this is Techdirt, so you all think anything that puts the prosecutors in a bad light is true, and anything that puts Swartz in a bad light is false, but I don't operate that way.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually we were both wrong. The trolls are still being noisy by just attacking Mike and ignoring the article. Amusing.

    I can read the letter just the same as you, and neither one of us knows if it's the whole truth. So what? Why won't Mike ever discuss whether what Swartz did is wrong? What's he scared of?

     

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  27.  
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    Dave Xanatos, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd love to hear the prosecutor's side of this.

    Prosecution: We did nothing wrong! Everything is being mischaracterized. Pay no attention to anyone who says otherwise.

    That's been pretty much their whole approach so far. It has worked for you, despite any lack of substance.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't hold your breath. Larry Lessig; a lawyer and Swartz' mentor admitted he was in the wrong. Swartz himself apologized to JSTOR, paid compensation to them and returned their property. Only the most desperately biased cling to this claim. Yet none seem anxious to test the theory by replicating Swartz actions and defending it in court.

     

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  29.  
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    Dave Xanatos, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, I think I then have some measure of control of your car. I certainly don't have "no control".

    I usually don't do ad homs, but dang. You are dumb.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Is it important who had control over something before the warrant was issued? This idea that the police can take your items without a warrant and then hand it over to another govt entity after that other entity gets a warrant and that you can still be prosecuted for that evidence defeats the purpose of requiring a warrant in the first place. It turns the whole thing into a circus whereby one agency can be charged with taking things without warrants and another agency can be charged with maybe later getting a warrant and, if a warrant is granted, charging you for what was taken.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Did Mike turn you down for a date?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    and if the warrant isn't granted, no harm no foul, the govt just returns the items (and maybe later gets a warrant). If the warrant is later granted after the items are taken and in police position there is no punishment to the govt for taking the items without a warrant. Heck, now the taken items may even serve a probable cause to have the warrant later granted. What's the point?

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    serve as *

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, the way you work is that you think everyone is infringing until proven innocent and should be painted in a bad light. You think Mike should be painted as an infringer with no facts whatsoever to support your claim. That's not how we work and that's how how the law works.

     

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  35.  
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    Applesauce, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:29am

    Re: I'm a deeply cynical person.

    We cynics prefer to be called realists. It's demonstrably more accurate.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    I'm sure Out of the blew my dad will be here shortly to talk shit.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, there is evidence of provable harm as a direct result of the misconduct that is alleged here. What Swartz did was embarrass someone with an agenda, who then basically abused the legal system to its fullest extent. "Long arm of the law," indeed.

     

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  38.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The accusations are accurate. The PDF file attached to the article is from the Office of Respinsibility in the DOJ (Internal Affairs Office for the DOJ). If they are questioning the charges on Aaron Swartz, it's not going to bode well for the prosecution.

     

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  39.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re:

    " have always believed, and many of my law enforcement friends and family agree, that the penalty for prosecutorial misconduct should be equal to the sentence that the accused would have faced if convicted. So, 35 years for Heymann, or just seven months if he agrees to cop to a felony."
    I like that idea! Except No plea!

    But not just prosecutorial misconduct, let's include perjury as well. If you lie to put someone away and are caught you should take their place.

     

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  40.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wake me up when Steve Heymann is willing to have a substantive and direct discussion about the propriety of what he and Carmen Ortiz did. I know, it'll never happen. It's easy to claim they did no wrong, but it's much harder to back it up in a debate on the merits. That's why Chicken Steve runs away every time.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't you remember? Masnick informed average_joe that he had to start seeing other half-wits. Pissed, average_joe was reduced to posting naughty things on his wife's laptop.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wake me up when the prosecutor at least gets prosecuted for his potential misconduct. Even if he did do something wrong he will probably not even be prosecuted. Who prosecutes the prosecutors. This is why more public scrutiny is needed. See, that's the difference. Swartz gets prosecuted if he potentially did something wrong. The prosecutor does not.

     

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  43.  
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    Prisoner 201, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do go on.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not dumb. Intentionally obtuse.

     

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    yaga (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    He who is without sin amoung you...

    Guys, I agree that Heymann is a complete douche and probably needs to be removed from his position. However, that doesn't mean that all lawyers, judges, prosecutor, etc. is out to screw everyone over. These types of comments and beliefs are exactly the reason that the US is more divided than ever before.

    Let's focus on Heymann and if you want to link to some hard facts of other prosecutor misconduct that's great too but let's be a little more realistic with our comments.

     

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  46.  
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    DOlz, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re:

    A small addition to make your point better.

    If you can come get something at any time you want AND IT'S OWNER CAN NOT USE IT OR RETRIEVE IT, it is effectively your property.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re:

    I don't see any difference between: "Oops, we did't get a warrant. Here, you hold this evidence until we get one" and "Oops, here comes the fuzz. Hold these drugs for me."

    The fuzz??? Seriously? Have you been watching "Mod Squad" re-runs or something?

     

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  48.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    I don't think it's so much of a stretch. It sounds like constructive possession to me.

     

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  49.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wake me up when you and your kind actually want to discuss something relevant to the article in stead of question Mike Mansick's motives or personal life or philosophies or beliefs.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Bad analogy. It's more like I take your car and tell someone else they can come get it when they want it. Now they do control the item, I am just holding it.

    You own the car and you have possession. Swartz owned the laptop but the police had control. They held it until the FBI wanted it, and the FBI basically had control of it.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'll bite, AC. Let's discuss:

    1) Do you think what Swartz was wrong?
    2) If so, do you think it was ethically wrong for any reasons beyond citizenly duties to honor the law of the land?
    3) Do you think it was wrong enough to warrant a felony?

     

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  52.  
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    Wally (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dude, you miss the point. The PDF file is from the equivalent of the DOJ's internal affairs office...who is also not too happy about the decisions made by Haymann.

    Now unless Mike Mansick is personally involved in the case of Aaron Swartz (which as most of us with a brain know...he isn't), that's when we could discuss it...but until then your personal attacks and attempts to derail discussions off topic will fail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Details Come Out On US Attorneys Withholding Evidence In Aaron Swartz Case

    There should be prosecutions over this, but will there?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or Hot Fuzz. Either one works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    Not gonna happen, as the DoJ is more corrupt than the Russian equivalent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: He who is without sin amoung you...

    And everyone covering for him in the DoJ, and anyone who should have/did have oversight on what he was doing and choose to let him continue, even after how fucked the case was had been pointed out to them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "...so you all think anything that puts the prosecutors in a bad light is true, and anything that puts Swartz in a bad light is false, but I don't operate that way."

    so, you're a delusional, abject authoritarian ? ? ?
    thought so...

    seriously, like the bumper sticker says: if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention...

    ANYONE who thinks the justice (sic) dept is NOT totally MORALLY corrupted (at least, possibly fiscally as well), has NO concept of how/why they work...

    shit, ALL you have to do is SEE the actual ACTIONS they take to realize they have NOTHING to do with 'justice', and EVERYTHING to do with keeping the rabble in line...

    you are a tool, i'm sure your brownshirt will look spiffy ! ! !

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    art guerrilla at windstream dot net
    eof

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Lincoln L Nielson, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is actually common practice in American Justice: DO NOT SUBMIT MITIGATING OR EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE UNLESS THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH SUPPRESSING IT.

    It is the basis of the rights' market, I mean plea bargain system.

    I ended up doing 19 months in Idaho because the prosecution failed to submit evidence (Franklin County, he's district judge now). They finally let me out scott-free after requiring an agreement to 'file no further' which I foolishly signed to regain my freedom.

    This is prevalent enough behavior that it it not likely the exception, although I cannot confidently say that it is the norm either as much as my personal experiences would inlcine me to do so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do you ever notice that there are two people on Techdirt, whose posts almost never elicit a response: Yours and Gorehound. Why do you suppose that is?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I ended up doing 19 months in Idaho because the prosecution failed to submit evidence (Franklin County, he's district judge now). They finally let me out scott-free

    That's an interesting conception of the term "scott-free".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re: My Asperger's Syndrome Senses are tingling....(never ignore things we notice ;-) )

    Has anyone else noticed a pattern in the Presidential Cabinet where the appointed cabinet heads are pawning off their responsibilities and letting the middleman or their assistants take the fall for direct bad decisions they make?

    This is a pattern among people in positions of power generally.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't you have an ambulance to chase?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Divide by Zero (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AJ never wants to discuss topics, he just wants to whine about how Mike won't pay attention to him. Definite unrequited love there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Travis McCrae, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    I agree with this. Though, I also don't believe in any penalty over 15 years for any crime, but that's a bit of a side note.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re:

    Badges? We don't need no stinking badges...

    The only difference is the badge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    There's a pattern here

    ->Megaupload gets shutdown/Kim Dotcom is charged with "conspiracy to infringe"(Hey, they call it the MEGA Conspiracy, right?). FBI swoops into Kiwiland, takes evidence that's been confiscated by the Kiwi's police, and runs back to US. Refuses to show evidence to support their claims that Dotcom et al are guilty of charges, other than implying it's somewhere in that gigaton of God-knows how many bytes of data MU had in its servers (iirc, the only people to hold up any files as proof of infringement are the guys on Dotcom's legal team, and they're accusing the DOJ of entrapment because they were told through the hosting company not to take down the vids because they were being used as evidence against NinjaVideo). DOJ continues to withhold evidence against MU's rotund founder without explanation.

    ->DOJ allegedly withholds evidence in the Aaron Swartz case.

    Did it suddenly become okay for the DOJ to start doing something that violates Due Process, specifically the right to know the opposing side's evidence? Would someone grab a copy of the DOJ prosecutor field handbook so we can get to the bottom of this?

    As the Zen Master says, "We'll see."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I'd love to hear the prosecutor's side of this."

    So go waste their time on their blog. I'm sure they'd just love to have a substantive and direct discussion with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How do you "return" a digital file?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AJ never wants to discuss topics, he just wants to whine about how Mike won't pay attention to him. Definite unrequited love there.

    LOL! What? I've been trying for years to get Mike to discuss the bullshit he publishes. He runs away every time. Total coward. Total fake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It still may not be your property even after you take possession. That still doesn't mean you don't have any level of control over it beforehand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think that term has been actually used since the 70's. Maybe he's been watching too much VH1.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Years technically classifies you as a stalker.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    NO ONE should of bloody taken the laptop in the bloody first place without a GOOD bloody reason and a warrent

    Are they willfully ignorant, or is this some play by play guide book tactic to miss a point entirely...on purpose

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike didn't have to discuss it with you (but he did insert an occasional comment). The rest of us did and you soundly lost. I believe it was around comment #300 of the particular post that it was declared...

    " Game. Set. Match."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And if you purchase something, it is your property as soon as you have paid for it even if you haven't taken possession yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I've been trying for years to get Mike to discuss the bullshit he publishes. He runs away every time.

    On the other hand, we've been trying to get you to run away for years, and you keep discussing bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Gosh, forget about Swartz sneaking in and "liberating" data...

    Perhaps you can refresh my recollection, but to my knowledge neither the indictmentment by the grand jury nor the superseding indictment alleged the commission of any crime associated with copyright law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Shawn, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Coward

    You didn't even read the full article. What is wrong with you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh AJ, how's the weather in fantasy land?

    Mike discusses things with us all the time. He just doesn't discuss anything with you.

    Gaze into a mirror to find the answer to your question, "Why?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 7:55pm

    And I am sure the Office of Professional Conduct will get right on this and issue a small smack to his nose with a rolled up newspaper.

    They had to have rules and get training to remind them to stop hiding evidence... what part of this does not scream the DoJ is broken?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Angry Voter, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 11:06pm

    This sort of thing happens all the time to little people.

    This case got some media attention so other people look a little closer and what do they find?

    It's not government by the people.

    It's organized crime and should be treated as such.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2013 @ 5:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Gosh, forget about Swartz sneaking in and "liberating" data...

    The only reason copyright wasn't mentioned in the indictment was that copyright is first a civil matter that requires the holder's support to enforce. Since JSTOR didn't want the prosecution to proceed, there was no case for a charge. But the prosecution was hell bent on bringing a case so they had to find other laws to twist like the CFAA to make their case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A discussion is two way, AC. I asked you some questions, do you have answers? Or, are you just wanting Mike to give the answers so you can find something incriminating in what he says? Are you really looking for a discussion or just a cross-examination?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Gosh, forget about Swartz sneaking in and "liberating" data...

    And you know it was not mentioned because.....?

    Perhaps the reason it was not is because it has nothing to do with the crimes for which he was charged.

    Copyright law was irrelevant to this prosecution, so raising it as an issue is purely speculation and lacking any foundation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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