Feds dismiss charges against Swartz, citing suicide

Swartz's family blamed "a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach"


Alex Halperin
January 14, 2013 9:53PM (UTC)

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Boston have dismissed charges against Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz, who was found dead in his New York apartment last week.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and the lead prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, filed a three-line notice of dismissal in court Monday.

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The notice says the case is being dismissed because of Swartz's death. Such filings are routine when a defendant dies before trial.

Swartz was indicted in 2011 on 13 counts, including wire fraud and computer fraud. Prosecutors alleged he illegally gained access to millions of academic articles through the academic database JSTOR. His trial was scheduled to begin in April.

Swartz's family says his suicide was "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."


Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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