Should the charges against Aaron Swartz be dropped?

  • Yes.

    It's awfully hard to prosecute someone who is no longer among the living. As those below have said, charges should never even have been brought up against Aaron Swartz. While I disagree with what he did, that doesn't necessarily make it illegal, especially when the precedent of intellectual theft on the internet is still a growing premise.

  • Yes, but he is dead now.

    The charges should have been dropped or at least significantly reduced, but now that he is dead, it does not make much of a difference. I say let them stand historically as a reminder of the relative injustice of the system and the fact that punishments are sometimes out of sync with the crime.

  • Yes, they should never have been filed in the first place

    I believe that there is no sense in trying Swartz posthumously. But having said that, the courts need to get a better grasp of what is a legal matter and what is a civil matter. The precedence in theft of intellectual property on the internet has been the civil process and the idea of punishing someone with many years in prison for something far less serious than murder and drug related crimes is unconscionable.

  • No, he should never have been charged to start with.

    Freedom of information is important for the most optimal amount of advancement in all fields. While Aaron Swartz did violate laws in procuring and distributing these documents, the laws themselves prevent progress in the interests of protecting and serving a select few people. The penalties he faced were far more strict than those facing some murderers and rapists. He should have been celebrated instead of driven to suicide by a legal system run by moneyed interests.

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