Wednesday, April 12, 2017

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz Malfeasance

Concerning Aaron Swartz and Justina Pelletier, a response to mis-characterizations of the people involved.

Aaron Swartz was never convicted. He was, however, hounded to death. Mr. Pelletier was given no alternative but to commit his crime in order to free his daughter from her 13 months of torture. If the actions of the Boston U.S. Attorney's office don't seem egregious to you, perhaps you have not understood the details of these two cases. Their office is hardly alone in their malfeasance and their disregard for judicial standards, common sense, ethics, and legality. I have personally experienced too many examples, including as a victim of crime, of this level of incompetence and indifference from our justice system.

Carmen Ortiz was overseeing prosecution efforts against Aaron Swartz [see note] for a crime which caused no physical harm and no economic harm. Further, the institution involved declined to press charges, and their attorney asked the lead prosecutor to drop the charges. Instead, more charges were added with the potential for 50 years in federal prison and $1 million in fines. Shortly after a counter-offer for a plea deal was rejected, Mr. Swartz committed suicide.

In the case of Justina Pelletier, Boston's Children's Hospital misdiagnosed her as having a psychiatric problem, then essentially kidnapped her and took her off of the medications she needed. Carmen Ortiz was the Boston U.S. Attorney who refused to investigate the hospital, dismissing numerous attempts by other people and organizations to get her to act. Her father's efforts on Justina's behalf were thwarted, and in desperation he knocked out the hospital's internet service. His action was successful in generating media attention and freeing his daughter from her 13 months of torture. In return, the same Boston U.S. Attorney's office is vigorously prosecuting Justina's father after having refused to investigate the hospital.

Huffington Post - "Senator Rubio And Governor Scott – Please Help: He Dead, She’s Paralyzed, And I’m Imprisoned"
The Guardian - "Aaron Swartz stood up for freedom and fairness – and was hounded to his death."
Wikipedia - Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz was a computer genius who crafted software solutions such as RSS which are still widely in use. He was an activist who made it his mission to make public documents available without charge. He was charged for attempting to download academic articles from JSTOR which were behind a pay-wall at Boston's MIT. There was no physical harm and no economic harm done, and JSTOR declined to press charges. JSTOR's own lawyer had asked the lead prosecutor to drop the charges. Instead, even more federal charges were added so that he was looking at 50 years in federal prison along with $1 million in fines. A 6-month plea deal was offered and declined, and a counter-offer was rejected. Carmen Ortiz was the U.S. Attorney overseeing the prosecution efforts.

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