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  • #11
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    I think the punishment was too harsh, and certainly didn't fit the crime. However, no
    one commits suicide unless they are mentally ill. He was brilliant, and it is a tragedy,
    but , a healthy mind will try to find a solution to any problem...even if it means jail time. No one or nothing 'drives' anyone to suicide. Unfortunately, it's an inability to
    cope. Too bad for him and those who loved him, he should have gotten help, he had
    money and that is a plus when looking for psychiatric care.
  • #8
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    I don't know what happened, but I do know that 35 years is an awfully long time just for hacking a website, although punishment is needed, 35 years seems to be more deserving to an actual threat to society rather than an "activist" who is trying to give articles out for free. Although it is totally wrong to pirate online content, it's not like the kid hurt anybody, to bad he made the foolish decision to take his own life though, if he didn't, he could probably find another way out.
  • #5
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    Isn't that why we have courts and trials? If he was guilty he was guilty and deserved to be prosecuted.

    If he was innocent, he could certainly afford a better lawyer than I can and would have been found not guilty. Nothing to die over.

    I know..... it's Bush's fault.
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  • #22
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    35 years? I think that is too long,poor internet guy thought he would be passed around in prison. Suicide is final, and never the answer. May God have mercy on his soul..
  • #2
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    I don't know enough about this to comment, though I'd agree that distributing child porn or helping America's enemies seem much more serious crimes.
  • #50
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    If he did indeed break the law then he should be punished accordingly without any special treatment either in his favor or against because of who he is. Personally, I would have at least waited for a verdict before offing myself.
  • #39
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    yeah that sentence was waaay to harsh.. but as intelligent guy he had to know there was a way to fight such an unreasonable punishment... Suicide is Tragic regardless of the person or reason.. It's just Senseless imo.. God rest his soul.
  • #29
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    Once your work is placed on the Internet it immediately loses most of its value to you as owner. Let's say the anticipated revenue was $5 mil for the work, was this guy able to reimburse the owners so they would not lose money? Five mil out of my budget means a lot of people would lose their jobs and job loss is one event that contributes to a lot of suicides so this is not just an isolated piece of the puzzle.

    As far as the offense I think there is leeway in that process and aggrandizement for your typical DA's office bureaucritter is making the news with a "major" coup. Overkill, yes but crime is a subscription service and the only guarantee for you is not to do the crime.
  • #44
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    How much does holding back information for the sake of profits cost our society in technology and innovation?
    If more information was free it would be easier for anyone who wants to to go through high-end academic articles learning and researching and come up with something that was missed and contribute to innovation.
    Aaron Swartz should NOT have committed suicide. How pathetic. He should've politicized this.
  • #26
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    As a valley girl one put...."That's waaayyyy harsh."
    They will throw the book at someone like this but say pedophiles and other various hardcore criminals are walking free?
    And they're wondering why we MUST fight to keep our guns....we have more to fear from our government {who incidently has more authority to do whatever they want with just about any area of our lives but still want more control} than anyone....
    Look the real point here is control....control of information, control of our lives, the constitution says that each of us have individual control of our lives, the new government says no....we have control over your lives....and we will show you one way or another....of course the reality is God has control over all of our lives and if we surrender to Him, He'll take care of us....
  • #23
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    not too many punishments fit the crime anymore. some no punishment others too much,heck even see judges let drunks off for killing,then again we had on in public office after the fact.
  • #12
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    So stealing billions through tax loop holes and sending this country to the grave is alright, but wanting to promote freedom of information isn't?

    Granted it wouldn't be the smartest thing to subvert the system of having to pay and providing something for the benefit of mankind.........oh wait....
  • #6
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    Nothing is harsh enough to commit suicide in my book... Endure... Endure..Endure

    That being said he seemed like an intelligent guy...Intelligent enough to understand the consequences of his actions...35 years is harsh (doubtful that he would of received anything close to that) but it is the consequences that were laid out prior to hacking MIT...I can't find pity for being upset when caught.
  • #4
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    If there is one universal truth, it's don't steal from the Government.
    Kill someone, do 15-20 years. Tax evasion or hacking? Kiss your life goodbye. Gotta live those crooks in DC handing out justice.
    Al Capone killed a good number of people, went to jail for not paying taxes.
  • #13
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    Thought he stole from MITnot the govt? Wonder if the value of the data theft affects the length of sentence? So if the charge is true he was the most brilliant data thief of his generation? The decision to commit suicide is some one else's fault? Seems a tragic waste of his talent...
  • #3
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    There is an old saying "don't do the crime if you can't do the time". The government was going after him for crimes he allegedly committed, just like any other criminal. It is a shame a talented and brilliant young person took a path of self destruction, but you cannot blame the government for this.
  • #7
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    Yeah...but there are people in jail who bought and stockpiled pot and they are charged as dealers, even thought they never sold it to anyone. Murderers getting out in 10 years is quite normal.

    All I know is there is more to than what is being reported.
  • #16
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    @RobertJHarsh The mere idea that some kid should spend 35 years in prison for trying to hack academia content to give to who can't go to college but might want to learn anyhow is reprehensible. Particularly when you consider that of all rapists, murderers, attempted murder, extortionists, child molesters, embezzlers COMBINED spend an average of less than 10 years each in prison.
  • #19
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    @RobertJHarsh no worse than committing suicide before going to trial to face consequences and/or plead your case.
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