In probably the most unbelievably smug move the state could have taken in the wake of Aaron Swartz’s death, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz dropped the case against Swartz in a US District Court in Massachusetts late Monday.
“Pursuant to FRCP 48(a), the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, hereby dismisses the case presently pending against Defendant Aaron Swartz,” Ortiz wrote in a submission to the court on Monday. “In support of this dismissal, the government states that Mr. Swartz died on January 11, 2013.”
Despite Swartz’s family literally placing the blame for his death on the state, and both MIT and JSTOR releasing public statements that were largely positive in how they portrayed him, a spokesperson for Ortiz told the Los Angeles Times, “We want to respect the privacy of the family and do not feel it is appropriate to comment on the case at this time.”
After a year and a half of state harassment, the threat of over 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine hanging over Swartz’s head, after both JSTOR and MIT dropped their criminal charges (though MIT still wanted to go ahead with their civil suit), the government went after Swartz like a rabid dog – and got a kill.
And now it is gloating.