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Aaron Swartz and Motel Caswell: Book ends to prosecutorial reform?

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In his article, Reynolds lists several possible solutions, including reform of the grand jury system – a supposed check on prosecutors but where some now say a "ham sandwich" could be indicted – as well as weakening prosecutorial immunity rules so US attorneys would have "some skin in the game." Banning plea bargains, the process by which the majority of prosecutors get their convictions, is referenced as the "nuclear option" in prosecutorial reform.

In the Swartz case, the young hacker and co-creator of the Reddit website faced 13 felony counts from Ms. Ortiz' office tied to his use of an MIT network to download millions of academic journal articles to his laptop computer. The problem, critics of the prosecution say, is that Swartz' actions constituted a breach of contract more than a felony crime.

On Saturday, the "Anonymous" hacker group announced it had infiltrated the US Sentencing Commission website in retaliation for Swartz's death. The group said it had copied sensitive documents that it may make public. The site was inaccessible Saturday.

"Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern," the group said in a statement. "We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the 'discretion' of prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain."

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