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The Boston Globe

Metro

Kevin Cullen

When judgment comes with wisdom

Before there was Aaron Swartz, there was David LaMacchia.

Swartz’s suicide while awaiting trial for using MIT’s system to improperly download academic articles has prompted a widespread debate about whether prosecutors were overzealous in filing charges that carried up to 35 years in prison. Prosecutors were trying to force Swartz to plead guilty and admit he was a felon in exchange for six months in prison. They vowed to seek a 7-year term if Swartz went to trial and lost.

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