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letters | RECONSIDERING NUANCES IN THE AARON SWARTZ CASE

US attorney’s notion that ‘stealing is stealing’ is senseless

Joan Vennochi may have found a law professor who thinks the charges “were pretty much what any good federal prosecutor would have charged” (“Swartz case is sad, but not an overreach,” Op-ed, Jan. 17), but we agree with the outpouring of comments by law professors with an opposing view.

In a legalistically senseless assertion, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s declaration that “stealing is stealing” declines to differentiate between cases where personal gain is the motive and cases such as Aaron Swartz’s, where there was no profit motive and where the alleged victim did not want charges pursued. By her reasoning, we guess Ortiz would also wipe away first, second, and third degrees of murder in favor of a similar one-murder-category-fits-all philosophy.

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