Attorneys 'Hounded' Swartz to His Death: Dad

They 'don't understand the nature of what they did'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 18, 2013 6:12 AM CST

(Newser) – Lawyers pulled Aaron Swartz into a legal maze that ultimately killed him, the Internet activist's father tells the Los Angeles Times. Swartz "was hounded to his death by a system and a set of attorneys that still don't understand the nature of what they did," Bob Swartz says. "They destroyed my son by their callousness and inflexibility." Swartz committed suicide as he faced jail time for hacking into MIT to make academic papers freely available; he saw the move as political, the Times notes.

In a statement issued Wednesday, a prosecutor in the case acknowledged that "there was no evidence against Mr. Swartz indicating that he committed his acts for personal financial gain," but reiterated the belief that he should have served at least six months. But hacks like Swartz's happen at MIT "on a monthly basis," says his father, who insists that Swartz didn't "have" depression, and was never diagnosed as such. "You’d be depressed too if you were under a 13-count federal indictment and you go see your mother, who’s in a coma." His mother had suffered from a bowel obstruction in late 2011 and spent more than half a year in the hospital.

Aaron Swartz.
Aaron Swartz.   (Fred Benenson/ Flickr)
This Dec. 8, 2012 photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Aaron Swartz, in New York.
This Dec. 8, 2012 photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Aaron Swartz, in New York.   (AP Photo/ThoughtWorks, Pernille Ironside)
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