So much has been written and said about the suicide of Reddit founder Aaron Swartz that I’m torn between wanting to add my two cents and thinking that everything of value (as well as a whole lot of no particular value) that can be said about the situation has been said.
So, instead of adding my own insignificant voice to the chorus of people discussing the very sad, very complex story, I’ll just point you to a two-part post that I think are among the most sober, objective and well-reasoned on the subject that I’ve come across thus far,
The posts appear on Volokh.com, and were penned by Orin Kerr of George Washington University.
In the first post, Kerr addresses questions of law, including the question of whether the charges filed against Swartz based on a reasonable reading of the laws applied.
Kerr describes the questions considered in his second post as follows:
First, was any criminal punishment appropriate in the case? Second, if so, how much criminal punishment was appropriate? Third, who is to blame if the punishment was excessive and the government’s tactics were overzealous? And fourth, does the Swartz case show the need to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and if so, how?
The posts are quite long, but well worth taking the time to read, particularly if you are interested in the technical minutiae of the laws applied in Swartz’s case, and/or the details of how the U.S. federal sentencing guidelines work.