Liberal Viewer posted a great video, Aaron Swartz Tip of Iceberg in Justice System. The point is that what happened to Aaron Swartz happens to thousands of people every day. In Swartz’s case, the federal prosecutors were apparently going to offer him a six-month sentence plea deal. If that’s the case, why were they threatening him with 35 years? Because they can. They lose nothing by piling on ridiculous charges. But they gain lots and lots of leverage, which can lead to the defendant taking a lesser but still unreasonable sentence. Or it can lead to the defendant killing himself.
A young man caught with a quarter ounce of cannabis will likely find that he is charged with “intent to distribute.” That way, he is more likely to just accept the one charge that the prosecution has any chance of proving rather than fighting. The truth is that most plea deals come down to this, “We’re going to drop all the bullshit charges in exchange for the only one we have a case for.” This is not justice. This is just, as Aaron Swartz’s family said, “a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.” Or as I call it, the Injustice System.
Here’s the video if you can stand to hear any more of this travesty: