In the wake of the suicide of hacker hero Aaron Swartz, his friends and family released a statement placing the onus for his death on “a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.” U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz was responsible for prosecuting Mr. Swartz, and has come under fire along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann for what many see as overreach in cases against hackers.
A petition immediately began circulating asking for Ms. Ortiz’s resignation following Mr. Swartz’s death. The petition has already received over 25,000 signatures, guaranteeing it a response from the White House.
Now, Ms. Ortiz’s husband, an IBM executive named Tom Dolan, has taken to Twitter to defend his wife’s actions in the prosecution of Mr. Swartz. (As the account is not verified, Betabeat was unable to independently confirm that it is Mr. Dolan’s Twitter, but he possesses over 700 followers and has his account tied to a fleshed-out LinkedIn page.)
In the tweets, Mr. Dolan responds to various public figures tweeting about Mr. Swartz and arguing that he was not facing life in prison, but instead refused to take a six month plea bargain.
Many on Twitter are outraged by Mr. Dolan’s remarks, particularly after the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to make a statement regarding Mr. Swartz out of respect for his family’s privacy. “US attorney’s office won’t make public statement bc ‘respect’ to family’s privacy’. US a”s husband @t
omjdolan criticises family on twitter,” tweeted one user.
“Ortiz’s husband, @tomjdolan, thinks public anger is over potential prison time, not the fact the fed ruined his life over a TOS violation,” added Daily Dot writer Kevin Morris.