The death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz has lead to a public discussion of the power prosecutors have over defendants. Swartz, famous for his role developing Reddit,a social news and entertainment website, recently died as a result of an apparent suicide. Schwartz’s family members have publicly criticized the U.S. Attorney’s office for using the power of the office to “bully” Mr. Swartz. According to the family, this “bullying” lead to Mr. Swartz’ depression and ultimate death.
Due to the allegations by Swartz’s family, several news stories have addressed prosecutorial overreach. This case, among others, offers a public demonstration of the amount of power a prosecutor can hold over a defendant. Overlapping and duplicate laws give prosecutors a wide range of options as far as punishment goes. If a defendant wishes to exercise their right to have a trial they risk the potential for extended jail or prison sentences if they lose their case. This risk often makes a plea deal tempting even for an innocent person.
If you or a loved one feels that a prosecutor is overreaching, contact an attorney right away. Having an experienced lawyer at your side can help prevent unnecessary and overly burdensome sentences. Do not let a prosecutor make an example out of you; hire a strong legal advocate to defend your case.