- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Prosecutor gives emotional defense in hacker case
Question of the Day
BOSTON (AP) - A federal prosecutor who has faced sharp criticism following the suicide of an Internet freedom activist appeared to fight back tears Thursday as she defended her office's handling of a hacking case against him.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said Aaron Swartz's family has suffered a "horrible tragedy" and that she is personally "terribly upset about what happened here." But she says she believes the case was conducted "reasonably" and "appropriately."
"I feel that it was fairly handled," she said.
Ortiz made her remarks during an unrelated news conference in Boston. She paused at one point and appeared to choke up.
Swartz, 26, was found dead in his New York apartment last week.
Ortiz has been blasted by Swartz's supporters, who believe her office was overly aggressive in charging Swartz with 13 felonies for tapping into the computer network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download nearly 5 million articles from an online clearinghouse for academic journals.
Swartz's lawyer, Elliot Peters, said prosecutors were insisting that any plea deal would involve Swartz pleading guilty to all 13 felony charges against him and serving four to six months in prison.
Responding to a reporter's question, Ortiz said her prosecutors did not demand that Swartz plead guilty. She said they but had discussions with his lawyers about a deal in which prosecutors would have recommended a sentence of about six months. She said Swartz's lawyer would have been able to argue for a lesser sentence.
Ortiz was also asked if she knew that the prosecutors working on the case were told by Swartz's former lawyer more than a year ago that Swartz was suicidal. Ortiz said "some issues about his mental health came up" about 18 months ago, but they were addressed during his arraignment.
Swartz's former lawyer, Andrew Good, said earlier this week that when he told prosecutors Swartz was suicidal, they offered to keep him in jail.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world