The Economist is one of Steven's favorite publications. In the January 26th 2013 issue, an article was printed titled "THUMB ON THE SCALE: How Mandatory Minimum Sentences Distort Plea Bargaining."
While plea bargaining can certainly reduce the burden of our over-scheduled courts, and can work to the advantage of all parties, there is a downside. Our over-burdened court system, combined with mandatory minimum sentences has led to a beyond over-burdened prison system.
The article concludes with the call that all defendants should have the right to see the evidence the state has collected against them -- INCLUDING EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE -- before the defendant accepts a plea bargain.
The article can be read in its entirety on The Economist's website:
In an issue of Rolling Stone magazine from last month, Jeff Tietz gave a raw look inside the use of solitary confinement within the U.S. prison system. Once saved for only the most violent offenders, its use is now commonplace as punishment for the mildest infractions. Even worse, it is used to make its victims willing to do or say anything to make it stop.
Sadly, the stories from this article sound all too familiar.
Due to copyright subscriptions, I am unable to publish the article in its entirety. Please take a moment to borrow a copy or purchase a digital version to read what REALLY happens in solitary confinement. It is one of our nation's "dirty little secrets" that is finally being exposed.
Steven is attempting to recreate his life via photos that have been lost to him. If you have photo(s) that you would like to share, either publicly or privately, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven is particularly interested in photos that were taken by others that show him at work or in uniform. These photos could be critical to his defense.
We are happy to accept photos with faces of others redacted as well as photos submitted anonymously. No photos submitted will be published on this site unless the submitter specifically indicates that they may be shared publicly.
From AP via Huffington Post:
HIGHLAND PARK, III. -- Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz was "killed by the government," his father told mourners Tuesday during his son's funeral in suburban Chicago.
Swartz, who helped create Reddit and RSS, the technology behind blogs, podcasts, and other web-based subscription services, was found dead Friday in his New York apartment. He was facing federal charges that alleged he illegally gained access to millions of articles from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer archive.
"He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles," he said.
Swartz, 26, was facing charges that carried a maximum penalty of decades in prison. His trial was scheduled to begin in April.
U.S. Attorney Cameron Ortiz had no comment about Robert Swartz's remarks, Ortiz spokeswoman Chirstina Dilorio-Sterling said.
Swartz's family also lashed out against prosecutors Saturday, saying the death was "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
Swartz's case highlighted society's uncertain, evolving view of how to treat people who break into computer systems and share data not to enrich themselves, but to make it available to others.
Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, director of the Safra Center for Ethics where Swartz was once a fellow, both spoke at the funeral.
"We felt the indictment was nonsense and that he would be acquitted," Berners-Lee told the newspaper after the service.
The United States of America's legal system places extraordinary powers and responsibilities in the hands of a few. With the power to literally destroy lives in their hands, those persons must be held to the highest standards.
The professionals within the system, who hold themselves to said standards, are ever vigilant in their quest to safeguard against the misuse of these powers and should be congratulated on these developments.
I pray for all those whose lives have been adversely affected by those who abuse their powers. May they and their families find justice and then peace.
Steven N. Greenoe
I deeply regret any negative impact from my or my organization's actions. I pled guilty to licensing charges only. The prosecution's narrative is untrue.
Jolie Rouge Group provided maritime security services on behalf of the United States government from abroad. This is public record now from the release of documents from my litigation. I invite the press or citizenry to review submissions to the court.
My actions in exporting firearms were never to endanger anyone but to protect the innocent from violence. I've dedicated my life to protecting people, and was horrified to be told by investigators that firearms had been misappropriated and entered the country.
I waived all my rights, cooperating fully with the investigation from the first moment. Why didn't the Department of Justice let me wear a wire to get my chain of command on tape? Or, if they believed their narrative, set up a "buy?"
I am sure the British public joins me in regretting this effective ending of the investigation and ignoring of the threat to the public in favor of unsubstantiated criminal conspiracy narratives.
Steven N. Greenoe