Mass. lawyer: Told prosecutor Swartz suicidal

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm •  Published: January 14, 2013
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BOSTON (AP) — A lawyer who formerly represented Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz on hacking charges said Monday he told federal prosecutors about a year ago that Swartz was a suicide risk.

Swartz, 26, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his New York apartment Friday.

Andrew Good, a Boston attorney who represented Swartz in the case last year, said he told federal prosecutors in Massachusetts that Swartz was a suicide risk.

"Their response was, put him in jail, he'll be safe there," Good said.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz declined comment.

"We would like to respect the family's privacy," said Christina DiIorio-Sterling. "We don't think it's appropriate to discuss the case at this time."

Swartz was facing a potentially lengthy prison sentence after being indicted in Boston in 2011 for allegedly gaining access to academic articles from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The charges carried a maximum penalty of decades in prison.

Swartz's most recent attorney, Elliot Peters, said prosecutors told him two days before Swartz's death that Swartz would have to spend six months in prison and plead guilty to 13 charges if he wanted to avoid going to trial.