Tim Wu, on the death of Aaron Swartz:
It’s one thing to stretch the law to stop a criminal syndicate or terrorist organization. It’s quite another when prosecuting a reckless young man. The prosecutors forgot that, as public officials, their job isn’t to try and win at all costs but to use the awesome power of criminal law to protect the public from actual harm.
I’m not sure if I agree with every word of Wu’s, but his broad argument—and especially the point I quoted above—is spot on. As a fellow lawyer, I appreciate his analysis of the legal issues.
Update 1/20/13: Orin Kerr considers the question of whether the prosecution was warranted in the Swartz case. He makes some (characteristically) good points. (Kudos to Kevin for the reference.)