After Aaron Swartz’ tragic suicide, his friends and family started a “We The People” petition calling for Carmen Ortiz, one of the U.S. Attorney’s in charge of the “overzealous” prosecution against him to be fired. That petition reached the 25k signatures needed to elicit an official response from the White House in a manner of days, however many of Aaron’s many supporters and those who feel that the prosecutors working on his case acted unconstitutionally are unaware that there is another petition, this one calling for Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Heymann to be fired as well, as he was the one primarily responsible for the over-the-top prosecution of Swartz.
The Heymann petition has until Monday 11th February to reach the 25k target and at the time of writing this article, it needs approximately 4,000 signatures to guarantee an official White House response. Aaron’s supporters and his girlfriend Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman are calling on those who believe Aaron was unjustly treated to sign and share the petition so it reaches its target in time.
In her blog about the petition Taren states:
“I believe that Heymann is guilty of prosecutorial misconduct on several levels, but I can’t prove it until we have a proper investigation. Among other things, many of the court documents that Aaron’s lawyers have access to that would help make that case are currently under protective order. Not, to be clear, to protect Aaron — Aaron’s family and I want the documents to be public. It’s the prosecutors whose interest is served by keeping the documents secret.
I also suspect there may be other documents we don’t have that, if subpoenaed, could help us show that Heymann was bending or even breaking the rules in his vicious quest to make an example out of Aaron.”
If you feel that Aaron Swartz was treated unfairly and that prosecutor Steven Heymann should be indicted for overreach and removed from office because of his actions, then you only have a few days to make your opinion count. There is a link to the petition here.