Republished by permission of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, where this article first appeared. Thanks to my friend Harvey for making this available to readers of Media Nation.
By Harvey A. Silverglate
Some lawyers are joking when they refer to the Moakley Courthouse as “the House of Pain.” I’m not.
The ill-considered prosecution leading to the suicide of computer prodigy Aaron Swartz is the most recent in a long line of abusive prosecutions coming out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston, representing a disastrous culture shift. It sadly reflects what’s happened to the federal criminal courts, not only in Massachusetts but across the country.
It’s difficult for lawyers to step back and view the larger picture of the unflattering system from which we derive our status and our living. But we have an ethical obligation to criticize the legal system when warranted.
Who else, after all, knows as much about…
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