Democracy Now Headlines
Judge in ... Jeremy Hammond Case Opts Not to Recuse Herself Despite Alleged Conflict
A judge presiding over the trial of accused hacker Jeremy Hammond has opted not to recuse herself from his case, despite claims she has a conflict of interest. Hammond’s attorneys had filed a motion for Judge Loretta Preska to step down, saying her husband was directly affected by the hack as a client of Stratfor — the private intelligence firm Hammond is accused of targeting. Hammond could face a life term for allegedly turning over millions of Stratfor emails to WikiLeaks. In a statement from solitary confinement this week, Hammond responded to the suicide last month of fellow Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz, who was weeks before a trial date for downloading a trove of articles from the nonprofit JSTOR. Jeremy Hammond wrote: "In a society supposedly based on principles of democracy and due process, Aaron’s efforts to liberate the internet ... make him a hero, not a criminal. ... This sad and angering chapter should serve as a wake up call for all of us to acknowledge the danger inherent in our criminal justice system." Newly obtained documents show how the FBI had closely monitored Aaron Swartz, collecting information from his social media profiles, tracking his blog posts, and at one point seeking to "locate Aaron Swartz, his vehicles, drivers license information and picture."