Reddit co-founder dies weeks before trial

Published On: Jan 14 2013 08:04:27 AM EST

Fred Benenson via Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK -

The family of a Reddit co-founder who committed suicide blames prosecutors for his death.
    
Aaron Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment Friday night. The 26-year-old had fought to make online content free to the public. As a teenager helped create RSS, a family of Web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video for users.
    
In 2011, he was charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to make them freely available.
    
He had pleaded not guilty, and his federal trial was to begin next month. If convicted, he faced decades in prison.
    
Swartz's family in Chicago says "Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
    

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