back to article Hammond pleads guilty to Stratfor hack: 'It's a relief'

Anonymous member Jeremy Hammond has pleaded guilty to the headline-making December 2011 hack on private intelligence company Stratfor, at a court appearance in New York. Hammond, 27, of Chicago, Illinois, has been held on remand since his arrest in March 2012. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the computer fraud and …

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  1. James 51

    The title is too long

    "that he decided to cop a plea rather than contest his case so as to avoid a potential nightmare of continuous subsequent trials even if he was acquitted of this particular offence."

    This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform. The decision to plead guilty should not be taken because the system is going to repeatedly kick you between the legs until you do. Otherwise, you’re being punished for being not guilty.

    (I know he plead guilt and says he did it but I am trying to make a more general point).

    1. Ru
      WTF?

      Re: The title is too long

      For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement

      ...which is interesting. I wonder what he's done to deserve that sort of treatment... he doesn't seem like quite the type to shiv another prisoner, after all. Still, could be worse... he didn't get the suicide watch treatment that Manning did.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: The title is too long

        I don't suppose it was to stop the hacker getting shivved by rather more physical members of the population, perhaps holding views of the alleged offense against the interests of National Security and being inclined to do more than post to El Reg in response?

      2. Don Jefe

        Re: The title is too long

        Sometimes they put you in solitary if you could be in danger from other inmates or if you are being picked on (getting your food taken, only allowed wet toilet paper, etc...) Sometimes if your blood pressure is too high: The idea being there's no reason to be scared if you're alone.

        Not saying this is the case here but solitary isn't always 'punishment'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The title is too long

          There's 'solitary' and 'being taken out of general population'. Solitary is usually punishment and in this case it definitely sounds like it as he wasn't allowed to contact any family members which is one of the psychological treatments of solitary. Being kept away from general population can be done for safety reasons and usually means that you take your exercise etc at different times to the general prison crowd plus you are also still allowed to make phone calls and talk to family members.

      3. Panix
        FAIL

        Re: The title is too long

        When I got arrested years ago for possession of several different drugs, I was held in maximum security in a cell by myself. When I asked why, I was told it was because my bail was so high.

        Do you really think an opioid addict coming off methadone cold turkey really needed maximum security? My neighbors were people who assaulted others and someone who killed her girlfriend...

    2. JimC

      Re: a potential nightmare of continuous subsequent trials

      Yeah, the police are *******s like that. If you've committed lots of crimes they'll keep after you until they get you convicted.

      1. James 51

        Re: a potential nightmare of continuous subsequent trials

        The implication in the text is that he is not going to be prosecuted for those other crimes now. As his guilty plea here could be used as evidence in other, directly related cases why isn’t he being prosecuted for those other crimes?

        The State should not be able to dress the same crime up in a number of ways or prosecute by degrees until they get the result they want. Or wave the threat of long prison sentences and huge fines if you decide to exercise your right to a trial or don’t have someone else to hand over in your place. There’s an air of coercion that I don’t like surrounding this.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The title is too long

      "This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform. The decision to plead guilty should not be taken because the system is going to repeatedly kick you between the legs until you do. Otherwise, you’re being punished for being not guilty."

      This is reminiscent of another justice article on here about high Japanese conviction rates. Scary!

    4. J__M__M

      Re: The title is too long

      Go to trial? That would be one hell of a slippery slope, my friend.

  2. El Presidente
    Facepalm

    This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform.

    Far too much money riding on the industrial judicial & prison complex for any hope of reform.

    Pretty soon, if the tories get their way the UK's justice system will be privatised.

    1. ACx

      Re: This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform.

      They already are. Look at the legal aid reforms. They want to sell it to a haulage company. Honestly, check it out. If you get arrested and want legal aid, you'll get a lawyer from Eddie Stobart, working to a budget.

      Yep, you'll be getting the lowest tender lawyer. And no, you wont be able to chose unless you can afford your own lawyer.

      1. El Presidente

        Re: This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform.

        No, I'm talking about Court Services.

        The actual courts, not legal aid.

    2. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      Re: This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform.

      "Pretty soon, if the tories get their way the UK's justice system will be privatised."

      Pay more attention to the text rather than the headlines; interviewed on Radio 4's PM programme the other day the Tory spokesman made it clear that this is not their quest, nor indeed if you consider it, would this be possible. The spokesman pointed out that more than a million documents are printed out in a day by the CJS, and that in a time of digital excellence we should be using electronic documents; this would not merely cut costs but, done properly, cut damage to the environment. This is one of the areas under review, and I would have thought that even the most politically correct reader of the Register would have agreed that such waste and damage to the environment should be cut.

      Sure, people who want to use the argumentum ad hominem and smear them by means of misinformation, such as your claim that they want to privatise the CJS, have set a hare running, but no more than that. It is a hallmark of statehood that the means to control and administer violence and justice remain in the hands of the executive and the legislature (control of the military being the domain of appropriate ministers), not in commerce. This is classic political philosophy and is uncontested in the three main parties, no matter how scare setters wish to misinform.

      1. El Presidente
        Facepalm

        Re: This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform.

        @Schocio!

        "It is a hallmark of statehood that the means to control and administer violence and justice remain in the hands of the executive and the legislature"

        Or G4S.gov as it will soon be re-branded (roll eyes)

        http://magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk/

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/be6bc560-c7b3-11e2-be27-00144feab7de.html

        http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3776508.ece

        http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/plans-wholesale-privatisation-courts-service

        http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/news/2270934/moj-denies-plan-for-wholesale-privatisation-of-courts-service

        Ms. Raccoon paints a Boschisn type horror story here http://www.annaraccoon.com/politics/judicial-chicanery/

        Which might be funny it wasn't entirely plausible that if Grayling, twonks and SPADs were not so close using it for policy ideas.

        But, of course, the tories have never done anything so utterly stupid for a short term profit, have they?

        1. Scorchio!!
          FAIL

          Re: This is a sign of a system that is in dire need of reform.

          Jesus, what a pile of manic, childish suppositions:

          "The Chancellor said there are particular savings to be made in the justice department, within the court service and probation. Asked about plans for further involvement of companies in running Britain's courts, Mr Osborne said he had no plans to "privatise" the judicial system.

          He said cutting back on printed paper would be one way of saving money in the justice system.

          Mr Osborne toured the television studios to set out his success in persuading departments to make cuts after reports of a number of Cabinet ministers resisting his demands."

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/spending-review/10083456/George-Osborne-confident-cuts-will-come-from-Whitehall-not-taxes-or-benefits.html

          Sheesh.

  3. mIRCat
    Trollface

    It's a shame.

    If he'd taken someones life he could have been out in 3 - 5.

    Let this be a lesson to the kids.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: It's a shame.

      You expect justice from the Justice system?! I think your standards are too high!

      1. KBeee Bronze badge

        When Justice costs money..

        ..those with the most money get the most justice

        Actually, it's not Justice, it's Law, which is an entirely different thing

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The American Judicial System

    "I have already spent 15 months in prison. For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement. I have been denied visits and phone calls with my family and friends. This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process."

    So much for innocent until proven guilty. To throw a US citizen in jail for that amount of time BEFORE his trial even starts shows just how much of a police state they are turning into.

    And it will only get worse in the name of security.

    1. Andrew Norton

      Re: The American Judicial System

      wasn't he still on probation from his last 'hacking conviction' (where he broke into the protest warrior website and stole 30,000 credit card numbers) when he did some of this. Might have been why.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The American Judicial System

        Oh, don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

        It takes all the fun out of people eulogising someone if you let on they're a repeat offender.

  5. edge_e
    WTF?

    Stories on May and Hammond

    Where's Clarkson?

    1. Matt Piechota

      Re: Stories on May and Hammond

      "Where's Clarkson?"

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

  6. Andrew Norton
    Pint

    Ever dealt with him?

    About what I expected from him.

    Had long dealings with him just before he went away for his first credit card theft conviction, then more when he came out (including some CFAA violations when on probation for said sentence). Wish I had contacted his probation officer now.

    his core though, is credit cards. He can try and spin things any way he wants, but at the end of the day, he's a petty thief trying to clothe himself with the respectability of an activist.

    As for what he did to warrant solitary, you might not be aware of the number of violent offenses he's already been convicted of in the past.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Ever dealt with him?

      "Wish I had contacted his probation officer now."

      You still can. There's no statute of limitations on offences comitted whilst on probation and they'll likely have a bearing on his sentencing.

      It'd be nice if the churnalists added some data (like past convictions) to what was pretty clearly cribbed form a press release.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 years is a good start

    As long as he gets the full 10 years without early parole and he has to pay treble damages plus all costs of prosecution and incarceration, then I'm OK with the plea deal. Anything less is not acceptable.

    How's that denial working for A$$nonymous these days?

    1. J__M__M
      Facepalm

      Re: 10 years is a good start

      "As long as he gets the full 10 years without early parole.... Anything less is not acceptable."

      You're entitled to your opinion, but since there's no vacancy you'll need to cut some other convict loose so please pick one (you can't have everything I guess):

      a. child molester/abuser

      b. heroin dealer

      c. rapist

      Kind of a torch and pitchfork buzz-kill, I know...

      1. Tom 13

        Re: you'll need to cut some other convict loose

        No you don't. Just bring in Sheriff Arpaio for a two week seminar on how to handle unexpected influxes of prisoners. Problem sorted.

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