Talk:Stephen Heymann

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Heyman's not deputy chief[edit]

I reverted David in DC's edits this morning that say that Heymann is currently deputy chief. They are incorrect, and not supported by the reference. I can't offer you a good citation for his non-status as deputy chief, but I did some WP:NOR and can say with full confidence that he is not; he is currently chief of the Cyber Crimes division. I was careful to state when I originally added the Berkman bio reference that it was dated (20030, and I think with good reason; it's not reasonable to expect someone to stay in the same job for 10 years across multiple administrations.

In fact, Heymann is currently chief of the Cyber Crimes division, but I would omit that from Wikipedia at this point. (Best I could do would be to cite a personal communication between myself and the US Attorney's office, which I find absolutely convincing, but it's not up to Wikipedia's standards). jhawkinson (talk) 16:36, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

The subject is still not notable enough for his own page, but I've corrected some of the massive bias displayed[edit]

Anyone who thinks it's appropriate to suggest that a person causes multiple defendants to commit suicide in the way previously displayed in this article needs to stop editing for a while and get a grip. I've fixed numerous problems, including the false suggestion that Heymann was somehow responsible for the death of Jonathan James. Those attempting to paint Heymann and Ortiz as murderers, at least confine it to the Aaron Swartz page. Heymann is not notable just because Swartz was. (talk) 15:55, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Jonathan James - vandal keeps removing references[edit]

I re-added a sentence about the Jonathan James situation along with the fact that some have noted the paralells. It is ridiculous to leave out the highly similar case from Stephen Heymann's history that numerous media articles have noted. The person that keeps deleting these references is a biased individual likely connected personally with Stephen Heymann or the office of the United States Attorney General. Even if Heymann ultimately did not engage in any wrongdoing in these matters, the public policy signifance of a potential rogue prosecutor driving the suicides of unreplacable minds is serious enough that a dialogue should be permitted -- especially when there is reasonable cause for suspicion. Just as the Stephen Heymann has the power to accuse people of crimes, so should the public be allowed to investigate Heymann. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ap234 (talkcontribs) 21:53, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, read WP:VANDAL. Then read WP:BLP - we don't accuse individuals of being 'implicated in the suicide' of someone (which might well constitute a criminal offence if true), based on a Huff Post blog that says nothing of the sort. And FYI, I have never edited this article prior to reverting your edit. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:06, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and read WP:NOTADVOCATE (and WP:NOTFORUM) too, while you are at it. If 'the public' wishes to investigate Heymann, it is fully entitled to do so - but Wikipedia isn't here to provide a platform for such investigations. That isn't what Wikipedia is for. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:25, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

AfD closed as keep - does it bear on the neutrality tag?[edit]

I think so. Conclusively.

"The result was keep. Consensus is overwhelmingly to keep. That this is a BLP violation/attack article is not borne out by the actual article. Citation from the National Law Journal alone suggests notability, and coverage is widespread enough. Drmies (talk) 03:09, 28 January 2013 (UTC)"

If the overwhelming consensus is keep and the allegation "[t]hat this is a BLP violation/attack article is not borne out by the actual article," I think the burden is on anyone advocating retaining the tag to offer a policy-based reason or reasons to assert, let alone establish, a countervailing consensus that the article's nuetrality remains in question.

What say ye, colleagues? David in DC (talk) 03:25, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

OK, I think this thread should be held in abeyance, pending the advice we get from experienced BLP editors, here. Kudos to Hirolovesswords for starting that process. At this moment, getting advice from uninvolved editors, with fresh-eyes, is a smarter way to go than continuing on in a self-contained bubble. David in DC (talk) 05:49, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
The Noticeboard discussion is now archived. The AfD was closed this way: "The result was keep. Consensus is overwhelmingly to keep. That this is a BLP violation/attack article is not borne out by the actual article...."
On the basis of that close and that the appeal on the BLP Noticeboard brought forth zero opinions to support any other interpretation, I'm going to delete the January Nuetrality tag. Please do not insert a February one without citing a policy-based reason or reasons that have not already been covered in the AfD. Please also consider forebearance in the face of the sound of crickets chirping with which the BLP Noticeboard appeal was met. The BLP-savvy editors who monitor that page are not a diffident bunch. David in DC (talk) 19:35, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Isn't the petition irrelevant?[edit]

Isn't the Whitehouse petition essentially irrelevant in the face of the Whitehouse petition for Carmen Ortiz? We don't really understand the inner workings of the US Attorney's Office, though it seems to the educated observer that Heymann is much more responsible than Ortiz, but the White House interprets these petitions fairly liberally. A response to either the Ortiz petition or the Heymann petition seems certain to address the same issues.

That is, if someone files WH petition asking for the removal of X, and the real problem is Y, the WH will surely investigate as part of their response and address the issues of Y, not coyly stick to the precise wording of the petition (X). That being the case, isn't Ortiz petition more relevant here, esp. given that it has met its signature threshold? Perhaps this is too much analysis unsupported by other sources. jhawkinson (talk) 16:00, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

In my view, the Ortiz petition does not belong on this page. It's much too far removed from Heymann's. She's a presidential appointee, confirmed by the Senate, and serves at the President's pleasure. So it makes sense for it to be on her page, but darned near irrelevant on this page.
Heymann is a career prosecutor, not a presidential appointee confirmed by the senate. A petition about him is very different, as a factual matter, than a petition about her.
In my view, the petition should remain here. It helps balance the negative stuff on the page, reducing the complained-of WP:WEIGHT problem. If Heymann's detractors cannot muster 25K signatures, that's notable. In a culture where 25K likes on facebook for a puppy faster than 2.5 K for [insert any politician's name here], the inability to get even half of the requisite 25K on the White House petition site says the outrage over Heymann's role in Swartz's prosecution is not mustering much outrage. David in DC (talk) 22:56, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

~~I disagree entirely with this section assertion. This case is the defining moment of this individuals career, as sad and pathetic as it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Formal complaint[edit]

The formal complaint against the subject, it seems to me, is hardly WP:UNDUE. Indeed, it's the main reason this page survived AfD. If this is WP:UNDUE, then surely the entire page fails WP:NOT? But we've just decided that the page does not fail WP:NOT. MarkBernstein (talk) 17:38, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with your analysis of the AfD. Doesn't it seem to you a little self-serving that Swartz's attorneys filed a complaint? Anyone can file a complaint. What matter is what's done with the complaint. Although I'd like to hear input from others before deciding, I might be willing to include the material without the quotes - just that a complaint was filed.--Bbb23 (talk) 17:49, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I was going to say "How gracious of you to consider that you might be willing to include the material at all. WP:OWN much?", but of course you didn't mean it like that. Still, I'm scratching my head. What's WP:UNDUE about the complaint? The complaint has been widely covered by major international and national news reports, and at this point the subject's alleged prosecutorial misconduct is the chief reason for his notability. On the other hand, his good conduct awards really are WP:UNDUE.
Conversely, if we're not going to attempt to discuss the subject's notable actions until the final disposition of his case, let's go back to AfD and drop the page entirely. There's nothing else notable about here. MarkBernstein (talk) 18:27, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Assuming good faith, "I might be willing to include the material without the quotes..." could be read as a simple statement about one editor's position in a discussion aimed at determining consensus among many editors. I'm going to opt to read it that way. But one must admit that it takes a bit of stretching. One might easily read it as contradicting WP:OWN, announcing one editor's intention to definitively determine - rather that attempt to achieve - a collegial, consensus decision.
On the merits, I don't agree that the filing of a complaint about prosecutory misconduct against Heymann in U.S. v. Swartz, covered in multiple reliable sources, is inappropriate here, because anyone can file a copmplaint. While it may be true, few such complaints get covered in multiple resiable sources about a person who has already been determined to be notable at an AfD. A complaint of serious misconduct against a notable prosecutor belongs in his biography. Once resolved, that belongs here too.
OTOH, the argument that Heymann is only notable for U.S. v. Swartz is also unpersuasive. There is a lot about Heymann that's notable. Otherwise, the AfD should have been closed as delete per WP:BLP1E. His role in the evolving law of cybercrime, the other prosecutions detailed in this article, his award, even his status as a second generation prosecutor whose ties to Ortiz include a connection between his father and she - although not notable themselves, per WP:INHERIT - combine to make him, in my view, undeniably wiki-notable.
Bottom line, in my editorial judgement: The OPR complaint should be re-inserted and the award should remain. Neither offends WP:WEIGHT. David in DC (talk) 19:44, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Concur. Multiple reliable sources reporting an allegation of obvious notability. Was very surprised it was removed at all. Bonusballs (talk) 20:09, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • As David in DC discovered, there's a discussion on this issue going on at WP:BLPN. That's just a heads up, although I posted a template at the top of this page. As far as ownership, I have no sense of ownership in this article. I almost reworded my sentence to say "willing to support inclusion" instead of the phrase I used because I suspected editors might react negatively, but it wasn't an accurate representation of my position. I don't support inclusion of any of it. However, I might be convinced to support inclusion of the material without the quotes depending on the views of other editors. I hope that clarifies my statement, and I apologize for the confusion. BTW, for those who support inclusion, could you specify whether you support it as originally inserted (with quotes) or without quotes? Thanks.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:33, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
The quote explains what has been alleged. Prosecutorial Misconduct is a very broad term that tells us little. The quote narrows the accusation to withholding exculpatory evidence, misrepresentation to the court, and misuse of discretion. These actually serve to "soften" the accusation: he's not being accused of taking bribes or sleeping with a witness or a million other things that could constitute misconduct. --HectorMoffet (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  • We're over-thinking this. Heymann is a political figure who has had a formal complaint filed against him. Multiple reliable sources have covered this formal complaint about how he performed his duties. A notable complaint against a notable government official merits inclusion on the article that government official. --HectorMoffet (talk) 21:10, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Hey y'all. Please be mindful of WP:DEADLINE. My view, expressed above, is that it's reasonable to have stuff in the article about the Swartz prosecution and its aftermath. I also have another view. Here 'tis:

There's no fucking reason that any of this needs to be decided in a day. Especially St. Patrick's Day, when editors with a better sense of priorities than ours are out getting drunk. Leave the Swartz stuff alone for a few days, engage in an effort to build consensus, and let others weigh in once their hangovers permit.

It may not work. If so, by all means, go back to reverting and re-reverting one another until your keyboards wear out. Sheesh. We're in deep doo-doo around here when this bomb-thrower is the only voice of moderation left in the house. Double-sheesh!. David in DC (talk) 23:27, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

I will abide by whatever the ultimate consensus is, both for the complaint material and for the suicide warning material, but I couldn't let your comments pass without thanking you. Sometimes things are urgent, but, generally, they are not. It's rare to find an involved editor who understands that.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:18, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I really appreciate your stopping to notice. David in DC (talk) 18:42, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
WP:NODEADLINE is well-advised, but WP:BLP is useful here too. Softening/clarifying the "prosectorial misconduct" allegations is useful. I've re-added the narrowing specifics-- it's important to say subject is alleged to have done a few specific actions. The ire of "prosectorial misconduct" is much worse without the specifics of the allegations. --HectorMoffet (talk) 10:18, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Silvergate Essay[edit]

The Harvey Silvergate report in Mass Lawyer's Weekly is entirely appropriate for a biography of a living person. It was not defamatory. Indeed, what organization is less likely to publish a defamatory report than Mass Lawyer's Weekly, a publication for and by the Massachusetts Bar? I don't see any reason for this to be controversial, though apparently Bbb23 does. I am content -- despite Bbb23's personal attack on me at BLP/N, to comply with DavidInDC's request to let this matter rest for a few days. But it's wildly unlikely that a few days will change anything. MarkBernstein (talk) 23:40, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

What, you haven't heard about the huge meteor that's scheduled to hit the Earth and bring on a new ice age on Tuesday? :) David in DC (talk) 23:54, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, sure -- the horse may talk. But ... sigh ... talking horses are rare 'round here. MarkBernstein (talk) 01:30, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a breather. It more than makes up for the fact that, your comment has given me an earworm.
Go right the source, and ask the horse,
He'll give you then answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed.
David in DC (talk) 18:48, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
I was referring to the Zelazny story of the jester who offended the king. Pleading with the angry monarch to spare his life, the jester promised to teach the king's horse to talk within a year and a day. Asked how on earth he planned to deliver on this promise, the jester replied "A lot may happen in a year. I may die. The king may die. Or the horse may talk!"
So, is it the right time to add a sentence or two from Silvergate? Would you like to do the honors? Would you like to wait a while longer? MarkBernstein (talk) 15:13, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I regret that the BLP/N entry has not garnered us more input. In deference to others' stated WP:WEIGHT concerns, I think the way to go is a single sentence, citing Harvey Silverglate by name, stating whatever you think is the most important single item in his report that is germane to Heymann (as opposed to Swartz). It would go right before, or right after, the sentence about the OPR complaint filed against Heymann. Here's a start:
"Criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate, writing in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, said [insert best paraphrase (or direct quote) about Heymann's prosecutorial tactics, decision-making or rationale.] I'm leaving the hardest editorial judgment in your hands. What goes between "[" and "]"? David in DC (talk) 20:41, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

How about

"Criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate, writing in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, reported that Swartz's attorney's had warned Heymann that their client was a suicide risk. The lawyer concluded: “I’m saying they were aware of the risk, and they were heedless.”

Not a single sentence, but focusing on the counselor and not on the pundit. Alternatively

“Criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate, writing in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, said,"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. " — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarkBernstein (talkcontribs) 22:54, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to jump in here late. What was intended as the source for this essay? Sorry, I went through the page history and I couldn't find it. Is it the original, actual essay in MLW? §FreeRangeFrogcroak 23:58, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Here are the refs as cited in the Swartz article:
<ref name="Silverglate">{{cite news |title=The Swartz suicide and the sick culture of the DOJ |first=Harvey |last=Silverglate |url= |newspaper=Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly |date=January 23, 2013 |archiveurl= |archivedate=2013-01-24 |deadurl=yes }}</ref>
<ref name="return">[ McCullagh, Declan, ''Swartz didn't face prison until feds took over case, report says'', [[CNET|cnet]], 25 January 2013.] Retrieved 7 February 2013.</ref>
OK, I'll give you my humble opinion. Including the essay directly is original research. Basically it means "I think this guy is right", versus "this other third-party source thinks this guy's opinion is worthy". And the CNet article does not even mention the assertion about Silverglate having warned about Swartz being suicidal, which is what would definitely trigger WP:UNDUE here because it's so contentious as to suggest that Heymann was somehow warned that Swartz would kill himself if he continued the prosecution. Not to mention the article as a whole is really about Carmen Ortiz. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 18:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
I disagree that Silverglate's article is a primary source. Silverglate is a prominent Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, writing about a criminal prosecution, in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, a periodical with all the indicia of a reliable source. I don't think we can include his opinions, but we can surely use facts he reports, just the same as if this were Robert Ballard, writing about the RMS Lusitania, in the Journal of Hyperkinetic Atlantic Oceanographic Explorers.
I think the bigger issue is WP:UNDUE. That's why I'm urging a single sentence, quoting or paraphrasing the most salient fact, and citing Silverglate and Mass Lawyers Weekly, by name. David in DC (talk) 21:39, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, free range. Applying this standard of "original research" would exclude all journalism from Wikipedia! And no one says that Silvergate warned Swartz; Silvergate is the reporter who interviewed a variety of sources for an article in Mass Lawyers Weekly. The article reports as fact that the subject of this post was explicitly warned that Swartz was suicidal, and quotes the attorney who warned the subject to the effect that the subject was heedless, and that this has in fact been a characteristic response of the subject to such matters. MarkBernstein (talk) 21:44, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Here's another source that avoids the Silverglate issue entirely, and softens causality without abandoning fact.
According to attorney Andy Good, who had repesented Swartz, "...I told Heymann the kid was a suicide risk. His reaction was a standard reaction in that office, not unique to Steve. He said, 'Fine, we’ll lock him up.' I’m not saying they made Aaron kill himself. Aaron might have done this anyway. I’m saying they were aware of the risk, and they were heedless."