BOSTON (CBS) – A petition to remove US Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office is gaining support. More than 52,000 people have signed a petition on the White House website.

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz

The petition is fueled by how Ortiz handled the prosecution of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who killed himself just before going on trial for stealing documents from MIT.

The petition reads:

“A prosecutor who does not understand proportionality and who regularly uses the threat of unjust and overreaching charges to extort plea bargains from defendants regardless of their guilt is a danger to the life and liberty of anyone who might cross her path.”

Photo Credit: Fred Benenson/Wikimedia Commons)

Aaron Swartz (Photo Credit: Fred Benenson/Wikimedia Commons)

The White House says it will respond to any petition that gets more than 25,000 signatures.

Ortiz says the family suffered a “horrible tragedy” but the case was handled fairly.

Ortiz is currently prosecuting the case against former Boston mobster Whitey Bulger.


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