The British hacker accused of hacking U.S. Government computers could face 99 years in prison.
Lauri Love, a very skilled hacker, who also suffers from a form of Autism; known as Asperger’s Syndrome, could be extradited for his crimes against the U.S. government.
“If I went into a U.S. prison, I don’t think I’d leave again,” Love said in an interview with the BBC.
Love has been on the FBI’s most wanted cyber-criminals list for a number of years for hacking into FBI, U.S. Missile Defense Agency, and U.S. Central Bank computers. Love is currently awaiting the courts decision about the United States’ request for extradition. A final verdict is due no later than September 16th, 2016.
Love was arrested by British police at his home, where his computer and other hardware and equipment were seized. He was released on bail later, and the charges were dropped. If he was convicted, under English law he would only receive up to two years and eight months in prison.
Love’s defense is arguing that because he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome as well as depression, it would not be in his best interests to allow the U.S. to extradite him. The U.S.’s reply to that is that Love is just using his health issues to evade trial and prosecution.
When asked why he feared he wouldn’t make it out of the U.S. prison system, Love replied by saying that the U.S. prison system is well known for its harsh environments and lack of compassion towards anyone with any kind of psychological disorders.
“The way mental health is dealt with in America is not in any way therapeutic. I have Asperger’s and I have depression, so suicide is a real risk. It’s an absurd length of time, meaning I would die in prison anyway,” Love said.
Since he will be tried in several states, he will be found guilty in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, as well as others, he will receive approximately 99 years.
The U.S. prison system was fast to defend itself, citing that they have put a great deal of time and funds into training staff as well as inmates on suicide prevention and mental health disorders.
Another one of Love’s concerns are that he will be offered a plea bargain with a shorter sentence for his admission of guilt to the offences in which he is being charged for.
“When it comes to the case of Lauri Love, many of us work day and night to make sur that he does not get extradited. The U.S. government made Aaron Swartz’s life hell. What they are doing now looks like a way of continuing that. If I were a U.K. judge I would render a judgement not in favor of extradition,” Raymond Johansen told BBC. Johansen is running an online campaign in defense of Love.
Love also said that the “unpredictable nature of upcoming events is taking a toll on his health. I’ve been scratching my face as a nervous reaction, which has exacerbated my eczema.”
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