It's usually a mistake to leap to conclusions after a tragedy like the suicide of Aaron Swartz. I know nothing about the details of the case or his state of mind apart from what I've read in newspapers and online. But my unguarded reaction is that the story does seem an instance of reckless prosecutorial excess, and that the prosecutors bear some responsibility for his death.
Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims.
Let's put the worst possible construction on what Swartz did. In other words, don't claim that no crime was actually committed (which is at least arguable); don't call it a harmless prank (as one might be inclined to); forget that JSTOR wanted to take the matter no further once its files had been returned, and that Swartz wasn't acting for personal gain; ignore the issue that he was aiming to highlight -- the question whether it's right to keep scholarly work, undertaken partly at public expense, behind a paywall; never mind that JSTOR has now granted limited free access to its documents. Assume what Swartz did was simple, selfish, unmitigated theft, as the prosecutors appear to think. Even on that ethically brainless view, the charges and threatened penalties were so disproportionate as to be quite unhinged.