If one is that concerned about having a criminal record one should refrain from committing crimes. All he had to do was write a short post on his blog to call attention to whatever issue it was that was bothering him. Instead he broke into a server room, installed a computer, and illegally downloaded thousands of documents. I think 6 months and a criminal record is about right for that sort of thing.
Give me a break. There was no "locked server room" - he entered an unlocked wiring closet. The computer he "installed" was a laptop he set on a shelf (near the property of a homeless man, who was using that wiring closet to store things). He then downloaded documents that it was perfectly legal for him to download - he just automated the process so that he was downloading them a heck of a lot faster than the JSTOR people were expecting.
So at most he was actually guilty of misdemeanor breaking and entering (and I'd be willing to argue that one, since the closet wasn't actually secured in any way), and maybe some civil copyright infringement if he posted the JSTOR documents for others.
6 months and a felony conviction was *way* too much for his actual offenses.