Rutgers Dharun Ravi Faces Prison: Going To Trial Too Risky

(Update 5/21/2102: The judge sentenced Ravi to 30 days in jail, 300 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine payable to bias-crime victims after the jury found him guilty of 15 crimes. Ravi faced a 10 year prison term and deportation. The prosecution argued for prison as Ravi actions were planned and calculated and he lacked remorse. The prosecution may appeal the sentence (unlikely, to be overturned). Wow, putting Clementi’s tragic suicide and sexual orientation aside, this sentence will certainly deter the next cyberbully or anyone who invades another’s privacy and broadcasts it, or lies to the police, destroys evidence or tampers with witnesses. Does the punishment fit the crime(s)?) 

Former Rutgers student, Dharun Ravi, was just convicted of several counts including hate crime and invasion of privacy for the webcam spying on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, when Tyler was with another man. Ravi, at a minimum, faces 5 to 10 years in prison and deportation. Mr. Clementi committed suicide 3 days after the webcam spying.

Was going to trial too risky?

He was offered 600 hours of community service, counseling on cyberbullying and alternative lifestyles and assistance with his deportation hearing from the prosecution. Ravi rejected the offer and said he was innocent. Yet, had he accepted the plea deal, he would have faced possible deportation which may have been the reason he opted for trial, but, now, he faces several years in prison.

The electronic evidence trail and the “viewing parties” made it a tough case for the defense. And, the invasion of privacy charge, a dead loser from the start, alone would have jeopardized his immigration status.

Lawyers offer advice, but, it’s up to the defendant to choose trial and, sometimes, it’s simply not worth the risk.

Sentencing scheduled for May 21, 2012.

Simply my opinion, what say you?

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