Why did Dharun Ravi reject prosecution's plea deal?

Had Dharun Ravi accepted the prosecutor’s plea deal back in December, the former Rutgers student would be in a much better place today.

Ravi had 15 charges against him. He was accused of bias intimidation (hate crime) and using a webcam to remotely spy on his former roommate (invasion of privacy). In December, Superior Court Judge Glenn Burman explained that Ravi faced prison time if a jury convicted him on a single bias intimidation charge. Ravi motioned that he understood Judge Burman.

Because Ravi and his defense attorneys said no to a plea deal that would have kept the former Rutgers student out of prison and in the country, Dharun Ravi faces a prison term and a return to his birthplace India after his prison stint.

Dharun Ravi wanted to take his case to court. Ravi and his attorneys wanted to argue that Ravi is not responsible for Tyler Clementi’s death. Ravi’s attorneys wanted to argue that the webcam sex tape wasn’t aired to the general public, but only to Ravi’s Twitter followers.

Steve Altman, Ravi’s attorney, told media in December that Ravi rejected the plea because Ravi was innocent.

Prosecution argued that Tyler Clementi’s suicide was a result of a intimidating tactics used by Ravi on the internet, Youtube and Twitter. Defense argued that Dharun Ravi isn’t a hateful person, nor is he a homophobe. Instead, defense argued that Ravi was an immature student who engaged in a thoughtless prank. Initially, it was reported that Ravi set up videocameras to protect his belongings.

It is puzzling that Ravi rejected the plea deal considering the publicity that followed Tyler Clementi’s suicide. Higher education officials and politicians took prompt action to implement anti-bullying laws in the country. Those anti-bullying laws include cyber bullying. New Jersey was the first to pass the bill. In fact, a New Jersey politician drafted the legislation.

Why Ravi ignored the writing on the wall is mysterious. Ravi never testified in the case against him, but the man who was with Clementi during Ravi’s illegal webcam recording, known publicly as MB, did testify. On the stand, "MB" testified anonymously and said he noticed the webcam in the room and thought it was “strange.” MB also testified that he did not wish imprisonment for Ravi.

Ravi was acquitted of bias intimidation charges against MB. Molly Wei, another student named in conjunction with Clementi's suicide, also testified in the case against Ravi.

MB said that after his second illicitly videotaped meeting with Tyler, there were about 5 students on campus who were looking at him strangely. MB said he didn’t know Tyler Clementi’s last name until later on that day, after Clementi committed suicide. The two met on a dating site.

The jury began their deliberations on March 14 in the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. There’s a split verdict, but the jury reached a guilty verdict in matters of invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence, and charged Ravi with a hate crime. He faces ten years in prison.

Ravi’s hate crime conviction should result in jail time. He’ll be sentenced May 21. After any prison time is served, Ravi faces deportation.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Ravi was not guilty of a hate crime: The judge and the jury are guilty of hating a person or Indian origin. The trial was a mistrial, plain and clear. I am not gay. Do you hate me? Indians have long memories, and most are educated, and believe in justice and human rights. Justice and human rights have been violated in this case. Clementine had no right to visit gay websites and have sex with a man who was not allowed on campus. Did his parents tell him that this was OK when he told them he was gay ? Can Rutgers justify using a dorm room that was shared (Ravi or his parents were paying the rent) ? Where is rutgers in all this ? What was mr MB doing when his date was getting ready to jump off the bridge ? What were his parents doing ? Were they intentionally ignoring their son's choice of life style. Let Ravi go free, dismiss all charges. As an Indian American I have my rights and I can make my choices. I cannnot condone permission for the use of a dorm room for having sex with someone from a web site that presumably was mainly for solicint sex gay or otherwise. Rmana gopalan

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
1. I don't see evidence to believe Tyler is timid hence cannot be taken by bias intimidation. 2. Tyler is shameful of his act for that you cannot punish the innocent (Dharun Ravi). 3. If anyone indicts Dharun Ravi as guilty of bias intimidation they weren't sure that these words mean. 4. Seriously! How could Tyler Clementi commit himself in such misconduct within the Rutgers campus and get away with it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
aren't you missing the point. if ravi hadn't exposed tyler, he'd not have anything to be shamed of. and, tyler was intimidated by his roommate before the webcam incident. his roommate had outed him on twitter, and tyler clementi passively aggressively ignored it. the conviction is a wake up call to certain people who believe they're immune to law and order in this country because they don't have law and order in their own.

Submitted by Ramana Gopalan (not verified) on
Ravi did not "out" Clementi. Clementi was out already, and told his parents about his "gay"ness before he entered Rutgers. His mother disapproved. Clementi was already polling gav web sites to find sexual parteners: within weeks of getting a dorm room, he abused Ravi's right to privacy and access to his own room by asking Ravi to stay away for hours while he invited a person who did not belong to Rutgers, who was not a friend or a family, who was a total stranger to have an intimate relationship in the dorm room. Clmenti had obviously decided to take advantage of the "freedom" given to him by getting a dorm room that was paid for by his parents and Ravi's parents. Don't assume that there is no law and order in India. You are obviously ignorant about law and order in India.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
wow. It's sad that people have all of Tyler Clementi's web search history and his conversation with his parents at their disposal, without once acknowledging that Dharun's decision to record and post a webcam illegally has everything to do with why people intimately know Tyler Clementi's story as though it were a TV soap opera. how is that overlooked. hypocritical. and sad.

Submitted by Ramana Gopalan (not verified) on
So you don;t want people to know the story. The info is avaialable on the web, through articles on the New York Times and the New Yorker. Be informed. These are reputable journals and are authored by responsible journalists. Not hypocritical, and not erasable. My sadness evolves from the illegal and unconstitutional law and the biased verdict. What Dharun Ravi did came out in the trial. What Clementi and MB did was not brought out a the trial. What a biased trial! Not a TV soap (which I do not watch) but a travesty of justice and an "outed" declaration of bias against Indian Americans in the USA. Check out the article in the Time Magazine by Joel Stein about Edison NJ.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
you are so dumb. So biased. So hateful. it's almost funny. What Clementi and MB did is nobody's business. Once you get that through you stupid head, then you'll be in a better place. And the reputable journalists, for all they have to say, couldn't sway the court of opinion that really mattered and that would be the court that convicted Ravi. umm... constitutional law. how about that? Reputable journalists don't think George W. Bush should have won the 2000 elections. But what does it matter. your points are stupid. again. you don'tunderstand American law, nor do you understand how it works. You don't understand mass media either. that stupidity you wrote about not erasable, etc..makes no sense at all. I'm beginning to think you're like in the 6th grade. Clearly, people who understand the law, work the law. Clementi worked the law. Ravi lost. Game over. Go to jail. simple. nice talking to you Ramona. But I don't talk to stupid people much or very often. good day.

Submitted by Ramana Gopalan (not verified) on
So you don;t want people to know the story. The info is avaialable on the web, through articles on the New York Times and the New Yorker. Be informed. These are reputable journals and are authored by responsible journalists. Not hypocritical, and not erasable. My sadness evolves from the illegal and unconstitutional law and the biased verdict. What Dharun Ravi did came out in the trial. What Clementi and MB did was not brought out a the trial. What a biased trial! Not a TV soap (which I do not watch) but a travesty of justice and an "outed" declaration of bias against Indian Americans in the USA. Check out the article in the Time Magazine by Joel Stein about Edison NJ.

Submitted by Ramana Gopalan (not verified) on
So you don;t want people to know the story. The info is avaialable on the web, through articles on the New York Times and the New Yorker. Be informed. These are reputable journals and are authored by responsible journalists. Not hypocritical, and not erasable. My sadness evolves from the illegal and unconstitutional law and the biased verdict. What Dharun Ravi did came out in the trial. What Clementi and MB did was not brought out a the trial. What a biased trial! Not a TV soap (which I do not watch) but a travesty of justice and an "outed" declaration of bias against Indian Americans in the USA. Check out the article in the Time Magazine by Joel Stein about Edison NJ.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This is the reason given by Dharun on why he did not plead guilty; it is not simple to just say, hey I am guilty of bias intimidation if you did not had that in mind. Also, please note, Dharun is just a kid (18 years of age), he was brought up by parents how believe in Indian culture. We need education ourselves on this case and have to put ourselves in his shoes. I know something is not correct but false accusation is one of them. Five days after the verdict, Ravi said in an interview: "I'm not the same person I was two years ago. I don't even recognize the person I was two years ago...[Tells interviewer he was immature, did some stupid things, and was insensitive to Tyler Clementi’s feelings]...But I wasn't biased. I didn't act out of hate and I wasn't uncomfortable with Tyler being gay....I’m never going to regret not taking the plea...If I took the plea, I would have had to testify that I did what I did to intimidate Tyler and that would be a lie. I won't ever get up there and tell the world I hated Tyler because he was gay, or tell the world I was trying to hurt or intimidate him because it's not true."[15]

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
it doesn't matter what you see. That's so hilarious that you'd say that. You're just as clueless as Ravioli. Walking around in your own bubble. The jury found him guilty of bias intimidation. HATE CRIME. in case you write English, but don't speak it. if anyone indicts Ravi. haha. they indicted him. if you ever served on a jury, they spell it out. They knew what it meant. Tyler Clementi conducted himself with such misconduct and got away with it. haha,. you are dumb. Tyler Clementi is dead so, he didn't get away with much. And from the looks of things, Neither Will Dharun Ravi. and that's good.

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