CLEMENTI CASE

Alternate Juror: Dharun Ravi “Stupid,” But Should Have Been Acquitted

An alternate juror in the recent trial that found Dharun Ravi guilty on 15 charges of invasion of privacy, evidence tamering and bias intimidation, tells the Bergen County Record he would’ve acquitted the 20-year-old Rutgers student.

John Downey, of Woodbridge Township, NJ told the paper he was “kind of up in the air about” the invasion of privacy charges but that he didn’t think Ravi was guilty of a bias crime:

“Whatever he did was stupid, but I don’t think he ever had any intention of intimidating [Clementi],” Downey said. “I think that scenario could have happened 100 different ways whether he had a straight roommate who had a girlfriend over … there are 100 scenarios where he could have been goofing around and turning the camera on and it had nothing to do with somebody being gay.”

Well, if Oliver Wendell Holmes here thinks it’s a miscarriage of justice then surely it is, right?

Sure, maybe Ravi would’ve wanted to watch a hetero roommate mack on girl, but would he have invited friends to an online viewing party? Would he have, as text records indicate, told a friend, he wanted to “keep the gays away”?

Ravi shouldn’t go to jail for Clementi’s death. And he’s not—he’s paying the price for harassing and humiliating his roommate. Is ten years (the maximum Ravi could receive at his May 21 sentencing) too steep a price? Maybe, but Ravi turned his nose up at a plea bargain that would’ve avoided jail time altogether.

In every sense, he brought this on himself.

Photo: zzpza