CLEMENTI CASE

WATCH: Juror In Dharun Ravi Trial Talks To Good Day New York

We’ve heard what alternate juror John Downey thinks of the verdict in the Dharun Ravi trial. This morning, Fox 5’s Good Day New York spoke with an actual juror—Kashad Leverett—about the 13-hour deliberation. Leverett, 20, says the experience was “intense,” but that everyone was “open-minded.”

 

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10 Comments

  • David Ehrenstein

    Very interesting. A nice, straightfoward intelligent young man.

  • Pete n SFO

    CBS’ Sunday Morning show had some old white guy explaining that it was just a typical college prank & that the judgement would be tossed on acquittal.

    It must be scary for them to see the world change right before their eyes. Straight, white, men, no longer exclusively define what passes for acceptable behavior. And society, or most of it, now correctly recognize that Ravi’s behavior was WAAAAAY out of bounds.

    The man reasoned that it was tossing away two worthy lives. As though the victim somehow bears responsibility for the abusers bad choices.

    What ever happened to critical thinking?

  • B

    No. 2 · Pete n SFO wrote, “CBS’ Sunday Morning show had some old white guy explaining that it was just a typical college prank & that the judgement would be tossed on acquittal.”

    I presume this is a typo and Pete meant “appeal”. Was the “old white guy” Ravi’s lawyer? or a legal expert of some sort?

    In any case, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505266_162-57399351/what-are-appeals-chances-in-rutgers-bias-case/ has some interesting statements/opinions about it:

    1. it involved hate crime charges but without violence or specific threats

    2. the judge in the Ravi charge himself said, during jury instructions, that “the law is muddled – I could have written a better law.”

    3. Also, the jury was taking a look at the state of mind of Tyler Clement, but they never heard that Tyler Clementi had actually taken pictures of the George Washington Bridge in the summer, way before he met Dharun Ravi. That didn’t come into the trial, so that may also help with an appeal.

    (note: while taking pictures of the bridge could suggest previous thoughts of suicide, it could also simply indicate an interest in photography or architecture, so it isn’t surprising that this wasn’t allowed to be mentioned in the trial.)

    4. what is also significant is the amount of electronic evidence – emails, tweets – involved, and with the growth of social media such evidence can color a prosecutor’s case or a jury’s decision. “People say the dumbest things in emails and texts, things they don’t necessarily mean, and a jury may interpret it the way the jury wants to,” Dharun Ravi in the police interview tried to say ‘I was just being sarcastic.’ Who known whether he was or not? You can’t tell just by his words.

    [Items 1–4, except the the comment in parentheses, are quotes from the article cited above.]

  • David Ehrenstein

    Here’s hoping he doesn’t get a new trial.

  • lloyd

    I would hardly agree that Ravi’s actions didn’t involve “specific threats.” He planned and publicized a viewing party; isn’t that specific and threatening?

    As to Ravi’s claims that he was “just being sarcastic,” his credibility is lowered by evidence that he was conniving in his accounts of the incident. His “apology” is filled with lies. He claimed that he was just showing Molly the remote feature of the cam and thus it was all an accident. But in his text to Molly (in an attempt to influence her testimony), he said, “Did you tell them we did it on purpose?” He claimed that he actually tried to prevent people from watching the second, attempted viewing, and Ravi changed his original tweet of “dare you to watch.” He told Clementi that he tried to avoid “what had happened the first time.” Yet witnesses testified that he was encouraging people to watch long after he left the room the night of the second, attempted viewing. Lokesh Ohji testified that he had a conversation with Ravi the next day: “Yo, what happened?” Lokesh asked, noting that he couldn’t get a connection the night before. Ravi said that he had heard that from a lot of people. Everything about this guy’s explanations seemed shifty. The jury was smart in not buying Ravi’s explanations.

  • cici

    @lloyd: T2C3G9

  • Joe Velez

    The verdict is as absurd is it is scary.

    1) If Tyler thought the incident was in fact a crime, wouldn’t he have called the police
    like anyone else who feels they were the victim of a crime? But he didn’t do
    that. He simply asked for a room reassignment. Ask yourselves, if your home was
    burglarized, would you simply just ask your landlord to change the locks? What
    if you were robbed on the subway. Would you simply carry a bottle of mace from
    then on? What if someone stole your car. Would you simply buy another one? The
    answer, by my account, is “No” to all of the above questions. A
    person knows when they’re the victim of a crime, and what recourses are available.
    Although we don’t know what was on Tyler’s mind when he jumped off the GW, we
    do know what wasn’t on his mind after the incident transpired, and that was to
    call the police. We should deduce that Tyler himself didn’t think it was a
    criminal act. He only wanted a room change.

    2) Let’s now assume a hypothetical scenario, one in which we know that Tyler did in fact
    jump off the GW b/c of his inability to deal with the mean-spirited act. Well,
    should that compel us as a society to go after this kid Ravi the way we did?
    There are tens of thousands of people who commit suicide in America alone. Many
    b/c their spouses cheated on, or their employer fired them and they’re unable
    to provide for their children. Would they be subject to the same pressure Ravi
    experienced in this case?

    3) And lastly, there seems to be a prevailing bias coverage of this case:
    observed and empathized uniformly from Tyler’s POV. But why? Well, could it be
    because there is a undertone of anti-Indian bias? Scores of new Social Sciences
    research illustrates with overwhelming evidence that people do in fact
    empathize more with someone who looks similar to themselves, or someone they
    respect and/or love. The South-Asian community compromises less than 2% of the US
    population. The LGBT demographic, and their friends and family who would be sympatric
    to their struggles, simply dwarfs that 2% by a huge margin. Is it possible that as a society, a majority of the media and observers were simply able to disproportionately identify with Tyler in a way they simply could not with Dharun for the reasons just stated? I believe so.

    The South-Asian community in particular has been subjected to some of the most
    severe forms of unprovoked and racially-biased attacks in NJ in recent memory,
    as well as more subtle covert forms in the workplace and schools.

    It would do us as a society some good to take a trip to our local state prisons and see
    exactly what the conditions are like, and who we believe should populate such
    places for any extended period of time. My job provides me this opportunity,
    and I believe I am not alone in saying that this guy Ravi does not belong with
    the following perpetrators: murderers, violent criminals, child molesters,
    arsonists, burglars, drug-dealers, prostitutes, etc…

    In closing,recall that Ravi was portrayed as “homophobic”, yet in all his texts
    and tweets to his friends, he never even resorted to addressing Tyler as the
    commonly used derogatory term, one which has a double “g” in the
    middle. And Ravi never directly expressed whatever benign prejudices he may
    have harbored to Tyler directly. He thought he was making them to his closed
    network of friends only. Say what you
    will about the case and Ravi, but he’s hardly a text-book example of either an intimidator
    or homophobe.

    Now the prescendent based on this verdict that has been set for bias intimidation should logically include, in all fairness, the following class of people,too: obese, too thin, too short, too tall, unattractive, too attractive, the less educated, and the overly-educated,poor and rich people, emo, gothic, and the list goes on and on…

    In light of this verdict, I sorta look forward for the first bias-intimidation charge
    I can file at the local county court-house (which for me happens to be the same
    one Ravi was tried in – Middlesex County).

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