Dharun Ravi Parents

March 16, 2012 by staff 

Dharun Ravi Parents, Dharun Ravi should not go to jail. And that’s what this college kid is facing right now, thanks to the jury’s verdict: guilty on counts of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with witnesses and evidence.

What he did was creepy and childish. He used a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, kissing another man in their dorm at Rutgers. He invited other students to watch, and wrote about it on his Twitter feed. He was a geeky freshman trying to show off.

But that’s not enough to put him behind bars, in the company of rapists, muggers, and killers. This crime is simply not that malicious. Yet because of this verdict, the judge is supposed to sentence him to jail time. Since he’s a first-time offender, it could be three to five years, instead of the maximum 10. But if the judge follows the law, he can’t give him less than three years.

Still, this is an exceptional case. And we hope the judge makes the exceptional call not to give him jail time. That’s in his power, and sometimes, the prosecutor thinks it might be just and doesn’t appeal it. That’s what needs to happen here.

Can you imagine Ravi in state prison? The 20-year-old deserves probation. And even if he gets it, he still faces possible deportation to India, because he’s here on a student visa. That’s probably the reason he was afraid to take a plea deal, unlike Molly Wei, the other student accused of spying.

The judge himself said New Jersey’s bias statute is “muddled.” If Ravi does get jail time, he’s certain to appeal. The appellate judges should find this vague, confusing law unconstitutional.

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