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UPDATE: Massive Berkeley Brush Fire Nearly…

Hundreds Demand 'Justice' for Dharun Ravi in Trenton

About 500 people rallied on Trenton to support Dharun Ravi who faces a possible decade in prison after a jury convicted him of bias intimidation of his late roommate, Ridgewood's Tyler Clementi.

Hundreds of supporters walked on New Jersey's capital demanding “justice” for Dharun Ravi, the 20-year-old Plainsboro native because of his sexuality, according to published reports.

The focus of Monday's rally at Trenton's statehouse was to highlight what supporters called problems with the state's hate crime laws, the Associated Press reported. Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced on March 21.

“If this kid ends up in jail on Monday, my faith will be shaken in this country,” organizer Sandeep Sharma said, according to a report on northjersey.com.

“There was no hate crime, there was no bias, he was not homophobic,” Anil Kappa, a Ravi supporter, told News 12 NJ.

Kappa was one of many Indian Americans who feel a potential 10-year prison sentence does not fit the crime.

Many said at the statehouse that Ravi is a victim of “overzealous”  prosecution, according to reports.

“He didn't get [a] fair trial,” Sabitha Ravi, his mother told reporters, according to CBS2 News. “He was found guilty for the victim’s state of mind and that allows, in my opinion, a jury to bring in their own biases and their own beliefs,” attorney Poonam Buchar added.

Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced on May 21 after a , including bias intimidation, and invasion of privacy.

Reuters reported Middlesex County prosecutors say the native of India has shown no remorse for his actions and is deserving of prison time for having spied on Clementi and his lover with a webcam and inviting others to watch.

Clementi days after Ravi attempted to hold a “viewing party” of him and a man, identified only as M.B., have sex.

Clementi's death in September of 2010 on gay bullying and .

Ravi's lawyers are requesting probation and have asked Judge Glenn Berman for the verdict to be overturned or a new trial altogether.

Lawrence May 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM
How so on the racial equality? Are you saying he was discriminated against because he was Indian? Same for "equal justice"; equal to what? What justice did Tyler Clementi and his family get? Please support your statement with facts, if possible. I half think Ravi and his legal team sealed his fate when they decided to not take the sweet plea bargain offered them. Anyone this clueless, arrogant and unremorseful should serve some jail time and then be deported. Based on everything I've read to date, this young man just doesn't get the gravity of what he did and never will. It's really quite sad.
Lawrence May 16, 2012 at 12:58 AM
The same Devendra Makkar who has accused judges and politicians of anti-Indian bias (nice website you've got). The same Devendra Makkar who thinks grade school kids should be read Miranda Rights before school personnel question them about schoolyard arguments? The father of the boy who complained to Gov. Christie that hisown anti-Jewish rants were to be blamed on Jewish community that controls the township of Springfield and its school board stating that he was unfairly targeted under the state’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying law because he was Indian? So it's no wonder you think Ravi did nothing wrong. . . . it's just anti-Indian bias, correct? Yeah, and it's too bad Tyler wasn't there to testify as to his state of mind. That's just really, really bizarre reasoning on your part. Downright bizzare.
Craig Hueneke May 16, 2012 at 01:03 AM
D.M. Law is almost always based on "interpretation" but the bottom line is this. That dingbat should of known better to do what he did. He's not 5 years old. He knew it was wrong and had to know it violated someone's rights. The very same rights he would claim were violated if someone did it to him. It boils down to this. He committed a crime that unfortunately led to someone's death. The jury was faced with what is called a Case of First Impression which means it's the first of it's kind. And when that is the situation the court, prosecutor, jury and politicians have the unwritten and even spoken sense of responsibility to set an example so the general public's interpretation is clear that this can not happen again. So to trash the jury as uneducated just shows, well perhaps your ignorance? Understand that with the changes of technology and the expansive and rapid grasp of the internet, so too must come change in the interpretation of laws when those to factors collide. - As my father once said "Come here and turn around so I can smack you in the back of your head. Maybe it will knock loose that narrow mind of yours!"
Julia May 16, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Not that there's any way to "prove" this to you people's satisfaction, but I would bet MONEY that the real cause of Mr. Clementi's suicide was his parents' reaction to his coming out. Mr. Ravi is being crucified because it would be horrible (not to mention impossible) to place the blame where it really lies. Jail time for Ravi is a travesty and patently unfair.
RB May 16, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Julia- Your statement "not that there's any way to "prove" this to you people's satisfaction" has a bias undertone to it. What do you mean by "you people's ?"
Julia May 16, 2012 at 05:20 AM
I meant the people commenting on this board who already have their mind made up, and yell about guilt in ALL CAPS and the like. No bias or anything like that implied, sorry.
Rose May 16, 2012 at 09:10 PM
There is no doubt that what Dharun Ravi did was morally and ethically reprehensible. His actions were clearly an invasion of privacy – however, “hate crime/bias intimidation” should never have been attached to the charges against him. Many legal experts have come forward to voice their opinion that this law is ‘muddled’ at best (even the judge expressed unease with its understanding) and feel strongly that what happened here was not a “hate crime” or a case of “bias intimidation” and that the law itself needs to be reworked because as it stands it is unconstitutional in its confusion alone! The ethics of everyone involved, the prosecutor, judge and our judicial system as a whole are in question when a jumbled law like this one can be ‘piggybacked’ so easily onto a case of invasion of privacy – dramatically increasing the likelihood of a jail sentence for this young man, when the true basis of finding someone guilty of breaking this law hinged on something no one will ever know for sure - “What was Tyler Clementi thinking and feeling?.” This is not justice in any way, shape or form.
Rose May 16, 2012 at 09:14 PM
The best outcome we can think of for a tragedy that has devastated two families and made so many people across the country heartsick would be the following - not a prison sentence or deportation, but instead something of tremendous value not only for a generation of young people but for the Clementi family. A true “Tribute to Tyler” – a program developed in part by Dharun Ravi with input from the Clementi family, educators and perhaps other families whose lives have been touched by invasion of privacy or cyber-bullying the past few years. Dharun Ravi and hopefully some of the teens on probation in the Phoebe Prince suicide case among others, would literally go as many schools as possible in the state (or several states) for a designated time and talk in an open forum about this case, educating kids and ‘young adults’ regarding how thoughtless decisions and actions can have such tragic and unintended consequences.
Rose May 16, 2012 at 09:15 PM
This program could be filmed, expanded upon in a number of ways and should be made a permanent part of school curriculum so that long after Dharun Ravi moves on with the rest of his life – which he should eventually be allowed to do with his family in the United States, discussion and education on this topic will continue year after year. This would be a powerful sentence that Julia McClure could be proud of recommending and being a part of as will have a true impact decreasing the chances of something like this happening again - which we all know, given the short attention span of the media, a prison sentence for 'one young man' will not.
Cassandra Velasco May 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM
The real blame belongs to Rutgers U, for cramming 18 year olds into that dorm with no rules or even guidelines. Many colleges have rules forbidding use of dorm rooms for sexual activities. Clementi brought in men for trysts three times, any roommate's patience would wear thin! Regarding privacy, why didn't he take them to a motel? We will never know, but his judgment was astoundingly bad; a dorm room is NOT private, campus cops may search for drugs any time, without any warrant. Ravi's video only showed two guys kissing,no worse than the newspaper pictures of the two gay soldiers. He didn't have the world's best judgment, either, but what do you expect from 18 year olds? Ravi is neither a hater nor a criminal; he did not ever attempt to blackmail Clementi for money or valuables, and Clementi's suicide note did not even mention him. This whole case has been a public lynching, with gays screaming for a 20 year sentence and deportation in these internet comment columns. O vote for a complete acquittal, repeal of this unconstitutional "bias intimidation" law, Rutgers should post some basic dormitory conduct guidelines or rules, if they are able to enforce them, and Ravi should sue for false arrest, and then re-enroll elsewhere.
Cassandra Velasco May 17, 2012 at 12:11 AM
GREAT COMMENT!! To compare with anoiher case of overzealous, incompetent prosecution, I refer you to the Denise Baker case in Tioga Coiunty New York State, back in 2003 or 2004. Denise, a 20 year old babysitter, was left in charge of 3 year old Charlotte Kurtz. She put her to bed with her door closed as per parents instructions. It was a very warm summer night. Somehow, the furnace came on, due to a thermostat malfunction. With other heating ducts in the house accidentally blocked by piles of sports equipment and old newspapers, all the heat accumulated in the little girl's room and she died of heat prostration. This was clearly an accidental death, but Denise was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years. She was later freed on appeal.
Cassandra Velasco May 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Oh year? Well, what do you reccommend, water pistols? I would attend, but I am over 100miles away.
RB May 17, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Rose- Do you actually think Dharun is going to help develop a program "Tribute to Tyler?" Dharun has shown no remorse now nor at any time throughout the trial. What were Dharun's actions the night he found out about Tylers suicide? Do you know? Go over the case, it's all in there. Dharun and his lawyers had a very cavalier attitude throughout the trial. Dharun was given two opportunities to settle before the trial, but they refused. Now they are in full panic mode with rallies,petitions and letter writing campaigns. I don't feel that he should serve 10 years in prison, nor be deported, but he needs to understand that what he did was wrong and should be punished. The character witnesses paraded by the defense during the trial were all business associates of the father. How about some guidance counselors, educators, or religious leaders? That would have carried more weight. Maybe no one had anything constructive to say. Rose- there is a facebook page "In support of Dharun Ravi." Look it up and hit the "like" button.
Cassandra Velasco May 18, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Wholly impractical! I am sure those two families would never want to see each other again. Again, a dorm room is NOT private! It can be entered and searched without search warrant at any time by campus police,on suspicion of drugs, booze, weapons, stolen property, even pets! Clementi should have used a motel. As for the complaints that "Ravi showed no remorse" what do you want him to do? Boohoo and beg in Court? Put on a show? I still feel that given that these are 18 year olds here, the lion's share of blame goes to Rutgers University, not only for putting a gay guy and a straight guy into a shared room, but for not devising a set of rules or even conduct guidelines that would forbid the use of dormitory facilities for sexual activities. Most of the Freshman just want to make it to all their classes on time, adjust to sharing rooms with strangers, and not get into any trouble. But there are always a few who borrow stuff without returning it, blare radios when others want to study, turn their rooms into MESS, incorporated, and bring in drugs, booze, and sex partners. Ravi would never have played a camera prank on Clementi if Clementi had not been one of the problem-makers. And there was no criminal intent; he never tried to blackmail Clementi for money or valuables.All this sorry business of making a criminal out of Ravi has come about because of Clementi's suicide, and there is absolutely no proof that Ravi's prank caused him to jump.
Einstien Karupiah May 18, 2012 at 06:33 AM
I think it is Hindu morality playing itself out. The society is sacred, the social norms are rigid, the caste is the mechanism. Those that act outside the norm are fair game. Tyler Clementi acted outside the norm, not only of Hindu society, but also out of general social norms. Reminding him of his place is no crime and should not be a crime. Ravi ought to be popular for what he did. He is after all a well respected university student, who deserves a good education. Any trial that convicts him for putting homosexuals in its place cannot be a fair trail. The community agrees so they show support. Their norms give no place to homosexuals and those who make sure no place is given are held in high regard. As a person of Indian origin, who cannot tolerate this, I submit to you I think Ravi deserves the maximum sentence. The prosecution is being kind. He deserves it not.
Gary J Negrycz May 20, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I don't always agree with the law but we are a country of law. If you don't like the law vote for the people who will change it. The legislators write the laws not the judge he as much as said go back and get it rewritten. In a different vane we are a society of law, We have asked our legislator to to make it possible to blame someone for any bad thing that happens so we col d sue,now that is what we've got. Maybe we should try going back to we are responsible for our actions and every action has a corresponding reaction. Tghat's natures' law and we can't change it.
Cassandra Velasco May 20, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Oh come on! Ravi committed an 18 year old's prank, he sneaked a camera into his dorm room where his roommate had been conducting trysts. Ravi could not even go in and get his schoollbooks while his roommate misused their room, and this was the third time. All he did was get a few shots of two guys kissing, no worse than the photos of two gay soildiers recently all over the media. And for this, people are yelling OFF WITH HIS HEAD! Calling him worse than a murderer and .demanding jail for 20 years, followed by deportation??!! Ravi had no criminal intent. There wasn't any violation of privacy to speak of-- a college dorm room is NOT private; campus cops can search for drugs or weapons at any time, and no search warrant is required. Roommate troubles are common in college dorms, especially Freshman dorms full of kids away from home for the first time.. Rutgers should never have assigned a gay guy and a straight guy to room together, and, like more responsible institutions of higher learning, it should have posted rules against sexual activities on the premises.
Cassandra Velasco May 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Gary J Negryoz, The flaw in your argument is that it ignores how an individual can be ground up and spat out during the years that the slow wheels of legislation turn, to change a foolish law into a better one. Ravi should be sent home right now, and charges against him dismissed. Let him volunteer for community service and then re-enroll in college elsewhere.
Einstien Karupiah May 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM
He was given that option and did not take it. It is hard to imagine why. Unless you accomodate his Hindu morality. If he admits he did something wrong it impacts his status, he loses face. He is a pariah to his community. He could have done community service and went home, but he would have to admit guilt. If someone else declares him guilty, he can accuse them of being unfair or racist, he can keep his status intact and continue pretending to be self-righteous. As he is right the people who declared him guilty did wrong and has to repent. Everyone of the people who support him shares that attitude. Ravi is the victim of a biased justice system that is partial towards gays they say. The boy who killed himself is abnormal, the boy who drove him to it a future outstanding citizen. Treating him like a criminal is of course wrong. Ravi is 'normal'. Normal people should never be punished for harming abnormal people. While for abnormal people there is no real justice, only token justice. That is the kind of justice that Ravi and his parents are used to in India. There if you break the law but follow the norm, the arm of the law goes easy on you. But if you abide but the law but go against the norm, you will be victimized outside the legal system. Ravi was only being true to the norms.
Einstien Karupiah May 21, 2012 at 01:06 AM
The US maybe a nature of laws, but India is a nature of norms, social norms to be precise. There are good laws in India, but laws are twisted and abused for the sake of norms. If the law goes directly against the norms it is rarely enforced. Hetro-sexuals are part of the norm, while homosexuals act against it. For active normally, neither Ravi nor his parents nor the community that supports him appreciates him being treated like a criminal. If there are laws that challenge the norms, it must be an unfair law, if there are people that enforce such laws, they are acting unfairly. Homosexuality is abnormal. Abnormal people can get only token justice not real justice.
jp1 May 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Ravi is an adult who should have known better no sympathy.
Cassandra Velasco May 21, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Ravi was an 18 year old kid away from home for the first time. Clementi used their shared dorm room for trysts three times, and small wonder Ravi's patience wore thin. His camera prank had no criminal intent whatever and there is no way he could have known how disturbed Clementi was, before he even got to college. Blaming Ravi for Clementi's death makes as much sense as blaming him for the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. The sentence of a month in jail and probation should be appealed at once. What is the court doing here, throwing a nice college boy into the lockup with druggies, shoplifters, wife beaters and Satuday night's harvest of drunks? Let him weed the median strip on the Garden State Parkway for a day. Jail time is counterproductive; it may turn young Ravi into a wounded and resentful person and it accomplishes nothing good for society, not even the removal of a dandelion.
Einstien Karupiah May 22, 2012 at 12:30 AM
He was not blamed for his death. He was blamed for intimidating and victimizing him. For murder he would get life in prison at least. You are a person with no character and a despicable low-life. Blaming the dead victim who has no voice to defend himself. You need to get some of the sensitivity training that the judge ordered Ravi to attend.
Cassandra Velasco May 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM
So "Einstein" is calling me a "person of no character and a despicable low life"? Gee, I thought he invented the light bulb and the phonograph! And for your information, Clementi did leave a "voice." He left a suicide note that did not, in any way, blame Ravi for "intimidating and victimizing" or anything else. I agree that Ravi 's response to Clementi's misuse of their shared dormitory room was at worst, immature, but is it a crime worth sending a young man to jail because he lacked mature judgment? There was no criminal intent in his camera prank, no attempt to blackmail Clementi.. Or slapping a felony charge on him for witness tampering because he talked about what had happened with his girl friend? The real blame should be pinned on Rutgers, for cramming that dorm full of Freshmen away from home for the first time, forced to room with strangers, and no rules or guidelines posted that would deter youngsters from using the premises for sexual activities. If Clementi had taken his lovers to a motel,, none of this would ever have happened.
Cassandra Velasco May 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM
The one good about this destructive and over-prosecuted case is that publicity it generated may sound a warning to kids and parents sending their youngsters to college for the first time.. 18 year olds have hardly any legal rights and colleges can be dangerous places. Roommate troubles are common coin, and having a roomate who steals, brings in sex partners, blares the radio, spreads malicious gossip about you,, keeps weapons, drugs or booze in the room,or is a mess maker who leaves it to you to pick up, is a situation that costs too much to attempt to fix. Some colleges have a history of hushed up campus crime and hounding out any student who tries to press charges for rape, theft, or assault. Campus drug use is often hushed up, and a student who finds him/herself with a drug dealing roommate is in serious danger of being falsely charged. It is very hard for youngsters, away from home for the first time and craving adulthood and independence, to call up their folks and say "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" But if you are a Freshman and you find you have a problem roommate, or a professor who implies you've been cheating, or a librarian who wants you to pay a large sum of money to replace a book you know you brought back, call up your folks and pack your bags. There are other colleges. LEAVE and the sooner the better. This is NOT throwing away your one and only chance for a higher education. Colleges are as numerous as stores; go buy your merchandise someplace else.
Einstien Karupiah May 22, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I am not surprised you would say that. It is already established that you are a person with low morals and bad character. Attempted witness tampering, evidence tampering, deleted tweets, deleted SMS messages from his cell phone. He acted criminally and knew he did and tried to cover up before he got caught. The real blame should be pinned on Ravi because he tried to arrange for the humiliation of this young boy whose only 'crime' was being homosexual. It may work in India, maybe he needs to go home. Deportation should do the trick. As for you, check with your lawyer. You are now indulging in criminal solicitation. Don't be as stupid as Ravi. These comments could make its way to a state prosecutor.
Einstien Karupiah May 22, 2012 at 08:01 PM
If you have your way 18 year olds won't have any legal legal rights, except if they are Indian, then they will have special rights, but absolutely none if they are homosexuals. The gross insensitivity that the judge recognized in Ravi is reflected in every word you write. If are advising victims of bullying to leave rather than stand up for their rights. You are making excuses after excuses for the bully. Your life is going to be unbelievable miserable because your character is rotten. You will live to see yourself become the pariah that Ravi make Taylor into. And when you or someone you love gets bullied your words will be used against you.
Gary J Negrycz May 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM
He lives here he lives by our rules if we lived in India we live by his rules
Cassandra Velasco May 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Nice to hear from the nutcase again. It takes all kinds to liven up these comment columns. Sorry, kiddo, but I just don't believe in curses. including personal attacks.
Einstien Karupiah May 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM
There is no curse. Just your own arrogance getting the better of you.


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