Enough is enough, Set Dharun Free – message to Prosecutor and Judge

The following communication was made to prosecutors office and the judge on Dharun Ravi case.   

Please read the tragic story at the end of another case.  There are many such stories.  

If you know of such cases of yourself or of others you know,  pass on to  info@SupportDharunRavi.com.  

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Enough is enough, set Dharun Free – an Opinion

 

I read through Hon. Prosecutor Julia McClure response to Hon. Judge Glenn Berman to reject  Dharun’s attorney request for appeal and bail (see references below) for Dharun during the May 21st sentencing (at New Brunswick courthouse).   I am not an attorney but I have few simple questions.

No one seriously believe that Dharun did not invade the privacy of Clementi but the larger question is does this come under purview of the university regulations or the purview of criminal justice system funded by state tax payers.  (In fact, Tyler Clementi asked for change in room and university would have granted that change).   If that is not so, where does the act of facebook founder such as Zuckerberg putting the pictures of women in the starting class of Harvard asking to rate how “hot” they were.   Was there any state funded prosecution on that case?    There are many such cases across the university campuses around the country and they are handled by university regulations.

The response contends that Tyler Clementi suicide was never in the picture and jury was carefully chosen and prepared to discount.   If there was no suicide, would there have been a trial?  Unless someone is living in such seclusion, how can that be left from the minds of the jury.   I do not know if Hon Julia Mc Clure has seen teen conversations where she puts overwhelming credence to that but totally neglected every single friend of Dharun stating that he has no bias against people of homosexual orientation, including his letter to Tyler that he probably never saw and chose to charge him with bias intimidation charges.  On what basis prosecutor justify using hate crime law when Dharun refused for plea bargain because it requires him to say he hate gay people.

One thing we would not see in these arguments is the deliberate use of a ‘muddled’ hate crime law to make Dharun as a scapegoat at the prompting of the media blitz and the politicians.   A caller at NJ 101.5 program on Dharun said it was Governor Chris Christie who asked the prosecution to use the hate crime law.  One of the news reports says the Prosecutor read the hate crime law and found that the law fits Dharun’s case.  How come this hate crime law was not checked against the murderers of Divyendu Sinha case?  How come this law was not consulted in many cases of crimes where racial slurs were made on Oak Tree Tree in the same county.   How come this law was not read during the last 25+ years of existence and was never applied.  As the mothers for New Jersey wrote,  “If the law is questionable (which it is), then the charges were questionable, which makes the verdict questionable as well and therefore unjust”.

Who is discriminating whom?  Who is biased against whom? Who should be prosecuted?   Should we not investigate if Governor Chris Christie interfered with judicial process?  Should we not investigate the bias of prosecutor’s office in not choosing to apply a law where they are funded by tax payer funds to apply the law of the land in spite of knowing the truth?   Should we not prosecute the media houses like CNN who ran a story blitz against Dharun and conspicuously silent while many other media houses chose to tell the story after truth came out during the trial?  What is the function of Office of Prosecutor?  Protect justice or protect popular opinion?

Is this not a story of making convenient scapegoats of members of communities which are not organized such as the Asian American communities?   Would this be allowed to happen if Dharun was a member of more organized communities such as African American or Jewish?    Would it happen if the organized groups like misguided Garden State Equality not put enormous pressure to use Dharun case to teach a lesson to such cases, as if this is going to solve the fundamental religions, parents and educational issues,  as if Dharun is a sacrificial lamb?  Many Asian Communities can tell stories of bias, intimidation and nothing was done.  Please see one touching account below.  We have a lot of tearful stories to tell.

Prosecution is asking to give prison sentence to Dharun.  Do one has to be behind the prison walls to be in a prison?  Where was Dharun during last two years.  You take away childhood out of a child you kill the child,  you take away youth out of youngster, you kill that youngster.   A tearful Dharun’s mom said during the Mirage community rally that he lost 20 lbs (he is thin to start with).   He could not go to college like every one youngster and falling behind all his friends and classmates.   A close friend of family lamented that he is dying inside and they do not know what is going on within him.   What more punishment is needed than this?   What do you expect?  Do the prosecution want to sacrifice him for their careers, politicians for their votes and media for their readership?

Enough is enough.  Dharun does not deserve any more prison than he already has.   Let us not drag this into a long drawn battle.   If it comes to it, the community is prepared for non-violence movement of courting arrests, fasting, protests until justice takes place, until the crookedness of our system is set straight.

Regards,
Satya

 

Reference:

Hon. Prosecutor response to Hon. Judge Brennan

http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/355788/dharun-ravi-indictment-may-10.pdf

 

A MOVING STORY OF DISCRIMINATION, BIAS

 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kishan Sarkar
Date: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:00 AMHello,I feel the need to share my story, as I am hoping it will help Dharun Ravi. Please feel free to share with the community and especially with the prosecutor’s office.

I have watched the case of Dharun Ravi closely, and like so many in the Indian community, I feel that Dharun Ravi should not have been given such a harsh conviction for his childish actions. Having suffered depression and suicidal thoughts myself;  I know that while Tyler Clementi’s death is tragic, Tyler Clementi’s suicide could not have been the direct result of Dharun’s actions alone, but rather a potpourri of incidents throughout Tyler’s life that drove him to his breaking point and subsequently Tyler’s decision to take his own life.  While the NJ state prosecutor and those in favor of punishing Dharun Ravi to the degree the NJ state prosecutor has, the bottom line is this case was not about discrimination or bias against Tyler Clementi or individuals adhering to alternative lifestyles, but rather painting a scapegoat for a so-called bias crime. One has to wonder, who is being truly discriminated against? After all, the facts of the case are self evident to the point that many people feel the sentence handed down to Dharun Ravi was unequivocally unjust and unfair. Any individual with a shred of intelligence can see that while Dharun’s actions were dumb, immature, and downright childish, Dharun’s actions do not fit the criteria of the bias crime the NJ state prosecutor has charged Dharun for.

The reality is; it is Dharun Ravi who is being discriminated against. Dharun Ravi is indeed a scapegoat for a “bias” crime and unfortunately Dharun’s legal team cannot compete with the unwavering legal and financial assets of the NJ state prosecutor.  The NJ state prosecutor does not have the will to fight legitimate bias crime, so it imposes a maximum sentence on a youth who probably elsewhere would have gotten a far lesser sentence.

How do I know?  I was a victim of a blatant discriminatory act; however the perpetrators were not given any punishment.  Unlike Dharun Ravi, I was born in the United States, and similar to Dharun Ravi, I spent my early childhood in India, but the greater part of my life in the United State. I am Indian American.  In the early 1980s, my family and I have lived in various places of New Jersey; from the ghettos of Paterson, Newark, and East Orange to the middle class suburbs of Westwood. From an early age, I found discrimination most rampant in the middle class suburbs, and found myself harassed constantly by young Caucasians simply because of my ethnicity and probably my skin color as well.  I heard perhaps every slang and offensive joke that could be told about Indians and through it all I had to learn to keep my calm but more importantly keep my mouth shut.  You see in those days, even though I had never instigated any incident, had I reacted or made a negative comment, I seemed to get into trouble. I could not understand it, here I was trying to be a decent child and when needed stand up for me and my heritage, but it seemed to be a big crime.

The straw that broke the camel’s back (as the Americans say) occurred when I was in the 8th grade (class). I was walking home from Westwood Regional Jr-Sr High School when I heard voices.  I looked back and saw an entourage of 6-7 Caucasian boys most of them with shaved heads, wearing leather jackets and military style boots. One boy asked “HEY DOTHEAD, DO YOU LOVE AMERICA?” I did not respond…again another boy asked “HEY COWSHIT, DO YOU LOVE AMERICA?”….and again I did not answer, but started to pick up the pace in my walk.  All of a sudden a metal object hit the side of my head, and for about 2 minutes I was out like a light bulb (yes I was assaulted with a metal baseball bat).

I awoke in a daze, and with sharp pain in my shoulder and upper back. I touched my mouth, I was bleeding! I looked around, and the boys were not around. I saw my book bag was burning, I was able to rub it in the grass to put out the fire (yes they even lit fire to my book bag!).  I slowly got up, and started limping, not sure what had just happened.

All of a sudden, the boys who had just attacked me were back. “WE’RE GONNA KILL YOU DOTHEAD” one of the boys screamed out with the metal bat raised as if he was going to strike me down. Terrified and with the adrenaline level in my body pushed up so fast, I had lifted my book bag and ran as fast as I could. I ran until I found an intersection where a crossing guard had been sitting. I ran up screaming for help. She came running. She saw the blood, and she asked me what happened. I told her what had just happened to me. Fortunately she had a CB radio (no cell phones then) and was able to have the police come immediately. The police officer immediately took me to the hospital where it was realized my shoulder was dislocated from the blow that struck me.

After the police officer contacted my mother, she came to the hospital hysterically. She was scared; she was angry; she had probably every emotion pouring out of her that night. I was terrified thinking that was this somehow my fault; but what was my fault? I had said nothing, I ignored these boys, and yet here I was in the hospital in brutal pain.  Several days later, the police asked me to look at pictures. I was able to identify 3 of my attackers, and I learned sometime later all the boys who participated in attacking me were identified. There was a witness, a classmate of mine; she had witness the boys attack me, set fire to my book back, and she heard all the nasty things they shouted at me. She had even witnessed them kicking me when I was unconscious.   The witness further testified to police that in no way had I instigated, rebutted, or even made a single comment to these boys; she clearly stated it was as if I was oblivious to my attackers.

Ok, so here the crossing guard witnessed my condition, the hospital records proved I was attacked, I had an impeccable witness who corroborated what had happened to me; classic hate crime with the evidence to prove it correct? Back then, not according to the NJ State prosecutor!  And do you know why the NJ State prosecutor did not prosecute? The Assistant District Attorney had the guts to tell my father the truth; apparently the father of one of the boys who attacked me was a NJ state senator. So guess what? Because the father of one of the boys who attacked me was a NJ state senator, no charges were ever brought against my attackers; even though this attack was not only classic assault, but actually fits the hate crime statue of New Jersey, NO CHARGES WERE EVER FILED! My attackers never had to go to court!  My case was never put in front of a judge!  My attackers were never punished…well they got a 3 day school suspension, wow a 3 day school suspension for a brutal assault and bias crime! Furthermore to add insult to injuries, the NJ state prosecutor convinced my parents that “boys will be boys” and that my parents should understand that young kids engage in foolish behavior.

Dharun Ravi did not physically hit Tyler Clementi. Dharun Ravi did not call Tyler Clementi any derogatory or degrading names.  Dharun Ravi never threatened to kill Tyler Clementi, nor did Dharun Ravi engage in assisting Tyler Clementi with the decision to commit suicide (as unfortunate as this is, Tyler Clementi made his own choice to end his own life).  Dharun Ravi did not physically injure Tyler Clementi nor according to the evidence no negative verbal exchange existed between Dharun and Tyler.  Dharun Ravi was 6 months older than the boys who attacked me.  According to the NJ state prosecutor’s office, “boys will be boys”, wasn’t Dharun Ravi a young boy engaging in foolish behavior? Or is that just for Caucasian boys? Dharun Ravi is not a Caucasian and is expected to serve 10 years in prison and be deported back to India after a 10 year prison sentence. The entourage of Caucasian boys who attacked me, whose crimes fit the exact nature of a bias crime and assault, never had to see a courtroom; and their punishment…a 3 day school suspension!

Bottom line, Dharun Ravi is a scapegoat, plain and simple!Regards,
Kishan