What can we learn from the Dharun Ravi case?

1) All the evidence was digital / social media

2) Dharun’s computers & phones self-incriminated him

They relied primarily on statements that Ravi made through conversations and text messages with friends as well as actions that he took using technology and social media without Clementi’s initial knowledge, to establish his bias and intent to intimidate. It was questionable whether this unorthodox approach toward establishing Dharun Ravi’s mental state would hold water with the jury.

3) Because of a teenager’s stupid mistakes, 2 families are destroyed. Tyler Clemente’s lost a son. Dharun Ravi’s lost a future.

4) Social media bullying is a new field of evidence capture and prosecution

5) Do YOU understand that a computer or smartphone is a loaded handgun or a live grenade? It can hurt others, and blow your hand off?

Can you teach your kids the important lessons from this trial?

A) Never consent to a law enforcement interview without your lawyer present

Kashad Leverett, one of 12 jurors to convict Ravi, told ABC News that the interrogration video of Ravi meeting with investigators helped them come to the conlusion that Ravi was guilty of invasion of privacy. On the video, Ravi is seen admitting to prosecutors that he purposefully spied on Clementi.

“Invasion of privacy (stuck out),” Leverett said, “and also the fact that he actually confessed in his statement, which was very intellectual to us because how can we go against his word?”


B) Harmless teenage pranks…aren’t.

“It’s a watershed moment, because it says youth is not immunity,” said Marcellus A. McRae, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice. – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/nyregion/defendant-guilty-in-rutgers-case.html?hp

C) There’s no such thing as a harmless sms, bbm, tweets or email.

He sent Twitter and text messages urging others to watch when Mr. Clementi invited the man again two nights later, then deleted messages after Mr. Clementi killed himself.

That account had been established by a long trail of electronic evidence — from Twitter feeds and cellphone records, dormitory surveillance cameras, dining hall swipe cards and a “net flow” analysis showing when and how computers in the dormitory connected. – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/nyregion/defendant-guilty-in-rutgers-case.html?hp