Victim Tyler Clementi

Victim Tyler Clementi

Cyber-bullying has once again been thrust to the forefront of the national news, as opening statements are set for today in the case of a former Rutgers University student who allegedly used a webcam to film his roommate's homo-sexual acts with another man, according to a CNN article.

Dharun Ravi faces a 15-count indictment, which includes hate crime charges, in relation to the death of his former roommate Tyler Clementi. Clementi killed himself after discovering the web-stream, jumping from the George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey.

Last year, Ravi turned down a plea bargain that would have kept him out of jail entirely, because he and his attorney believe that he is innocent.

Ravi, 19, is a citizen of India and was studying in the U.S. legally when the incident occurred.

The prosecutors  deal would have required Ravi to complete 600 hours of community service, counseling and to discard any information, including copies of the sexual encounter, that could identify the other man who was with Clementi.

In addition, prosecutors offered to help Ravi avoid deportation, although they said they could not guarantee it.

A second student charged in the scandal, Molly Wei, 19, reached a plea deal and that requires her to testify against Ravi.

Less than a month after Clementi's suicide, President Obama issued a taped video message condemning bullying.

A young person died and it is likely that someone will have to pay the price for his death.

With all the controversy surrounding cyber-bullying the jury should take it upon themselves to deter this sort of behavior in the future. That is if the evidence admitted at trial demonstrates Ravi's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecution's key witness, Molly Wei, will be crucial to establish his guilt because she was involved in the scandal and her testimony, provided in an exchange for reduced punishment,  is likely to sell Ravi out.

What do you think?

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