POLL: Alternate Juror in Clementi Case Disputes Bias Verdict
James Downey, a Woodbridge resident who served as an alternate juror on the webcam spy case, didn't think anti-gay bias was proven.
A Woodbridge resident who served as an alternate juror on the Dharun Ravi trial said he wouldn't have voted to convict the former Rutgers student of anti-gay bias in the use of a secret webcam that led to the suicide of Ravi's gay roommate.
“The rest of the charges I’m kind of up in the air about, but as far as the bias charges, there’s no way I would have come back guilty on any of them,” James Downey told The Record Saturday.
Ravi, who was born in India, may face deportation in the future. As for now, the jury convicted him on 15 counts of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, and most grueling, bias intimidation.
Unbenowst to his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, Ravi had used a webcam to record Clementi's activities with another man in their common dorm room. Several days after the incident, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
Downey told The Record that he wasn't convinced that Ravi was biased against Clementi for being homosexual.
“Whatever [Ravi] did was stupid, but I don’t think he ever had any intention of intimidating him,” Downey said. “I think that scenario could have happened 100 different ways whether he had a straight roommate who had a girlfriend over...”
Downey also said he was 'relieved' he wasn't called upon to bear the "responsibility of sending somebody, especially a young man, to prison.”