Friday, October 1, 2010

Brody's Notes... Call For Manslaughter Charges In Teen Tyler Clementi's Death

Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum, speaking to reporters in Washington DC, October 2009   Photo By Brody Levesque
By Mark Singer (Washington DC) OCT 1 | Equality Forum, a national and international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization with an educational focus, called on Middlesex County, New Jersey Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan to file murder charges for reckless manslaughter against Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei for causing the death of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi.
Prosecutor Kaplan has filed charges against Ravi and Wei under New Jersey’s invasion-of-privacy laws and under the transmission and distribution of nudity and sexual contact laws, which are lesser criminal charges.
“The willful and premeditated conduct of Ravi and Wei in planting a web camera and in distributing over the internet sexual intimacy is shocking, malicious and heinous,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. “Equality Forum calls on the prosecutor to file murder by reckless manslaughter charges.”   
Lazin is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, former Chairman of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission and former law partner in a Philadelphia law firm.  Lazin is the Executive Producer of JIM IN BOLD, one of the leading films on the impact of homophobia on GLBT and questioning youth.
Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi took his life on September 22nd by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after Rutgers collegians Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei secretly set up a webcam in his dorm room and recorded Clementi, 18, engaged in sexual intimacy with another male.
Ravi and Wei broadcast on the internet the sexual encounter without Clementi’s knowledge.   When Clementi, an outstanding violinist, learned that the sexual encounter had been posted online, he took his life. Clementi’s body was recovered from the river on September 30th.
According to New Jersey’s criminal statutes, a person is guilty of reckless manslaughter if he/she recklessly causes the death of another person.  To find a defendant guilty, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant(s) caused the victim’s death and that the defendant(s) did so recklessly.
Over the past year, there have been highly publicized cases where a teen took his or her life after their alleged sexual orientation or sexual conduct had been publicly disclosed.  
 “Ravi and Wei had to know that outing a reclusive 18-year-old on the web would be emotionally explosive,” said Lazin.  “As a society we should not tolerate - whether straight or gay - this invasion of the most basic privacy and its malicious exploitation on the internet.”
"It is of national importance that the prosecutor should file the most severe charges that the law allows.  Equality Forum also calls on the New Jersey legislature and Governor Christie to enact criminal legislation with severe penalties for this type of exploitative and malicious use of the internet,” stated Lazin


Warren C. E. Austin said...

Go Malcom!

Give Mr. Lazin a cigar. Hell's bell's, I'd give him damned near anything he wants.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada

Trab said...

Exactly what is needed. Even should the case fail to be made, the charge alone will show that someone is taking responsibility to make improvements, to prevent future occurrences if possible.