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Petition sent to White House to save Indian student

Upset over the guilty verdict in the case of former Indian American student Dharun Ravi accused of spying on his gay roommate, the community has launched an online petition to the White House.

world Updated: Mar 19, 2012 19:02 IST

Upset over the guilty verdict in the case of former Indian American student Dharun Ravi accused of spying on his gay roommate, the community has launched an online petition to the White House.

Ravi, now 20, has “been robbed of one of the most fundamental rights: 'presumption of innocence'" says the “We the People” petition that provides people a new way to seek action on a range of issues.

Over the weekend, about 1,000 people signed in support of the petition that requites at least 25,000 signatures to evoke a response from the White House.

"Address the fact that media is driving the justice system's decisions: 18-year-old Rutgers student Dharun Ravi is NOT Biased," says the petition that has been posted on the White House website.

“Ravi was robbed of one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution: 'presumption of innocence,'" it said.

"This is not the precedence we want to set. Instead of drawing lines in the sand and taking sides, let's come together as people and prove that we can make tough decisions and show some compassion, understanding, and sympathy."

"Please sign this if you believe that equality and tolerance should be achieved through honest, open communication and not through a vicious and vengeful prosecution that only serves to fuel tempers and alienate us even further," it said.

Meanwhile an alternate juror in the case has said he would have voted to acquit Ravi, convicted of spying on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi, who then committed suicide.

The only thing Dharun Ravi was guilty of was being “stupid,” John Downey of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, told The Record of Bergen County. “I don't think he ever had any intention of intimidating (Clementi),” he said.

Ravi faces 10 years in prison and deportation to India when sentenced May 21. His attorneys are appealing.