Dharun Ravi’s sentencing hearing is being held today in New Brunswick. Mr. Ravi is the ex-Rutgers student who was convicted of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, as well as hindering charges after his roommate Tyler Clementi committed suicide after learning that he had been spied upon kissing another man. The case has garnered national attention and sparked debate on hate crimes, “cyber-bullying,” and suicide. Besides raising a number of interesting legal issues on whether the sentence will be proportionate, there are also questions regarding whether Mr. Ravi will be deported since he is not a US citizen. Whether he may be susceptible to removal is actually quite complicated. The issue will boil down to whether the crimes of which Mr. Ravi is convicted and sentenced constitute crimes involving moral turpitude and/or aggravated felonies. The answer unfortunately is not black and white. Interestingly, during the hearing, Judge Berman advised Dharun that while he could expunge the convictions later on in the future, he could not expunge the conduct or pain that he caused. As a side note, it should also be noted that even if these convictions are expunged, or sealed, they nevertheless exist for immigration purposes and can still be used a basis for Mr. Ravi’s removal.
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