It's undoubtedly tragic that the victim in question committed suicide, seemingly as a consequence of the defendant's actions: spying on his roommate, the victim, and his homosexual relationship by secretly filiming them in their dorm, and then asking his friends via Twitter to watch. Undoubtedly and obviously the defendant was a dickhead for doing what he did. But to label it a hate crime because of the homosexual angle in the case, instead of viewing it as a mere invasion of privacy and an extremely immature prank, stretches the ambit of reasonableness quite a bit.
This is a prime example of a hate crime and it wasn't even ruled as such in the case. Dharun Ravi's actions can't even hope to compare to something like that.
Also, the morons calling for Dharun Ravi's head, saying he was responsible for the victim's death, are exactly that: morons. Do they not understand the concept of causality and remoteness?
This comment is pretty funny:
What could have gone through his lawyer's mind? My memory is that Ravi was offered a plea bargain: no jail time, community service and the right to remain in the U.S., and he turned it down. Sure, a jury could look upon what he did as an innocent college prank gone wrong, but they could just as easily look at it as a hate crime. Wouldn't a lawyer facing this situation be obliged to insist his client accept the plea bargain, perhaps even refusing to represent the client if he chose to go on trial? Are there any lawyers reading this who want to comment on it?
Obviously I'm not trained in American law but the basic principles should be the same when it comes to lawyering: You're not obliged to insist on a particular course of action for your client. You do your best to advise him. If he doesn't listen, too fucking bad. I've never heard of any lawyers discharging themselves because the client doesn't want to do what the lawyer thinks is best for the client. The lawyer is an advocate for the client: he/she does what the client wants. The lawyer's legal and professional obligations do not extend to insisting that a client takes a certain course of action.
On another note, I miss criminal law. I don't miss anything else about litigation/private practice, however, and I definitely do not miss going to court.