Plainsboro, N.J. (written by Suzanne Russell & Steph Solis/Home News Tribune) -- A juror from the trial in which a former Rutgers University student was convicted of bias-intimidation and tampering charges thinks that one day the 20-year-old could have a future in the information technology field but hopes he uses those skills to help, not hurt, others.
"I believe the way they talked about him in court he can get back on track and be successful," said Kashad Leverett of South Amboy, N.J., who served during the March trial that convicted Dharun Ravi in the webcam spying case involving his college roommate, Tyler Clementi.
Ravi used a webcam to spy on Clementi during romantic encounters with another man in September 2010. Clementi jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge days later. Ravi was not tried in connection with Clementi's suicide.
Ravi faced up to 10 years in prison after being convicted of all 15 counts made against him, including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. He spent 20 days in jail and was released Tuesday.
Leverett said testimony during the trial showed that Ravi was community-minded and loved and helped others. Other testimony showed Ravi knowledge about computers.
"It looks like he's intelligent the way he came up with that program," Leverett said, referring to "Jarvis," a talking computer program that Ravi developed and that served as a personal assistant to keep track of his school work and bus schedule.
Leverett said he would like to see Ravi use his skills in a successful way "and not go down the wrong path."
Although appeals of Ravi's conviction and the 30-day county jail sentence imposed by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman are pending, the appeals could take years to be resolved.
Ravi's lawyer. Steven Altman, greeted him when he was released Tuesday morning from the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick after serving 20 days. Ravi received 10 days' credit for good behavior.
Like the prosecution, Leverett thought the 30-day jail sentence was too light. Leverett had expected Ravi to receive a state prison term of one to three years.
Following months of worldwide media attention, Leverett said Ravi should let the attention die down and continue with his life.
Ravi, who is required to perform 300 hours of community service, attend counseling, pay $11,000 in fines and serve three years' probation, appeared to be taking that advice.
As he returned to his home here, Ravi's father drove the family's white Range Rover into the garage, closing the door behind them, bypassing the media camped out in front of the family's home without comment. Family members declined to answer the front door.
Ravi's mother, Sabitha, drove out the same vehicle later in the morning and returned a few minutes later, also bypassing the media without comment.
Family friends dropped by the home, including a woman carrying a bag from McDonald's.
Steven Goldstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Garden State Equality, said in a statement on Tuesday that Ravi's 20 days in the county jail were "a travesty of justice."
"Twenty days in jail was a fleeting and repugnant non-lesson for a young man who passed up nearly every chance to show remorse," he said.
Goldstein said deporting Ravi would have been an extreme course of action but that Ravi's jail sentence was too light.
Ravi is a native of India but has lived in the U.S. since age 5. U.S. immigration officials said on Monday they would not seek to deport Ravi because he does not have a prior criminal record.
Milton Watson, a native of Jamaica who lives in Ravi's neighborhood, said he is happy that Ravi is home and will not face deportation.
"He didn't do anything to be deported," Watson said. "We as foreigners think about the same thing."
Patrick Christ, a Ravi supporter, said on Monday that the community moved on a long time ago.
"I don't think the community cares one way or another," Christ said. "I know a lot of kids from West Windsor-Plainsboro (High School) North from teaching tennis, and they were sick of hearing about the case after four days."