General Question

jca's avatar

Do you feel that 30 days in jail for Dharun Ravi is enough for filming and streaming the homosexual encounter of his roommate, which led to the roommate's suicide?

Asked by jca (28104 points ) May 21st, 2012

Today was the sentencing of Dharun Ravi, who filmed the homosexual encounter of his roommate, and put the act live on the internet. He set up a webcam in their dorm room, and invited other friends to watch the encounter. If I’m not mistaken, he also made disparaging remarks about gay people during the viewing. The roommate, Tyler Clemente, committed suicide when he found out.

Dharun Ravi got a plea deal: 30 days in prison, 300 hours of community service. On the news they are saying that gay rights and human rights groups are shocked at the leniency of the sentence, as are many other people.

Do you feel that the sentence was enough? Do you feel that he should not have gotten any punishment?

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69 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Just the fact of his setting up the cam and entertaining himself and friends justified a longer sentence in my mind. Not ten years, but at least 6 months to a year. Much as I think it led to Clemente’s suicide, I think it was more of a last straw rather than the sole impetus to jumping off the bridge.

His real punishment will be deportation. That’s a pretty strong punishment.

Coloma's avatar

I think they were both obviously unhealthy people and while the act itself shows gross lack of character and integrity the suicide result was still the victims choice. A healthier person would have stood and fought the breach of privacy and moved on inspite of the humiliation.
A sad situation but no, to answer the Q. I think 30 days is a joke. More like a year to have any true impact IMO.

I doubt that jail time will amend the guys dark side.

wundayatta's avatar

I think it is plenty of time. I think he shouldn’t have gotten any time. He’s already been punished enough for what he did, which wasn’t illegal, to my mind. But they had to give him a sentence of some kind due to public pressure.

Did he get deported, too?

wildpotato's avatar

@zenvelo The judge recommended against deportation.

I have read and thought about this case a lot. I really don’t think I have enough information to judge whether Ravi committed bias intimidation based on Clementi’s sexual orientation or not, since the suicide note was not released – and even then I don’t know if I could feel secure in judging guilt. On a personal level, I doubt I could avoid decking this guy, or Wei, if I ever met them. But prison? The likelihood of being raped, among other things, makes me think that prison time is a cruel punishment, and very rarely warranted. I do not think it is in this case because Ravi does not seem to be a dangerous person.

lillycoyote's avatar

He should have, certainly, gotten more that thirty days. That’s outrageous. Whatever people may think of the case itself, if you look at what he was charged with, what charges he was found guilty of and what the usual sentence is, then he got off easy.

If the information in this article is correct then, this is how it played out for him:

COUNT 4: Bias intimidation, for knowing his conduct could intimidate Clementi and make Clementi feel he was targeted because he was gay. (2nd degree)
• Maximum sentence: Up to 10 years in prison with a presumption of incarceration, usually 5 to 7 years.
• Actual sentence: Probation

COUNT 8: Bias intimidation. For tweeting an invitation for people to watch Clementi’s Sept. 21, 2010 visit with M.B., thereby causing Clementi to feel intimidated. (2nd degree)
• Maximum sentence: Up to 10 years in prison with a presumption of incarceration, usually 5 to 7 years. 
• Actual sentence: Probation

COUNT 12: Hindering apprehension or prosecution on Sept. 23, 2010 for trying to tell Molly Wei what to tell police. (2nd degree) 
• Maximum sentence: Up to 10 years in prison with a presumption of incarceration; usually 5 to 7 years.
• Actual sentence: 30 days in jail

Those are the charges he was found guilty of, that seem to average a much stiffer sentence.

Some of the other charges where he was found guilty can carry a stiffer sentence, but there is no “presumption of jail time.”

These are the charges that can result in a longer sentence, but also carry no “presumption of jail time” where he was also sentence to 30 days.

COUNT 13: Hindering apprehension or prosecution for not telling the complete truth to investigators on Sept. 23, 2010. (3rd degree) 
• Maximum sentence: Up to 5 years in prison, no presumption of jail time.
• Actual sentence: 30 days in jail

COUNT 14: Witness tampering for trying to influence what Molly Wei told investigators. (3rd degree) 
• Maximum sentence: Up to 5 years in prison, no presumption of jail time.
• Actual sentence: 30 days in jail

COUNT 15: Tampering with physical evidence for trying to change or remove tweets and text messages between Sept. 19, 2010 and Sept. 23, 2010. (4th degree) 
• Maximum sentence: Up to 18 months in prison, not presumption of jail time.
• Actual sentence: 30 days in jail

All the thirty day sentences are to run concurrently.

While it may have been a first offense or first offenses, if you look at the type of charges, the number of charges against him, number of those charges where he was found guilty, and the possible sentences for some of those charges, 30 days and 300 hours of community service is nothing.

How much bias intimidation, hindering apprehension and prosecution, tampering with witnesses and tampering with evidence does a guy have to do around here to get some serious jail time?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have got to speak as a gay man. I am not speaking for the GLBT community.

I am angry.

I am disgusted that the invasion of privacy occurred in the first place. I am sickened that it led to a suicide. I am outraged at the leniency in the sentencing.

@Coloma : How dare you preach to a dead man and tell him he should have been healthier and stood up for himself. No one knows what was going through that poor victim’s mind, and you used that word, too, “victim.” If he’s the victim, why the hell does he have to demonstrate anything to anyone?

@lillycoyote : Thank you for delineating in such great detail what was handed down today.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I think he got off too light, but I also think the framing of it as exclusively a gay rights issue is a problem. It seems to say that, had Ravi’s roommate been straight, this would have been really only mildly asshole behavior, instead of still wildly inappropriate, an invasion of privacy, bullying, and something that should be illegal. Or, that if Clementi had reacted by downing a box of donuts instead of killing himself, this wouldn’t be an issue. So, I wish he had gotten more time (perhaps he could have served all those 30 days consecutively, and counts 4 and 8 should have been at least a year each), but I also want this to be applied to all people who think it’s ok to film those they live with to bully them, not just the ones who have gay roommates.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Does anyone have the skinny on just which gay rights and human rights groups are pissed? Because other than Dan Savage, I can’t seem to find anyone – GLAAD, Lambda, HRC, no one seems to have posted anything. Heck, Andrew Sullivan commended the sentence. But maybe it’s because the news came too late in the daily news cycle? Or, I’m looking in the wrong places.

Nullo's avatar

Thirty days sounds about right for being a massive jerk, maybe a bit on the short side. I feel that this case, like the Martin case, is getting blown out of proportion by interested parties.

If I’m not mistaken, he also made disparaging remarks about gay people is not any more a crime than making disparaging remarks about anybody else.

Philosophile's avatar

@Nullo @aethelflaed I totally agree with aethelflaed. The fact that he committed suicide and the fact that he is gay is irrelevant (unless he WAS targeted for being gay, and Ravi did tape him for homophobic reasons). The fact that his roomate taped him having sex and released it on the internet is absolutely horrible. Clementi, straight or gay, could NEVER get that off the internet. For the rest of his life he would have had to deal with that.

The suicide part reminds me of the California court case in 1988 where a drunk driver hit a Jehovah’s Witness woman who would have likely survived, but she refused a blood transfusion. The Supreme Court ruled that the driver wasn’t responsible for anything past the injuries, because she made the choice to refuse the transfusion. Ravi couldn’t have predicted Clementi’s suicide, but he still should have been more thoughtful.

I’m sure there are similar court cases in which a party (gay or straight) was taped having sex. I wonder what those sentences were in comparison?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

He should have got a longer sentence and I hope his guilty conscience does not let him rest or calm down till the day he dies!

jrpowell's avatar

Well, his career is pretty much fucked thanks to Google. It is either working at Taco Bell or the 700 Club.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Philosophile Just to be clear (because I might have failed to fully explain this): I don’t think the fact that Clementi was gay is irrelevant, nor that he committed suicide. I support the bias charges, which wouldn’t have applied had Clementi been straight. And while I abhor the phrasing that keeps popping up in relation to this, that Ravi ”made Clementi commit suicide” (because once you’re gay, you have no control over your actions!), I also think that cultural forces play huge roles in the mental health of people, and that includes stigmatizing and ostracizing gay people simply for being gay. I don’t think one d-bag move is enough to cause what would be an otherwise well-adjusted person* to kill themselves, but I very much do think that systematic bullying on many fronts combined with a systematic failure to provide offsetting support measures can very much, given enough time, take a well-adjusted person and slowly lower them, notch by notch, until they feel they have no options other than suicide. There is a reason GLBT youth are 4 times as likely to commit suicide as their straight, cisgender peers, and I very much want to address that. But I want to address it by looking at the larger culture within Rutgers, college life, and America at large. And I want to do it in a framework that says that Ravi’s behavior is never acceptable, it’s always horrible, it’s just even more detrimental when you live in a homophobic country.

*I have no idea what Clementi’s actual mental health status was before the various incidents with Ravi.

Philosophile's avatar

@Aethelflaed I just meant that unless it can be proved that Ravi taped Clementi to humiliate him because he disliked he was gay (which it sounds like it was, however, I’m not familiar with those details, so I didn’t want to assume he did). And I agree that his actions were horrible: However, I don’t think Ravi predicted he would nor wanted Clementi to commit suicide. If it is a hate crime, prosecute it as such. But don’t prosecute him based on the suicide if Ravi had no idea Clementi was at that point, is what I’m saying.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Aethelflaed I have to absolutely disagree that this has been “framed” as an “exclusively a gay rights issue.” It shouldn’t be and we should look at what actually happened, from a legal standpoint. He was charged with multiple counts and found guilty on those charges. There is no getting around that.

That’s why I took such great pains, above, to post the specific counts, the specific charges against Dharun Ravi, and the specific findings of guilt on each charge and each count. So people would understand that it was more that the case was not just about “gay rights.” He was found guilty, in court, by a jury, of specific charges, some of which usually carry much stiffer sentences.

So, again:

He was found guilty on two bias intimidation charges which, if my link is correct, carry a “presumption of incarceration,” with a usual sentence of between 5–7 years and he merely received probation:

COUNT 4: Bias intimidation, for knowing his conduct could intimidate Clementi and make Clementi feel he was targeted because he was gay. (2nd degree)
• Maximum sentence: Up to 10 years in prison with a presumption of incarceration, usually 5 to 7 years.
• Actual sentence: Probation

COUNT 8: Bias intimidation. For tweeting an invitation for people to watch Clementi’s Sept. 21, 2010 visit with M.B., thereby causing Clementi to feel intimidated. (2nd degree)
• Maximum sentence: Up to 10 years in prison with a presumption of incarceration, usually 5 to 7 years. 
• Actual sentence: Probation

And, setting aside any matters of “gay rights” he was found guilty of hindering apprehension and prosecution:

COUNT 12: Hindering apprehension or prosecution on Sept. 23, 2010 for trying to tell Molly Wei what to tell police. (2nd degree) 
• Maximum sentence: Up to 10 years in prison with a presumption of incarceration; usually 5 to 7 years.
• Actual sentence: 30 days in jail

You would think the courts would at least take seriously multiple charges of hindering prosecution, witness tampering and tampering with evidence. How is the justice system in the U.S. supposed to function in this country if judges don’t even care about that sort of thing?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@lillycoyote Yeah, I was talking more about the media framing, especially the gay rights and human rights outrage. I think the courts did a much better job handling it (right up until that 30-days sentencing) than the media did. And your post was top-notch.

Sunny2's avatar

The prosecution is appealing the light sentence.

augustlan's avatar

Given all of the info that @lillycoyote has posted for us, I have to say 30 days is a freaking tap on the wrist. Definitely not enough.

lillycoyote's avatar

Also, something I am extremely curious about, and if anyone has something like some kind of Venn diagram showing where, how many and how, the ant-LGBT crowd and the anti-immigrant crowd overlaps, I would love to know where they all weigh in on this one. I love Venn diagrams. :-)

Dharun Ravi is a foreign national, who has been charged with and found guilty of some pretty serious crimes, including crimes involving trying to skirt, circumvent and deceive the U.S. justice system, yet has received a very light sentence all in all, but, as @wildpotato mentioned, the judge has apparently recommended against deportation, though I have not checked that out. I have no reason to believe that that isn’t the case, I just haven’t checked it out myself.

I would be really, really curious as to how, where they might overlap, the anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT crowd might weigh in on this one. I keep waiting for people’s heads to explode, but they never do. I am always disappointed. :-)

I do, though, have to respectfully disagree with my dear friend @zenvelo, that Dharun Ravi’s deportation to his native country, India, would be more of a punishment that 5–7 years in prison in the U.S.

LostInParadise's avatar

I think 30 days is enough. I support gay rights, but I think the definition of “bias intimidation” is a bit extreme. Note that Ravi was not directly accused of causing Clemente’s suicide. Granted that Ravi acted like a complete jerk, I think Clemente’s reaction was a bit extreme. Suppose that Clemente had taken the attitude that he was proud of his sexual orientation and shrugged the whole episode off. What then would be the magnitude of Ravi’s crime?

prasad's avatar

He caused someone to suicide! Definitely I am with longer punishment and deportation. Somebody should teach him a lesson.
Dharun Ravi, looks like an Indian name. Have his parents been informed? And that alone can be one of harsh punishments he can get in addition to what he deserves.

lillycoyote's avatar

@LostInParadise It’s a complex issue, morally and legally. I am not an attorney, but I don’t know if there is any way, legally, to hold a person criminally responsible for another person’s suicide, unless their actions violate an existing assisted suicide statute. That is why Dharun Ravi was not charged with anything that involved Tyler Clementi’s death.

But I absolutely believe that Tyler Clementi would be alive today were it not for the actions of Dharun Ravi. Moral and ethical responsibility most certainly does not always align with legal responsibility. Still, again, Ravi was charged with, indicted on charges and found guilty of charges, by a jury, in a court of law, of crimes that seem to, normally, carry a much stiffer sentence, and he was given 30 days, on all counts for which he was sentenced, to be served concurrently.

He got off easy. And, as you point out, he was not accused of directly causing Clementi’s death, so that should not even be a point of debate, in my opine. He was, however, accused and found guilty of a number of other crimes. Why should his sentence for the crimes he was accused of and found guilty of not be in line with the sentences of other people accused of and found guilty of the same crimes?

And what if “Clemente had taken the attitude that he was proud of his sexual orientation and shrugged the whole episode off. What then would be the magnitude of Ravi’s crime?”

The law is not necessarily about the outcome. It is very often about state of mind, motive and intent. As you point out, Ravi was not charged with anything relating to Clement’s death itself so the fact that Clementi committed suicide is not the issue.

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad Yes, I believe Dharun Ravi is an Indian national and imagine that his parents… well I don’t know but I assume, if possible, they have come or been in the U.S. during this, either to support him or to thoroughly haul his ass through hell, whichever is the customary procedure in these cases. :-) I will have to look into it, but it appears that deporting him is certainly an option but apparently the judge in his case has either not recommended it or recommended against it.

prasad's avatar

@lillycoyote His parents support him? How can that be? Okay, he is their son, but he has done something terribly wrong. Then, I guess after coming out of the court, he will definitely get scolded. And if comes back to India, and if they are good enough people, he will be outcast, like a pariah.

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad I see you are “crafting a response.” If it is a response to my comment, I should let you know that I edited.

LOL. You are fast! You got there before me. I have absolutely no idea whether they are supporting him or not. But I can only assume that they are well aware of what is happening with him. I just don’t know anything about that aspect of the case. How and in what way his family is involved.

LostInParadise's avatar

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that gays have the same rights as everyone else and then punish someone for showing that someone else was gay. What if Clemente had been filmed engaging in a heterosexual act? What would be the crime, beyond invasion of privacy and teasing?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@lillycoyote @prasad Ravi was born in India, and immigrated to New Jersey with them when he was 4. He is a legal resident of the USA, but is a citizen of India. Deportation would mean separation from his parents, and from the only home he has known.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@prasad You can’t cause someone to suicide. You can create external factors that will make it significantly more likely that they will respond with anxiety, depression, anger, and possibly even suicide, but you can’t make some kill themselves. People are, at the end of the day, responsible for their own actions, and Tyler Clementi is responsible for his death, not Dharun Ravi. Robbing gay people of their agency is not being a good ally.

lillycoyote's avatar

@LostInParadise Gays don’t have the same rights as everyone else. Asking for “gays” to have the same rights, saying that “gays” should have the same rights is not the same as “gays” actually having the same rights.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Aethelflaed I don’t believe that, at any point in this thread, that I suggested or advocated the deportation of Dharun Ravi. Perhaps I did. If you can point to someplace where I did, then I suppose I will have to answer to and for that.

wildpotato's avatar

I should have sourced the claim initially. Here is the article I used.

Blackberry's avatar

What @lillycoyote said. And like others stated, it sucks his sentence is so cheap, but the reputation being ruined should do the trick as well.

Coloma's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Whoa there big fella…not preaching, just calling it as I see it.
I have the greatest sympathy for the “victim”, but sorry, IMO someone already has to be having some serious emotional issues to contemplate suicide. All I’m saying is it’s too bad he allowed this unfortunate situation to take him down to the point of suicide.

I’m simply pointing out that others have gone through terrible experiences and not taken that road. People lose children, jobs, loved ones, suffer serious health issues and don’t resort to suicide.

Just sad, that’s all that can be said.

wundayatta's avatar

There was a New Yorker article about the facts of the case that I linked to last time we discussed it. I think the facts of what happened are very important and can perhaps help people understand the sentence.

If you look merely at the counts he was convicted on, it looks very cut and dried. I doubt you can see the difficulty of the deliberations of the jury (if there was one) or of the judge. This was a pretty subtle case, in my opinion. And it is strongly colored by the suicide, which makes people feel like someone should be punished for Clementi’s death.

Clementi killed himself. Not Darun. Clementi is responsible, not anyone else. If you let him get away with blaming someone else for his suicide, you open the door to keeping people who are mentally ill sick for the rest of their lives. We may have brain chemistry disorders, but we are responsible for our choices, including the choice to die because the pain is too much. The pain is always in our own perceptions, because our perceptions are where we decide that it is too much to endure any more.

The pictures of Clementi barely got taken, and they were not put out on the internet. I’m not sure how much Clementi even knew about what Darun was up to. I’m sure the folks in the trial know more about that. I guess there’s a suicide note, and if that ever gets released, we’ll know more about what Clementi knew.

The prosecutors are appealing the sentence, but I suspect it could just as easily go the other way. He may get less of a sentence on appeal. I don’t think this case is legally as strong as people think, and I think a lot of it was a show trial designed to appeal to certain political groups, as much as it was to try to get to justice, whatever that is in this case.

Personally, I do not think this was bias intimidation, whatever that is. Maybe if I studied it more, I’d think so, but I really think this was more about individuals than about people who were straight and gay. The roommates did not get along and did not like each other, and it would have been the same whether or not Clementi was gay. Clementi had a lot of problems, and he’d probably be dead whether or not Darun harassed him.

Darun should not have spied on him. He probably should be expelled for that. But for him, 30 days in jail will be an eternity. He’s a middle class kid. His life is already ruined. I’m sure he totally regrets what he did, and might even be willing to spend the rest of his life working to make up for it. He’s not a tough kid. He’s just an asshole. I think the judge knew what he was doing.

Bill1939's avatar

@Coloma, I agree that one year would have been a more appropriate sentence for Dharun Ravi’s total disregard for the potential impact that posting the Tyler Clemente video could have. However I disagree with your view that Tyler’s suicide was a “choice”. Few people can understand the overwhelming desire to escape from the suffering of psychological pain at being ostracized by society for being different from average people unless they have experienced it themselves.

gorillapaws's avatar

So what if this had been about a guy who put hidden cameras in the bedrooms of a hotel he owned to secretly tape women having sex, or in a women’s dressing room? Is this situation different from a legal standpoint? Even ignoring the whole suicide thing, this seems ridiculously lenient.

Coloma's avatar

@Bill1939 Well, none of us escape pain in this world, I’ve been taken down and broken a time or two but suicide was never an option. Everyone has a certain breaking point and for some they just are not able to know that ” this too shall pass.”
It’s just tragic that they can see no way out.

jca's avatar

@prasad and @lillycoyote: I saw a news clip where the parents were in court, for the sentencing, and they showed his mom pleading and crying for leniency so he could have a “chance at a normal life.” Clementi’s parents were also in court, pleading for a stiff sentence. They also showed some groups protesting the act (Will have to google to find out what groups) and they showed some people who appeared to be Indians rallying with picket signs, in support of Rhavi.

Bill1939's avatar

@wundayatta, I think that Dharun Ravi should have been charged with depraved indifference.

@Coloma, It is tragic when one is overwhelmed by their emotions. Though many are resilient enough to ride out their despair, those with a high level of emotional sensitivity, such as artists and musicians, experience their feelings to such a depth that even the primal instinct to survive is not enough to hold a suicidal impulse in check.

Coloma's avatar

@Bill1939 Agreed, some people are just more fragile than others.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Definitely not enough time for the offenses as listed & definitely NOT enough time for the public humiliation that he put his room mate thru. Gay or straight, filming someone having sex is an invasion of privacy of the highest order. One has to wonder about the bias of the judge in this case in recommending against deportation? He should be deported back to India & never allowed to return to the United States.

bkcunningham's avatar

He wasn’t “filmed,” @Linda_Owl.

bkcunningham's avatar

The New Yorker article is so insightful, it should be a must read before discussing the case. Ian Parker did such a good job with the piece, please read the article.

zenvelo's avatar

@Aethelflaed @lillycoyote It was I who suggested that deportation would be sufficient punishment beyond the thirty days. And deportation is not the judge’s decision, it is an ICE decision and current regulations are pretty strict about the result of crimes committed by resident aliens.

So let Ravi return to his country which he does not know, but where he has no reputation to deal with. And when he misses hiss family and his family misses him, he can remember that the Clementis won’t ever see their son again.

ratboy's avatar

I don’t want to be held responsible for someone else’s thoughts and feelings. Had Clementi not killed himself, the incidents would be considered minor infractions by a few jerks with very poor judgment and worse taste.

jca's avatar

@bkcunningham: Printed and reading it now. Believe it or not, I subscribe to the New Yorker, which is in a big, unread pile in my bedroom (night time reading, anyone?).

bkcunningham's avatar

It is very moving, @jca.

DominicX's avatar

I’ve read the New Yorker article before and I have to agree with @wundayatta on this one. Although I’ll never understand why Ravi wanted to spy on Clementi and I’ll never understand how Clementi went from reporting the incident and wanting to switch roommates to wanting to commit suicide, I do think that the sentence is punishment enough. I do think a lot of the desire for a harsher sentence comes from wanting to punish someone for another person’s suicide, but you simply can’t do that.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

No, I think he should be deported. He strikes me as an extremely privileged kid who has no regard for our culture, our laws or our country. In our country, we are taught sensitivity from a very early age. We are raised knowing that discrimination, bullying, invasion of privacy, and slander is morally wrong and illegal. People in other countries still revel in such activities. This kid didn’t seem to care at all, and clearly doesn’t get it.

deni's avatar

I read the wiki of the whole incident. The dude sounds like the biggest douche bag in the world. 30 days. People get more than that for weed. This is a human life. It’s just disgraceful. So so so so so so so so so sad. That poor kid.

Philosophile's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I think that’s a little generalizing. Clearly, as seen, we have many kids in the U.S. who are taught that gays are bad, and are not taught that they should not bully them (as seen by the other cases of gay suicide and Mitt Romney’s (if true) actions in high school). If the Republican presidential candidate couldn’t recognize that, and people still support him, well, that’s pretty indicative of some of the people in our country.

You can’t just deport people because they’re “not acting like an American” or we’d be deporting some native Americans too.

Coloma's avatar

@Philosophile I agree, hell, about ¾ths of ALL people everywhere need to be deported somewhere. haha

wundayatta's avatar

If you could deport anyone just on your say so, I wonder how many people in the world would be in their country of origin?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@lillycoyote I wasn’t saying you had. @prasad had been discussing with you Ravi’s nationality, immigration status, and relationship with his parents, so even though my response was mostly at @prasad it made sense to @ you as well.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@deni I disagree. From the New Yorker article, he sounds like a normal, college-aged douche-bag. He just was a douche-bag to someone who was already mentally unstable.

DominicX's avatar

@Aethelflaed I’ve known a lot of college-aged douchebags and Ravi certainly sounds like them, but still, none of the ones I’ve known would’ve wanted to live-stream their roommate in a sexual encounter. I still find that odd. It sets him apart from other douchebags in my book.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@DominicX I’ve known a lot of college-aged douche-bags, and many of them seem to have issues with sexual boundaries. And I have no problem with punishing him for streaming Clementi’s private interactions, but he didn’t kill Clementi, and I don’t want to see him punished for that. Severe punishment for everyone who acts like a douchebag will have 97% of the population serving time by the time they’re 25.

prasad's avatar

@Aethelflaed Then, I can’t guess more correctly. But, deporting him without punishment to India or any other country will not do much good; he might be inclined to engage in more criminal activities. And you must be knowing about Indian bureaucracy! If he comes to India, chances are he can get out without punishment, if he can pass chunks of money under the table. US government, I think, will better handle this situation.

jca's avatar

From what I’m gathering from the news and pundits, most feel like he got way too easy a sentence. The prosecution is appealing.

bolwerk's avatar

I actually don’t get this huge boner for punishing him. He was obviously bi-curious himself. What he did was stupid and wrong, yes, but I don’t see why somebody like this doesn’t deserve at least some mercy. I don’t buy that he intended to kill Clementi, and he obviously is going to feel like shit about this for the rest of his life. If 30 days in a New Jersey cell isn’t enough, that should be.

Not every tragic screwup deserves draconian punishment. Nobody – not the dead victim, not society – gains from more punishment. Save the long prison terms, deportations, and executions for war criminals, not sexually inexperienced college freshmen who aren’t even allowed to drink.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Philosophile Well, of course I am talking in general. Do I have to say “American society as a whole” frowns on such activities. I thought any reasonable person would understand that.

And, of course I am not saying that a person should be deported by “not acting American.” I am saying they should be deported for breaking the law.

Philosophile's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Breaking which law? Speeding laws? Shoplifting laws? Murder laws? Besides, like others have said, if he just gets sent home, chances are, this’ll get swept under the rug. America is a hodge podge of cultures: You don’t get to just accept the good ones and send the bad ones home.

And we’re taught slander and bullying and invasion is bad? Which is, again, why we have people in the first place claiming homosexuals are bad, bad, bad? Or tar entire political parties with the same brush and show ads taking words out of context and pouring hate? Or print tabloids that claim celebrities are cheating on one another? Or think it’s okay for our own country to, now, unconstitutionally detain a person, American or not, on claims they’re a “terrorist”? On the contrary, I think, unfortunately, a big part of American culture accepts slander, bullying, and invasion of privacy as a necessary evil.

manolla's avatar

The sentence is a joke, I can only imagine what Tyler Clemente went through that he needed to end his life to escape from it, no one had the right to invade his privacy in that way.
Hope that he rests in peace and Ravi lives his whole life in guilt, though I doubt some one with a spirit like his could feel guilty.

beeh's avatar

I don’t understand how much misinformation everybody keeps spreading around about this case. Ravi was not on trial for the suicide. The prosecution wanted Ravi to say that he set up the cam in his room because he was anti-gay, they offered him 600 hours of community service if he took the plea, he refused and went to trial. Ravi maintains that the reason the cam was activated was because the old guy his roommate brought over was acting shifty.

This is the series of events that occurred according to both Ravi and the other students in the dorm—

1. Ravi met the older looking scruffy man with his roommate. Everyone in the dorm concluded he seemed strange and was acting shady.

2. Ravi was kicked out of his room and went to Molly’s room, where Molly asked about the strange guy.

3. None of them knew that there was going to be ANY sexual liaison going on. For all they knew it was Tyler’s old friend for a visit. Ravi was worried that the strange guy was going to steal his stuff.

5. Ravi had reason to be irked and suspicious of that scruffy looking, much older guy.

6. Molly asked about the “weird guy” and Ravi said here let me show you. Turned on his webcam. (Btw remote webcamming is basic stuff. He didn’t sit there and say “whoo hoo gay sex….Let’s watch this shit.” It was already in place much before this incident.) We live in a world where shit happens and we would like to know what is going on in OUR OWN rooms and with our stuff.

7. They turned the webcam on.

8. They see his roommate and the strange guy kissing, they turn off the webcam immediately and express shock. Ravi even said that they should not talk about this to anyone.

9. It was therefore broadcast to how many people? It’s two. Molly and Ravi. Both of whom never expected any kissing. And NO it was not full out sex or nudity.

So once again how is Ravi responsible for this guys suicide THREE days later? Why should people have to become scape goats when the prosecution commands them to? Free country my ass.

beeh's avatar

This case should be a wake up call to all Americans—despite clear evidence of no wrong doing by Ravi, the media is allowed to basically invent a a series of events that are not occurring and have it believed by the majority even as the counter information is widely available.

DominicX's avatar

@beeh Yeah…there’s a lot of misinformation going around, namely the misinformation you’re using to support your opinion. Did you read the part about Ravi setting out to have a second “viewing party” because it was “happening again”? Only that time, he failed to get the webcam going because Clementi turned off Ravi’s computer? The second time, Ravi completely intended to catch them together and invited people over to view it via webcam.

bolwerk's avatar

@beeh: I think the anti-gay claim falls short, but only because – and neither Ravi nor most other straight men, even fairly self-actualized ones, would want to admit this in court – he was probably getting off on the whole thing. By throwing a viewing party, as @DominicX mentions, he was validating his own homoerotic curiosity by involving other parties in an attempt to alleviate his own cognitive dissonance.

At least, that’s what I suspect. In any case, community service in lieu of incarceration seems entirely reasonable.

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