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The Rutgers Spycam Case

Hate crime charges, suicide, and subtleties in the case of the gay student at Rutgers.

Dharun Ravi waits for the judge to explain the law to the jury before they begin their deliberations during his trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, N.J. on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.  Ravi is accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi,  intimate encounter with another man.  Days later  Clementi committed suicide.  (AP)

Dharun Ravi at Superior Court in Middlesex County, N.J. Ravi is accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, intimate encounter with another man. Days later Clementi committed suicide. (AP)

When gay Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, three weeks in to his freshman year, the story gripped the country. On Friday, the court had its say.

A New Jersey jury found Clementi’s Rutgers roommate, Dahrun Ravi – who had used a webcam to spy on Clementi in an intimate encounter with another man – guilty on fifteen counts, including a hate crime charge that could put him in prison for ten years.

Clementi’s death was tragic. Now Ravi’s conviction is under the microscope. This hour, On Point: crime and punishment in the case of Tyler Clementi.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kate Zernike, national correspondent for the New York Times.

Richard Kim, executive director, The Nation Magazine.

Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director Lambda Legal.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker “One day this fall, Ravi was in a courthouse in New Brunswick, fifteen miles to the north, awaiting a pre-trial hearing. In a windowless room, he sat between two lawyers, wearing a black suit and a gray striped tie. His eyes were red.”

The Nation “When I read that 18-year-old Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi had committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after two other students posted a video of him having sex with another man online, my heart dropped. ”

Christian Science Monitor “Attorneys made closing arguments Tuesday in the trial of a former Rutgers University student accused of cyber intimidation by using a webcam and other social media to expose his male roommate’s intimate encounter with another man. The gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide by jumping off New York City’s George Washington Bridge days after learning that information about his relationship had been made public.”

The New York Times “A jury on Friday convicted a former Rutgers University student, Dharun Ravi, of hate crimes for using a webcam to spy on his roommate kissing another man in their dorm room.”

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  • Joe

    This whole case has been nothing more than a ‘Cause Celebre’ for the Gay Rights community who want to make a saint out of Tyler Clementi so that homosexuals can attain even more rights, protections and priviledges under the law than straight people.

    Dharun Ravi is at worst, a peeping tom, he is not guilty of a hate crime.

    But then I suspect that’s the ultimate objective of the Gay Rights community, to make anyone who is not for Gay Rights and homosexuality, guilty of a hate crime.

    • Anonymous

      I think most gay folks wold settle for the same rights the rest of us take for granted.

      The kid was convicted on charges and evidence brought by a straight prosecutor and police.

      I’ve not followed this to make a judgment call on it.
      However, does this case mean that a precedent has been set so that bullying cases may be tried as hate crimes?

    • Hidan

      Normally I’m all for Gay Rights but it seems the Authoritarian Left(Folks that want to protect you from yourself) are going to far and will most likely use this to establish even more authoritarian laws probably to the point of push back. Take Ma. and there bullying laws that know criminalizes children instead of counseling and community service it’s straight to juvie.

      I do agree with the Sheperd Case but this one is a bit to far.

    • Ray in VT

        I’d probably put him somewhere worse than a peeping tom, given that he pushed it out to the web.  Hate crime, I don’t know.  I would, however, disagree that this case is part of some move to grant gays and lesbians “more rights, protections and priviledges under the law than straight people.”

      I would agree with jefe68 below that gays and lesbians would be quite happy to have the same rights, including marriage rights and the right to not be discriminated against for being who they are.

      • TFRX

        given that he pushed it out to the web

        Tangent, which I’m sure will come up: The law has to catch up with technology. Think of every fictional blackmail story that includes the words “turn over the photos and the negatives”.

        • Ray in VT

          Agreed.  The terminology used in many laws is woefully out of date when it comes to issues that continue to arise in the online environment.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        Ray: He did not push this out onto the web in the sense that he recorded it and uploaded a video, he invited people to connect to his computer via iChat and watch what amounted to a minute of the two guys making out. Then he tweeted about it and did it again. Nothing was recorded except a thread of tweets on Twitter, the “video” was not a “video” it was a real time porthole that a few people connected with and looked through (we’ll never know how many but not many).

        • Ray in VT

          My mistake then.  Could we agree that in some sense it was “broadcast”?

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Ray, what was broadcast was an invitation to watch a live feed. Had Ravi never done that via twitter and iChat no one would have seen it. As it is, the only people who could have seen it were people who were already “connected” to Ravi’s iChat account, which no doubt included people at Rutgers and beyond.

            I’m not excusing him, just telling you how it works. I use iChat daily.

    • TFRX

      You may wish to reformulate the wording of “make a saint out of the victim”.

      Or are you the sort (based on the “even more rights!!!1!!one!” wording) who’s just trying to convince folks like me that if a crime’s victim does something or is someone…icky enough, that they aren’t deserving of protection under the law?

    • Robert Riversong

      Joe,

      Your statement is, at best bigoted ignorance and, at worse, hate speech. 

      Even if you are not a gay hater (which it appears you are), it is the kind of statement that riles up people to hate gays and cross the line into criminal behavior.

      • Modavations

        You are walking Hate Speech.Tell us about DDT,do you see all the blood on your hands?.And you worry about Ravi!!!!!You killed 5 million with your precious birdies

        • a. nonymous

           This is totally incoherent. 

  • Carl

    I am uncertain if Ravi’s actions were an expression of his “hate” for homosexuals or his inexcusable ignorance of the ramifications of his actions or his gross lack of human decency. Since he was convicted of a hate crime, I will assume that there was evidence to point to the intentions of his heart – that his actions were an outward expression of his disdain of homosexuals. While I am all for a conviction – cyberbullying must carry with it a severe punishment – was it truly a hate crime?

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I think you’ve come close to expressing my problems with this verdict Carl.

      The Matthew Shepard case was a hate crime: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

      This case was cyberbullying at worst.

      Ravi seems like many other immature freshmen guys who now have social media to use to bully other people to make themselves more popular. My guess is had his roommate asked for the room for a heterosexual encounter Ravi would have spied on him as well. Maybe the fact that Tyler was gay held more interest but I don’t see a hate crime in that.

      Anyone interested in this should read the entire New Yorker article linked to above. It offers an objective laying out of the sequence of events. It was written before the trial and verdict and frankly, I don’t think the article will lead you to support the verdict.

      • nj_v2

        I’ve never really understood the whole “hate crime” concept. Prosecution and punishment for crimes should stem from actions, not presumed “state of mind.” Too close to “thought police” for me.

        • Robert Riversong

          Many criminal statutes and sentences depend on “state of mind”. With murder, it matters whether it was premeditated, spur of the moment in the heat of passion, or accidental.

          To be a hate crime the motive must also include a bias against a protected class of people.

          • BEEZ

            by protected class of people, I’m assuming you mean the human type of people, because hate crimes are hate crimes regardless of the the “class of people” involved.

          • Modavations

            Get “Super Heavy”(out for about six months)…..JrGong.,Mick Jagger,Joss Stone,some ragga dude.A few lousy cuts(mick J),but mostly very righteous

          • Robert Riversong

            Although state laws vary, current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s protected characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)/FBI, as well as campus security authorities, are required to collect and publish hate crime statistics.

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Interesting, so had Tyler been heterosexual and Ravi opened up a live video feed of him making out with his girlfriend, this never would have gone to trial? Is that right? I thought that was right but you’re saying it is right.

            In my mind, that undermines the case because cyberbullying should cut across classes of people.

  • Hidan

    10 years is far to extreme.  Though what Mr. Ravi did is morally unacceptable  he shouldn’t be held solely responsible for Mr. Clementi taking his own life.

    Often with Suicide cases there’s more than one thing that causes the person to attempt it or do it . Though Mr Ravi actions were cruel I don’t believe it was a hate crime as to what happen to Mr Shepard

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Exactly, well said. It was cyber stalking and maybe bullying at best. Rutgers should have kicked him out and that should have been the end of it.

    • Modavations

      Mr.Race Card gives Ravi  a pass because he’s Indian……I give him a pass because he didn’t throw the kid off the bridge

    • Robert Riversong

      The defendant was not charged with murder or contributing to suicide. It was merely about intentionally violating another’s privacy and whether that violation was motivated by bias.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        I find it hard to believe that this verdict would have been reached had Tyler not committed suicide, which is what you’re saying. I know what you’re saying is the law and you’re saying it clearly, but I find it tough to believe that the jury did not take the suicide into account.

  • Yar

    Suicide is sad what ever the reason, but in this case, Dharun Ravi is not solely responsible for the conditions that caused Tyler Clementi to end his life.  The webcam may have been a trigger, but the fact our greater society fails to accept people as they are also shares responsibility.  We see our emotional selves through reactions in others, when that reflection is distorted through hate or prejudice we can become distressed. Using religion or social norms to say an individual is wrong for who they love is at the root of munch distress.  We are created as social creatures, our well being is dependent on acceptance in society.
    When we attempt to find goodness through religion we fail, when we attempt to find religion through goodness we begin to understand love.  Be happy for everyone who finds love.  It is  better to love than for society to force people into false relationship simply because it looks ‘normal’ to them.  By accepting gay relationships we open ourselves up to honest relationship with everyone.  I wonder if this is the true meaning of Matthew 18:18″
    I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
    We need to be in honest relationship with each other and with God. 
    You cannot understand without love.  I pray for understanding.

  • Kookoo Cory

    Ten years is too much.  Defendent’s motive should be considered.  Also a bit of a reach to link his act to the suicide.  He’d have gotten less time if he’d hit him with a lead pipe.

    Also not a fan of hate crime enhancers.  They seem redundant.  Punish criminal behavior, not the likes and dislikes of the criminal.  I believe I should be able to hate whatever I wish.  It isn’t criminal.

    • Annainca05

      Well, Kookoo Cory and Yar (below), fyi, you may consider the fact: 1. he is not charged w/ causing his roommate’s suicide;  2. he definitely violated privacy of Tyler; and 3. he rejected the generous, “no jail time” offer from the prosecutor.  As you know he will be likely to be deported upon sentencing to India, and he will probably leave a very comfortable living there given his family’s wealth.  He may not be able to re-enter the US for a few years.  But you know what?  He is still very young and given his family’s money (and India is a good place for him to start a computer software company, enabling to accumulate more riches) and the right political connection, he may in the future get his conviction pardoned and come back to the States much sooner than you think.  You may call me cynical, but … Tyler will never have any of these chances.  Feb. 6th issue of the New Yorker has a insightful article re. this case.  I was appalled to find the extent of Ravi’s websearch on Tyler prior to moving to Rutgers as well as his conduct after finding out what he did after Tyler’s death. It is criminal.

      • Kookoo Cory

        The suicide is mentioned both in the story, and your response to my post.  “Tyler will never have any of these chances”.  You can’t have it both ways.  Is the suicide a factor, or isn’t it?

  • True Freedom

    Posting the video was wrong.  However, Dharun Ravi was not the first person to post objectionable material on You Tube.  But perhaps the student did what he did because he knew that deep in his heart, he was engaging in an immoral, unnatural act.  Groups such as Exodus International can help those caught in the additive homosexual lifestyle to face it squarely and overcome it if they are willing to do so.

    • nj_v2

      The morality bigots are out early today.

      • Modavations

        make a point please

        • nj_v2

          What a sad, vile, contemptible little man this is.

          • Modavations

            Make a point please

    • Ray in VT

      It is hard to say how much, this particular incident may have contributed to Mr. Clementi’s suicide unless he left some sort of evidence of this mental state, and I would characterize Mr. Ravi’s behavior as reprehensible.

      Perhaps Mr. Clementi feared that his family and/or friends may have expressed similar attitudes or feelings to the ones that you have expressed.  I don’t think that Mr. Clementi’s homosexuality was the problem.  The problem is the pressure that many gays and lesbians feel from groups and individuals who characterize them as immoral or unnatural for being who they are, and groups like Exodus International are part of their problem, not the solution. 

      Homosexuality has been known across cultures and time, and it is known to occur in the animal kingdom.  Some, maybe even most, faiths may be opposed to it, but that doesn’t mean that it is unnatural, especially when it occurs naturally.

      • Modavations

        The animals of which you speak are visually impaired……That’s a joke you tight-as-es

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Get your facts right, nothing was posted on YouTube or anywhere else. There was no video, it was a video chat that was not recorded. The only thing that was “recorded” was a series of Tweets from Ravi’s twitter feed. Ravi attempted to delete them as well as some email and this is where the “tampering with evidence” charge comes from, which is legit.

      • True Freedom

        Calm down, Richard.  The issue is, was it truly a hate crime?  When Californians very wisely voted not to approve Gay Marriage, there were many who said some very hateful things, defaced churches, etc.  Were you screaming that that was a hate crime, or is it only a hate crime when something offensive is said against the political left.  I would qualify many of the things said by liberals who post to NPR programs as hate speech.  I also bet that Christians and other conservatives are in the minority (if they exist at all) in terms of employees of NPR, PBS, etc.  That is hate-filled discrimination as far as I am concerned.  But that is politically correct, so it is ok.

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          I’m quite calm, you my friend, are off your rocker.

    • Mike from Rutland, MA

      Wow, I didn’t know such resources exist?!  Do you have a program that will fix my “blackness” too?

      • True Freedom

        One’s skin color is ammoral and a matter of one’s genes.  Choosing to live as a homosexual is an immoral lifestyle choice, similar to the decision to rob a bank.

        • Ray in VT

          Wow.  Just wow.

    • Anonymous

      At least the Rev Fred Phelps is honest that he hates gays and doesn’t try to “help” them through fraud like Exodus.

    • Patrick

      That’s a weird way to put it – “the addictive homosexual lifestyle.”  This sounds like it might be a case of Ted Haggard syndrome.

      I guess that it’s addictive in the same way that the heterosexual lifestyle is addictive to a straight person.

      “True Freedom,” you should consider the possibility that you’re addicted to the gay lifestyle because you are, in fact, gay.  Just the way God made you.

      • True Freedom

        No, I am a normal heterosexual married male.  God made man upright, but because of sin, he has sought to manifest that sin nature in many ways.  Addiction to drugs, gambling, food, entertainment, and illicit sexual relations are just some of the ways.  But God did not make man gay or intend for him or her to be gay.  Remember, God made Adam and Eve, and Adam and Steve.

        • Af_whigs

          I, too, think it’s interesting that Exodus chooses to refer to the “addictive” homosexual lifestyle. 

          Doesn’t God also teach us that we’re made in his image, and not to judge?  Where in the bible does it say that it is the job of us here on earth to police the lifestyles of others? 

          Leave Adam and Steve alone, for chrissake.

          • True Freedom

            Have you ever heard of Sodom and Gomorrah?  

        • Robert Riversong

          You may be all-too-common but you’re hardly normal. You’re an ignorant bigoted fool who puts an allegorical 5,000 year old book ahead of science and facts on the ground.

          If God created bigots like you then God is the devil and you are a devil-worshipper.

          • Modavations

            Listen to your language.You are “walking Hate Speech”

          • Anonymous

            Aw, c’mon.  He’s only hating the man’s actions and words, not the man.  Surely you understand the difference. 

          • Modavations

            I know the guy and stand by my claim

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Amen Robert.

        • Patrick

          You know, the Old Testament also has some very specific things to say about how menstruating women should be ostracized.  Is that something that you practice? Or do you view it as irrelevant superstition?

          Either way, “True Freedom,” you’re probably going to hell.  Booga booga.

        • Anonymous

          Myths shouldn’t be used to claim a group of people are morally inferior. 

    • TFRX

      Can Exodus Intl help, for example, a straight man who doesn’t want to give up ballroom dancing, baking, and season tickets to the opera, but wishes to escape falling into the aforementioned addictive lifestyle?

    • Robert Riversong

      What appears far more addictive in our culture is heterosexual sex – within marriage, outside of marriage, pre-marital, in all its many varieties including rape.

      And, unlike homosexual sex, heterosexual sex has been implicated in the exponential and unsustainable rise in human global population to the point at which the human species is destroying Creation. 

      Simple logic would require the conclusion that heterosexual sex is a sin against Creation. But, don’t worry about your addictive behavior, there are institutes that can cure you of that (by castration or lobotomy).

    • Anonymous

      Do you think there is a special place in hell for those who encourage and help spread hatred, intolerance and bigotry in the name of God, or do they just go to the regular hell? 

      • notafeminista

        Much as you’d like to think otherwise, you don’t get to decide.

    • PaulWalsh

      Sorry but you don’t know the facts.  Ravi didn’t post anything to You Tube. 

      Ravi wasn’t even accused of posting any video. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    What Ravi did was wrong – that said I’m not sure holding him responsible for Clementi’s death is appropriate. How far does this go? Shall we hold everyone who has contributed to someone’s decision to commit suicide as criminally accountable?

    • Modavations

      If Dems.had their way,you’d be arrested for improper thoughts.Look at the “thought police”right here.NJ,TRFX,Jeffe,Terrytt…..You can’t say that,you can’t think that

      • Ray in VT

        That’s a load of bunk.

        • Modavations

          Raymundo,I sincerley believe this.Bunk is not a worthy comment

          • Ray in VT

            I like the term bunk.  You may believe it, but I think that you’re by and large wrong.  Such people exist, but they are also wrong to think such thing, in my opinion.  Hate anyone you want, just so long as you don’t act on it.  The Klan is a vile, despicable organization, but so long as they don’t actually act against people, then they have every right to be ignorant racists.

          • Modavations

            Existential judgement to which you’re entitled.Immature prattle and name calling,no

          • Ray in VT

            If people want to name call, then that’s their right.  I really don’t care much.  I’ll often just ignore people who I find to be particulary irritating.

          • Modavations

            And I’ll comment and ask….”what’s your point,please

          • Ray in VT

            That your original comment is wrong.

      • Anonymous

        Which party does free thinker Rick Santorum belong to?

        • Modavations

          I have no party,I have no master,if that’s your point.My one and only vote was Perot

      • TFRX

        Here we were having a grown-up conversation. And then you showed up.

      • Anonymous

        Well at least I’m thinking. I’m not a democrat by the way.

        • Modavations

          I thought you came up with”Vile little man”..Who’s the author?

      • nj_v2

        What a sad, vile, contemptible little man you are.

    • Robert Riversong

      Ravi was not held responsible for Clementi’s death – only for violating his privacy with bias aforethought.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Oldman: They claim that the verdict in this trial had nothing to do with Tyler’s suicide, it was all about “bias intimidation” and hate speech. But the fact remains, had Tyler not committed suicide there would be no trial and Ravi at worst would have been kicked out or Rutgers.

  • MarkVII88

    Would it have been a hate crime to have secretly recorded and posted his roommate having sex with a woman (no matter what the woman’s age or appearance) if the end result was the same jump off the GW Bridge?  Would this person still be charged with a crime or would it have been purely a matter for civil court?

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Mark: My question as well.

  • Modavations

    Another Sacrifice at the alter of The Politically Correct.

  • Tina

    YES he should go to prison for 10 years.  YES it IS what it will take, sadly, so sadly.

    • Modavations

      Do you realize how young that kid is?.Do you not think he’d be an asset in the future.In Boston you do 10 years for premeditated,heinous murder.Another soul is sacrificed to the your god of Political Correctness.

  • MarkVII88

    What has become of the other young man on the video with Tyler Clemente?  How has he been traumatized by this event? Did he testify in court? Where is his story here?

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      He did testify in court and he wasn’t a “young” man.

      • PaulWalsh

         People should stop referring to MB as either ‘young’ or ‘old’.  Those are vague terms.  Let’s just state their ages.  Clementi was 18.  MB was 30 at the time of the suicide; and was 32 during the trial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NewtonsBob Bob Kavanagh

    What was the proof that the suicide was directly connected to the spying?

    • Af_whigs

      I agree, Bob.  One event happening after another is not proof of causation.

      Regardless of Ravi’s intent and the inappropriateness of his actions, this was not something for which he should be put in prison.  Our criminal system is already absurdly choked with those we’ve “put away” without good reasons.  Community service teaches more lessons than locking people away for marginal crimes ever will.

      Our society’s approach to homosexuality is complex and often hypocritical.  Overcompensating with one unfortunate legal case is not the way to improve anything.

    • Robert Riversong

      The case had nothing to do with suicide. Ravi was found guilty of invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension, witness tampering, and one of the five bias charges, pertaining to the second viewing incident.

      • notafeminista

        None of which would have come about had the suicide not occurred.

  • Caesar in Pittsburgh

    I am a gay man and an LGBT activist yet I disagree with this verdict.  What sane person would commit suicide over a video of them kissing somebody? Clearly Tyler Clementi had some other issues going on.  Mr. Ravi’s actions were out of order.  I think expulsion from the school along with community service. would have been sufficient punishment.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Thank you Caesar, you’re right on the money.

  • Ren Knopf

    With what kids know today, with what info they have at their fingertips, “teenage stupidity” no longer covers actions once easily dismissed. This jury has made that point. Now whether the lesson is learned is an entirely different question.

  • Chris B

    To have behaved so without a shred of empathy this kid Ravi has to be a sociopath, adolescence be damned.  Dollars to donuts he has a history of animal torture or something in his past.  Prison or an institution, to keep him off the streets if nothing else.  Efforts to rehab sociopaths come to naught.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

    Aside from whatever the court may impose, the ultimate punishment will also be through technology; with the “long memory” of the internet, wherever the defendant and his girlfriend wind up, someone will always be there to post something reminding everyone of their past behavior.

    • Ray in VT

      If Mr. Ravi is a decent young man, and despite his actions I would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt in terms of his overall character, then this will haunt him for the rest of his life, and that may be the worst punishment that life can give him.  I’m not making excuses for his actions, however.

  • Caesar de Chicchis

    As a gay man and LGBT activist I disagree with this verdict.  What sane person would commit suicide over a video of themselves kissing? Clearly Tyler Clementi had some other issues going on.  Mr. Ravi’s actions were out of line but I think expulsion from Rutgers along with community service would have been a sufficient response.

    • Modavations

      do you know what Chi Chis are?

      • Ray in VT

        I think that they’re golfing Rodriguezes.

        • Modavations

          Hypothesis,or fact???I like my interpretation better

          • Ray in VT

             Huh?  I was just making a golf reference.

          • Modavations

            Chi Chis are boobs in Mex.Spanish

  • Adks12020

    Ravi is certainly guilty of invasion of privacy and I don’t think there is any question Clementi’s family could have filed, and won, a civil suit but I’m really not sure about the other charges.  What happened was horrible but it seems like, despite how horrible and disgusting Ravi’s action were, it’s hard to say they directly caused the suicide.  It seems like for a person to go from extreme embarassment to suicide takes a little more of an usettled mental state to begin with.

    • Robert Riversong

      This case had nothing to do with suicide. Ravi was found guilty of invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension, witness tampering, and one of the five bias charges, pertaining to the second viewing incident. Those are serious charges in and of themselves.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        Robert: do you think Ravi would have been charged had Tyler not committed suicide? How would anyone have known? Rutgers knew after the first incident and did nothing about it.

  • Ian

    Why didnt he Plea out? Or, why did his acquaintance across the hall plea out?
    Seems like this could have been over a long time ago.

  • jim

    I strongly believe the judge’s verdict is extremely fair. He can appeal and he most likely get away with it. but i think the immigration and naturalization service should make a statement and deport him. i don’t think he and his family know how serious his action of hate was. i believe he still thought it was a joke until the verdict was announced.

    • Robert Riversong

      Prior to arriving at Rutgers, Ravi tried to find information about his roommate online. He commented to friends that Clementi appeared to be gay, socially inept, and poor. Ravi made jokes to his friends about Clementi being gay. This was not a nice guy.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        I disagree and I’m not a supporter of Ravi’s. This is called bullying and it’s much more widespread that people know about. Ravi’s using the internet to find out about his roommate is done every day by thousands of new students. The gay questions will always come up among immature high school boys and gay students are bullied and outed every day. I’m not supporting any of this but Ravi doing it doesn’t make him a sociopath, it makes him an immature and probably insecure person looking to become popular any way he could. He knew how to out Tyler with a live video feed so he did it as a prank.

        I’m not supporting him, he’s a jerk for doing this and all the talk about class and the other stuff, but this goes on all the time. I don’t consider Ravi all that different from many freshman kids I’ve taught and dealt with. Immaturity is immaturity and these days it expresses itself through social networking.

      • Dev Saha

        With such a view, you won’t find many nice guys in this world. Gays should not be too sensitive about their activities and orientation. They should stand up to some nuisance and have confidence in themselves!

    • Dev Saha

      Making a statement with a deporting? Would anybody be concerned when unemployment rate is around 10%? I would love to be deported if I were him. This kid would have a brighter future in India. I think lesson has been learned and the kid should serve the community rather than crowding the jail.     

  • Kathleen H.

    Ravi certainly broke the law, but I don’t see how a 10 year prison sentence is the appropriate punishment.  If you think about the purposes of criminal punishment (retribution, rehabilitation, deterrence, etc.) it seems completely disproportionate.  Ravi clearly learned his lesson and is already deterred from doing something like this again, putting him behind bars for 10 years won’t rehabilitate him, and seems excessive punishment for the crime of invasion of privacy.  And if people are hoping that by locking him up for a long time it will discourage cyber-bullying of other people, LGBT or not, I refer you to the fact that the death sentence doesn’t deter people, so why would 10 years?

  • Paymer

    Dharun’s behavior reflect a widespread response to gay relationships in the United States. Major institutions have negative rhetoric against this.  Having lived only eighteen years, this youth would have very conflicting attitudes and behaviors towards a strange older man coming twice to his dorm. Dharun seemed to like his roommate.  Tittilating, interesting, perhaps deviant behavior to be gigled at and whispered about.  Hate crime no. Tyler faced societal condemnation that drove him to clandestine behavior and death.

    • Robert Riversong

      “Dharun seemed to like his roommate” Prior to arriving at Rutgers, Ravi tried to find information about his roommate online. He commented to friends that Clementi appeared to be gay, socially inept, and poor. Ravi made jokes to his friends about Clementi being gay. After Ravi and Clementi moved in together, they rarely interacted or spoke.Ravi did not like his roommate.

      • Dev Saha

        My friend, it is not only gays, who are discriminated in this would. Not everybody is committing suicide because of their discrimination or presumed hatred. The kid had other issues to begin with!

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        You’re going overboard, you have no idea what Ravi thought of his roommate and there is no documentation to support that Ravi did not like Tyler. Ravi was attempting to become popular by bullying Tyler. I’m not saying Ravi liked him but you’re making a leap to say he disliked him.

  • Sarahdeo

    MarkVII88 question is one I would like answered as well: Would it have been a hate crime to have secretly recorded and posted his
    roommate having sex with a woman (no matter what the woman’s age or
    appearance) if the end result was the same jump off the GW Bridge? 
    Would this person still be charged with a crime or would it have been
    purely a matter for civil court?

    • Ray in VT

      Depending upon the state laws concerning “taping” someone without their knowledge, then it certainly may have been a criminal matter.  A hate crime, probably not.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        Nothing was “taped.” It’s like a video porthole opened and a few people peeped in, then it closed. Nothing was recorded by anyone that we know of and it was not rebroadcast later. It was real time video and if you missed it, tough luck.

        • Ray in VT

          So I can peep through you windows and watch what you are doing in your bedroom just so long as I don’t record it?  Got it.

  • Quadraticus

    Not every douchey thing people do needs to be a crime. This is exactly the sort of situation in which social pressure and ostracism is the right response.

  • Ellen Dibble

    18-year-olds, especially those in colleges, the more competitive the more so, in my experience, can be extremely self-centered.  The insecurity of being in a competitive environment enhances this.  It does not surprise me that there is more of us-and-them, the in-group and the out-group, those to be ignored or pushed away, those to be pulled in.  This sounds like an attempt to create an “us” group in a pretty sophomoric way, a freshmanic way.  
        To me, it’s pushing the envelope — a LOT — to let this verdict stand.  
        Sensitivity training (Kate iZernike s saying was one sentence for the next-door student)?  Isn’t that called growing up?  You begin to learn that people have differences, and you gain by learning to walk in their moccasins?  (A phrase I heard on All Things Considered — that Americans are “not too good at that,” she said.)   “Sensitivity”???   Give them a dog?  Practice reading faces?

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I completely agree with you Ellen.

    • PaulWalsh

       @ffe64cd3b2e0378d0f06d40d99888506:disqus  Ellen Dibble:  You might want to clarify what you mean by “this verdict”.  Ravi was convicted of 15 different charges.  Seven of those charges relate to obstruction of justice (tampering with witnesses and evidence.)  His attempts to deceive police were well documented.  The evidence regarding Hate Crimes was more circumstantial.

      Also, it sounds like you agree that Ravi did something wrong.  So, I suspect that your discomfort lies predominantly with the prospective punishment (10 years in prison.)   Previously, Ravi rejected a settlement which included no prison time but required counseling and 600 hours of community service. 

      Instead of prison, the judge may yet sentence Ravi to accept the same punishment that Ravi previously rejected as a plea bargain.  That might be fair.  That sentence is in no way punitive.  And it could correct Ravi’s antisocial behavior.  

  • Kjmboston

    I was subjected to this type of intimidation in the 80′s when I was in college, I can empathasize with Tyler’s pain and desperation.  At first blush I wanted Dharun’s head, but as your reporter laid out the facts, I am not sure Dharun’s intent was criminal.  Stupid yes, but criminal, I don’t know.

    • Robert Riversong

      Ravi was found guilty of invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension, witness tampering, and one of the five bias charges, pertaining to the second viewing incident. Those are serious criminal charges.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        The bias charges are wrong and will be appealed for sure.

  • Llomas

    What if Tyler had asked to be in the room with a 30 year old woman? Would Dahrun have set up the webcam then as well?? I think he would have… curiosity at that age is very strong. Therefore is this a hate crime, or a verrry bad choice made by a selfish boy?

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Exactly. Well said.

  • Umea

    The question that should also be asked is what if he had videotaped his roommate having sex with a college woman, broadcast this video and the woman had committed suicide because of the ridicule and/or shame. Would we think videotaping women would be seen as a “prank” as it seems that some think videotaping men is just a “prank”.

    • notafeminista

      Yup.

      • Modavations

        Seeing as there would be no “politically correct”point to push,I’d say absofrigginlutely”

  • Katyaz

    MarkVII88 has it right, the gay and lesbians complain constantly, keep your gayness private if you don’t want any issues, duh, regular people just don’t want anything to do with it. It doesn’t mean regular people hate and if they do, it’s a prerogative.

    • Ray in VT

       I can only hope that this is sarcasm.

      • Modavations

        Everyone has a right to an opiniion.This is my point about NPR’s Thought Police

        • Ray in VT

           Think whatever you want.  It’s no skin off of my back.  I think that some of your opinions are downright crazy, but I’m sure that you think the same about some of mine.  No big deal.

          • Modavations

            Then stop trying to shut down difference of opinion.You say” I hope this is sarcasm”.I don’t think the poster is being sarcastic.Don’t quibble about the subject,it’s about his Free Speech

          • Ray in VT

            Who said that I’m trying to do that?  Someone said something that seems so far out in right field to me that it seems like it could be in jest.  He can say whatever he wants, and so can I.  What is your problem with my comment?

          • Modavations

            intimidation!!!!.Let people speak without snark.Answer with an intellectual riposte

          • Ray in VT

             If you think that my comment is somehow intimidating, then you’ve got a pretty low bar.

            In this day and age when I hear someone talk about how gays and lesbians should just stay in the closet and leave regular people alone, then, yeah, I will often think that they are joking or being snarky.  It’s like a few weeks back when I had a southerner tell me that African Americans were better off under Jim Crow.  I had to ask him if he was kidding.

      • Katyaz

        No, sorry, it is not. I don’t have a right to push anything untoward to you.

        • Ray in VT

          Then I certainly hope that you do not engage in conduct in public that may offend others who may think that you are somehow deviant.

    • Anonymous

      WTF?!

    • Anonymous

      He was in his room.  How much more private can you get?  His privacy was violated by a “regular” person.

  • Matt from boston

    If a woman was  video taped like that what would have happened?? What would have been the public out cry??

    • notafeminista

      Why not ask the fellows from Duke lacrosse?

  • Guest

    I understand that everything took place during the first 3-weeks of Freshman year. I read that Mr. Clementi approached Rutgers to ask for a change of room or room-mate.  It surprises me that the Rutgers Administration (concerned with assigning dorm-rooms and room-mates) including Resident Assistants have been silent or absent.

    • Ellen Dibble

      What I heard is that the RA was knocking on the door the next morning about his request for a change of room, and by then it was too late.  
         Did he say “or else I’ll jump off the bridge tomorrow first thing”?  (Something like that?)

  • Matt from boston

    a straight woman and a straight man

  • guest

    Not to minimize the tragedy of what happened, I think the fact that MB was a thirty year old man makes a big difference. Even a heterosexual situation like that would have caused discomfort and potentially prompted some kind of behavior by a roommate. 18 year olds don’t always make good choices, or think through the potential consequences of their actions.

  • Anonymous

    Tom, I’m disappointed with your use of the word hate in your intro from breaks. It sounded like you were equating hate with criminal guilt. I would hope you would also ask If he was a hater, does that mean he’s a criminal? Even the laws in question don’t require hate, they just require that his actions were based on Tyler’s sexuality.

    Hate is such a loaded term it shouldn’t be casually thrown around.

  • Glenn Koenig

    I wasn’t in the courtroom.  I didn’t hear all the evidence, so I can’t say if the sentence is right or wrong.  I’ve been on juries, so I know how difficult and complex it can get.  People work very hard to abide by the law and make a quality judgement.
    But to me, there is a larger, more ‘global’ issue here, if you will.
    I read Richard Kim’s article in The Nation. I think of the roots of this suicide stem way back into elementary, middle, and high school.  To me, this is the core cause of the problem, not being discussed here.
    The schools themselves, and we adults who maintain the current system, are the original bullies!  Schools abuse children in subtle but effective ways, by persisting with a culture of overt competition where none is necessary.  We deny the natural curiosity and excitement for learning inherent in most children.  Our attitude of “sit down, stop talking, and learn what we adults think is important, and learn it the way we adults tell you to learn it” is fundamentally flawed.  Our insistence in tracking and grading our youth, emphasizing academic intelligence at the expense of other intelligences borders on the criminal.
    I implore adults everywhere to support child directed learning and exploration wherever possible.  Please!  Please inform yourselves of better ways to treat our children and examples of where this already takes place.  There are numerous types of ‘alternative’ schools and the growing ‘community based education’ efforts (mis-named or lumped in with ‘home school’ in many cases).
    Please, for the sake of not only our kids, but of all of society, for democracy itself, let’s open our minds and work to change this awful situation.

    • notafeminista

      Depends on what results you want, methinks.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    The fact that the state offered Ravi a chance to pick up litter on the Garden State Parkway or clean anti-gay graffiti, my spin on community service demonstrates the potential sentence is orders of magnitude disproportionate. What Ravi did was sophomoric, obnoxious and stupid but he did not kill Tyler Clementi.

  • Craig

    Molly Wei seems contrite and took the plea deal.  Ravi doesn’t seem sorry at all for his crime.  The jury was right.  Maybe some jail time will take care of some of his hubris.

  • Yar

    The outcome matters, why aren’t all drunk driving cases tried as if someone loses their life?  The act is the same but the outcome is different.  We don’t have a blind justice.

  • Janlinder

    Have you read Ian Parker’s article in the Feb. 6th New Yorker? You should if you haven’t. The defendant Ravi was not unaware or naive about the existence of gay teenagers; before he even started his freshman year, he did a computer search, decided his roommate was gay, and made derogatory comments about Clementi being gay, several times, to a friend online. I find it a stretch for anyone to claim that a high school student from New Jersey would be unaware that some of his peers might be gay. ravi’s computer trail before he even began rooming with Clementi shows otherwise, and that he had a negative view of gay people. Your show will be lacking if you don’t discuss the New Yorker article.

  • Dh001g

    While we are splitting hairs on the rules was there any policy on having sex-gay or straight-in the a shared dorm room? While I am sorry for what happened to Tyler, I don’t know that Rajiv wouldn’t have done the same thing to someone straight. There is a question of Tyler’s behavior to his roommate too.

  • Parent of a gay teen

    As a parent of a gay young man who has fought his way through his share of issues related to this, including depression and suicidal ideation, I feel the sentence had to be something more than expulsion and community service.

    • Modavations

      Half of NPR is hate speech

      • Anonymous

        That is because they try to balance facts with Republican counterviews. 

      • Anonymous

        But that includes all of your speech.  Except the part that’s unintelligible. 

    • Dev Saha

      Beheading, may be?

  • Susan Black

    For the best background on this tragic story (tragic all around), I hope you will urge your listeners to read this account:

    The Story of a Suicide
    Two college roommates, a webcam, and a tragedy.
    by Ian Parker February 6, 2012
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/02/06/120206fa_fact_parker#ixzz1pZcQfyws

  • Ellen Dibble

    Did the evidence bring out hate?  As opposed to the kind of “freaking out” that Kate described?  I suppose straight students are pretty fascinated by everything about sex, the more unusual, the more gripping.  So this could have nothing to do with hate, but Clementi could certainly have read it that way.

  • Hippeym

    What is young man did was wrong. But I do believe that if his roomate was with a woman, he probably would have done the same thing. It is extremely sad that the young man that was filmed and had his privacy invaded “chose” to end his own life.

  • David K.

    I also hope to see the tormentors of Jaymie Rodemeyer prosecuted and thrown in the slammer. It is time to put an end to all this bullying. Ravi acted with aforethought of malice and did it twice… establishing a pattern which rises to the level of criminal harassment. Tyler didn’t have to die, however, he was at the end of his rope after begging his RA for help. Ravi knew what he was doing was wrong and now he is suffering the consequences. I’m glad.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    One thing I find missing in this whole procedure – there’s no comment of Clementi’s sex partner – was he even questioned? It seems that he would be able to shine some light into the case, the state of Clementi’s mind, etc. But he’s not even mentioned.

    • Ellen Dibble

      They call him “MB” and he testified, and they are saying he was not intimidated.

  • Parent of a gay teen

    Addendum:  deportation to India may not be a punishment considering how anti-gay the Indian social climate is where till recently, homosexuality was a criminal activity.

    • Modavations

      That’s nothing.Women are 2nd class citizens

    • notafeminista

      Embrace diversity.

  • Anonymous

    If  Dharun captured his room-mates 
    heterosexual  interaction on webcam, would it still be a hate crime?
    My question: Will the same law and standards be applied to all pervert college room mates across US?

    • PaulWalsh

      No, if Ravi captured a straight encounter captured on a webcam would not be a Hate Crime.  But it would still be a crime.  The ‘Hate Crime’ designation merely doubles the sentence. 

      From the New Yorker magazine,  “A fourth-degree invasion-of-privacy charge refers to the act
      of observing someone, without consent, “under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know that another may expose intimate parts or engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.” A third-degree charge pertains to disclosing images without consent—“a photograph, film, videotape, recording, or other
      reproduction” of someone “whose intimate parts were exposed” or who was engaged in sexual contact. Ravi
      is charged with having done both these things on September 19th, and with having attempted to repeat them on September 21st. (On both dates, bias intimidation is attached, creating the risk of a long prison sentence.)
      In assessing Ravi’s actions on September 19th, one could perhaps mount the argument that sexual contact
      was not expected, that he did not tape anything, that the transmission was extremely limited in time and
      reach, and that nobody saw sex or intimate body parts. On the twenty-first, however, Ravi tried to set up a
      viewing.”

      Much more detail and contextual info at:
      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/02/06/120206fa_fact_parker#ixzz1pZcQfyws
       

      • Anonymous

        Exactly the point that needs to be highlighted.

        Ravi ATTEMPTED to capture his room-mate’s sexual act on webcam, but there’s nothing to prove anything more than that.He should be tried only for that, and he should be treated the same way as other such offenders across US universities are treated for privacy violation. The HATE CRIME angle changes the severity and adds complexity to this case.Treat Ravi like a student.

  • Sailing551

    Why should anyone, gay or straight, have to be subjected to their sex life being spied on and put out on video for the world to see? Anyone would be humiliated by this kind of invasion of privacy.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Maybe best to not have sex in a dorm room. I’m no defender of Ravi’s but Tyler had a blind spot, and, he did it again after he knew what Ravi was doing.

  • Modavations

    The Gay Lobby demanding their pound of flesh.The kid went to Rutgers,he’d probably have been a physicist!!!

    • Ray in VT

      So should he not have been punished for what he did?  I don’t care if he would have been a physicist or a burger server.  The potential punishment that he is facing is probably too much, but he should not be excused due to his age or (possible) academic abilities.

      • Modavations

        He did nothing.He did not push the kid off the bridge

        • Modavations

          Herr Holder is Animal Farm.Political Correctness is intellectual fascism

        • Ray in VT

          So it is okay to set up a webcam, or some other device, and watch your roommate with his knowledge?  There are laws against unlawful surveillance in many places, aren’t there?

          I don’t think that he can be blamed for the outcome, but he certainly acted.

        • PaulWalsh

           We can’t claim that “Ravi did nothing.”  Seven of Ravi’s fifteen convictions were for attempting to cover up his guilt by obstructing the police investigation.  

          This is what happened:  Clementi died.  The police investigated.  The investigation revealed that Ravi asked his classmates to falsely testify in his favor; and it revealed that Ravi erased data on his phone and on his computer relevant to Clementi.  The police concluded that they can’t trust that Ravi was telling the whole truth about his involvement in Clementi’s death.  Therefore, the investigation had to be widened and deepened to determine the extent and limits of Ravi’s involvement — based upon evidence from sources other than Ravi himself.  

          Ravi’s proven acts of deception would logically render the jury disinclined to believe Ravi’s version of events.  Critically, it created the possibility that Ravi was biased against gays, despite Ravi’s claims.

          If Ravi hadn’t attempted to hide his online actions and hadn’t obstructed the investigation, there probably would not have been a trial.   

          Regardless with Ravi’s flaws, I agree that prison is not appropriate for him.  Previously, Ravi refused a settlement which included no prison time, but required counseling and 600 hours of community service. I hope that the judge imposes upon Ravi a punishment equal to that reasonable settlement.

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Very well said. I agree with all you posted, 100% and you got the story exactly right as far as I know from the New Yorker article.

          • Modavations

            Sounds like the multitude of convictions(MS.Plame) where the main thrust of the prosecution is negated and conviction is on technicality.I wouldn’t trust the New Yorker to make a Camp Fire with

  • Buntim5

    Why are some of your guests continue to use the ‘ phrase tolerance of gays ‘ why should gays  just  be ‘tolerated ‘  this indicates the mainstream deep biases society still has with gay people

    • Katya

      For the precise reason that prompts you to write that!!!

  • Armidalm

    From what I understand, suicide of teens – gays or heterosexual – happens as the result of systematic and extensive bullying and harassment. It seems that this element is missing here. The action was insensity and, certainly, tragic, but I do not think Dharun Ravi is the typical bully who harrasses vulnerable people. Rather it seems from what I have heard that he was an average jerk whose actions went way beyond what he anticipates. I stll hope to hear a program on the chronic dysfunctional character of the American Criminal Justice system.

  • Mattc

    What about the guy Tyler was kissing? How did he feel about his privacy being violated? Seems like his POV has been ignored by the press.

  • David K.

    If you have never been a gay teen, you can never know how terrifying it is. Dharun Ravi got exactly what he deserved. He committed a crime.. his actions were prompted by his stated negative opinions on gays. He therefore committed a “hate crime”! He deserves what he got!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Ravi was a stupid kid.  If we punish everyone who is stupid, there won’t be many people left to guard the jail.

  • Tejal

    Tom, I watched the trial throughout and I cannot believe the jury did not take into consideration that if Tyler Clementi asked Dharun Ravi for the room in more than one occasion… how is this bias intimidation? If Tyler was so comfortable inviting a man to his room, why didn’t he come out and openly have a discussion with Dharun about his sexual orientation?

    I heard Clementi’s mother say that she had other dreams for Tyler and his coming out was not what she expected. Perhaps this comment stirred in Tyler’s mind more than Ravi’s actions?

    How is it that our justice system let’s someone like Casey Anthony walk free and yet a 18-yr. kid gets 10 years in prison for something, I believe is happening all across college campuses. Did Ravi’s race play a role? I truly believe so. Why hasn’t the man in the Florida case arrested yet???!

    Absolutely Ravi’s lawyers missed some key points that could have come his defense. Ravi’s defense team did not help his case much by dragging all of Ravi’s family friends to the stand for an entire day? Why did Ravi not take the stand?

    Dharun Ravi did make a grave mistake with his actions and there should be repercussions. But, a prison sentence and/or deportation is not the answer. Ravi would have contributed positively to society. He was a smart boy, from a good family, and he deserved a second chance. We can do better. I think that the sentenced served in this case is in itself intimidation. Are we trying to instill fear in the hearts of our young people and Dharun Ravi just became the poster boy?  

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Very well said Tejal, I’m with you.

    • PaulWalsh

       @Tejal:

      Regarding your question: “I cannot believe the jury did not take into consideration that if Tyler Clementi asked Dharun Ravi for the room in more than one occasion… how is this bias intimidation?”

      If you don’t see the intimidation, then you are assuming that Ravi had no evil intent.  

      The jury was fully aware of the two occasions.  The two occasions are why there were twice as many charges of invasion of privacy.  If we trust Ravi, then the first occasion might have been an accidental viewing or a viewing because Ravi feared theft of his belongings.  E-mail and text records indicate that Clementi wasn’t sure if the first peeping was intentional.  

      But, on the second occasion, it was clear to everyone that Clementi’s request for privacy was intended for a gay sex encounter.  And, by the time is was over, it was clear that Ravi was acting reprehensibly.

      The second charge of intimidation is because Ravi agreed to let Clementi have the room privately, and then invited friends to watch Clementi’s gay encounter.  On his Twitter page, Ravi dared his friends to log into Ravi’s iChat account.  Ravi had preset his iChat account to accept all chat guests while Ravi’s web cam was pointed at Clementi’s bed.  In essence, Ravi agreed to the Clementi’s request for privacy, not out of courtesy, but only so that he could share the video stream with his friends.  Ravi’s friend (Lokesh Ojha) testified to helping Ravi aim the camera and to establish remote viewing for that particular night.  

      Testimony from the invited iChat guests said that the live streaming didn’t work. That was because, just before his private encounter, Clementi had read Ravi’s Twitter page and knew of Ravi’s planned ‘viewing party’.  Clementi unplugged Ravi’s computer.  All evidence indicated that Ravi would have successfully hosted a viewing party if Clementi had not unplugged Ravi’s computer.  

      Fifteen minutes later, Clementi went to the RA and requested an immediate change of roommate, presenting evidence of Ravi’s video peeping and Ravi’s Twitter page showing the advertised viewing of Clementi’s gay encounter.  

      That is the basis of the intimidation.   And, at that point, Clementi had concluded that “openly having a discussion with Ravi” was pointless.  How can you trust the word of a roommate who repeatedly tried to use his webcam to watch you have sex and who offered to share that viewing with friends?

      I agree that prison won’t help Ravi.  But Ravi needs counseling to correct his antisocial behavior.  And a thousand hours of Community Service might help teach him the value of virtuous behavior as a substitute for his lurid peeping.  

      I suggest that everyone read the 14-page New Yorker article about this case.  If that article is accurate then I can’t trust Ravi.  Even Ravi’s friends called him untrustworthy, arrogant, and “a dick”.  And the police have proven that Ravi is deceitful.

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/02/06/120206fa_fact_parker#ixzz1pZcQfyws

  • Amielmfisher

    Tyler committing suicide after being “outed” by his roommate, shouldn’t be judged as if he had something else wrong.  Do we know how open he was? 

    Dharun’s tweets and angling of the camera shows intent for exploitation of Tyler and M.B.; but not necessarily hate crimes.     
    There does need to be clear consequences for these violations of privacy, but 10 years seems too long.    

    • Anonymous

       Tyler was not outed by his roommate.  He was already out.  He had come out to his parents and attended a gay student meeting at Rutgars.  He had also been posting on gay websites.  Before meeting him Dharun knew that Tyler was gay because he was able to read what Tyler himself had posted on line.  There is just too much mis-information about  this entire affair which people are accepting as fact.  Please look up the lengthy article in The New Yorker.  It may not change your mind, but at least you’ll have your facts straight.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        Well said. Reading The New Yorker article should be a prerequisite for posting here.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. It was a crime, and it was also a hate crime–I doubt this would have been done if the young man hadn’t been gay. Make the punishment severe, and perhaps, just perhaps, this kind of “videotaping” other people’s private lives, as if everything and anything  is a “movie” or “reality show” for entertainment..an epidemic in our culture, … might also be shown as the disgusting trend that it is. We’ve become a nation of low-class voyeurs.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Nothing was “videotaped.” Not a thing. It was a live feed, nothing was recorded.

      • Anonymous

         Nitpick.

  • David K.

     Ravi was not just a stupid kid. He was malicious and acted in a premeditated manner. He wanted to livestream twice on twitter! He deserved what he got!

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Twitter doesn’t do live video, iChat does and iChat is not public, a two way connection must be made to see a video feed which is not recorded. So, the only people who could have seen this very fast and out of focus live video feed were Ravi’s buddies in iChat. Some of those people were/are at Rutgers, some are elsewhere. He invited people via twitter but in order to see the video stream he had to make a two way connection with them which had to have already been made. I don’t know how many iChat buddies he had but I doubt more than a dozen people logged in, probably less. I’m no Ravi defender, the dude is immature and a bully, but this was not a hate crime, it was a stupid move by an insecure guy who wanted to become more popular by allowing a few others to spy on his roommate having sex. This goes on daily in college dorms across the country. It sucks but this is not the poster child for cyber bullying.

  • Anonymous

    I was one a shy, socially inept, underweight gay boy so I identify with Tyler and I think not enough attention has been paid to Tyler’s behavior in this drama.  He was not a passive player in this drama, although he might be described as passive aggressive.  Tyler knew about the gossip and spying after his first “date”, but then he did it again.  How intimidated could he have been? If you don’t want people to gossip about you having sex you don’t kick your roommate out of the room within the first few weeks of the term.  Had he brought back an older woman Ravi probably would have reacted in much the same way.

  • Not a happy dorm room sharer

    I think it was terrible that Tyler Clementi felt driven to commit suicide, and I have to think that if *I* was on their dorm hall I would have challenged Ravi to stop doing what he was doing … but one thing I haven’t heard discussed is how it might have felt to be asked to vacate a dorm room in the early days of a freshman school year — not after weeks or months of developing a relationship with a roommate where such things could be discussed as friends — so that a new acquaintance could have sex there. Mr. Clementi is dead, so all hope of such a conversation is lost, but does anyone else think it was pretty cheeky of him to expect a new acquaintance to make himself scarce from a room he hadn’t even had a chance of making himself comfortable in? That’s also a big problem in college — the comandeering of a shared room for sex.

  • Anonymous

    re oldman” Clementi’s date testified in the trial.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Hate crime is absurd.  We all have motives.  To criminalize motive is to pry into the mind of a person.  Punish bad acts, but leave minds alone.

  • Igravina

    Did the lover testify? Wouldn’t he have know what in Ravi’s mind? Irene Gravina. Bedford MA.

  • Joachim110

    The argument that everything is published to everyone and “out there” does not make it right. Privacy protection has been ignored for a long time and it is time to set limits and in this case he should go to jail for a long time to set a reminder that one has to respect the boundaries and privacy of the individual.

  • David K.

    motive is a crucial element of any criminal prosecution. That is Criminal Law 101.

    • Gregg

      Motive is only crucial in proving guilt with circumstantial evidence. If someone is convicted of murder the intent makes no difference.

  • Stillin

    I think it’s right, and I think that as sad as it is, if this is what it takes to get the point across, so be it. It was wrong, and it always going to be wrong, when it’s not your business what is going on around you does NOT have to shared with everyone. This country is in a lot of trouble because many younger people do NOT know how to behave, or don’t know how to recognize what is right or wrong. Ask any teacher…we see it and hear it every day. Yes the punishment is extreme. Is this what it’s going to take in this country to reteach youth what they can do and not do. I fear for this country when the kids I teach, are adults.

  • Susan Black

    Tom: I’m waiting for today’s show to end to post this comment. I think that your guiding question simply brings forth much unsubstantial speculation and personal emotion. You’re trying to get to the heart of the legality of the jury’s judgment, but, as many (most?) of the comments posted indicate the discussion lapsed into more pop-psychology than legal analysis.

    I think you should have framed the discussion with a better leading question and left the legal issues to a show with a highly qualified panel who, under the leadership of a skilled host, could discuss the legal issues.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I’m agreeing that the legal issues were skirted, though I was hoping for a definition of hate crime, and heard Kate Zernike say something about crimes likely to evoke communal emotional reaction and retaliation, usually defined as targeting people for their religious, racial, or sexual identification.  

      That’s as close as I recall, and I had to leave the radio at that point for other reasons.  But I’m going to stew over that concept of community’s emotional reaction and retaliation, which apparently in some better phraseology than mine is embedded in the hate crimes legislation.
       
      To me, that’s what’s at issue, and I hope OnPoint keeps having programs that address both the popular and legislative expressions of our civil responsiveness and responsibility.

  • MG/ Omaha

     

    Hate is Hate and is a crime if a sexual act against a woman
    or man including the filming and intent to broadcast the act w/o knowledge.
    The childs village is again becoming the greatest torment in the life of this
    child growing up. Perhaps this was a double act the recording or internet lack
    of privacy as well as hate for a gay sexual act.
    Having a gay child or adult child creates the concern and need for protection
    of a child, race, biracial or LGBT is wish by parents and sensitivity of those
    who are not has been lost by society

  • TribalGuitars

    The thing that’s not being included is physiology – Until a person is 24 – 26 years old their frontal, and pre-frontal, cortex is not fully developed, so their senses of impulse, action and consequence isn’t there the way it’s going to be in a 30y.o. person.  I’m not saying that “kids will be kids” should exonerate anyone from responsibility, but this is why we have to teach kids early that bullying in any form, especially because of some perceived difference such as sexual orientation, and not just skin color or gender, etc., isn’t to be tolerated, the same way we would teach kids to look both ways before crossing a street and not to cheat on school work.  I know that sounds a bit odd, but  it needs to be second nature from an early age; we don’t wait until our children are at college to tell them to cover their mouth when they cough, chew with their mouth shut, and take their turn in line, do we?  So why is teaching tolerance, and to respect privacy, any difference?

  • Legaldiva

    A very important fact that is being overlooked is that Dharun Ravi was given two opportunities to plead to lesser charges. He was unwilling to even admit to the crime of invasion of privacy which he was clearly guilty. When a defendant decides to roll the dice and risk prosecution he must live with the consequences. It’s not fair to second guess the prosecutor and the jury in this situation. They are merely enforcing the law. Instead, Ravi should have been contrite enough to accept responsibility for his actions (i.e. the invasion of privacy which was clear) take the plea deal and enroll in sensitivity classes like his co-accused did.

    • Ellen Dibble

      If he is from India, and at this point probably about 20 years old, I’m suspecting that his American lawyer has more impact on Ravi’s decision than the same lawyer would have on me.  A lawyer might see an opportunity to put this issue on the line, heading toward higher courts through appeals and towards clearer legislation, in short using the public attention that this case draws to focus national attention and create change.  That lawyer would tell his client not to cave, that if Ravi didn’t mean to cause more trouble than almost any of the other kids trying to, I don’t know, reflect the Zeitgeist – 
           Did Ravi testify and explain?  Does anyone try to explain their behavior at that age?  Oh, there are bezillions of people that age married with kids and full-time jobs… 

    • Modavations

      So if you’re not guilty,you cop a plea???

      • Anonymous

        “Guilty” means there is enough evidence for a finder of fact to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, your actions meet the statutory requirements of the crime charged.  If that’s your situation, you should consider a plea bargain, if reasonable.

        • Anonymous

          Doesn’t it require 12 finders of fact to determine…?

  • MGM

    The defense that Ravi was “just a stupid kid” is not good enough.  It is stupid to get behind the wheel of a car when you are drunk.  You might get lucky and get away with it.  You might kill somebody and rightly be charged with manslaughter. 

    I admit to some conflict about the severity of the punishment in this case, but I believe it is important for people to realize that there can be consequences for doing stupid things that hurt people.  Ravi should certainly have known that posting the video was going to be very painful for Tyler. 

    • Anonymous

       re MGM  Ravi didn’t post any video of Tyler.  This is just one of the many myths about this sad event.  You really should look up the excellent article in The New Yorker which does a good job of laying out what we know and what we don’t know.  The article is on their website and available for free.

  • Gilscotheron

    If you pay for a dorm room what are your rights?m a parent of college aged children does a sexual tryst trump your childs right to their room?

    Ravi should not be expected to be psychologist  dorm monitor or parent to a fragile roomate who is acting out and by all accounts confuse and depressive.

    Where is Tyler Clementi’s responsibility in his ct he demanded  a guy give up his rights if he wanted to be discreet  he could had sex trysts off campus simply be discreet h e did not appear to be hiding in the closet he was assertive and demanding.

    Had he reported the filming to his RA and told the story the school would have taken care of the problem where was the RA?

    Isn’t the college responsible for allowing adult strangers to enter a dorm carry on sexual behaviors that refuse the rental rights of its students what are their responsibility to their tenants?

    • Anonymous

       Tyler asked Ravi for the room and Ravi agreed.  If Ravi didn’t want to give up the room for a few hours he could have said no.  Also, Tyler did report the incident to the RA and the RA did speak to Ravi. 

  • Gregg

    I think hate crimes are useless and silly.

  • Anonymous

    Is there any evidence that the condoms were paid for with tax dollars through a safe sex program and that Ravi was videoing it so Rush Limbaugh could watch? 

  • Anonymous

    A few notes…

    1.  Clearly no one read the piece in the New Yorker about this case (
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/02/06/120206fa_fact_parker?currentPage=all
    ) because Ravi knew Tyler was gay within hours of receiving his new roomates email address and had not one nice word to say about it even though he hadn’t even met Tyler.  So Ravi IS a BIGOT and there IS evidence of his being a homophobe in his IM Chat Logs and his Tweets from that night.

    2.  He had at least one chance to Plead Out.  He CHOSE not to and now the Judge is obligated to throw the book at him.  BTW The plead arrangement he had been offered was for 5 years in prison…  not community service… so community service was never an option for him.

    3.  He should be deported immediately.  He has NO FUTURE in this country as a convicted felon with 10 years in prison and a revoked green card.  He will never become a Citizen.  He will never be allowed to go back to College and he will never have a job that doesn’t consist of saying “Hello can I take your order please?”  Why does the state of NJ have to pay to put this kid up for 10 years when he could be building a new life for himself in India?  Keeping him here might even qualify as cruel and unusual punishment since he’s likely to be involved in a lot of forced gay sex over the next 10 years.

    • notafeminista

      Geez Monica…within the first six paragraphs of this story the New Yorker manages to refer to the defendant as both peculiar and awkward.  Very classy.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      “Clearly no one read the piece in the New Yorker about this case”

      Clearly you’ve not read many of the comments. Many of us read the article when it came out. By the way, I read the article and disagree with each of your points.

  • notafeminista

    I’m starting to wonder if the posters who’ve referenced the New Yorker article  have actually read the New Yorker article.

    • Modavations

      Whenever I can’t sleep,I read the New Yorker.Two pages into any of the stultifying 25 page opuses and I’m friggin unconscious

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I read it when it came out. Not everyone posting here subscribes or read it online. I referenced it early this morning. I hope you’re not referring to me with your comment because I found the article not only well written but an unemotional accounting of what happened (pre trial).

      • notafeminista

        Could be.   I found the fact that the article referred to the defendant as “peculiar” and “awkward” to be unfortunate.

  • Modavations

    Speaking of queer circumstance….Read the Ted Stevens story and the complaints of extreme prosecutorial malfeasance.This cost Stevens his seat and gave us Obamacare..Queer is what I call it.

    • John in Amherst

      pleased with your cute turn of phrase?  You repeatedly make the point that Obama is personally responsible for every detail of modern life that you find problematic or reprehensible.  we get it already.  Suggestion: stay closer to the topic of the day, and skip the word play.  your ideas might be easier to take seriously

      • Modavations

        In my opinion he’s setting up a Putsch.Check Paris and the shootings.,I predict the suburbs will be aflame toute de suite.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        I think it is a waste of time to suggest rational posts to “Modivations”. He/she has proven to be irrational and mean spirited over and over.

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          Agreed. So, let’s agree to not feed trolls.

  • Anonymous

    I’m appalled at the number of people commenting here who just want to get their “pound of flesh”  What’s even more appalling is that so many of these people don’t even know the basic facts of the case:

    1) Tyler wasn’t outed by Ravi.  He was already out – at home, at school and on line.

    2)  Ravi viewed Tyler kissing MB, but never viewed them having sex

    3) Ravi never posted any video of Tyler on line

    4) Tyler left a suicide note which has been suppressed because it does not pertain to this case.  Therefore we have no choice but to assume that his suicide was unrelated to what happened in that dorm room

    5)  Has anyone asked how intimidated Tyler actually was?  He was bold enough, within the first few weeks of school, to ask for the room for sex with a significantly older man.  And then, knowing about the spying and gossiping, he did it again.  I’m sorry, but I was once a shy, socially inept gay boy myself and I can’t imagine doing such a thing.

    I’m making no excuses for the jerky behavior of Ravi.  I just think people should get their facts straight before they order up the firing squad.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      If those are the facts how come the jury still convicted Ravi for the crime. if he didn’t committed it?

      • Anonymous

        Regardless of the jury’s decision the facts are what they are.  If I misrepresented any of these facts I would appreciate a correction.  It’s also worth noting that juries do sometimes get it wrong.  There is little question in my mind that Tyler’s suicide, which legally should have had no bearing on this case, played a major role in the outcome of the trial.  Let’s face it, if he hadn’t committed suicide there wouldn’t even have been a trial.

        • guest

          Sometimes, my ass. Juries are legally-sanctioned lynch mobs egged on by immoral prosecutors trying to be “tough on crime”. The notion that this system somehow deals with crimes — both actual and baseless — fairly, is a joke. Presumed guilty. The average juror is thinking: “If he were innocent, why would he be in court?”

          • Anonymous

             I certainly recognize the short comings in the jury system, but I can’t be as cynical about as you.  Do you have any suggestions for a more just system or do you just feel that all people and all systems are so corrupt that there’s no point?  That’s a pretty bleak and hopeless outlook.

          • guest

            Agreed… it’s not very constructive. I don’t have a fix, but it’s so abundantly clear that there is extreme bias in every court proceeding I have any detailed knowledge of.

            I wasn’t originally weighing in on this particular case, but it looks an awful lot like a witch hunt to me. Ravi did a terrible thing, but he is effectively being punished in proportion to his roommate’s reaction. It may be impossible to know whether Ravi’s actions were the cause or not, but it’s also ludicrous for the victim’s response to be the primary basis for the seriousness of charges. 

            You may remember the school bullying case in MA? Very tragic, but if the girl had not committed suicide, do you think the bullies would have been treated like criminals? Yet the fact that she did doesn’t change what they did in any way.

            I certainly don’t think there should be different standards for cases where the victim’s reaction is suicide — the terrible actions of one person may be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but that does not give them ultimate responsibility for the outcome.

        • Brian

           I agree. The fact that the video was streaming, and not distributed in a fashion for repeat viewing (e.g. Youtube), should have limited the current ruling.

          I recall at BostonU about 11-12 years ago a girl had a private pornographic video of herself stolen off her PC and posted on Kazaa. She was mortified, and easily identifiable. Her room #, phone #, and disparaging remarks about her were posted on elevator & bathroom walls. Some school disciplinary actions were pursued, and she shaved her head to try to hide, but no one went to prison.

      • Modavations

        You’re from Boston.Look at The Tookie Amaral case.His mother, a 70 yr.old did 20 years.Ms Rabinow of the WSJ won the Pultizer Prize for her exposee of the prosecutorial abuse.She quotes a Social Worker saying ,that even if Tookie didn’t do it ,the case serves the public good

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Well said jim. I have the same questions and have since I first read The New Yorker article a while back.

  • Dev Saha

    I think Mr. Ravi has learned the lesson. I do not think the kid should be jailed for 10 years. That is totally absurd. It creates a bad precedent for the laws and justice. If the kid had not committed suicide, things would have been fine? Isn’t it?

    • Modavations

      Another sacrifice to Pol.Correctness 

    • PaulWalsh

      We can HOPE that Ravi has learned his lesson.  But, there is no clear indication that he has.  And, yes, ten years of prison seems harsh for his crimes. 
       But, regarding ‘If the the kid had not committed suicide, things would have been fine’: remember than only eight of Ravi’s convictions relate directly to invading privacy.  Seven of Ravi’s fifteen convictions relate to his attempt to obstruct the investigation by police.  He asked his friends to falsify their testimony in his favor; and he erased his phone and computer records to hide his anti-social behavior.  Even so, I and the Prosecutors agree that Ravi doesn’t deserve to go to prison.  The ONLY reason that Ravi might be sent to prison is that he refused to accept the reasonable settlement offered to him.  According to CNN news, “Ravi turned down a plea deal offered by Middlesex County prosecutors that would have allowed him to avoid jail time in exchange for undergoing counseling, doing 600 hours of community service and disposing of any information that could identify the man who appeared in the Web video with Clementi.”  Ravi acted in anti-social way; Ravi obstructed a police investigation; Ravi might benefit from exposure to Community Service which helps him to experience social behavior and diminish his proven inclination to anti-social behavior.  If it is legally possible, then I hope that the judge imposes on Ravi the reasonable deal which Ravi previously refused.  Counseling and Community Service are more likely to correct Ravi’s anti-social behavior than sending him to prison.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        You got it right Paul, Ravi sunk his own ship by attempting to tamper with the evidence.

        • Dev Saha

          No, that would not have changed anything. This was a very weak case and Ravi should appeal to a higher court!

      • Dev Saha

        The kid did not commit any crime as far as I am concerned. And, hence, he was right not to take the plea. Ravi’s lawyer did a poor job. Alan Dersovitch would have been my choice.

  • Marco A.

    Had the defendant done everything he did against a heterosexual roommate, would he be facing the same charges and potencial sentencing? If homosexuals are seeking equality, should they be treated differently and receive priviledged protection from the law? It seems to me laws such as the ones in question here are biased toward some citizens to the detriment of others, and as such go against the constitutional principle of universal equality. Crime is crime, and needs no qualifier. Let’s prosecute it as such.

  • Bjornsdottiri

    This very sad case should show us once again that we should teach children from the very outset that human beings have different sexual orientations. That is just how we are created by God or Nature, depending on what we believe in.

    This will for the best for all of us, both straight and gays.

  • Lindsey Lovel

    The situation is heartbreaking, that poor kid should have felt free to act however he desired in the privacy of his own room. I don’t agree with the actions taken by Ravi in any way. However, I feel that we are making an example out of him. Is this really worth 10 years of a young man’s life? I’m not sure if that seems right.

    • PaulWalsh

      Yes, it is sad. And, yes, ten years of prison seems harsh for Ravi’s crimes.  But, if we are ‘making an example out of him’, then the example is substantially aimed at witnesses who don’t cooperate with Police Investigators.   Seven of Ravi’s ffifteen convictions relate to his attempt to cover up his acts.  He asked his friends to falsify their testimony in his favor; he erased his phone and computer records to hide his invasion of Clementi’s privacy.  Even so, I and even the Prosecutors agree that Ravi doesn’t deserve to go to prison.  The ONLY reason that Ravi might be sent to prison is that he refused to accept the reasonable settlement offered to him.  According to CNN news, “Ravi turned down a plea deal offered by Middlesex County prosecutors that would have allowed him to avoid jail time in exchange for undergoing counseling, doing 600 hours of community service and disposing of any information that could identify the man who appeared in the Web video with Clementi.”  Ravi acted in anti-social way; Ravi obstructed a police investigation; Ravi might benefit from exposure to Community Service which helps him to experience social behavior and diminish his proven inclination to anti-social behavior.  

      • Anonymous

         The counseling requirement seems rather silly at this point – I think Mr Ravi has had a very strong education in appropriate roommate behavior since Tyler died.

        • PaulWalsh

          @rwanderman:disqus msully72:
           In cases of death of a roommate, the “very strong education” Ravi receives might be guilt and self-destruction if he lacks the guidance of a counselor. 

          Sentencing Ravi to counseling isn’t punishment.  It’s rehabilitation.  Ravi’s roommate is dead.  Regardless of how arrogant or insensitive Ravi may be, he might feel some guilt regarding Clementi’s death.  Counseling is intended to help Ravi recover from this disaster in a positive way, and to avoid plunging into self destruction. 

  • John in Amherst

    On Point tees up a salacious tragedy involving an unstable gay teen and another kid who lacked maturity enough to imagine the consequences of his actions, tarted up as a civil rights case, for the usual snide right-wing bloviators to swing at.  Does this promote On Point as a forum more civil discourse, or an audio “Springer show”?
    Compassion and kindness are the foundations of every religion, and even absent religion, they feed our better instincts.  They enhance our perspective, deepen our understanding, promote constructive cooperation.  True, they don’t make for snarky rejoinders.  Too bad this story, and this installment of On Point, is so devoid of them. 

    • Anonymous

      On Point handled this story well.  The reporter from the NY Times was very factual. 

      • John in Amherst

        My comments are directed more to the posters. 

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Too bad that the “compassion and kindness” in religon you speak of is so entirely LOST on the religious people.

      I thought that this was an excellent show. Careful, your anti-gay bias is showing.

      • John in Amherst

        You do not know me, and because I link unstable and gay teen in the same sentence does not infer an anti gay bias.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

          Then think before you type. 

  • Jerry145

    Ms. Zernike just said that when Ravi and his friend checked the computer camera and saw Tyler and his friend kissing, they “naturally freaked out.” Why? Because they were two men kissing? If it Tyler had been kissing a woman instead, would it be natural for them to to “freak out”? This is the kind of subtle bias against gay people that sadly still persists in our society.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Exactly. In additon to the subtle bias you correctly refer to, there is a tremendous amount of blatant bias against gay people. If anyone needs proof all you have to do is listen to ANY of the current crop of Republican nuts.

      • deb

        or left wing nuts like Bill Mahar…

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

          Another Republican AMNESIAC I see….regretable.

  • Keyes Wes

    If Sandra Fluke would have committed suicide would Mr.Limbough have been found guilty of a hate crime? Just a thought…

    • Mary

      Another stupid left wing thought at that.

      • W.

        What an insightful response… If you would have perhaps taken the time to put this into the context of the program you may have had a slightly different one. Mr. Ravi faces potentially 10 yrs for his actions, I believe this to be harsh. Mr. Limbough made comments that could be seen as equally damaging to Mrs. Fluke, had circumstances/outcomes been different would he face the same penalty as Ravi? Are women unable to be victims of hate crimes? I am not saying Rush is guilty of a hate crime, just an idiot with a microphone.

        • Modavations

          Then perhaps Ms.Fluke should get a lawyer and sue

          • notafeminista

            Gloria Allred is on it.

    • notafeminista

      Most assuredly.  He’s white, wealthy and over 35.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Very interesting show today. If only Mr. Clemente had not committed suicide….if only we could bring him back and show him how much he was loved and how much he will be missed. Two young lives destroyed for nothing. How sad.

  • Lorraine1

    Hayley Gorenberg and other gay leaders are essentially saying that it’s ok to support an overly broad anti-bias law that can and does deliver grossly disproportionate sentences for boorish behavior if it will reduce anti-gay bullying in the future.  Even though I totally support gay rights, the position they are taking is abhorrent and unconstitutional.

    • lloyd1001

      Completely agree

  • Dpgumby24

    As a parent of college aged kids, I was shocked by the conduct and now I am shocked by the verdict.  As usual, the case was over charged by the prosecution resulting in conviction of more than what the individual actually is culpable of.  This is a tragic circumstance, but imprisonment for 10 years is irrational and excessive.

  • Ssuths

    As the mother of 3 boys, ages 15-23, I can tell you it is not that hard to instill some sense of compassion and notion of right and wrong by the time they are 18 years old. Very young children can get this message.  An 18 year old boy who would cause this kind of humiliation to another human being for the sake of a few giggles deserves to be punished.  And if I were those parents, I would be looking for some kind of reparation I could make, not that there is much that they can offer the parents of the dead boy.

  • Anonymous

    It is premature to discuss whether a 10 year sentence is appropriate in this case prior to sentencing.  The jury only decided on the charges based on the evidence.  The punishment has not yet been decided.

  • WendyB

    Hi Tom- my husband and I are frequnet listeners- never callers. Caught today’s show in the car and it was killing me not to be able to call in. There was one point about this whole story which was pointed to but not raised high enough- Ravi was recorded saying, and an early guest mentioned it, LG hate crime issues, immaturity, twitter culture aside- the guest of Clementi was a 30 year old guy. (I believe Ravi was on record as saying “it didn’t matter that they were gay- the guy was a weird guy, I wanted to know what was going on in my room”).  Trying to put myself back to when I was 18 and fresh at college…and trying to discern whether or not it was appropriate for my roommate to be entertaining 30 year olds in a dorm room (homosexual or heterosexual). I hope that as this case gets more and more reflection and attention this perspective will be considered.   

    • kay

      Wendy, this is exactly what perplexes me. Is is now AOK for a 30 year old man to hook up with an 18 year old in his dorm room?  MB didnt know Tyler’s last name yet they were sharing fluids. Three weeks into his freshman year and Tyler is using his shared dorm room for sex with a near stranger he met online.  That’s very risky behavior and inconsiderate roommate policy.  Is the gay community AOK with this? 
      I hate bullying and Ravi sounds like a jerk, but if MB is considered a “victim” there is something wrong here.

  • Gdbknyc

    Good story Tom! You moderated the conversation respectfully. It’s a tricky case, but I ultimately don’t think he deserves 10 years. Maybe 5, but not 10.

    http://gooddesign-bknyc.blogspot.com/?view=magazine

    • Lamont

      The only thing he should get is a few hours of community service, if that.  We got some haters out there.

  • Lamont

    You could make the case that Ravi was the victim of a sexual assault, being forced by the university to share a room with a student who might want jump his bones.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      What a nasty comment. Where is your proof that all gay people are sexual predators??  What bigoted nonsense.

      Assuming that you are straight, are you attracted to EVERY woman you encounter? Seems to me like you are the sick one, and are projecting your lack of self discipline onto gay people.

      • Lamont

        Yo, i’m just keeping it real.  Forcing a heterosexual male to share a room with a dude who likes other dudes, is not cool. 

        Peace

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

          Ya, we heard that same BS in the run up to the repeal of DADT. Where is your proof that it isn’t working?  There is NO PROOF for your false flag accusation.

          • notafeminista

            How about forcing a gay male to room with heterosexual male?  We know straight men (especially the white ones) are crude Neanderthals.  Why take the chance?

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

            PC drawn to the level of irrationality.

          • notafeminista

            Finally we agree on something.

          • Lamont

            Call me old fashioned, I don’t care.

            But I’m not sharing a room with a dude that wants to get into bed with me.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe you wouldn’t be his type.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

            Calling you old fashioned is inappropriate. Shameless bigot is completely appropriate.

      • notafeminista

        On the other hand, there are defense classes for women, “Take Back the Night” events, and Stop the Violence weeks promoted all across the US.  Do we assume all men are violent and/or sexual predators?

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

          Here is news for ya:  2+2 is 4. 

          SOME men rape women, not ALL men. SOME gay men are aggressive, not ALL gay men. What you defend, and Lamont states, is that ALL gay men are sexual predators, or potential predators. Simple CRAP, and lies.

          • notafeminista

            Self-discipline cuts both ways.  Are you suggesting that simply by virtue of being homosexual that a man (or woman) is more capable of exercising self-control?

          • notafeminista

            I understand (albeit it may be incorrectly) that one reason for the full body garment devout Muslim women wear is to prevent the temptation ofmen who might otherwise be driven wild by the sight of the female form. 
            How did that concept come about?

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

            Geez…talk about missing the point. Please read for comprehension. I never even suggested that, in fact quite the OPPOSITE.

  • Kookoo Cory

    I hate American Conservatism.  If I punch Rush Limbaugh in the nose, or thumb Governor Scott Walker in the eye, am I guilty of a hate crime?

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      No. I would call it well deserved justice.

      • Lamont

        Yeah, you’re a hater.

  • Michele

    Kate Zernike stated that the defense was these kids had no exposure to gay people in their culture. Earlier she quoted a text message from the defendant to T. Clemente stating that his best friend is gay and that he was totally fine with his roommate’s sexuality.  A little contradictory? Additionally, the defendant grew up in the US no exposure to gay culture?  Please!  Turn on the television, open a magazine, listen to music!

  • Lamont

    Ravi is a political prisoner.  He is being persecuted by media which is completely pro-gay.

    • Anonymous

      Does that room you occupy in your mother’s basement ever get lonely?  You should try getting out more.  Meet some real people as opposed to the avatars in your video games.  Maybe then you would realize how moronic all of your comments are.

      • Modavations

        You are intimidating someone with whom you disagree,with invective.Like Rod Steiger and Farenheit 451,you burn offending books

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      What nonsense. You are so blinded by your anti gay bigotry, which is the only consistent concept in your posts.

  • Modavations

    In Boston you’d have to hack up 3 or 4 people and have a criminal record ten pages long ,before they’d give you 10 years

  • Modavations

    Read about Boston’s own Tookie Ameral case(the closet clown who stuck knives up the kiddies vagainas)or the Duke La Cross kids,or Tawana Brawley(?)…These are politically correct witch hunts

  • Sy2502

    I am also not a big fan of “hate crimes”, I believe a crime is a crime is a crime, a life lost to hate is as precious as a life lost to theft or domestic abuse, or any other cause.
    I also think young people are growing up more and more narcissistic and inconsiderate. Also Internet has become a safe place in which people can behave at their worst with little to no consequences. So I do look forward to a case that can be held as example to wake young people up about abusing Internet in ways that harm others, personal responsibility, and being more considerate to others. 

    • Anonymous

       It’s really too easy to make wide ranging disparaging remarks about an entire generation.  There has never been any generation of people who ever walked the earth that didn’t think the younger generations were “narcissistic and inconsiderate”  You and I grew up gossiping on the telephone which has the advantage of not leaving a paper trail.  These kids gossip with texts and twitter and facebook.  They’ve lived their lives online and they have different perceptions of privacy and personal space.  I’m not saying they’re right, but it does no good for old fogeys like us to huff and puff about it.  It’s not our world, it’s theirs and they are going to have to figure it out for themselves.  This urge to throw everyone we don’t like into jail accomplishes nothing.  I don’t want to live in a society that criminalizes every personal squabble and every little infraction.  It doesn’t stop with Dharun Ravi.  How many stories have we read about grade school students arrested for sexual harassment or just talking back to the teacher.  do you think we can build big enough jails for everyone? 

  • mitch

    Your guest commented on the use of the word gay by teenagers—as in, “that’s so gay”—as having nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality. Bosh! Wrong. It’s a pejorative and meant to be ignorant and hateful AND target gays. People also use the term, “That’s so Jewish,” in a similar way. Can you not hear the box car doors closing? 

  • Roy Mac

    Did your male panelist just identify Barack Obama as the President of the United States?  My!  I am SO grateful for that…

  • Washingtonreader

    It’s a shame that the public response to this verdict is to question hate crime law rather than questioning why it is that we have 18 year olds who struggle to deal with this sort of diversity. I wish this case was prompting as much discussion of our society’s role in this as it is discussion of hate crime law, although I don’t mean to suggest that debate on hate crime law in unwarranted.  

  • Harry Cellphone

    Could giving someone gay or not the middle finger salute be considered a hate crime and wind up as jail time?    

    • Ray in VT

      Depends.  Were you poking that person in the eye with your middle finger?  If so, then it’s still probably only simple assault.

      • Harry Cellphone

        Thanks, in my opinion this hate crime stuff although well intended could backfire on the accusers causing more insanity. What is interesting is from who’s perspective does a hate crime law protect?   

        • Ray in VT

          I guess in theory it is supposed to protect potential victims, likely generally to be some sort of minority group, by hanging the sword of stiffer punishments over a potential assailants head.  It might be akin to the notion that the death penalty deters would be murderers.

          • Harry Cellphone

            Agreed, unlike religious groups and their leaders who find popularity in the USA with malice toward those who freely think for themselves. 

    • Modavations

      You bet ya and that’s where this is leading.Only it will be,I didn’t like the way you looked at me,I think you harbor ill thought aND malice.Clock work Orange aND bIG bROTHER FASCISM.gET FREADY FOR THE pUTSCH,tHAT’S WHAT ows IS A PRELUDE TO.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        Your consistently homophobic comments are over the top.

        • Harry Cellphone

          Who are you commenting as to being Homophobic? 

          • Modavations

            hE TOSSES IT AROUND LIKE CONFETTI.

      • Harry Cellphone

        Agreed, where does this legal system draw the line. Will the courts and law enforcement be tide up, spending taxpayers money for every little thing that is considered a hate crime down to where someone had their feelings hurt?    

  • Highland Park, NJ

    I think a big-frame aspect that’s been missed is that this is two immature people who handle a situation inadequately.  I can imagine Ravi being pretty annoyed at being kicked out of his room twice so his new roommate can have some kind of physical sex with somebody nobody knows (including perhaps his roommate).  I don’t know all the details of the situation, but if one of my college roommates told me that they wanted to kick me out of the room on a regular basis to have some kind of private physical relation with people he doesn’t know, that would use up most of my goodwill towards them rather quickly.  Was Clementi being a jerk for trying to set up a regular private make-out time for himself in the room without negotiating Ravi’s acceptance?  Did Ravi know he could have some productive say in how Clementi treated him in general and with respect to the shared room?  Did Ravi know that he could say no?

  • Marc Poirier

    My bottom line, other than deep sadness at the whole affair.  Ravi did something wrong.  But in the scheme of things he is facing a punishment wholly disproportionate.  Many other folks have committed much more heinous acts (hate crimes, if you will) and generated much more fear and harm. But Clementi committed suicide, and even though that’s not legally supposed to be at issue at all, Ravi will pay for it.  Meanwhile, we’d be better off focusing attention on the climate for LGBT teenagers in high school and colleges, families, sports teams, and religious institutions, and addressing the seeds of gender- and sex-related shame and bullying there.  But that’s complex, subtle and costly.  Easier to make an example of Ravi.  Criminal law is a blunt instrument for changing society, and it’s being misapplied here.
     

  • Jersey Jon

    I’m a college student at Rutgers University. I started college the same semester that Tyler and Ravi did.

    As a strong supporter of LGBT rights, I believe that what Ravi did was immature and misguided. However, I don’t think that what Ravi did was hate-based. I’m as old as Ravi, and I too have pulled immature stunts (thankfully for me none resulted in my roommate jumping over the GW bridge). I, like Ravi, am an immature college boy. So I guess I can sympathize with him a bit. I think that this was just a stupid prank gone horribly wrong.

    • Modavations

      There but by the grace of god,go I(something like that)

    • PaulWalsh

      @ Jersey Jon:

       Judging from the lengthy article in the New Yorker Magazine, Ravi is at risk for becoming harmful to society, regardless of his current conviction or sentence.

      In that article, even Ravi’s so-called friends describe him as arrogant, dishonest, and untrustworthy.  In college, I knew a few guys who fit that description.  One eventually committed amoral acts on Wall Street during the past decade causing immense harm.  Ravi seems similarly destined.

      Sending Ravi to prison is unlikely to solve his antisocial behavior.  Instead, he should submit to counseling and Community Service.  Such a sentence is not punitive.  Plenty of folks pay good money for counseling, aspiring to become better, more well-adjusted people.  And, performing Community Service would place him beside upstanding citizens who appreciate the value of volunteerism.  Ravi might then learn to replace his arrogance with humility and to trade his dishonesty for virtue.  

      However, characterizing Ravi’s acts as “stupid pranks” and “immature stunts” ignores his seven convictions for obstruction of justice.  He lied to police investigators.  He asked his schoolmates to falsify their testimony in his favor.  And he erased records from his cell phone and computer regarding Clementi.  Those are not pranks or stunts.  Those acts are of a guilty man hiding his tracks.  Those are the acts which cause everyone to wonder if Ravi is hiding even more lies.  His words and his acts demonstrate that he can’t be trusted.

      Ravi’s initial invasion of Clementi’s privacy could have been a misguided prank.  His second invasion was advertized to friends as a viewing party and is egregiously antisocial.   His subsequent attempts to obstruct justice are crimes. 

      Ravi needs counseling.  And he would benefit from a thousand hours of Community Service.

  • Khyssa

    My main question at this point it, how much flexibility will the judge have in sentencing? I cannot see any point in destroying two young lives; I see no point in sending Ravi to prison. He is very bright, and has great computer skills; he could do a lot of good, but no good in prison. Could the judge sentence him creatively to, say, 5000 hours—even 10,000 hours—of community service to be served by volunteering in a New Jersey LGBT advocacy organization?

    • Modavations

      I’d rather do the ten years

  • Cool Blue Reason

    I find it deeply troubling whenever a criminal case is seized upon by prosecutors and others, collectively, in order to “send a message” to the wider public.  Very quickly the messy specifics of a real situation involving living, breathing people tend to get swept aside in favor of the symbolism.

    Our justice system is supposed to be walled off from such influences.  Instead we pre-judge, we politicize, we make examples of people.

    • Harry Cellphone

      Yes and a windfall for any good lawyer.

  • Jae

    This case is as much about our society as it is about Ravi. The verdict is immature. Our society is immature. Too bad a kid had to be a scapegoat for our collective disfunction.

    • Gptyler1

      We have to start learning to be Adults sometime, somewhere…

      • Jae

        I don’t disagree but it’s not “We” who being sent to prison — not you — not I. The problem with a scapegoat is that it puts responsibility on the goat — not the people.

  • Barbara

    I think the focus on the maximum sentence of ten years is not the most important with regard to the verdict – rather, I think it is appropriate for Ravi to be punished for what he did.  It is entirely possible that the maximum sentence will not be sent down, as is often the case.  That is up to the judge to decide.  However, to not punish Ravi, when there is much evidence of intrusion into Clementi’s private life, would be wrong.  I would say that tolerance education and hate crimes laws do not need to be mutually exclusive.

    Based on what I have read in other reporting, there were many instances of Ravi tweeting, emailing others, etc. regarding Clementi’s sexual orientation, which he learned by cyber-stalking Clementi on gay web sites, before the video-recording incidents.  There there seems to me to be a serious lack of understanding of what it means to be “outed.”  Just because Clementi had come out to his parents (or a tiny number of kids on a gay chat site) does not mean he was out to others, publicly, in his daily life.  For a fairly unconfident freshman, not to have control over how one comes out would be devastating.  Based on what your callers said, and entirely ignored by the commentator (who I found to be entirely too forgiving), loads of people simply have no perspective on how difficult coming out (or staying closeted) can be for many people.

    The New York mag article of several weeks ago noted that Clementi’s mother was not accepting of her son’s declaration, and he was probably very troubled by this.

    Finally, whether or not Clementi seemed (based on various emails or texts to others, conversations with his parents, etc.), to be very troubled by his situation with Ravi, it is quite obvious based on the outcome that he WAS extremely troubled by it – whether or not he was already depressed – and he attempted to keep a stiff upper lip publicly so that he might continue to function, receive advice from others, and avoid worrying his family, something that people do in all kinds of situations, even when it seems irrational.

    • Anonymous

       Sorry, but if you are posting on line about being gay – you’re out.  If you invite an older man back to your dorm room for sex – you’re out.  If you have attended a meeting of the campus gay organization, which Tyler did, you’re out.  Ravi was not responsible for outing Tyler. Tyler outed himself.  And reading someone’s publicly available postings and info on line is not cyber-stalking.  If it is then Tyler also cyber-stalked Ravi. Ravi’s behavior was bad enough that we don’t need to be making stuff up.

  • Barbara

    Sorry – wrong reference – it was a New Yorker article.

  • Jae

    It’s also ironic that it’s very probable that Ravi himself and many Asian kids grow up subjected to “biased intimidation”.

  • Amy

    Reduce the sentence and deport him and his whole family as soon as possible.  As NPR reported last week…the Indian immigrant community frequently behaves entitled and arrogant.  Classic case of loving the benefits and freedoms in America without the RESPONSIBILITIES. 

    • Jae

      You should be deported.

    • Jasmine Jaywant

       Jacqueline

    • notafeminista

      Ship out anyone we don’t like or understand.

    • Anonymous

       If we deported everyone in this country who behaves entitled and arrogant there would be no one left.  Your comment just reeks of racism and you should be ashamed.

    • Dev Saha

      Who are you to deport anybody? In such scenario, many English, Irish and Italians should have been deported long time ago! Think before you write! Those immigrants are probably 100X more responsible than you and your cohorts.

    • Anonymous

      What crime did his family commit? 

    • TFRX

      I’ll pass on the “entitled and arrogant” thing (if it exists, which I can’t say) as having any bearing on proper punishment of a crime in a republic.

      Some charges may carry with them the penalty of deportation. I have no idea if that is involved in this case.

  • Gptyler1

    The tenor of the program sounds like the race trials of the  50′s, boys will be boys, Well the line must be drawn. As to the question of how long do protections need to be kept in place, again the race laws are an example. 

  • HMT

    Let me get this straight. Ravi was convicted of bias intimidation based on what the jury thought Clementi thought Ravi thought. And, the same crime can be bias intimidation against one of the victims and not the other based on what the jury thought the victims thought.

  • CASnyder

    I recognize that Dharun is from a culture where homosexuals would be considered to be mentally ill or almost pathological contaminants in society that needed to be stopped from being actively gay, so it is pretty clear to me that he didn’t realize that his behavior was criminal in the context of the situation he found himself in, where he perceived Tyler to be in the wrong. However, I don’t think his ignorance should pardon his actions either, especially since they were a contributing factor in another’s death. I do hold the educational institutions (college & K-12)  partly responsible for failing to teach tolerance training and training about appropriate respect of peers’ privacy & dignity. Kids are never too young to be taught how to get along well with others who are very different from themselves, and even homogeneous small town schools have this responsibility, while colleges that bring together extremely different students and put them into very overcrowded situations including living together in a single room with no space for privacy have an even greater responsibility to give the students training in what is acceptable in cohabitation. In my college days it was common for one roommate who couldn’t stand life in the fishbowl to move their bed into a closet no bigger than the bed in order to get through the dorm years, but it doesn’t sound like either of these students had even that much of an option for privacy.

    • Anonymous

       Your supposition regarding the culture that Ravi comes from is itself fairly racist.  Perhaps you’ll be the next person put on trial.  You also have your facts wrong.  There is no evidence that Ravi’s actions “were a contributing factor” causing Tyler to commit suicide.  In fact, his suicide letter has been suppressed because it apparently had nothing to do with the events in the dorm room.  There were two people in that room and they both played a role in the drama.  Ravi was clearly an immature little jerk, but Tyler was also, clearly, a very disturbed young man.  It turned out to be a toxic combination and I suspect they were both inadvertent catalysts for the other’s behavior.  Tyler didn’t die because nobody taught Ravi about tolerance.  He died because, apparently, no one in his life knew him well enough to recognize that he desperately needed help.  Today I consider both of these boys to be victims.

    • Dev Saha

      Pretty idiotic comment. Darun has been living in the US since he was six years old. The prejudice can’t be in his genes?

      • Vance Decker

        Um, his parents surely continued to try and instill the traditional cultural values they grew up with. It’s not a stretch to believe that this influenced a significant portion of his beliefs growing up.

  • Me

    I think gay people should seriously toughen up! Someone picks on you, beat their ass instead of kill yourself!!! Wake up!!!

    • Dev Saha

       Have some self confidence bro!

    • Ttripathi

      What somehow of us are failing to appreciate is that Ravi and his roommate were not in bad terms before the latter realized that he was being spied upon. Ravi had gay friends, according to a guest in this show. He seems to  have nothing against gays but he was being cautious about the ‘weird’ guy that was visiting his roommate. This visitor was much older than these two teenagers. It would have been wise action if the camera revealed the ‘weird’ guy doing something harmful to Ravi’s roommate. What Ravi did was wrong, but not necessarily anti-gay. Invasion of privacy is definitely the crime he should be punished for. If it was really a hate crime the Fox and other animals, who have often clearly displayed homophobic attitude  in their coverage of monumental gay issues, would have been howling about it.

  • tian

    The issue here isn’t just about hate crimes, or even something like hate speech. Had Ravi simply called Clementi a bigoted word, while it might not have been nice, it wouldn’t have been as serious. The issue that seems to elude a lot of people on this issue is that it has to do with the nature of publicity, making public, spreading word around, etc. This is a potentially extremely violent thing. Ravi’s use of media was mixed and not a full-out attempt to smear. But it certainly had elements of publicizing in some way or other. 

    Part of this hinges on Clementi’s perception of this: in a kind of reactive fear — might one say horror? — he may not have done a perfect examination of the extent or limits of Ravis’ publicizing. To Clementi, it looks more like he felt it was going to be “all over the internet”. And he may even have feared, not unrealistically, that it might “wind up on Youtube”, where, as we know, it could easily take flight and wind up with a million viewers or something. 

    Just how powerful and potentially violent is this? That’s part of the question. And one must really add that Ravi may well have had little to know real  cognizance of this dimension. 

    • Kfran

      Real thought crime stuff there, tian.

  • Daphne C.

    I’m a member of the LGBT community who is also skeptical about  whether justice will be best served via incarceration rather than education. Listening to this show, I can’t help but wonder if Ms Gorenberg would be willing to “second guess the jury” if the verdict had gone been “not guilty”.

  • sagae444

    I’m going to read all the comments but before doing so I want to post some facts of the case that the media continues to ignore or dissemble about:
    (1) The so-called second viewing was definitely disabled by Dharun because the computer that the webcam was on rebooted at 11:15 pm when Dharun was out of the room.  For Tyler to reboot, he would have needed a bios password.  The prosecution theory that Tyler pulled the plug had no evidence and why would pulling the plug disable  a laptop computer anyway.  I’m typing on battery power now.
    (2) No taping.  A lie told by the media and politicians.  No sex tape.  Saw 2 seconds of 2 men kissing fully clothed and turned it off.  If he wanted to watch them have sex, he would not have turned it off.  He complied with the law.
    (3) If he had seen Tyler and M.B. with a gun, he would be a hero.  Virginia Tech?  Why unreasonable to fear an antisocial roommate might be doing something very bad in the room, like fooling with weapons.
    (4) The hindering etc. is deleting text and twitter messages.  Are we no longer allowed to delete text and twitter in New Jersey?  Who saves them?
    (5) The case is unique for trying invasion of  privacy rather than pre-trial intervention.  The guy who punched Snooki, a crime of violence on a small woman, got PTI and a $500 fine.
    (6) “bias intimidation” charges are a tool to allow the prosecutor to do character assassination in the courtroom, to tell the jury about your jokes and snarky conversations with friends just to prejudice the jury against the defendant.

  • Anonymous

    The program was riveting.So thought provoking my head nearly exploded. My feeling is justice for this case lies in the middle. The prosecutor had to try and the jury did its work. Though it seems Mr Ravi tried to reach the victim he still needs to pay. Not ten years however. I applaud the Ravi family for pressing the issue. My concern is the cell phone texts and twitter message availability. First that they are accessible to the Authorities and second whether they can and will now be used to judge the accused’s state of mind. I reluctantly accept domestic spying for counterterrorism. This is hardly that. Have I been under a rock or do Authorities no longer need any court orders to intercept personal messages? Are telecommunications companies required to keep all of their traffic? If so, God help us.

  • Anonymous

      This case and the myths surrounding it have been driving me crazy ever
    since I read The New Yorker article.  I can accept that other people are
    going to interpret and judge the case differently than me, but it
    drives me crazy that so many people, even after being exposed to the
    known facts, still repeat and perpetuate the fictional version of the
    story………………………..I also wish that more attention would
    be paid to Tyler’s behavior.  I’m not blaming the victim here, but the
    popular urge to turn Tyler into Bambi robs him of his humanity.  Forty
    years ago I was Tyler so I have a strong identification with him.  The
    true tragedy of this case is that, apparently, no one ever paid much
    attention to Tyler’s behavior, before or after his death.  Perhaps if
    someone had paid a little more attention they would have seen how
    desperately he needed help and he would still be alive today.

  • Stevedawg

    To me this case is insane.  I think the punishment is completely over the top and terribly unjustified.  I feel really bad for the Ravi, while what he did was cruel, it doesn’t seem criminal.  If that was going to make Tyler kill himself then that kid was going to have a pretty rough life ahead.  Also no one mentions that maybe Tyler shouldn’t have been asking for the room alone to have gay sex in so frequently.  Maybe Ravi found that uncomfortable and thought of the prank as a form of revenge. 

    • Vance Decker

      “…it doesn’t seem criminal.”

      It is criminal. It’s barely any different from placing a hidden camera in a public restroom.

  • Remain Ano

     I would be upset if my roommate keeps asking me to stay out of my room. What about my privacy in a college dorm? The school should take half of the blame.

    • Anonymous

       If you object to your roommate asking you to stay out of the room then you should just say “No”  Dharun didn’t do that.

      • Kfran

        Surely Tyler knew Dharun didn’t want to keep leaving the room! Why did he agree? Because Dharun was the one who was intimidated. 3 times in 5 nights.

  • sagae444

    jim in boston,
    I’m glad to see your common sense comments.  I suspect that the commenters who want blood from Dharun are more likely to be straight people.  They puff themselves up as so goodie-goodie but they are spiteful haters if they think this case had any merit whatsoever.   There was a college dorm fire in NJ some years back started as a prank.  3 dead, 58 injured including some who will be horribly disfigured for life.  Punishment:  5 years.  

    Personally, I do not think Dharun did ANYTHING wrong.  He complied with the law; he turned it off after 2 seconds of seeing kissing.  I find it persuasive that he worried about his possessions.  Kids have thousands of dollars worth of stuff in their dorm rooms.

    I agree with you that no one is dealing with Tyler’s behavior.  What was he up to?   My own take is that his behavior was a deliberate sexual humiliation of the roommate.  (As it would have been if he’d been bringing a female to  the room, too.)  The behavior (3 times in 5 nights kicking the roommate out) is so deliberately obnoxious that it means something about what was in Tyler’s head.

    This will cause a backlash, of course.  Parents have to deal with this and it won’t be that they’ll lecture their kids about  goodie-goodiness.  They will tell their kids to be wary of gay people.  Don’t friend them on facebook, etc.   Stay away from them because things can go horribly wrong around them.   Just when gay people are starting to be treated as “normal” by younger people, along comes this.   

    • Anonymous

       Thanks, but I do have a few differences with some of your statements.  I think you are imposing a bit too much supposition on the motives behind Tyler’s behavior.  Personally I did not read any such overt hostility in his actions.  It’s very possible that being rather inept socially he just didn’t understand all the nuances and ramifications of his actions.  Believe me I know from my own past how oblivious someone can be to these things.  When I suggested paying more attention to Tyler’s behavior it wasn’t to cast blame on him, but simply to remind people that he played a part in this drama.  Neither of these boys were acting in a vacuum.  The behavior of each almost certainly effected the behavior of the other.  Tyler’s behavior seems somewhat in conflict with the popular notion of the timid, closeted, intimidated, lost little boy.  Also, I think Dharun absolutely did something wrong.  Although I think Dharun probably had some concerns about this out of place person his roommate was bringing back to the room , I don’t buy the story that he was worried about his stuff.  I think it’s far more likely that he was just curious about his roommate’s activities.  Under the circumstances I think it’s probably true that, straight or gay, most of us would be somewhat curious about our roommate’s tryst. Gossip is nothing new it’s just that some of us were lucky enough to do it in an era when it didn’t leave a paper trail.  Now for my own wild supposition – when I read The New Yorker article my gaydar was going ding-ding-ding.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover someday that Dharun himself is gay although at the present time he probably isn’t even out to himself.  If this is true – and it’s a very big if – it would have added a whole other layer of tension between the two that neither would be likely to have the experience or the maturity to recognize or handle.

      • sagae444

        jim,
        Thanks for the reply.  I think it was surely difficult for Dharun to be the sole roommate of a gay guy; I think he felt “defensive” and we do have his friends teasing him.  Biggest problem was that Tyler was so antisocial, though.  There is a story that Tyler had attempted suicide in high school.   Wish that had been investigated; it may turn out to be truer than the  weeks  of  media  reports of “sex tapes” and “broadcasting on the internet.

        Tyler was very antisocial; the story is that he wore headphones all the time, wouldn’t make eye contact, made no friends and spoke to no one.   I do find it persuasive that Dharun worried about his stuff as I worry about possessions.   The extreme antisocial angle also makes me think of Virginia Tech.  If I was living in a dorm, that would be on my mind. 

        Basically, my take is that Dharun Ravi is a scapegoat and boy did they jump on him.  He’s the scapegoat for Tyler’s parents, for the Rutgers RA not noticing there was this extremely antisocial kid on the floor, for the “anti-bullying” cause, which I think has designs on new programs and more spending.  IF they realy wanted to do something about bullying they’d call for shuttting down school sports programs; those are breeding grounds for bullying.  But that would take some courage, taking on powerful interests.

      • Kfran

        Oof Jim you make up a story that Dharun is secretly gay. That is so typical of gay people and a good reason to avoid them and their vicious rumormongering.

        • Vance Decker

          “That is so typical of gay people and a good reason to avoid them and their vicious rumormongering.”

          Damn. As a gay person, I can’t argue with your bluntly accurate analysis of gay culture. The gay community is rife with this type of abuse, while publicly crying about ‘bullying’ they see nothing wrong with rumor mongering, spreading vicious gossip, and an assortment of other, well, bad habits for lack of a better word.

          HOWEVER, this doesn’t give license to invade a person’s privacy and humiliate someone because of their sexual orientation as is OBVIOUSLY the case here.

          • jiminboston

             Self hate is sad.  I don’t know if you  associate with any straight people, but if you do you should know that gay people do not have a monopoly on gossip.  Straight people do it all the time.  It’s just like sex.  We’re not doing anything straight people don’t do as well.  That’s not a defense, just perspective.

        • jiminboston

           What a load of homophobic hooey.  First of all I didn’t make up any story that Dharun “IS secretly gay”  I said I was making a wild supposition based on my reading about him.  There is a big difference and saying that I think someone MIGHT have gay tendencies is not vicious unless you think there is something wrong with being gay.  In fact, considering what most of these comment say about Ravi and what they think should be done to him you’ve got to be pretty single minded to single out this one rather innocuous comment.  And just for the record, NO, I don’t think that everyone is gay and your willingness to take one comment from one person, blow it out of proportion and then apply it to all gay people just goes to show your own pathetic bigotry.

  • Hannah L.

    I am a straight, female college student, who supports gay rights (just to give a bit of background on where my opinion may be coming from.) As I was listening to this story, I thought there were two points that were extremely important, and were never really discussed. The first was the fact that the man Clementi brought home was thirty years old. When I was a freshman, if my roommate came home with a thirty-year-old man (or woman), I might reasonably be uncomfortable with that purely on the basis of age. Would I spy on my roommate? Of course not, but it makes Ravi’s actions a bit more understandable, though no less wrong. The second was the fact that he texted Clementi once he found out from the RA that Clementi had requested a room change. According to the show, he apologized, said that he had a good friend who was gay, and reiterated the fact that he had no problem with Clementi’s sexuality. This to me is huge, and is evidence that this was not a hate crime. This whole situation took place over such a short period of time that it makes me think that, had Clementi lived, there was a good chance that this could have been resolved to some extent between the two boys. The fact that it tore apart so many lives is a terrible tragedy. I agree that Ravi should be punished for his terrible actions, but I think ten years in jail is the wrong way to go about it. This boy seems to me to be redeemable – he has shown remorse for his actions, and I think it can be universally agreed that he never would have wished or planned for this to happen – he didn’t hate Clementi and didn’t want him to die. However, what will he be like after ten years in prison? I worry the answer is ‘less redeemable’, and perhaps more likely to commit crimes in the future, having spent roughly 1/3 of his life with criminals. I am glad to see such a lively debate going on over this subject, as the only thing that seems to be clear about the case is that it is not cut and dry. To share one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors, John Green: “Imagine people complexly.”

    • jiminboston

      Terrific comment.  Beautifully said.

    • Kk92610

      He’s never expressed any remorse to the family and is only crying because he got caught bullying and abusing another student.   You need to pull it out of your ass and make comments about things that you have knowledge of.

  • Kk92610

    He should be kicked out of Rutgers and deported for being convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail.   These are not the types of people we want coming to America for their education.

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