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Rutgers Student Ravi Convicted of Bias Intimidation and Spying

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-be-a-jerk dept.

The Courts 714

In 2010, Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi used his computer's webcam to spy on the activities of his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, and commented about it publicly on Twitter. Days later, Clementi committed suicide. Ravi was indicted on 15 charges, going to trial last month. Now, reader doston sends word that the trial has ended, and Ravi has been found guilty on all 15 charges, though the jury returned a not guilty verdict on aspects of certain charges. "After less than three full days of deliberations, the five men and seven women of the jury found Dharun Ravi, 20 years old, guilty of invading the privacy of his 18-year-old roommate, Tyler Clementi, and his dorm-room date. They also found that Ravi was motivated by bias under a New Jersey hate-crime law that had been largely untested so far. ... The jury had been asked to decide Ravi’s motivations when he trained his webcam on Clementi and his date on two separate occasions in September 2010, in a case that set off a national conversation about cyber-bullying and treatment of gay youth. ... Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison on most serious bias intimidation convictions, but is likely to receive a lesser sentence based on sentencing guidelines because he is a first time offender. The India-born Ravi, who has spent most of his life in the U.S. as a permanent resident, faces the possibility of deportation as a result of his criminal conviction. He rejected a plea deal in December that would have kept him out of prison and offered him assistance with immigration authorities."

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Well (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380781)

That's pretty gay... err, I mean retarded... err, I mean lame, err...

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381291)

wow people are way too sensitive.. this should be a +1 funny

Damn unfortunate (5, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380791)

It's damn unfortunate for everyone involved. But even worse, Ravi is also going to have his life ruined by a man who decided to end his own. What Ravi did was punch in the nose wrong - not 10 years in prison and deportation. Heck, the stupid stuff we did on our floor in college was just as bad or worse. I'm sure 99% of every man who went to college in the dorms can say the same.

Re:Damn unfortunate (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380837)

Sometimes you have to make an example of someone in order to get a point across and discourage future morons from pulling the same kind of stunt. If all I'm risking is a punch in the nose, and I'm 50 pounds and 3" bigger than you, it's not really much of a risk for me, now is it?

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380901)

I think you could make a point without sending someone to prison for ten years on some vague charge of "bias intimidation." It's not like this guy hasn't already had his face plastered all over the news as an epic asshole, and (rightfully) been convicted of invasion of privacy.

Re:Damn unfortunate (5, Insightful)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380997)

Next time you wrong someone and they end up killing themselves due to their own unrelated emotional problems, you might just change your mind.

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Informative)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381109)

If you steal a stop sign and someone who was also speeding crashes, you are probably guilty of manslaughter.

This poor kid was obviously very troubled, but if you look at the totality of his communications, he was obviously pushed over the edge by this Ravi asshole. If Ravi hadn't have been such a colossal jerk, the kid would still be alive. He only started thinking of suicide AFTER he started getting harassed.

Re:Damn unfortunate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381293)

Yes, but if you stole one stop sign, another person stole a 10km/h sign just before it and another person stole the 50km/h sign before that one and so on... who is to blame? The last person or them all?.. It's wrong to put all the blame on one person in a case like this..

Even society has been pushing against gay people for a long time..

Sure, what he did was wrong, but 10 years in prison and deportation for a crime like this is just crazy.. maybe 3 months in prison + 3 years probation and a big fine.. Prisons should not be used as punishment but to both deter people from doing stuff and also prevent people from doing something again.. Putting someone in today's prisons just creates another hardened criminal for the most part, especially if they are in for 10 years..

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381037)

But does it really discourage future morons?

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381169)

People are still commenting in support of the dick head, aren't they?

Re:Damn unfortunate (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381147)

So what are the long-term consequences of the precedent set by this court? What if a Wife uses a videocam to spy on her cheating husband in the bedroom with his adultress?

      Invading his privacy? And what if the caught husband commits suicide? That's basically what this decision amounts to - if you videocam a co-resident in your own bedroom, the government could charge you with invasion of privacy.

Re:Damn unfortunate (2)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381255)

Invading his privacy? And what if the caught husband commits suicide? That's basically what this decision amounts to - if you videocam a co-resident in your own bedroom, the government could charge you with invasion of privacy.

Well, if you videotape your cheating wife and invite your friends over twitter to come what them have sex, then yeah, I would consider it invading the guy's privacy. You wouldn't? If you have housemates do you think it would be appropriate for them to film and display to others anything you do in there?

Re:Damn unfortunate (2)

DroolTwist (1357725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381265)

I'm pretty sure you could argue, that if the husband was indeed dumb enough to have sex with another woman in their bedroom, that the expectation of privacy is zero.

If she did it in a hotel room, or some other place besides their bedroom, where the husband took the mistress, then she would probably be guilty not only of invasion of privacy, but also any other laws that prohibit video without permission.

Re:Damn unfortunate (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381187)

The point is going to be ignored and forgotten by the end of next week.

Most people don't understand just how long 10 years really is. That punishment would not nearly fit the crime.

Sure he was an asshole, but I don't think he was actually trying to set out to kill the man, or cause the man to kill himself. Just stupid actions on top of more stupid actions.

Young people can be cruel and callous. However, that is equality. It makes no difference that the young man was gay. Every man, and every woman, has to deal with people like this, and a lot of stupid stunts pulled in high school and college. Yes, some of those stunts can be very invasive and designed to humiliate people. Welcome to college.

While it is sad, that young man made the decision to end his life, there is a larger issue. That real issue here is not that Ravi recorded an intimate moment and broadcast it, it is that the fact this young man was gay and got "caught" engaging in homosexual activity and the loss of privacy caused enough stress upon him that he concluded that the only way out was suicide. That's sad and indicative of the depressing state of affairs in our society.

If society were a little bit different that young man could have just been pissed off that Ravi secretly recorded him with his boyfriend. Pursuing other remedies available to him through the administration and local law enforcement would have been considered long before he ended his own life.

Of course, even that is an assumption. Some people have such a low threshold for stress that it does not take much to make them snap and take other people with them.

This whole situation is a tragedy and nothing really positive is going to come out of putting Ravi in prison for 10 years. The only positive outcome here is increased awareness and tolerance for others. Punishing people with years in prison for bullying is not going to be that effective at preventing young people from doing what they do.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380895)

He hasn't been sentenced yet. It could be far less than 10 years. I also expect an appeal.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0, Flamebait)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380909)

I doubt the judge will give him much time, if any. The kid was extremely cruel and he picked on a particularly vulnerable kid. If I have a choice, I don't want him in my country.

Ravi did acts so bad and mean that, had he done it to another person, the other person would have killed Ravi rather than killing himself.

We have laws like this to keep people from seeking violent self-help.

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381149)

What in god's name are you talking about? Watching your roommate make out with someone would cause then to murder you? What planet do you live on?!

This was nothing more than college hijinks. Ravi was thrust into an awkward situation where he was asked to leave his own room so his roommate could have sex and he responded in a way that is not unheard of.

The issue here is that the gay kid responded is such an over-the-top, unforseen way. Ravi should not be punished for that. What's next - if you flame someone's slashdot comment and then they kill themselves is it now YOUR fault because you were a big meanie?

Deportation is not an fit "punishment" (4, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381273)

If I have a choice, I don't want him in my country.

You know, this isn't just your country. If I had a choice, I would reject plenty of folks from my country. Your judgement about deportation being a punishment should be weighed on every crime.

This kid did something stupid and he might get deported to a country he didn't grow up in, and might not know at all. Other kids do stupid stuff like this all the time (even resulting in injury or death), and if they get punished at all, don't get sent to an effectively unknown country.. maybe they spend some time doing rehabilitation or restitution, or perhaps some incarceration (very unlikely 10 years).

Re:Damn unfortunate (-1, Flamebait)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380915)

But if someone were to beat the living shit out of Ravi as he deserved, that person would go to jail.

When assholes and bullies get to run crying to the police and hide behind anonymity when karma comes looking, they will just become emboldened to increase the severity of their antisocial behavior. And when karma finally does catch up with them, it tends to do so to extremes. I don't feel even slightly sorry for Ravi. He's paying for what he, and thousands like him, have done.

The wrong person died. Ravi got off light.

What part of "queer-bashing earns you a lifetime of payback" do people like Ravi not understand?

Re:Damn unfortunate (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381131)

I see this as a case where someone with a only-slightly-rare character flaw was paired up with a roommate who was highly vulnerable to bullying.

I'd say a large fraction of college-age males are prone to significantly evil and/or stupid acts as well. To everyone's harm, a situation arose where such cruelty and stupidity met with a particularly vulnerable victim.

Re:Damn unfortunate (3, Interesting)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381143)

What part of "queer-bashing earns you a lifetime of payback" do people like Ravi not understand?

Well, I don't think I'm like Ravi, and I don't feel sorry for him either, but I don't understand any of the above. An eye for an eye and all that.

Further, I think it's fine to have criminal statues for bullying or intimidation, but adding "bias" to it is bullshit. All intimidation is biased, and the fact that a victim is a nerd or a jock or straight or gay or black or hispanic should have no bearing on the punishment. That's what equality means.

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380925)

I think the entire concept of a "hate crime" is wrong. Isn't stuff like this already covered by "making threats" and "intimidation"?

Here's two similar situations:

1) A man at a bar repeatedly punches another man because he is wearing a t-shirt that shows his endorsement of a rival sports team.

2) A man at a bar repeatedly punches another man because he is wearing a skirt.

The actual crime here is assault and battery, In 1), that's all it would be, but in 2) they would tack on "hate crime", "bias intimidation", and all kinds of other crap. It'd go from a fine and a couple hundred hours of community service (at most) to a community-wide (if not nationwide) spectacle.

Now, I do understand that certain classes of people have had really, really horrible shit happen to them in the past. This is true for every country. They demand equality, they fight for it, and they are getting it - but then they also get a lot of special laws to protect them. I don't really see this as equal - more like swinging the pendulum the other way.

I'm all for equality. I don't think you should discriminate against someone because of their skin color, beliefs, sexual orientation, any of that stuff really. If you're hiring them for a job the only thing that should matter is their skills, not their skin color or gender or sexual orientation. But, I do think that hiring someone because of their orientation or skin color or giving them any other special treatment after the fact is just as wrong as the initial discrimination. You can't fix discrimination by being more discriminatory.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380927)

It's like if you hit someone, and they turned out to be much more fragile than you expected and were left crippled as a result. It's still your fault.

I think the best result would be three months in prison, plus community service.

Re:Damn unfortunate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380935)

Unintended consequences. What Ravi did was wrong, and things went way farther than he might have anticipated.

He should have taken the plea bargain. Bull headed move.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380941)

Ravi ruined his OWN life. He chose to commit a criminal act and is facing the consequences of his decision. He is the only man who's responsible for ruining his life.

Re:Damn unfortunate (3, Interesting)

g8oz (144003) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381085)

Being an asshole is not a criminal act, at least it shouldn't be. This case says more about the draconian, moralizing and punitive U.S justice system than anything else.

There is a link between this case and the jack booted airport security gauntlet if you think about it. They point to a country that has lost perspective and is increasingly unhinged.

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381195)

Are you being serious? Even if you don't buy the "Bias Intimidation" stuff he most certainly did criminal acts.

1. Invasion of Privacy. You honest don't think filming someone having sex and displaying it to other people shouldn't be a crime? How would you like someone filming your parents together and displaying it?

2. Witness tampering. He tried to get witnesses to lie to the police. In what parallel universe do you live in where that is just "being an asshole". Are you in the mob?

Re:Damn unfortunate (3, Interesting)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380949)

True, he didn't do anything worse than what you would see on the American Pie movies.

But, the fact remains he is guilty of the crimes. It's like those kids you steal stop signs and street signs. Lot's of kids in my area used to do that. But only once that I know of did someone die because they didn't stop. Now the kids have involuntary manslaughter convictions and that is appropriate, even though probably dozens of kids did the same thing without being caught.

My point is his actions certainly contributed strongly to the suicide. He did the crime. True, there are a lot of jerks in dorms all over the country, but they are lucky enough to not have people kill themselves over their actions.

Lastly, even if you consider spying on someone having sex and displaying for others on a computer to be equivalent to assault, keep in mind he was also convicted of witness tampering and felony intimidation.

Re:Damn unfortunate (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381097)

My point is his actions certainly contributed strongly to the suicide.

And the actions of his mother did not? And the actions of all the other people whom we don't even know but who certainly exist, in a world populated with homophobes to a certain degree? Yet none of these are being prosecuted. Why?

Re:Damn unfortunate (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381023)

But even worse, Ravi is also going to have his life ruined by a man who decided to end his own.

Exactly! It's clearly the fault of the one who killed himself out of embarassment. Had Clementi never killed himself, Ravi would not have been guilty of violating Clementi's privacy in the first place.

Damn victims, always acting like it's not their fault!

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381027)

It's damn unfortunate for everyone involved. But even worse, Ravi is also going to have his life ruined by a man who decided to end his own. What Ravi did was punch in the nose wrong - not 10 years in prison and deportation. Heck, the stupid stuff we did on our floor in college was just as bad or worse. I'm sure 99% of every man who went to college in the dorms can say the same.

No, Ravi's life was ruined by Ravi (if at all).

Do I think criminal charges would have been filed if his roommate didn't kill himself? No. But does that mean Ravi is a victim of the roommate's actions? Heck no. If he doesn't realize there are other people in the world who might react to his actions, then he should be locked up.

If he was robbing a bank when a guard pulled a gun, he couldn't shoot the guard and claim self defense. He broke the law and as a result someone is dead. Is it murder? I don't think so. Even man slaughter? That's the jury's job to decide. But to say Ravi had nothing to do with the situation he is in is insane.

I infer from the rejection of the plea deal that this guy still doesn't understand what he did wrong.

As for his life being ruined, I doubt this was front page news in India. He has a better chance of finding a job there anyway.

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381065)

Sure, because as we all know, Tyler Clementi obviously used his gay powers of mind control to subconsciously (a) instruct Ravi to modify his computer to auto-accept remote requests to activate his webcam, (b) point the webcam at Clementi's bed, (c) brag about the experience to his friends over twitter, (d) then try to delete incriminating texts and tweets. Wow those suicidal gays sure are sneaky!!!!

Ravi's life wasn't ruined by Clementi or his suicide. Ravi has himself, and only himself, to blame. You seem to have missed out on a crucial aspect of the chain of causality. Short of spelling it out in crayon for you, the unassailable fact remains that Ravi engaged in a pattern of behavior resulting in the charges he was convicted of.

Re:Damn unfortunate (5, Insightful)

roeguard (1113267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381101)

I initially felt sort of bad for Ravi, for the same reasons everyone else has stated.

Then I read that he had been offered a plea that would have avoided all jail time and probably avoided any deportation issues. And he turned it down. So he has admitted all the particulars of the "cyber-bullying", but refuses to accept a slap on the wrist and instead decides to take the fight all the way to a jury verdict? Sounds to me like he really thought he hadn't done anything wrong at all -- completely justified in actions.

You have to be some sort of serious bigot to think what Ravi did was completely okay, and so if he thinks himself so justified to deny any wrong doing at all then I have no problem with him rotting in a cell for (up to) 10 years and then being expelled from the country.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381185)

I agree, he had his chance to escape this particular outcome.

Re:Damn unfortunate (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381123)

But even worse, Ravi is also going to have his life ruined by a man who decided to end his own.

No, there is no "even worse". Someone is dead, and it isn't him. There are precious few situations in life in which surviving is a worse fate than dying: Getting deported, or spending 10 years in jail, is not on the short list.

What Ravi did was punch in the nose wrong - not 10 years in prison and deportation.

A jury of 12 people disagrees with your assessment. This wasn't some judge with an attitude problem: This was a law passed by elected representatives, in an open and accessible public forum, with ample opportunity for public discourse. It has been affirmed countless times by a majority -- and now has been affirmed unanimously by 12 randomly-selected people from that community. You are welcome to your opinion but as a matter of law, there is little doubt as to his guilt. That said, my opinion is that you are short-sighted and bigoted, and have probably done (or thought of doing) things like this because of your own homophobia. For someone like you, a verdict like this must be pretty scary.

Heck, the stupid stuff we did on our floor in college was just as bad or worse. I'm sure 99% of every man who went to college in the dorms can say the same.

And for the 1% of every man, would that be his sense of civic responsibility? The stupid stuff most people do is not motivated by a hatred or bias based on sexual orientation, race, or other immutable attributes of a person... as a rule, the stupid things people do in college comes down to matters of romance, and matters involving alcohol and a desire for peer acceptance.

I'm appalled by your casual disregard for the seriousness of this person's crime: It was clearly motivated by a desire to embarass his victim, was clearly done because of the victim's sexual orientation, and in fact rises to the standard of malicious intent because he recorded it with the intention of making it public.

I, for one, see no reason to invite more people into this country to practice hate crimes when we already have a full load of loonies and people trying to screw up our civil liberties as it is: If you're immigrating to another country, you don't do anything that could get you in trouble with the law. You have to be a model citizen, better even than the people you want to live with, at least until you get your papers. Maybe that's unfair, but that's the way it is, and if this guy gets deported it'll be (at the very, very least) because he was weapons-grade stupid. And that is nobody's fault but his own.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381151)

It's worth pointing out that he hasn't been sentenced yet. He can be, by the judge, sentenced for up to ten years, that does not mean he will be, and I suspect the actual sentence will be significantly lower.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381153)

Ravi ruined his own life. He has no one to blame for that but himself.

As for what happened on your floor in college, probably a bunch of you should have been arrested as well. Just because you committed a crime and not some other person doesn't mean it's not still a crime.

Re:Damn unfortunate (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381167)

So where's your bed-rooms web cam?

Re:Damn unfortunate (4, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381173)

I know. It's a shame we don't have the freedom in our society to harass people to death. Really. A damn shame.

Re:Damn unfortunate (2)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381181)

I have a very hard time feeling sorry for Ravi.

Not only is he guilty of what he was accused of doing, he rejected the plea offer that would have spared him jail time and deportation (the same deal that the girl in the case took). He had his chance to admit what he did was wrong and atone, but he flat out rejected that and decided to take his chances.

Now, he can think about the consequences of his actions while sitting in jail and in India once he is deported.

Re:Damn unfortunate (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381193)

But even worse, Ravi is also going to have his life ruined by a man who decided to end his own.

That's how justice rolls. You pay for harm you do to others, not just the technical crime. Drunks driving on US roads normally only risk losing their license and relatively modest fines. But if they kill someone, then they lose a lot more.

Re:Damn unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381261)

Ah, that's like the man made the decision free of the actions of Ravi.

No wait, he didn't. Ravi's actions were a primary, if not deciding, factor in the suicide.

Maybe the stupid stuff you did in college or high school got people wanting to kill themselves, but not me.

Heck, I would have felt bad if I had even come close to doing that, which I didn't, because you know what? Heckling and harassing others has never appealed to me in the way it seems to those who think it's part of aggression-dominance reflexes. I find it repellent and revolting. I neither want to engage in it or be subject to it.

Take your atavistic mindset to somebody else. I won't play your game. I will instead drop a hammer down on you.

Ironic (1, Informative)

craigminah (1885846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380801)

So this was tried as "bias" and Mr. Ravi will get up to ten years in jail but the Major Hassan incident was classifed as "workplace violence" and not "terrorism" even though he yelled "allah al akbar dirka dirka" before he shot a bunch of Army soldiers. WTF? I think the courts are a tad too liberal nowadays...

Re:Ironic (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380921)

Because Maor Hassan was charged under New Jersey law rather than under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, right?

And of course 10 years in jails is far far worse than the death penalty the prosecution in the Hassan case is going for.

Is it hard to be as stupid as you clearly are?

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380999)

Have you seen the conditions in US "supermax" prisons? I'd much rather be dead than spend ten years in one of those.

Re:Ironic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381005)

Talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is.

Gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380815)

Gay!

I don't see the bias part (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380841)

I'll bet he would have done the same thing if his roomie had been straight and brought back a chick.
I really doubt the gay roomie was singled out for his orientation.

Re:I don't see the bias part (2)

rot26 (240034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380867)

And I bet he liked orange soda a lot. I also doubt that he ate broccoli more than once a week.

Re:I don't see the bias part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380929)

So you think he (a straight man) would watch two gay people hook up but not two straight people?

Re:I don't see the bias part (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380965)

What basis do you have for making this claim? The texts, chats, and tweets he made regarding the situation dispute your assertion.

He explicitly tried to get his friends to watch because it was so "crazy" to see "two dudes".

Re:I don't see the bias part (0)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381279)

Aside from violation of privacy, how is this such a big deal? I'm 38 years old, and I have yet to see two dudes kiss in public (aside from TV). If I did see it, I would find it to be strange, because it's outside of what I'm used to seeing.

So, again, outside of the privacy violation, did he also commit some crime by not being accustomed to, and indifferent of homosexuality? Should he serve a prison sentence because he thought two guys kissing is strange/not what he's used to seeing?

Well good! (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380851)

The guy is a dickhead who violated another persons very reasonable expectation of privacy and then spread it around. Note that his defense never denied any of it, just claimed it wasn't so bad after all, haters will hate it seems and because this poor guy can be deported that another person felt so bad about having his private live revealed that he killed himself does not matter. Neither has this guy ever made a serious apology, the only thing he feels sorry for is himself.

Now, please tell me why I am a lousy human being for not feeling sorry for this dickhead and thinking poetic justice would be to put a webcam in his cell as he finds a husband during his stretch.

Society has certain rules, they are not that hard to get. Nobody could possibly think that what he did was not morally wrong, yet he did it. Now he cries that its effects on him are to big. The effects HIS actions had on his roommate don't come into it. Let him make a serious effort of atonement BEFORE the jury found him guilty. I never buy it when a criminal says he was so sorry, AFTER his lawyer wrote the speech for him. Maybe I am just not a bleeding heart anymore. And if you think, this is just what 20 year olds do... then it says a lot about you.

Re:Well good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380893)

oh boo hoo, we now have a generation of cry babies. All the kid had to do was man up and break the guy off for being a jerk, not kill himself.

Re:Well good! (5, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380933)

SmallFurryCreature, you're a right asshole. No one, not prisoners, not women, not anyone, deserves to be raped. People should not be placed into prison to be raped. If prison is not enough punishment, then punishment should be changed. But to expect, or in your evil case, demand that someone be raped in prison is wrong wrong wrong.

Ask yourself you conservative 'not a bleeding heart anymore' nutjob, what would Jesus have you do? Answer: Certainly not have a prisoner raped.

SmallFurryCreature, you should beg your creator for forgiveness and help for being more compassionate. Shame on you.

Re:Well good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381233)

Uhhh... why conservative? The parent post seems to have a more liberal slant than conservative. Other than that I agree with your post.

Re:Well good! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380937)

Because being a prick isn't a crime and the justice system is supposed to be about the law, not retaliation.

Re:Well good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381003)

In New Jersey being a "prick" is a crime, and Ravi has just been convicted of it.

You are nuts. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380981)

This result is in no way proportional to the crime. And you are a nut for thinking it is, and for implying that you hope he gets raped in prison.

We now live in a world where you can get 10 years on prison for spying on your roommate with a webcam thanks like idiots like you who can't be bothered to take 10 seconds to look at a situation rationally.

cause of suicide? (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381021)

"another person felt so bad about having his private live revealed that he killed himself"

Did he? There is no evidence of this at all. The suicide note was apparently deemed to be not relevant to the case and was never made public. It isn't justice to assume that the suicide was caused by the webcam and then judge Ravi based on it. It was reported that Tyler's coming out caused some extreme conflict with some of his close family members. Can we say definitively which thing caused the suicide?

Re:Well good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381083)

Shut up, faggot. Go jump off a bridge.

Re:Well good! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381099)

So, the guy may be going to jail for 10 years for watching his roommate kissing a guy for a couple of seconds.

There is exactly no evidence that this had anything to do with Clementi's suicide - he wasn't closeted, and did not appear to be struggling with his sexual orientation in any way.

There is no evidence that his suicide had anything to do with him being gay. None of this is about homophobia. None of this is about "cyber-bulling".

What Ravi is guilty of a moderately dickish thing, and planning a majorly dickish thing (it's not clear if was actually going to follow through with it) - and yes, if you locked up every 20 year old for that then most colleges would be empty.

In short, you're a lousy human being for jumping on the "let's find somebody to blame" bandwagon.

Re:Well good! (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381135)

Now, please tell me why I am a lousy human being for not feeling sorry for this dickhead and thinking poetic justice would be to put a webcam in his cell as he finds a husband during his stretch.

Webcam vs rape = justice? Really? And this gyberish was modded insightful?

Re:Well good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381141)

What I like about all this is that some of the people who preach tolerance are also now the lynch mob. If this guy has to have his life ruined because somebody else was mentally unstable enough to off themselves*, then the least we can do is laugh at the irony.

*I have suicidal thoughts pretty much every day lately and had a terrible time trying to sleep last night with a mix of them and having dreams about my dead best friend, but I'm not going to off myself, and even being severely humiliated wouldn't be enough to push me over the edge.

Hope he enoys GITMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380861)

I hope he enjoys his stay in prison and his subsequent deportation as a felon back to India.

Mindcrimes (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380863)

I think what Ravi did was wrong, and had tragic consequences, but I have a problem with the term "hate crimes," and giving certain segments of society special protections over other segments of society. There should be other crimes that he could be charged with (invasion of privacy laws, etc.), but to charge someone having a particular belief system is wrong. I don't have a problem with considering intent when it comes to sentencing, but it seems entirely improper to consider it as a crime in and of itself.

Re:Mindcrimes (4, Informative)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381031)

The theory of "Hate Crime" was introduced to combat people with a shared belief system looking the other way. It was very hard to fight the KKK during the 20s because so much of the local police forces were members. The feds needed new tools to take them down.

Certain segments of society have special protections over other segments of society because, historically, certain segments of society have special animosity coupled with power over other segments of society.

Crimethink (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381039)

The word you are looking for is cimethink [wikipedia.org] . The problem with trying to point out what you are trying to point out is that the people you are arguing with are proficient at doublethink [wikipedia.org] , so they can agree with everything you say in one situation, and disagree with it in another.

What a lot of people don't get is that many people have read 1984 and taken it to be a model for how the world should work.

Re:Crimethink (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381231)

The word you are looking for is cimethink.

Methinks you meant thoughtcrime [wikipedia.org] . ;-) In any case, I was originally going to title my post "Operation: Mindcrime" after the Queesryche album of the same name. I figured most people here would know what I meant.

Re:Mindcrimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381057)

so is burning a cross on someones front lawn just and illegal burning or is it something more?

I get what your saying, i think that from time to time, I mean we have laws against stuff like assault and vandalism why do we need to punish the what we think is the intent of the person.

But then i always come back to the cross burning thing, its a form of intimidation, not just at the target but at the larger community. I would rather a jury decide the intent of the person rather then just say make the penalty for illegal burning 10 years in prison just so we can punish cross burners. So that the racist who constantly harasses the black family gets 10 years for intimidation (or hate) crimes for burning a cross and the kids with a bonfire get $100 fine (or whatever) and not 10 years in prison.

Re:Mindcrimes (4, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381211)

Hate crimes do not "give certain segments .. special protection". They protect everyone from crimes committed against them because of their race, color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. There is no 'special protection' for blacks, or women, or gays, or anyone else you think is getting special protection. Everyone has a race, color, gender, etc.

Re:Mindcrimes (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381277)

Hate crimes do not "give certain segments .. special protection". They protect everyone from crimes committed against them because of their race, color, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Come again?

"Bias Intimidation"?!? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380865)

Yeah, he definitely was guilty of invasion of privacy and most certainly was an asshole of extraordinary magnitude. But am I the only one kind of creeped out by the idea that something as vague as "bias intimidation" can get you ten years in prison? I mean, what the hell even *is* that?

Re:"Bias Intimidation"?!? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380907)

Can I use "Bias Intimidation" against the bigoted drug warriors who threaten to throw me in jail for my lifestyle?

Re:"Bias Intimidation"?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381047)

Check the New Jersey Statutes.

They probably go into exhaustive detail to cover the legal particulars, the same as they do for "homicide" or "theft" or any other crime which you think is well understood, but actually covers a potential spectrum of behavior.

Or check any legal statute at all, commonly, it'll spend the first section defining the words used in the rest of it.

Believe it or not, they do have experience with the problem.

Question the definition if you must, but don't pretend the phrasing isn't particular of meaning just on the surface of it.

Re:"Bias Intimidation"?!? (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381253)

But am I the only one kind of creeped out by the idea that something as vague as "bias intimidation" can get you ten years in prison? I mean, what the hell even *is* that?

Shouldn't you at least find out what "bias intimidation" is before you get creeped out by it? I bet you it has a non-vague definition in the laws of wherever the prosecution took place.

Re:"Bias Intimidation"?!? (0)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381283)

the idea that something as vague as "bias intimidation" can get you ten years in prison? I mean, what the hell even *is* that?

Anything that offends a jury of 12 bourgeois citizens. Be afraid.

shortcut to New Yorker article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380899)

Here's the story [newyorker.com] from the New Yorker... Turns out according to this more detailed profile that a lot of what we were told initially about this case was oversimplified or just not true.

Re:shortcut to New Yorker article... (3, Interesting)

project5117 (2550152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380969)

I think that the anon above may have wanted to link this story address [newyorker.com] rather than the response to the story which was linked above (though that was also interesting).

Thanks much at any rate for bringing our attention to the New Yorker; their writing is pretty well rounded, and the 14 page article is a bit longer than the other news treatments I've seen about the situation.

Finally!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380939)

A "coloured" person is being charged with a "hate-crime" against a white person. Oh wait, it's a GAY white person.

Being GAY totally negates that he's white, so the "hate-crimes" against whites can, and will, still carry on...

so theres no question (-1, Flamebait)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380947)

ravi is an asshole, but this doesnt address the issue. religious fundamentalists, most of whom are bigoted assholes, have succeeded in garnering a platform in america which is large enough to instil a persistent culture of fear, remorse and shame in a sizeable minority of the populus. Ravi pulled the pin on a grenade thats sat on the shelf for a very long time, and been caretaken by the likes of fallwell, haggard, limbaugh, hannity, and others to ensure it remained actively capable of self destruction at a moments notice.
the solution as a society is to throw the culture behind ravis actions over the GW bridge.

Facebook status updated (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380959)

From TFA:

"Clementi killed himself the next day, using his cellphone to post one final message on his Facebook page: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”

That's it. It's official now. Facebook status updates have now become an equal partner of sex drive and survival instinct in our brains and from now on, they are going to be handled autonomously by lower brain functions in every life (or death) situation you will encounter. Unless you have no Facebook account, in which case you can use plain old shouting.

Information should be free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39380963)

This guys' twitter amounts to information, and he is being punished for it? Bullying or not these rulings penalize him for basically having an opinion and expressing it. I some people have more equal rights than others.

He's clearly a scapegoat (1)

StoutFiles (2471680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380989)

They just don't want this bullying to continue and are making an extreme example of him. It's national news so the punishment has to be harsh. However, even though what he did was horrible, a punishment shouldn't be completely decided on what the victim does after the fact. If I call someone a moron, and then they go shoot up a school, am I liable for that because of my "hate crime" and do I get punished according to what the victim does? I think this case will set a new precedent on what you can be punished for.

Re:He's clearly a scapegoat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381137)

So if I tell you to kill the president of UAE (lol) else I kill your , and you do it then I'm only guilty of threatning a person not the crimes I induced you to commit? We choose to punish indirect consequence for a reason.

Why is this a crime? (-1, Troll)

jrh62520 (2487996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380993)

If the man was SOOO embarrassed about being gay that he would kill himself when people found out... why was he even gay in the first place? Someone should have taught him the phrase "sticks and stones". Wear your stigmas like armor and noone can hurt you.

Re:Why is this a crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381125)

Well, there was that whole "involuntary sex tape" thing. Or should everyone who likes sex be just fine with having all of the public watching them have sex?

Re:Why is this a crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381161)

He had a webcam in his own room, right? I think they are just trying to make an example out of him because he's foreign.

Bias towards minority in jury trials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381035)

Why is it that every Asian/Indian that I see put in front of a jury gets the book thrown at them?

There was a Vietnamese guy who rear-ended another car and someone died and he was given over 20 years in prison. He was sober, his only fault was that he reacted a fraction of a second late on a nasty traffic situation.

So if a Wife spies on her cheating husband? (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381051)

Can she also be charged & punished for videocamming his activities in the bedroom with his adultress? Invading his privacy?

Why is this on Slashdot? (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381055)

I can see why it is on the news. But a Tech Site like Slashdot? Are we going to consider every crime that uses a Computer as a tech crime now?
Just like how an Online Pet Supply store was considered a Tech company during the mid 90's

Re:Why is this on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381103)

To be fair, we covered the case when he was first arrested. Following it through to its conclusion is logical.

The chances you take by the actions you take (3, Informative)

ndykman (659315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381071)

Firstly, he can be sentenced up to ten years. Sentencing hasn't occurred yet. In fact, the article notes the time spent will likely be less because of the nature of his background and lack of criminal history.

Also, he was offered a plea deal that included no prison time. By, rejecting this deal, he decided to take his case to the jury and accepted the chance of a harsher sentence if found guilty on the charges.

As for the motivated by bias factor that made him guilty of a hate crime, certainly, these laws are controversial and this case may lead to their re-examination.

But, it is the law of the state he was in, he was found guilty of violating it. If the jury thought he violated the law, then good for them for putting aside their personal objections to it and doing what is required of them.

If you don't like these kinds of laws, you lobby to change it. Via the courts or legislation. Maybe this case will be a basis for challenging the law in this state, for example.

All in all, this seems very simple. Don't spy on people. Don't violate their privacy. There are consequences for such actions, and those may be legal in nature.

other charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381077)

non violent 'hate crime' aside, i read something about some of the other charges being tampering with evidence, obstruction, and witness tampering? no details were given, but i find those to be more serious charges and worthy of deportation if its not just a da trumping up any charge they can

Bias hatred, biased punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381113)

For the crime of intruding on another person's privacy, Ravi certainly should be punished. And it is tragic that the victim in this case took his own life.

But if hatred was the driver behind the suicide, it certainly wasn't Ravi's hatred alone. Yet because he was caught out in a separate crime, he is facing the punishment.

Hatred and prejudice are social evils. Invasion of privacy is an individual crime. Ravi should be punished for what he has done, not for being a symptom of a wider problem.

What if!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381139)

What if that wasn't even the reason he killed himself... Usually when people kill themselves theres more than one reason, and to kill yourself just because of a stupid prank is petty and selfish... Don't you think that death could have been avoided by... say... moving across town?!?! It irks me that you can get 10 years in prison for setting up a webcam if you have a roommate. Why didn't he just go to the 32 y/o's house? or was he still living with his mother!!

I smell hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381157)

Would all of you racist clods feel the same if this was a white christian kid who did this?
How about a black woman?

Well he got a jury trial instead of a plea bargain (0)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381205)

So much for asking for a jury trial so you can crash the justice system.

Pure B.S. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39381221)

I have nothing against gay people (in fact I have good friends who are gay). But this is pure B.S. If the gay dude didn't kill himself the whole thing would've just been a typical episode of a stupid college prank that happens everyday across America.

On a related note, I suspect the race/nationality of the "bully" and the "victim" also factored in the conviction. Imagine the roles were reversed... Well, you don't even need to imagine. There is an actual case where one guy literally beat the other to death with a baseball bat, and walked free with three years probation and a $3,000 fine + $780 court costs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Vincent_Chin [wikipedia.org]

There is NO justice in this country.

What would you do? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39381257)

Consider what happened before this all occurred. A room mate has managed to make another room mate very uncomfortable with his conduct. Ravi may or may not have had to personally witness the act or acts the other room mate conducted with his boyfriend but the mere knowledge of the acts and quite probably other evidence of the acts (such as smells, refuse, stains, disarray) remained in the room. While I'm "okay" with the concept of other people, even my sons being gay, I'm not really okay with it in my presence or within my space... shared or not.

What I wouldn't do is take pictures or video of the acts... that's probably more than I care to see. This would preclude any use of such recorded material for the purpose of "returning the discomfort" to the originator. But I'm guessing that Ravi felt that he was doing precisely that -- returning the discomfort by using his own acts against him.

Increasingly, we are seeing more and more people taking the blame for the reaction of others. This is a dangerous and slippery slope. I have recently made the argument that the guy who plea bargained with Canadian prosecution on a false charge of child pornography in the form of manga did so as a direct result of almost two years of constant fear and intimidation by the Canadian prosecution. Can he then use this as an argument that the plea is invalid because he was under duress? By the standards of "Party B killed himself after being bullied by Party A, so Party A should be punished with jail time" then it stands to reason that there is room for misconduct on the part the prosecution which leads to bad decision making by the defendant. This idea, of course, ties the hands of the prosecution to the point that they couldn't do their job at all for fear of losing every single case based on such a notion. After all, there are plenty of things the other party could have done other than kill himself but the argument is that emotional distress lead to him making a bad choice.

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