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Rutger's Student Dharun Ravi Sentenced To 30-Day Jail Time

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the go-directly-to-jail dept.

Privacy 683

parallel_prankster writes "New York Times reports that a judge in New Jersey has sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail Monday for using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers University roommate having sex with a man, in a case that galvanized concern about suicide among gay teenagers but also prompted debate about the use of laws against hate crimes. The case drew wide attention because his roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, a few days after learning of the spying. A jury convicted Mr. Ravi in March of all 15 counts against him, which included invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. The relatively light sentence — he faced up to 10 years in prison — surprised many who were watching the hearing, as it came after the judge spent several minutes criticizing Mr. Ravi's behavior."

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No wrongful death? (0)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069711)

How the hell does that even work?

Re:No wrongful death? (4, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069729)

Because if I hurt your feelings so bad you kill yourself, it's really your fault for having a glass jaw. I mean, what if this comment I'm typing right now made you kill yourself? Am I then guilty of killing you?

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069769)

Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

I don't know about wrongful death, but I think it's pretty fucking awful... assuming he intended to do some kind of emotional harm with the video.

If he was just going to wank to it later, then well, 30 days in the pen might just work out for him.

Re:No wrongful death? (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069855)

It's no different than secretly filming your roommate having straight sex. The only difference is that one is frowned upon more, and that is society's fault, not the individual who recorded him's fault. And reacting to something society disapproves of via suicide is a lack of proper coping skills. Did the guy even seek help? Probably not. Cowardly. Of course people are mad. This is sad. But it's not direct action. It's a bunch of shitty shit that happened.

Re:No wrongful death? (4, Insightful)

The God of Code (2641925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070019)

You are talking about things you don't know nothing about. There is a major difference between secretly filming gay sex and straight sex between someone. Both are just wrong, but the first one is more so because it carries social prejudice along with it.

And don't start talking about coping skills. These people aren't the ones without coping skills, it's the ones around them. How do I know? Because I am currently dating a shemale. I really cute and loving one, mind you. But I cannot tell this to my parents. Hell, I cannot even think how it would be if I was in the position to tell my parents that I wanted to be other gender.

These issues are real, especially in western countries. I had to move around the world because I cannot be what I am in where I was born. So stop the bullshit about 'coping skills'.

Re:No wrongful death? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070061)

"These issues are real, especially in western countries. I had to move around the world because I cannot be what I am in where I was born. So stop the bullshit about 'coping skills'."

People don't like you because you're whiny & a narcissist, not because you're gay. No one cares except you.

Re:No wrongful death? (-1, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070195)

Yeah.

Is your "straight sex" up the pooper, or tromboning? Think of the kittehz!

Re:No wrongful death? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070121)

There is a major difference between secretly filming gay sex and straight sex between someone. Both are just wrong, but the first one is more so because it carries social prejudice along with it.

You're overgeneralizing. There are examples of straight sex hat carry with them some serious social stigma as well. For example, a girl posting footage online of her roommate getting drunk and having sex with... say... the entire football team.

Re:No wrongful death? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070323)

i still don't see how it is more severe cause he was gay. if the fact that he was gay somehow was left out of the article, the majority of you would be like "yep, thats college. now does he get straight a's cause his roommate died?"

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070321)

You are talking about things you don't know nothing about. There is a major difference between secretly filming gay sex and straight sex between someone. Both are just wrong, but the first one is more so because it carries social prejudice along with it.

The only way to have a society without discrimination is to treat everyone indiscriminately. That applies to the law, as well.

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070355)

How do I know? Because I am currently dating a shemale. I really cute and loving one, mind you.

And I'm sure that she just loves being called a shemale, too! Never mind that every transgendered person I've ever met has generally considered the term to be pretty damn derogatory.

Secretly videotaping interracial sex is just as bad. How do I know? Because I'm currently dating a nigger. I really cute and loving one, mind you.

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Insightful)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070165)

You seem to be living in the fantasy world that everyone is strong and should be able to take punishment.

People are weak. They don't know how to cope. But they are still human beings and worthy of being cared for and protected. We should be outraged that this poor gay kid was driven to suicide.

This case is different that secretly filming your roommate having straight sex for exactly those reasons. Dharum Ravi exploited Tyler Clementi when he spied on him. He exploited his fears and insecurities.

Don't consider crimes like black boxes. The entire circumstances matter. The motives matter. Society had a role, no doubt. Tyler Clementi lamented that people on Ravi's twitter feed were disgusted by Clementi's relationship but not one of them called out Ravi and said that what he was doing was wrong. More than anything else, this is probably what drove him to suicide. He saw people unanimously disgusted by him with no defenders or anyone who opposed his privacy being violated. He had no faith that even if he changed roommates that conditions would get better. Think about that before you call him a coward again you fucking asshole.

Re:No wrongful death? (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070295)

..and you seem to be defending a world where everyone should shed their protective layers and bond in some kind of emotional orgy.. That's the trend in culture nowadays and it's bad for us in the long run. it's what breeds this kind of extreme behavior in the first place, from suicide, to columbine. People have become vats of nitroglycerine, ready to go off at the smallest jab. People NEED to handle this better.. and, no, talking about your feelings and 'expressing your feminine side' doesn't work very well for guys, but, of course, everything is judged by feminine ideals nowadays...

people are weak. they should strive to be stronger than that and the culture should support this.. they don't know how to cope because we make sure we beat the spine out of 'em by the time they enter 6th grade, under the guise of 'preventing violence,' and promoting 'tolerance.' All it really does is is breed passive aggressive behavior, in both bullies and the bullied. this has a major role in both ravi's and clementi's behavior.

if you want privacy, don't have sex in a shared dorm room. I do'nt know what else to say.. This is just pragmatic, tactical logic. seriously, if there's a camera or a computer in the room, make sure it's off.

Re:No wrongful death? (-1, Flamebait)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070403)

But they are still human beings and worthy of being cared for and protected.

.....and the government is going to be the one to do that, huh?

Maybe I DON'T WANT MY FUCKING TAX DOLLARS being spent to "protect" a weakling, by punishing the strong.

If we continue to coddle weak mindedness in our society, the only possible outcome will be our eventual downfall, and enslavement to a society which chose another path.

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070423)

So the punishment a person receives should not be based on what they did but on (something completely out of their control) how the victim took it?

And we can never know why anyone does anything, in fact even if the guy who did the act tells us truthfully why he did it, psychology tells us that he is probably mistaken.

People are not psychologically aware of other people or even mostly themselves, how/why would should anyone be sentenced based on either of these factors?

Re:No wrongful death? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070261)

It's no different than secretly filming your roommate having straight sex. The only difference is that one is frowned upon more, and that is society's fault, not the individual who recorded him's fault.

Right. Because he wasn't precisely operating on the magnitude of that "only difference" when he filmed his roommate.

Sometimes the motive, just exactly how much you intended to hurt someone, doesn't really matter. Sometimes it does. That often gets factored in during sentencing.

Again, I'm not saying he's responsible for a death, but at the very least he deserves this month of thinking it over (and worrying about ass raping).

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070379)

I can see why you would argue there is, or should be, no real difference between filming straight or gay sex, but why is that an issue? Filming somebody having any kind of sex where they have an expectation of privacy and haven't consented is usually criminal. Depending on jurisdiction, it may be a felony. So, the question of wrongful death depends on whether the crime rose to the level of such other crimes as bank robbery where society now holds a criminal committing that crime responsible for consequences such as a bank guard's having a fatal heart attack during the robbery. If photographing via hidden camera and releasing the results are not crimes that fall on the list of felonies that can result in additional charges if someone dies, or if the law doesn't include the case of someone dieing via suicide, then in either case, there's no issue with not convicting the criminal of the additional charges. But, this doesn't mean action has to be 'direct' as you put it, and it doesn't mean that the straight vrs. gay aspect has any significance as to penalties.

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069861)

Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

And how exactly do you know what atari2600a was doing while he wrote his post? Clint could have video.

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069867)

Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

Agreed, but you wouldn't have 15 charges levelled against you for a vicious comment. The "little worse" got him his jail sentence.

Re:No wrongful death? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069915)

I think "a little worse" was meant to be sarcastic. It's a lot worse.

Re:No wrongful death? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069877)

We don't need dead fags, just more dead cops.

Re:No wrongful death? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069941)

Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

That's just an opinion. Some people will laugh at being filmed getting buttpounded and others will nerdrage about someone being an M$ shill. How many times have we read about some kid offing himself because his "insert-current-popular-MMO" account was hacked and lost "everything". It's all in your head. The kid Dharun is a douche and deserves to be shunned (IMO) but not jailed as he didn't physically harm anyone or their property.

If we are going to toss any pretense of justice out the window and jail people that haven't actually laid a finger on another person can we arrest all the assholes that made this gay teenager feel like suicide was his best option?

Re:No wrongful death? (0)

The God of Code (2641925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070085)

The kid Dharun is a douche and deserves to be shunned (IMO) but not jailed as he didn't physically harm anyone or their property.

Psychological abuse is abuse too. It's actually the worst kind of abuse, as with physical abuse you at least have some way to defense yourself.

Re:No wrongful death? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070213)

Psychological abuse is abuse too.

Well no shit? It's got the word "abuse" right in there. What's your point? That you should be free from all abuse? Well that's an opinion that only a dipshit would hold. No, seriously.

It's actually the worst kind of abuse, as with physical abuse you at least have some way to defense yourself.

It's called giving zero fucks. I seriously can't even bring myself to care about people that get that worked up over words. The only words that can hurt me come from people that care enough to not try to do that. As soon as they do, say some nameless crazy bitch ex-gf, I drop them like a bad habit and they no longer have that power. It's pretty simple. The only people that can deeply hurt me, won't. The people that would, can't.

Now, STFU you big vagina.

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Insightful)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070401)

The sticks and stones thing works up until you introduce the video. It is not hard to imagine how a video like this could be used for blackmail and even the idea of it being leaked could be devastating to just about anyway. Idk about you, but I would not just shrug off the idea of a video of me in that sort of compromised situation being seen by everyone on my dorm room floor (much less parents, etc.).

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070011)

Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

If I were to overreact like that, I would have been dead by now, several times over. Somehow I don't think that I would want anyone to be punished for my own instability, though.

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Insightful)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070419)

Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

If I were to overreact like that, I would have been dead by now, several times over. Somehow I don't think that I would want anyone to be punished for my own instability, though.

That is a weaselly statement. Ravi isn't being punished for Tyler Clementi's instability. He is being punished for spying on him, trying to destroy evidence, and trying to coordinate statements with a witness. He is guilty as sin for all of those crimes.

But even if he were being punished for causing Clementi's suicide, he had to have known that he was selecting an extremely vulnerable victim. He knew that Clementi was a loner and semi-closeted and was afraid of being open about it--and then he exploited him. If he were to be charged with the hypothetical crime of pushing this poor gay kid to suicide, then he wouldn't be punished for Clementi's instability. He would instead be punished for exploiting it.

Re:No wrongful death? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070081)

My best friend spent 90 days in jail for DUI, but his drinking and driving never caused anyone's death. Seems like 30 days in jail for causing someone to commit suicide is pretty light in comparison.

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070305)

More like we cannot know exactly what sequence of events ultimately caused him to commit suicide. We know this guy did not help the matter, but even if he left a suicide note completely blaming this guy that is still far from conclusive evidence that it was actually any more his fault then hundreds of other contributing factors.

Re:No wrongful death? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069753)

That would be a civil case brought by the family of the victim, not part of the criminal trial.

Re:No wrongful death? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069771)

Because wrongful death is a civil matter. The roommate's family is well within their rights to try and sue him for wrongful death. They might even win.

But, yeah, for something to be criminal, you have to be grossly negligent and directly cause the death, or be doing something with the direct purpose of causing a death.

Re:No wrongful death? (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069779)

(But the real answer is: he was never charge with causing any death. Because such charges wouldn't stick. Because that's not how legal causality works.)

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

thebrieze (1102809) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069805)

In some countries (India) committing suicide is a crime in itself. (I guess you can only be prosecuted if the attempt fails). But it does reinforce the idea that suicide is the problem not a solution.

Re:No wrongful death? (3, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069919)

Here is a more complete listing of it's legality in different countries.

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

In the US it used to be illegal in many states, but not so much anymore.

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069983)

Usually, it's to prevent people from assisting in suicide. People who assist suicide become accessories to the crime.

Re:No wrongful death? (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069943)

There were tons of mitigating circumstances including the parents of the dead boy publicly saying they didn't want the young man to suffer a harsh sentence or extended jail time. One life lost was enough. A sentence of over a year would have almost certainly meant deportation for a young man who has never known a home other than the United States. He also has to receive counseling and pay $10,000 towards a program to prevent hate crimes.

Of course lawyers on both sides are unhappy, one side wanting exoneration, the other wanting public human sacrifice. This is a tough one. The kid did something terrible and it had an impact that can never fully be reconciled. That said, it was a stupid, childish, thoughtless action for a kid, and if we crushed every young person who committed such an action we'd have about 12 Stepford Children walking around to send cards to the rest of our children in permanent detention. I know I did some rather profoundly stupid things when I was his age and I hurt some innocent people's feelings. Thank goodness, the harm wasn't permanent, and I could clean up the mess I made. I don't have a clue how I'd deal with what he's facing.

Re:No wrongful death? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069973)

The dead guy chose to kill himself.

Anyone who thinks there is ANY rationale for a wrongful death charge or lawsuit
is an idiot.

It's called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

And that is something a man has whether he is gay or straight.

Re:No wrongful death? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070273)

The dead guy chose to kill himself.

Have you ever felt suicidal? People who kill themselves tend to do it when they don't see any other option.

I was surprised he was convicted on hate charges (3, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069737)

The invasion of privacy angle I can see. How many times have we had stories of guys taping unwilling sex partners or roommates taping roommates? I just didn't think there was enough meat to the story to push it into the realm of hate crimes.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069871)

Probably the fact that he broadcasted the video to others and made homophobic comments about Mr. Clementi. I can definitely see how this is a hate crime.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (1, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069881)

Which comment did he make that was homophobic? simply stating that your roommate is doing it with a another dude is plain fact. Is the truth homophobic?

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069925)

I believe there was some comment about him needing to watch out for his own butt while sleeping....

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (1, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070025)

That's not homophobic in and of itself. Not without more context. (I hope you realize that)

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070399)

its really homophobic to film two dudes having sex. just so you know.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (3, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070207)

I once tried to crash at a large new year's party in a room where there was also a girl present. She would not sleep in the same room because I might "try something" (which was ridiculous, but she was a christian). So anyway, if she had said, "That means I need to watch my pussy", does that mean she's heterophobic and it's a bias statement?

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070005)

Homophobic? That term should be abandoned.
Anti-gay doesn't mean fear, it just means intolerance.

If everybody was gay/lesbian, the problem would solve itself in 100 years.
Mankind would die since there would be no children born.
It'd get spooky after only 6 years when entire grades of schools are empty.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070109)

And if everyone popped out as many children as human physiology could handle within their lifespan, we'd have food riots worldwide within two generations. Maybe (crazy thought here) everybody doesn't need to do exactly the same thing for society to function.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (2)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070193)

If everybody was gay/lesbian, the problem would solve itself in 100 years. Mankind would die since there would be no children born. It'd get spooky after only 6 years when entire grades of schools are empty.

Not as long as turkey basters are available.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070333)

Okay, does that mean anti-republican mean intolerance?

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (5, Informative)

guises (2423402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069887)

I'm also surprised, but apparently the judge saw it in more or less the same light - what he did was not deserving of the kind of harsh sentence that the prosecutors were asking for.

On the other hand, thirty days in jail is not the whole sentence. From the article:

In addition to jail, Judge Berman sentenced Mr. Ravi to three years’ probation, 300 hours of community service, counseling about cyberbullying and alternate lifestyles, and a $10,000 probation fee, to be used to help victims of bias crimes.

I'd make some remark about how I feel about the appropriateness of the sentence, but I don't know squat about anyone involved here. I'll presume that the judge, who was much better informed than I, knew what he was doing.

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (5, Insightful)

travbrad (622986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069961)

The whole idea of "hate crime" is pretty ridiculous anyway.

If you assault someone because you hate gays/minorities/etc, why is that worse than assaulting someone because you hate them individually? It just reinforces the idea that we should treat certain groups of people differently. Is that really the best way to address prejudice in society?

Does anyone really think some dumb asshole bigot is going to think "there are hate crime laws I better not commit this crime"?

Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070127)

It wasn't a hate crime. It was a bias crime. The judge himself made that distinction at the sentencing as part of his justification for being so lenient (compared to the possible 10-year sentence).

The worst part about this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069747)

Is that he was tried for invasion of privacy and not a hate crime.

Re:The worst part about this (3, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069873)

because if you secretly record straight sex, it's invasion of privacy, but if you secretly record gay sex, it's a hate crime?

Re:The worst part about this (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070043)

Shush you, we don't like logic, truth, and accuracy around these parts.

Re:The worst part about this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070199)

Depends on intent. If you recorded the former with intent to jack off to it later, that's invasion of privacy. If you did so with the intent to blackmail a subset of the participants, that's, well, blackmail. If you recorded gay sex with the intent to out a subset of the participants as being gay, intending further to mock them, discriminate against them, or whatever else in an atmosphere where such proclivities are frowned upon, that's a hate crime.

Re:The worst part about this (2, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070021)

Is that he was tried for invasion of privacy and not a hate crime.

Because clearly most crimes are done out of love, right? The whole concept of "hate crime" pisses me off. You should prosecute a person for what they did, not for what they felt while doing it. What a person does is crime. What a person thinks or feels, is only thoughtcrime. A murder is a murder: why should the white person killing a black person (or a straight killing a gay) get a harsher penalty than a white person killing another white? They both did the same damned thing.

Re:The worst part about this (2, Interesting)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070139)

You are walking a fine line.

Intention is everything. If I am driving down the road, and hit a pedestrian on accident, your theory states that I have committed the same crime as someone who goes out of his/her way to hit a pedestrian on the same road.

Intention is everything - If I pull the trigger in hate, I have committed a crime. If I pull the trigger in self-defense, have I committed a crime?

Re:The worst part about this (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070335)

There is one small difference that isn't addressed here:

Judging based on the defendant's alleged intent (which is indeed the difference between crime and accident) without regard to who or what the victim inherently is, is one thing.

Differentiating degrees of intent (thus punishment) just because of a victim's lifestyle/color/religion/whatever, flies in the face of equal protection under the law.

Re:The worst part about this (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070239)

A white gang and a black gang killing each other isn't a hate crime, but a white man killing blacks for being blacks or a black man killing whites for being white is. Hate crime and terrorism have a lot in common, in both cases it's not just about your direct victims but about all the people you intimidate. It's not just one murder, it's a message that the next black person that shows up will suffer the same. It's a message that the next gay person will suffer the same. It's a message that the next person who gets up and uses his freedom of speech will get a bullet to the brain. That more than puts a little cramp in your freedoms.

Re:The worst part about this (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070251)

It's not what they felt, it's why they committed the crime. If a person of one race kills someone of another race because he or she wanted something the victim had, it's not a hate crime. If a person of one race kills someone of another race because he or she thinks that the victim, and others of the victim's race, are subhuman and don't deserve to exist, then it's a hate crime.

Bigotry is evil and damaging to large segments of society. When bigotry is the primary reason for a crime to be committed, then the crime should be punished more harshly than if the crime was committed for unrelated reasons.

I used to think like you, until I saw first-hand how damaging bigotry is. I'm almost leaning towards the viewpoint that bigotry should be illegal even outside of any crime being committed, but I have yet to reconcile that viewpoint with some of my other strongly-held beliefs (such as how absolute freedom of speech should be). That's part of the journey of building one's character, though.

Re:The worst part about this (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070297)

Your view is completely inconsistent with the laws in most countries. If I were to kill a man because I panicked while trying to steal bread to feed my starving family, the result would be no less tragic than if I had killed him because I wanted to sleep with his wife. However, the latter killing would have been committed with malice aforethought; such a crime results in murder charges and makes the accused eligible for the death penalty in most states. By contrast, the former would have lacked malice, and in the absence of "special circumstances" laws, such a crime results in a lesser charge, such as manslaughter.

they had better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069749)

let police do it then

This is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069781)

I find it very refreshing that the judge and jury looked beyond the fact that the victim was gay, and judged the facts as they were. We've all played our pranks. Some were over the top. Sometimes the victims didn't handle it well. That does not mean that we are always responsible for how they choose to react.

Re:This is good news. (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070229)

Sometimes the victims didn't handle it well.

Am I bad for being a tiny little bit happy when I hear these stories? Just tiny bit not a lot? Like some chick got teased on the internet so she hung herself and I'm thinking, luckily for me, because 10 years later I'd probably dump her or steal "her" parking spot or not hold the door open for her like a gentleman should or decline to purchase a drink for her at the local watering hole and then being obviously ridiculously unstable she'd blame me and blow her brains out and I'd have to feel guilty for the rest of my life about it, even though what I did wasn't really all that awful (come on chick, find another parking spot?), so if there is a tiny silver lining to this at least someone other than me is feeling guilty? Almost like they did a community service?

Like this dude, OK he did some other dude, didn't want people to know, despite the fact that most civilized people don't really care and in this modern era you don't have to care about the uncivilized people who do care, so now he's dead. If this didn't happen, I can just imagine this dude got a job working with me, and some day in a staff meeting in front of everyone I'm all like "dude, you totally made a picket fence error in your for loop making it crash when it hits an uninitialized array element" and then, being about as stable as a plutonium atom fattened up with an extra neutron or two, dude walks into his cube, blames me for ruining his life (so he claims, anyway) and blows his head off, and then I've gotta go thru the rest of my life feeling guilty for calling out a dude for having the wrong end condition in a for loop. I can totally see this happening, and I just don't personally want to deal with unstable people blowing up, its just not my thing.

Its kinda like when you hear about a suicide where somebody jumps in front of a car, and you're like "sucks to be that guy, but at least they didn't jump in front of my car, because that would really suck for me".

I don't feel any ill will toward the guy who offed himself for no good reason, other then him being a remarkably amazingly poor role model for other kids dealing with bad feelings. I'm just glad he's not around so I could get blamed for him offing himself. Unstable means its gonna blow up sooner or later and murphy's law its gonna happen around me, so...

FAH.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069787)

news for nerds... Not quite sure which kind of nerd here, since it has been WELL covered by all the other news outlets...

Re:FAH.... (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069929)

More like News for Nerds, because now I know exactly how far someone can push a criminally liable (but only every so slightly) network of web(spy) cams. I think most people wouldn't blink and eye at a month in jail if they thought they could get some really, really good material to blackmail someone, if/when the opportunity arises. Sure, some people are generally ethical and would never do this, but we all know a significant percentage are not.

See, webcams, technology, and the laws pertaining to those who value the freedom to collect 'information' on others, /. material all around.

Re:FAH.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070053)

"News for nerds, stuff that matters. "

Wait a minute (5, Insightful)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069829)

So I can get a year in prison for having a joint on my person, but I can invade someone's privacy and become the cause of their death and just suffer a month? Interesting how that works.

Re:Wait a minute (1, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069897)

That guy didn't cause the kid's death. He just pranked him. The combination of society's homophobia and the kid's total lack of coping skills killed him. Saying "i caught my roommate having gay sex" isn't homophobic. It's simply fact.

Re:Wait a minute (2)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070041)

Sorry, I was in the process of posting an addendum to the above comment. I hoped nobody would reply before-hand. You're totally right though, but trust can (and should) go a long ways.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070045)

That was a pretty mean-spirited prank. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a prank, it was an act of roommate-vs-roommate war.

After Tyler posted his brief and cryptic suicide note, Ravi sent him a "cover my ass" email to him saying how much he respected Tyler's way of life, etc. The suicide must not have come as a total surprise to Ravi. I would not hold Ravi legally responsible for the death, but he should be held fully accountable for everything else.

Re:Wait a minute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070393)

Sorry, but that's not merely a prank. And saying "I caught my roommate having gay sex" IS rather homophobic because the word "caught" implies that whatever he was "caught" doing was illegal/immoral/wrong. People need to be less concerned with walking around trumpeting "facts" that are really no one's fucking business.

It's not the sentence; it's the Visa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069933)

After he gets out of jail why isn't he earmarked for deportation?

Re:Wait a minute (1)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070017)

"Mr. Ravi was not charged with causing Mr. Clementi’s death, but the suicide hung heavily over the trial" So that means he still gets away with invasion of privacy. I suppose he should go work for Google [washingtonpost.com] , Apple [bloomberg.com] , Facebook [pri.org] , etc.Hell, make that ANY company that has access to personal information!

Good decision (5, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069831)

Seems like a reasonable sentence to me. As stupid, and intolerant, as what he did was and as severe as the consequences were there's nothing gained by excessive punishment. Would a longer prison sentence really act as a deterrent to similar behaviour? Isn't a criminal record, the court process he's been through, a month in prison and having to live with the consequences of his actions enough for doing something stupid and not considering how bad the consequences might be?

Some poor bastard has already lost his life. Another has pretty much ruined his. Sticking someone in prison longer doesn't make any of that better; it's just an expensive way to cause more suffering.

Re:Good decision (-1, Troll)

pr0t0 (216378) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069917)

Speaking of more suffering...

A former prison inmate once confided in me that he participated in gay sex while in prison because, as he put it "Hey, that's your life." It's my sincerest hope that Mr. Ravi will get to experience "that life" and all that it encompasses for those 30 days.

Someone may even video tape it.

Re:Good decision (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070027)

I generally try to keep it civil, but you're a fucking idiot. I often try to give stupid people the benefit of the doubt, but you're so far beyond stupid that it's probably not possible to do so. "Yeah! Let's rape him because he was intolerant and a jerk and someone committed suicide over it!" The defendant is certainly not blameless, but he didn't kill the kid.

If this is the best that you can contribute to what should be a serious discussion, you might consider just getting off the Internet.

Re:Good decision (2)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070133)

Just to clarify...

Your sincerest hope is that a 20 year old kid gets ass raped while he does a 30 day stint in prison?

Re:Good decision (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070137)

"A former prison inmate once confided in me that he participated in gay sex while in prison because, as he put it "Hey, that's your life."

I've done time in prison.

Straight guys do NOT "become gay" just because they are behind razor wire.

Your friend was gay and did not want to admit it.

The straight guys in prison jerk off because there are no women available.
There are enough gay guys in prison that they are able to find each other
and do whatever it is they want to do behind closed doors. Straight guys in
prison stay straight, and they are not even slightly tempted to become gay.

As for you, you are a closet sadist who wishes suffering on other people.
That's about as low and pathetic as a human being gets, boy. And I do mean BOY
because you sure as hell are not a man, "pr0t0".

Re:Good decision (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070325)

I've heard it said that the difference between a straight man and a gay man is about 10 pints of beer. I suppose a similar thing could happen in prison.

Re:Good decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070087)

Bingo. A longer sentence won't deter him more (he's not likely to do anything of the sort again after this coal-raking + a taste of jail), and it won't deter others more -- this was a very well publicized case, especially about the severity of the possible penalty for what many would have thought a "prank". Now it's well-know that you don't pull this crap.

It would only be wrong to give a light sentence to the next jerk -- that one would require a heavy sentence to show the courts are serious.

Good judgment all round.

Re:Good decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070311)

I don't know, a longer sentence may deter other people from doing, you just don't know. Who knows maybe someone thinks 30 days in jail + 300 hrs community service etc. etc. isn't that bad for humiliating someone and hoping they commit suicide too.

Do I believe Mr. Ravi "pushed" Tyler off the bridge? No, but he sure as hell didn't help the situation.

Re:Good decision (0)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070157)

Sad case, but I agree, maybe people should have slightly thicker skins rather than accusing assholes of murder for their shattered egos. This is the fruit of the sowing of pc.

Relieved (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069847)

Super relieved to see a reasonable sentence here. With all the media hype of "up to 20 years in jail", I was worried this kid was going to rot for what many have done in the past as a prank.

Also, IMO, "hate crimes" are kind of unfair in my mind. In all situations you're harming a human being, so I don't see why the punishment should be any different. I think that motive & intent matter a whole lot more than the "who".

Re:Relieved (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070071)

We need to start punishing people for being douchebags. Stop attacking the symptoms and deal with the actual problem.

sex offender? (0)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069859)

Pretty certain if I was video taping two people having sex that'd put me on the sex offender registry. While the maximum (10 years) is way too harsh, this seems a bit too light regardless of the suicide associated with it.

Re:sex offender? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069907)

People who perform circumcision should be put on the sex offender list.

Re:sex offender? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069935)

I agree, even a *YEAR* would've seemed better. Assuming he already spent time in jail awaiting trial, hit him for time served, but as someone else pointed out, you can get more time on minor drug related charges than this guy did on 15 counts. WTF?

Another question I would have is: Why was sentencing carried out by the judge and not decided by a jury?

Re:sex offender? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070175)

you can get more time on minor drug related charges than this guy did on 15 counts. WTF?
 
So you want this guy to spend more time in stir because our drug laws don't make sense? WTF?

Re:sex offender? (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40069949)

Pretty certain if I was video taping two people having sex that'd put me on the sex offender registry

LOL that would put a hell of a lot of professional cameramen from the pr0n industry in prison. Also a lot of CCTV watching security guards. I think you meant to add "without their permission in a private space".. Is it wrong to record people without their permission when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy?(admittedly banging away in front of a laptop, for anyone aware of their surroundings and born after 1950 or so, that's not very reasonable anymore, is it?) Coincidentally, looking at the charges...

no posting, no observed sex, and no closet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40069945)

He shouldn't have even been tried. Read the facts of the case:

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

He turned on his webcam, saw his roommate kissing another guy, turned it off.
Do you really think that warrants jail?

spelling counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070033)

It's spelled Rutgers, not Rutger's.

Re:spelling counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070089)

Not at Rutger's.

10 years ago, he would have been a hero (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070185)

Prior to 2003, he would have been reporting a crime in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, or Virginia.

Re:10 years ago, he would have been a hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070357)

Notice how New Jersey is still not on the list

So 10 years ago, as far as New Jersey is concerned, it would have been the same as the outcome is now

Hate Crimes should be Abolished! (1)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070217)

I despise the idea of a hate crime. Why is beating, killing or talking negatively to someone because they're gay, ethnic minority etc. any different than a heterosexual, white male engaging in a similar act against another heterosexual, white mail in the Unite States? Intentional is intentional regardless of personal differences/reasons. The laws should and should have treated murders, beatings, harassment etc. equally. Bigots, behind the bench and in juries handing down lenient sentences, are the reasons the class of "hate crimes" exists, not the nature of the crimes themselves. All murders are equal, but some murders are more equal than others.

Re:Hate Crimes should be Abolished! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40070275)

It gives the Federal government an excuse to get involved.

Re:Hate Crimes should be Abolished! (1)

Lohrno (670867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070317)

I agree! If we are going to make an effort to reduce racism and prejudice, we should start by not letting it have a place in our government. If the punishment for murder is worse for the hate crime, why not just make it worse for everyone else as well?

Killing a dude because he's gay or is in an interracial relationship is just as bad as killing a dude because he likes the Dallas Cowboys as far as I'm concerned. They are both equally despicable acts, and sexual preference is and I think should be treated the same way as preference for any other thing. It's not important and should not be.

Re:Hate Crimes should be Abolished! (1)

zombie_striptease (966467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40070413)

I felt the same way for a long time, but then someone gave me a good explanation: a hate crime charge is basically the assault/murder/whatever charge PLUS a harassment/terrorism charge on behalf of the targeted community. I think there would be a lot less confusion and contentiousness over the concept if it were legally written out that way (as separate charges) instead of with the shorthand of "hate crime", but when has legal language ever prioritized clarity?

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