Will Dharun Ravi's Sentence Fit the Crime?

Monday, May 21, 2012

The case of Tyler Clementi became national news when the Rutgers University freshman jumped off the George Washington Bridge in September, 2010. Clementi had recently told his family he was gay. Last March, a New Jersey jury convicted Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy, after Ravi spied on Tyler kissing another man.

Today, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman will announce Ravi's sentence, and many are concerned that he might face a punishment that doesn’t fit the crime. Marc Pourier, law professor at Seton Hall University, is particularly concerned that Ravi will face an unfair sentence.

Ravi reflected that sentiment in an interview with ABC News last March, stating "I wasn't the one who caused him to jump." He told ABC, "I feel like I was being used by everybody. I felt that, it’s unfortunate that they’re taking advantage of me; even though what they think happened isn’t what happened."

Guests:

Marc Pourier

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [4]

Read this young man's statement above: "I wasn't the one who caused him to jump." He told ABC, "I feel like I was being used by everybody. I felt that, it’s unfortunate that they’re taking advantage of me; even though what they think happened isn’t what happened."

This doesn't sound like someone who "made a mistake," but rather a callous man who feels absolutely no responsibility for his actions.

While I don't know what blame can be legally assessed, this is a morally repugnant individual.

May. 22 2012 05:57 AM
Theresa from nyc

Ravi should have been convicted of a hate crime and put away for years. HE did commit violence against Tyler- Tyler would have suffered less and recovered faster if Ravi had beat him within an inch of his life with a baseball bat rather than merely film and post Tyler’s most private and intimate encounters online and invite 200 more jackals at their ‘institute of higher learning’ to jeer in. Would ‘bias intimidation’ be an adequate charge if Ravi had instead filmed a female roommate having intercourse and posted this online? What sentence would Ravi ask for if Tyler filmed him having intercourse with a girlfriend who was devastated to the point of suicide? If South Asians are outraged that Ravi got a 30 day sentence for a hate crime broadcast on the world-wide-web that resulted in a young man’s death- let they and him go back to India and remember what despondency socially-sanctioned class discrimination can seed; perhaps then Ravi could cry for one other than himself.

May. 21 2012 10:56 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

This privileged, educated young man thought it okay to humiliate and violate the privacy of someone because he was gay. TWICE.

Traumatic injury need not always be violent. Atypical bias crimes are still bias crimes. Immature pranks can still be very consequential crimes.

As a community, we all need to be crystal clear about these. Here, sentencing can help foster that clarity.

May. 21 2012 09:20 AM
Sam from nYC

We all did stupid crazy things when young. This kid probably made the same mistake, with no crime in mind. Also, it's his first brush with the law. Lenency perhaps is in order.

May. 21 2012 09:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.