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Monday, May 21, 2012

Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days

Posted by on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 10:51 AM


A judge here 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.

Ten years and deportation—which the judge could've ordered—seemed excessive to me, like overkill and blame-shifting. I was one of the "gay rights advocates" quoted in a NYT piece this morning who expressed misgivings about the severity of the sentence that Ravi faced. But a 30 day sentence is far, far too lenient—a slap on the wrist.


Comments (79) RSS

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Cato the Younger Younger 1
It seems way to light, maybe a year would have been more appropriate and some relevant community service.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
i agree that it is a light sentence. just to note, #1, he did get probation, community service and a $10,000 fine to go towards some sort of bias prevention program. both sides are appealing.
Posted by jayme on May 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
It's light, but... I don't know how much too light. Honestly, this case was so fucked up from start to finish. Should a person really be jailed for being an asshole? I mean, that's what he did boils down to. He didn't push the guy off a bridge, though his behavior certainly helped lead to that point.

I guess I'd be more satisfied with a sentence that allows every person he meets for the rest of his life to kick him in nuts or spit in his face, but law doesn't work like that.
Posted by NateMan on May 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
despicable me 4
Soooo disgusting.

Rest In Peace, Tyler
Posted by despicable me on May 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
hey, if cops in Seattle can get away with no jail time for murdering people, how is this "too light"?

Just saying ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Vince 6
I think it's appropriate. It's a warning to others and it shows there are laws to apply. I feel sorry for all concerned. @1 Community service instead would be good.
Posted by Vince on May 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
venomlash 8
@5: dafuq?
Posted by venomlash on May 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
@7: Very good point.
Posted by NateMan on May 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
TLjr 10
So this judge will send a letter urging against Ravi's deportation. Where should I send my letter urging for it? Can't see we have much need for this asshole here.
Posted by TLjr on May 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Dan, you wanted him punished to serve as a deterrent to other bullies. Then you got all squishy and wanted to let him go with a wrist slap. Now that he has his wrist slap, you say it's too little. Could you make up your mind, please?
Posted by Anastasia Beaverhausen on May 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
oh, THAT 12
Let the wrongful death civil lawsuits begin.
Posted by oh, THAT on May 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
whatever the sentence, that guy seems like a world-class tool.

and yes, he definitely got sentenced to "Everyone and google will remember you as a hater, forever" in addition to the 30 days, community service, fine, and probation.
Posted by drivel on May 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Michael Barrett got 30 months for videotaping Erin Andrews through a peephole. How is what Ravi did deserving of 1/30th the punishment of another asshole who's actions weren't nearly as bad?
Posted by peace on May 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
seatackled 15
Is it 30 days to be served, or 30 days including time already served (I don't recall if he'd spent much or any time locked up after his arrest).

It does sound too light, but a month in prison isn't exactly a vacation, and he'll live his life with a criminal record.
Posted by seatackled on May 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 16

He wasn't just an asshole; he violated Tyler Clementi's privacy. What if he had done that to a female student for his own sexual gratification? At a minimum, he should have gotten the same punishment for that type of crime.
Posted by keshmeshi on May 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Post_Mortem 17
The criminal justice system is ill equipped to deal with total dickery, douchebaggery, and assholery. It's just how it is.
Posted by Post_Mortem on May 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
onion 18
agreed. 10 years would be too much. 30 days is too little. justice fail.
Posted by onion on May 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 19
Sending Ravi to jail or prison for a long(er) time would do absolutely zero good for anyone.

If he were imprisoned for a year, I suspect he'd emerge afterwards even more hateful towards gays. Right now he's just a dumb, ignorant fuck. Sitting in prison for a year stewing in it? He'd come out as a genuine bigot and hater.

The sentence was just right, in my opinion. Short enough to quell resentment, long enough to let him know this is real.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on May 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Michael of the Green 20
30 days in jail is actually a pretty hideous time. On top of that, there's the fine and community service and hopefully a quantity of guilt. I doubt he'll reoffend, and I don't think a heavier sentence would make an example of him that would prevent others from offending.
Posted by Michael of the Green on May 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
pfffter 21
The sentence is fine. I'm just glad he was convicted.
Posted by pfffter on May 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Basically this is 2 days for each of the 15 crimes he was found guilty of, which were not causing Tyler's suicide by the way but included such things as invasion of privacy, witness tampering, and destruction of evidence. Not pranks but real, serious crimes. This sentence is more than just a slap on the wrist, it is a statement on the value of this gay man's life, privacy, and value by the justice system and make no mistake, that system is saying he wasn't worth much. Ravi has shown absolutely no remorse, as noted by the judge so don't hold your breath on him "learning" from this experience. As for this following him around for the rest of his life, ridiculous. A few years from now, after he changes his name, no one will know who he is, and after a time people will forget. Anyone know the name of Matthew Sheppard's killers without googling them? How many of you? This is a terrible miscarriage of so-called justice. He should have gotten a year in jail at least, at a minimum, 90-days and no recommendation against deportation. Let the immigration service decide that without any input from this way too lenient judge.
Posted by Mb2 on May 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
I don't think locking this kid up for longer would help anyone.

What I really want to know is this: Parents are supposed to be responsible for their child's care and welfare until at least age 18. Why are they not arrested and prosecuted when they kick their own child out into the streets before age 18, when the kid comes out? These kids should be allowed to go to the cops, have their parents arrested, and prosecuted for child endangerment. And the parents should be turned over to CPS, and made to pay for decent foster care for their child. When will this happen?
Posted by SeattleKim on May 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
pfffter 24
@22 "At a minimum 90 days" Huh? So 2 days for each of the 15 crimes is not enough but 6 days is? You make no sense.
Posted by pfffter on May 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
@24 What I said was that he should have gotten a year at least, a minimum of 90-days. But yes, 6 days per count is far better than 2, 3-times better in fact.
Posted by Mb2 on May 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Watching Ravi's mother crying in the courtroom over the very light sentence her son received was sickening. Not only did your son act horribly toward another person, he was also convicted of witness tampering and destroying evidence. Crying that you won't be able to see your son for a whole month demonstrated, to me, that coddling this child is probably what allowed him to act so cavalierly toward Tyler Clemente in the first place and follow that up with his other crimes.

A year in prison would have been the right sentence.
Posted by SunshineandPuppies on May 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
If we're going by Catholic social justice (the actual good part of Catholicism), the justice system isn't there to PUNISH the criminal, it's there to REFORM them.

And I can guaran-fucking-tee that this kid is never going to pull anything like this again, after the terror of being convicted of all 15 counts.
Posted by stephen.g on May 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
30 days is appropriate, as he has no record. I'd say anywhere from 3 months to 1 year would be better. It was a pretty egregious violation of privacy. Anything more than a year would be too much for a 1st time offender. He didn't kill or cause his death, we were trying him for violating Tyler Clementi's privacy.

Although he did a horrible thing when he violated his roommates privacy, he didn't kill or cause Tyler's choice to commit suicide, that was a personal choice he made. It is a massive insult to his memory to blame someone else for his suicide, because we all decide what it is we will do with our lives, and he chose to end his, and blaming another for his choice is disrespectful of Tyler's right to do with his life what he felt necessary. I refuse to second guess his choice to die.

Only he knew his pain, and only he made that choice. I think he was probably suffering for a long time, and pain and suffering often comes in multiple forms. I don't believe that this incident was the only thing that was on his mind, but rather, it was simply the last thing in a serious or even lifetime of painful memories that he could no longer carry. I wish he were here, but I won't presume to know his pain, and I honor his memory and assume he knew what was best for him.
Posted by scratchmaster joe on May 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Ian Parker's New Yorker story on this entire thing set the gold standard. I can't imagine evaluating the justice of this sentence without having it firmly in mind. I'm going to go reread it now.…
Posted by gloomy gus on May 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
He didn't bully him to death. He committed one act, which broke the camel's back. We've been over this.
Posted by stephen.g on May 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
I am going to assume the judge didn't agree with the jury's fervor to convict Ravi. I don't think he should have been convicted. I think this actually works in everyone's favor - Ravi probably won't be unduly harmed by a 30-day stint but will still have this follow his name around on job applications and social interactions - and the gay rights movement gets a conviction in the case law.
Posted by fetish on May 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
@22 - "This sentence is more than just a slap on the wrist, it is a statement on the value of this gay man's life, privacy, and value by the justice system and make no mistake, that system is saying he wasn't worth much."

Putting tripe and nonsense into words does not make it any less tripe and nonsense. The sentence is NOT a statement on the value of anyone's life. The sentence is a statement on the severity of the crime committed... not on the consequences of the crime committed. Particularly when we cannot know whether a person's suicide was caused by one thing or by an amalgamation of things. If it turned out that Tyler jumped because of many different things, of which Ravi's invasion of his privacy and subsequent outing of him was only one, would it make Ravi's actions any less shitty? Or what if Tyler hadn't jumped at all, but had brought these charges himself? Would Ravi be less worthy of prosecution?

It seems Dharun Ravi was young, dumb, and an asshole with no respect for privacy. But the only part of that which could be tackled under law is the respect for privacy part.

Incidentally, the sentence was not 30 days:

"As well as the jail term, Ravi is to serve a three-year period of probation and complete 300 hours of community service.

He must also pay $10,000 (£6,330) to a state-licensed community organisation that helps victims of bias crimes, and complete a programme on cyber-bullying and alternative lifestyles."…

Not to mention all the publicity he's received... his entire life will be undoubtedly shit from now on - incarcerated or not.
Posted by Gemz on May 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
delirian 35
@15: Yes, prison isn't a vacation is he'll have a criminal record for the rest of his *life*. Get it?

Btw, how is Tyler doing? Oh yeah, he is fucking dead because of this asshole. And the value of a gay kid's life to our society is apparently a couple days in jail. Basically what the judge is saying is that a 2nd time DUI is worse than spying and mocking a gay kid to such a severity that he goes out and kills himself.

Our society doesn't benefit from keeping this asshole in prison for 10 years. 1 or 2 years would have been fine. But 30 days is laughable. Well, not laughable--it makes me want to cry instead.
Posted by delirian on May 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
@32 - Actually, he committed more than one crime - he was convicted on multiple counts. Many of those counts were related to witness tampering and destruction of evidence.

So it wasn't just one crime where he bullied and broadcast private moments over the internet and invited others to watch. He also tried to cover it up and convince others to cover it up. These are serious crimes - on their own - which should have resulted in jail time.
Posted by SunshineandPuppies on May 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 37
Everyone ought to read @ 30's link. The crimes were disgusting and the consequences tragic, but the whole truth of the matter is a whole lot less clear cut than some people here seem to think it was. Matthew Shepard bears no similarity to this case at all.

Given the extreme likelihood that Ravi will never do something like this again, and the fact that he'll probably never realize the future once laid out for him, I'm satisfied with his sentence.
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 38

As it stands now, when kids get kicked out of their home for any reason, the default is to send them back to that home if the cops find them out on the street. For that reason, kids from abusive/bigoted homes do everything they can to avoid getting picked up by the cops or CPS.

And I don't see arresting or fining bigoted parents as any solution. That'll just mean they'll let their kids continue to stay in their homes, but who's to say they won't just lock their gay kids in the basement and throw away the key?
Posted by keshmeshi on May 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Incredibly light sentence! Tyler Clementi dead and this creep gets 30days.
Posted by decourseydave on May 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
onion 40
37 - few of us objecting to the 30 days think that this is in any way comparable to Matthew Shepard. stop hyerpbolating for us. (yes i just made the word up)
and 32...i see your point. i'm willing to even waffle a bit...but that was a pretty big straw. more like a ton of bricks.
Posted by onion on May 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Dharun Ravi, March 2012:

“After all this time and reading his [Tyler's] conversations and how and what he was doing before, I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now.”


“Looking back, I was very self-absorbed with the whole thing. It was never, ‘What if Tyler finds out, how’s he going to feel about it?’” he said. “…I was 18, I was stupid, I wouldn’t think about my actions beyond a minute into a future. I was a dumb kid not thinking about it.”


“Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he’s automatically fragile and can’t deal with anything,” he said.


“So much worse happens,” he said. “Kids actually get bullied and actually go through stuff much worse than this. I understand why people feel the need to punish me. Bad stuff happens and they need to set an example, but it’s unfortunate this has to be the case where this happens.”…
Posted by cgd on May 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 42
@ 40, you ought to read all the comments before going around saying that I'm putting words in your mouth. Like @ 22, for example.
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 43
Also, @ 40, how familiar are you with all the facts? Did you read that New Yorker article?
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
@38, Yes rationally I know all that. It just really pisses me off that even though they say they put the kids welfare first, they really just try to shove the kid back into the problem home because that is cheapest and easiest. If they really put the kid first, the parents would be made to pay for the damage they are doing to their child.
Posted by SeattleKim on May 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
unknown_entity 45
My understanding was that part of the argument for a light sentence was that jail time would/could lead him to being deported. That being the case, the judge should have given him the maximum amount of time in jail possible that would not have resulted in him being deported (if 30 days is the maximum, then the discussion should be on whether a reasonable sentence is possible without deportation).

Bottom line: In an effort to avoid an excessive sentence, the judge went too far towards leniency.
Posted by unknown_entity on May 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
The Max 46
A 30 day sentence is lenient.

It's lenient + fine + probation + Community Service + all the Evil associated with a felony criminal record.

It's still lenient + a Google Problem worse than what we inflicted upon that poor sheet-stain by tying it irrevocably to that awful Senator.

But "far, far too lenient"?

Gotta say, no.

I think it falls within just and appropriate parameters for the sentencing of a teenage first-time non-violent offender.

As criminally assholic as Ravi's actions were, he didn't actually deliberately inflict real physical harm upon Tyler Clemente.

I don't think that anybody whose first crime involves inflicting purely non-physical harm upon only one person should ever need to serve more than six months, and the offender's youth should be a real factor in any sentence.

Prison should be for violent offenders.
Posted by The Max on May 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Burn the witch, burn him!!!
Posted by Spindles on May 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Well, Dan, what the fuck did you think was going to happen, given the drumbeat since before the trial was even over, from you and many "gay leaders" (per the NYT and other mainstream media), complaining that Ravi was being railroaded? You share some responsibility for this sentence.
Posted by figofan on May 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 50
You wanted a lighter sentence and you got one. Now deal with it.
Posted by Mark in Colorado on May 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 51

I definitely hear you.

I kind of wish there were some way for bigoted, asshole parents to hand over their gay kids to foster care without any financial penalty, or at least a meager one. Those kids would be better off in foster care than living on the street or with people who hate them. One of my best friends in high school was abandoned by his family, but was thankfully taken in by an awesome gay couple.
Posted by keshmeshi on May 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Decent article in Slate about why the decision is a fair one, even if it makes us uncomfortable:…
Posted by NateMan on May 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
The fine, probation, and community service aspects of Ravi's sentence are just as relevant as the jail-time.

Dan is (of course) entitled to his opinion regarding the leniency of the sentence, but he's not quite playing fair to make it sound like Ravi will do a month in a county jail and walk away free of further encumbrance or penalty.

Like many readers, I will not be clicking on the links (as a non-subscriber, I hoard my NYT page-views), and so would not have been aware of Dan's sins of omission regarding the sentencing if not for earlier comments.

My point: please play fair, Mr. Savage. Omitting relevant information, in this case, represented a material distortion of the facts, and is a practice to be avoided and discouraged.
Posted by Functional Atheist on May 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
delirian 54
@52: I saw that article too. The big thing that it is missing in the argument for lenient sentencing in that article is that Dharun Ravi refused a plea agreement of no time in jail and no deportation. Why? Apparently he thinks he's innocent and shouldn't be punished.

He wasn't being railroaded. The prosecutors simply wanted him to admit that what he did was wrong. He can't bring himself to do that. Failure to show remorse should amplify the sentence beyond the bare minimum required.
Posted by delirian on May 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Jesus, Dan, make up your fucking mind. You and other community leaders are part of why he got such a light sentence. Congratulations.
Posted by Sailoreic on May 21, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 56
@54: Even after the guilty verdict, Ravi refused to show much real remorse. From ABC:

“So much worse happens,” he said. “Kids actually get bullied and actually go through stuff much worse than this. I understand why people feel the need to punish me. Bad stuff happens and they need to set an example, but it’s unfortunate this has to be the case where this happens.”

Ravi said he feels he’s been taken advantage of.

“The people that are fighting for gay rights, they have a just cause. I think this kind of detracts from their cause,” he said. “This is something people can point to and say, ‘You guys are going overboard.’ I think it’s bad for them.”

Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
@26 - I haven't seen the video so perhaps this is clearly not the case, but... could she have been crying with relief? If I had a son facing a possible sentence of 10 years + deportation and he got 30 days + service + fine, I would cry with relief.
Posted by JenV on May 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 58
This is a fair sentence, but will only seem so if one reads the article linked in @30's post. Anything more is going over-board, and this is from a "nail their ass to the wall for X injustice" sort of queer.
BUT...very disappointing to hear the kid's un-repentant afterwords; they show the same callous disregard for other people's feelings that allowed this incident to happen in the first place. But some folks are just made that way- look at the current Rethug contender for POTUS- zero compassion or empathy for other living beings.
Sad all around, and no amount (or lack of) jail time will bring Tyler back, or restore this young man's life. Stupid, stupid and more stupid.
Posted by OutInBumF on May 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Here's a breakdown of the sentencing for each of the 15 counts.…
Posted by cgd on May 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
54, Is he not admitting it was wrong, or was he not admitting to it being bad enough to cause suicide?
Posted by EclecticEel on May 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
delirian 62
@60: He wasn't charged with causing suicide so his failure to admit to his actions imply either that he doesn't think what he did was wrong, or that he realizes that what he did was wrong but still wants to maintain his innocence for an appeal.
Posted by delirian on May 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
I have to agree with 12, 50, and 55. You wanted a lighter sentence and you got one so why are you complaining?

Also others have pointed out that Ravi was in trouble for doing like tampering evidence, he was never charged for the suicide and I don't know why you keep acting like he was.
Posted by msanonymous on May 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 64
@12,50,55&63: I think you can want someone to get less than 10 years in prison and deportation from the country where they've lived since they were 5 without wanting them to get a slap on the wrist, either.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 21, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
I think what he did was horrible. I would give him jail time if he'd only caught Tyler doing something as innocuous as reading a book. He violated his privacy, and that's wrong wrong wrong. And in this case, he wanted to catch Tyler in a sexually compromising position and embarrass him. That's just purely hateful. (though I know that's not what they mean by a "hate crime"). It was just a simple violation of privacy (reading a book) I would give 3 months, to drive home the point about how wrong it is to violate privacy. But with the sexual aspect, and that Ravi did to humiliate Tyler (and also considering the tampering), I'd def give him a year.

But what I wonder is...why is he appealing? I first thought it was odd he didn't take the plea bargain. Which I guess he did because he didn't want to be convicted. But he was. And this sentence is so light...why fight it? Just do the time, pay the fine, and five years very few will even remember who he was. But all these appeals will keep his name around for much longer.
Posted by Little Brown Hen on May 21, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 66
Hopefully karma will inflict something awful on the unapologetic piece of shit so that his mother will have something real to cry about.
Posted by Mark in Colorado on May 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Given that Dan Savage weighed in on how unfortunate it was to blame this bully too much, the sentence isn't a problem. This is the way people who victimize gay people are treated all the time: they get away with it. Dan Savage is really disappointing here. I had looked to him as a responsible voice, someone who would stand up to bullies. Afraid I was wrong. He is about as much of a pussy as the people at GLAAD.
Posted by JayJonson on May 21, 2012 at 5:40 PM · Report this
And after all the pity you expressed for him yesterday, it is a bit much now to say the Judge was too lenient. Another victory for the bullies.
Posted by JayJonson on May 21, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
And by the way, the Judge does not have any authority to do anything about whether this little creep is going to be deported. The Immigration and Naturalization service makes a decision on that. A New Jersey judge has no bearing on that question, though he said he would "recommend" that Ravi not be deported. I think he needs to be deported. He has lived in this country most of his life and he and his wealthy family have made no effort to become American citizens. They obviously love being Indian citizens: it probably gives them some tax advantage. In any case, Ravi is a citizen of India. He should be returned there.
Posted by JayJonson on May 21, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Those of you defending this utterly unfair verdict, less actually than a slap on the wrist, simply do not understand what Ravi did. He was convicted after a three-week trial in which overwhelming evidence of his guilt was presented. He invaded a person's privacy (the person who videotaped the young ESPN reporter in her hotel room--not having sex with anyone--received 30 months in prison for that offense), he was found guilty of bias intimidation, he was found guilty of destroying evidence, he was guilty of suborning another witness to lie, he was found guilty of lying to authorities. Any one of the counts on which he was convicted would have merited at least a year in prison. 30 days is an insult to the family of Tyler Clementi and to the justice system. It says that gay people have no justice in this country.
Posted by JayJonson on May 21, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
I think Dharun Ravi got fucked. Don't get me wrong, he's an asshole. But a lot of college kids are assholes that first year.I was an RA in a pretty big public college until I graduated, and I have to say from personal experience pretty much everything this dumb kid has done is what almost any kid of his age, especially boys, would/has done. These guys come to college and their first year they think normal rules of civilization, like giving people a right to privacy, don't apply to them anymore. But I also know the vast majority of these kids don't consider being gay anything but a fact of life; and based on the extensive New Yorker article about him, it seems like this kid was the same way. This guy is going to have a pretty shitty life from now on, and most colleges and employers aren't going to want to even look at him based on some dumb ass thing (spying on his roommate and gossiping about it) that he did when he was 18. THINK ABOUT THAT. For the next 40-50 years he is going to be dogged by something he did when he was 18. Also, this kid could be deported,which for people who think this kid wanted to stay an Indian, is pretty much the worst thing a kid who has lived in America his entire life could imagine. The process of getting citizenship, even if you come to the US very young, is usually a decade(s) long process, and a lot of immigrants who come to America when they're 5 or 6 don't get their citizenship till they are in their mid 20s. This kid could be permanently moved to a place were he probably doesn't speak the main language, like most young Indian Americans, and is still a pretty shitty place to live, with crazy amounts of corruption and lack of rule of law, compared to the US. This kid should have gotten thousands of hours of community service, preferably working with a bullying/ gay rights group, a long probation, and a hefty fine, but jail time is too harsh considering the life long consequences that he is about to get. Dharun Ravi got fucked.
Posted by aphil on May 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
If I were Tyler's parents I'd be more creeped out at the married(?) 30 year old man who was sexually exploiting my child. I read his testimony. He didn't even know Tyler's last name till he read it in the paper. They had never had so much as a cup of coffee or seen a movie. At the sentencing he said Ravi cheated him out of what was a blossoming relationship. WTF?! He wouldn't let Tyler over his house and wasn't even interested in getting to know him better.
He was going to wait till they'd had sex 100 times before getting to know each other better. It's obvious this man was cheating on his partner with Tyler. And Tyler was being used for cheap sex. Since Tyler had no real experience with relationships who is to say it was not that which led to his suicide?
Posted by Andrew S. on May 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this
I think six months to a year would have been a fairer sentence. 30 days, only about two weeks of which will actually be jail time, would have been better.

As for community service...I think it should be working for the local branch of PFLAG. Let him hear first-hand about kids just like Tyler and see if he's a bit more remorseful then.
Posted by Ellid on May 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
64 I do think he deserved a harsher sentence what's bothering is Dan changing his mind every five minutes and ignoring that a lot of the trouble Ravi was in had nothing to do with Clementi and everything to do with fucking with the trail.
Posted by msanonymous on May 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
GymGoth 75
Those of you upset at the 30 day sentence should read Ian Parker's excellent investigation in #30's post. Dan was courageous and absolutely correct in his first comments. He shouldn't be backtracking now.

What Ravi did was a silly college prank. The truth is no video or pictures were ever published on the internet. I'd be a little miffed too if barely a few weeks into the school year my roommate had requested my absence twice so he could hook up with an older stranger in our shared room.

Too many gay activists (excluding Dan) tried to make this case a poster child for anti-gay bullying when it was nothing of the sort. Tyler Clementi had issues that led to his suicide but Ravi's actions were not the cause. If Tyler's hookup had been with women it is hard to see any charges here, even if the suicide still occurred.

The judge should have set aside the jury's verdict. They decided that Ravi did not intend any bias intimidation yet because they felt Clementi perceived it they found Ravi guilty. The prosecutors are now going to appeal the sentence---very strange considering they offered a plea deal with no jail time.
Posted by GymGoth on May 22, 2012 at 5:24 AM · Report this
onion 76
Don't forget everyone that Ravi is APPEALING the 30 day sentence. In fact, he's appealing the convictions outright. That should be a part of this conversation.
Posted by onion on May 22, 2012 at 6:05 AM · Report this
geoz 77
I can't see I know more than the basic facts of this so it is hard to make a statement about it... and yet, like my peers on comment pages, I persevere: I have seen similar sorts of poor decision-making at the college where I work. They have not resulted in death, but the decisions were just as bad and could have resulted in death.

I'm never sure how that should be adjudicated. Having been 19, I know that bad decisions that could threaten my own life and the life of others are often part of the deal: sex without condoms and driving drunk are two fo the most common I would guess. Was this man curious or malicious? Unkind or cruel? On that I, even if I knew more, it wouldn't be enough.

Would that Ravi and Tyler had made different choices.
Posted by geoz on May 22, 2012 at 6:34 AM · Report this
onion 78
and fer chrissake, those of us sayin that 30 days is too little...YES WE HAVE READ THE FRIGGIN NEW YORKER ARTICLE. long time ago in fact! and enjoyed it! and read it carefully!
Posted by onion on May 22, 2012 at 8:00 AM · Report this
What, you mean a defendant is APPEALING HIS CONVICTION? OMIGOD.

ps 100% of defendants with even half-ass lawyers appeal.
Posted by fetish on May 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 81
@ 78, good. Did you go back and read @ 22 yet?
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 82
Oh, and @ 76, what does that matter? Any defendant with good representation does that. Serial killers appeal death sentences all the time.

If you want to argue that the sentence should be sterner, go ahead. But stop acting like my initial comment was directed at you. Here's a hint: If someone posts something in response to something you DIDN'T say, then it likely wasn't directed at you.
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
luke1249 83
This comment thread is reassuring. For a while there it looked like he might get 10 yrs for harassing a gay kid, and if the gay community had reacted at all triumphantly after that, it would've been a PR disaster. It's one thing to want to be treated the same; it's another to demand special treatment and get it. The backlash would've been bad.

This sentence was the best outcome, and I'm glad the commenters (mostly) realize it.
Posted by luke1249 on May 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
As a gay guy in his 20's, who is both politically aware and active, I didn't really feel like they made a compelling case against him that warranted jail time. 30 days seems a most appropriate sentence if indeed he has committed a crime.

I really think this country needs to reexamine it's sentencing practices. 10 and 20 year sentences might as well be life sentences, as far as I'm concerned. Imagine you were facing a 10 year prison sentence. Imagine how that would factor into how you see the rest of your life playing out. I really think this country needs to focus on criminal justice reform.
Posted by Terpsichorean on May 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
" if indeed he has committed a crime."

Dharun Ravi has admitted to committing invasion of privacy.

Sandip Roy:

But Dharun Ravi, it's not about you. You don't apologize to change people's minds or how people see you. You apologize because something you did caused terrible damage, even if unintended, in someone else's life. You apologize for what you have done, for what has happened. A true apology comes without strings attached.…
Posted by cgd on May 24, 2012 at 7:02 AM · Report this

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