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BREAKING: Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days

BREAKING: Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days

This morning, May 21, 20-year-old Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in prison beginning on May 31 after being found guilty of using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi. Judge Glenn Berman said that Ravi’s sentence needed to “constitute a measured response” and be “balanced”; he did say that Ravi had acted not out of hate but from “colossal insensitivity,” says NJ.com:

This individual was not convicted of a hate crime. he was convicted of a bias crime and there’s a difference. I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi. He had no reason to. But I do believe that he acted out of colossal insensitivity.

Berman noted that Ravi had not apologized. “Down the road you can expunge this judgement,” the judge added. “You cannot expunge the conduct or the pain you caused.”

Berman also said that he would recommend that Ravi not be deported.

Ravi will also have a three-year probation sentence under which he must complete 300 hours of community services, attend a counseling program relative to cyber bullying and alternate lifestyles and pay a $10,000 fine. According to NJ.com, Ravi’s father “smiled and said he was happy with the sentence when asked by a reporter,” shortly after the sentence was read in court.

On March 16, Ravi was convicted of bias intimidation as a hate crime, which carries a prison sentence of between five and ten years. As a native of India, Ravi had also faced deportation.

Ravi’s freshman roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, days after Ravi set up a web cam in their dorm room and used it to spy on Clementi kissing another man. Ravi then tweeted about what he saw and, two days later, tried to spy on Clementi again. After Clementi realized that he had been watched, he posted “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry” on Facebook and took his own life.

Petitions Requesting a Pardon For Ravi

Ravi was sentenced at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, where Rutgers University is located. A line of people seeking to enter the courthouse stretched out into the street on a rainy Monday morning. Tyler Clementi’s parents, Jane and Joseph Clementi arrived at the courthouse accompanied by family and friends; Ravi was arrived with some 30 people, including his family and lawyer. Both families gave emotional statements before Ravi’s sentencing.

Judge Glenn Berman told the media that he had received numerous petitions asking President Barack Obama and Gov. Chris Christie to pardon Ravi, says NJ.com. The judge noted that the petitions to the President are ”of no legal consequence whatsoever” because “rightly or wrongly” the president can only pardon people for offenses against the US. Of the petitions to the New Jersey governor, Berman said “It’s not before me, it’s not my issue” and offered no comment.

A New York Times article published prior to Ravi’s sentencing noted that, while Ravi was initially seen as a “symbol of antigay bias,” some gay rights advocates had urged leniency in his sentencing. Ravi was not charged with Clementi’s suicide but punishing him for it “ignores the complicated social pressures that drive gay teenagers to kill themselves”:

While Mr. Clementi’s suicide in September 2010 galvanized public attention on the struggles of gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers, the question of how to punish Mr. Ravi has revealed the deep discomfort that many gay people feel about using the case as a crucible. “You’re making an example of Ravi in order to send a message to other people who might be bullying, to schools and parents and to prosecutors who have not considered this a crime before,” said Marc Poirier, a law professor at Seton Hall University who is gay and has written about hate-crimes legislation. “That’s a function of criminal law, to condemn as general deterrence. But I think this is a fairly shaky set of facts on which to do it.”

Peter Frycki, who publishes Out in New Jersey, says that his readers had been split, “with about two-thirds saying they believed that the jury had done the right thing, and one-third disagreeing.” Many, though, said that Ravi should have to do community service, rather than jail time.

Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia University, pointed out that the sentence must be the same to what others would get. “Most 20-year-olds who commit serious crimes don’t get community service,” she said in the New York Times.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Verdict in Dharun Ravi Trial: Was Justice Served?

BREAKING: Tyler Clementi’s Roommate Dharun Ravi Guilty Of Hate Crime

Suicide Victim’s Parents Set Up Tyler Clementi Foundation

 

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41 comments

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10:05AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

This is tragic end for minor feuds. Didn't they even find out that such ways are only popular amongst the youths.

1:59PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

"On March 16, Ravi was convicted of bias intimidation as a hate crime, which carries a prison sentence of between five and ten years. As a native of India, Ravi had also faced deportation."

Why did he only receive a 30 day sentence and why isn't he deported? There's something fishy about this outcome. Money changing hands?


11:31PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Deport him!!!!

5:10PM PDT on May 26, 2012

Sad, so sad. When will we see that a human life is more valuable than a "30 day" punishment.

6:05AM PDT on May 23, 2012

He should go back to his own country where they value their God and what he stands for,and get out of the USA where it's ok to bash Christians for their beliefs but say anything against gays and you are practically stoned to death. Very backwards and immoral country we are becoming.

6:53PM PDT on May 22, 2012

This is Soooo egregious. I agree with Nancy Grace, he Needs to be deported. What is the difference between any other alien committing a felony?? Please do not say money, he is here on a student visa

6:10PM PDT on May 22, 2012

he should have to register as a sex offender too, for video taping someone having sex without their consent

4:21PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Are you kidding me? Only 30 days in prison? Whatever happened to real justice? This is nuts!

1:15PM PDT on May 22, 2012

This verdict does not address one important part of this crime. Ravi, being from India, has a definite prejudice concerning gay people. He has not grown up in the US with all of the liberal social issues in front of him surrounding bullying and gay rights. He may not have hated Tyler, and did not set out to do anything criminal, yet perhaps his homophobic distaste has kept him from conveying any sense of remorse for what he has done. I have the feeling that he may think that he did not do anything wrong. And for that, this verdict may have missed its intended mark.

12:29PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Character assassination, and being responsible for someone's suicide, are two different things.

Ravi SHOULD feel guilty for his acts, but he doesn't. Ravi SHOULD feel some sadness that his roommate committed suicide, but he doesn't. He has no conscience. He would not make a good American, and he should be sent home to finish his degrees in his own country. We have enough Americans already, with no consciences... Why import more?

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