February 24, 2012

"The defendant’s acts were not a prank, they were not an accident and they were not a mistake."

"They were mean-spirited, they were malicious and they were criminal.”

"You gotta keep things in perspective... He might be stupid at times, but he was an 18-year-old boy and certainly not a criminal. There was no bullying...He’s not a bigot."

45 comments:

Donald Douglas said...

Well, I don't envy the defense attorney. I think the prosecution summarizes things perfectly. This case makes me angry, in fact.

Pogo said...

A young man committed suicide, and by God someone else is gonna pay.

edutcher said...

Does this happen with heterosexuals?

And don't tell me no heterosexual would be similarly embarrassed by having their sex lives broadcast.

Is this because of the suicide or the homosexuality of the victim?

Andy R. said...

This recent New Yorker article was fantastic, "The Story of a Suicide: Two college roommates, a webcam, and a tragedy."

God said...

New Jersey! Golly, that is one me-forsaken state!

Maybe I should go help them out? But aren't they already governed by a well-fed, grown, and competent man named "Christ" or something like that?

I could pay a visit to White Castle though. I'm sure my divine tiger knows the way, even on a dark night like tonight. By me, someone else is gonna pay for my burgers, though! I expect a little bit of deference.

I wonder if Monsieur Ravi feels remorse-- not necessarily for the webcam act, but for the mean-spiritedness that perhaps, in some way, led to suicide. If he does, then that's enough. Confess your sins and go on, resolved to live with good spirit. It could be a teachable moment. Prosecution is not a very effective way to go about inspiring introspection or teaching lessons of life.

Ken said...

I think the prosecution summarizes things perfectly.

The summary: Ravi hurt Clementi's feelings in a thoughtless and mean way, Clementi couldn't handle it and tragically killed himself. Despite the fact that being thoughtless and mean isn't illegal, nor could any reasonable legislation be meaningfully written making it so that isn't overly broad as to be meaningless, we still want to turn a tragedy into an absurd farce and beat our chests in righteous indignation.

You should be angry, Donald, at the prosecution.

Pogo said...

So they couldn't charge him with murder, because he didn't commit murder, but they will convict him of something.

The favored classes will not be mocked.

Rick said...

Can't go laughing at some gay guy.

Carnifex said...

Much like the assault on Zombie Mohammid, Mr. Ravi just needs to find a Muslim judge that brings sharia into an American court room.

FYI, I think the muslim judge in the Zombie Mohammid case should be stripped of his judgeship, citizenship, and executed for treason. By bacon bullets. Covered in menses blood.

Pederast worshipping bastard.

JAL said...

10 years for bias intimidation

Can some of the lawyers explain that, svp?

bagoh20 said...

What if the victim was straight and caught on video masturbating? All other facts remain the same.

Then, I think many more would see the suicide as just that, and much more the responsibility of the victim himself.

Again, we claim a class should be treated as equal, while at the same time implying they are incapable of handling it.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

edutcher said...
Does this happen with heterosexuals?

For what it's worth, aside the linked article.

SEE IT: Paris Hilton's new music video induces nausea, retching

Drunk Text

I went out to the club the other night to... you know... dance with my bitches....

But my mouth kept pouring desperate clauses of random desperate intent.


Speaking of "desperate clauses of random intent," see boldface clause (b) below.

NJ STATUTES - NJSA 2C:16-1.
Bias intimidation.
a. Bias Intimidation. A person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation if he commits, attempts to commit, conspires with another to commit, or threatens the immediate commission of an offense specified in chapters 11 through 18 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; N.J.S.2C:33-4; N.J.S.2C:39-3; N.J.S.2C:39-4 or N.J.S.2C:39-5,
(1) with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity; or
(2) knowing that the conduct constituting the offense would cause an individual or group of individuals to be intimidated because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity; or
(3) under circumstances that caused any victim of the underlying offense to be intimidated and the victim, considering the manner in which the offense was committed, reasonably believed either that (a) the offense was committed with a purpose to intimidate the victim or any person or entity in whose welfare the victim is interested because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, or (b) the victim or the victim's property was selected to be the target of the offense because of the victim's race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
b. Permissive inference concerning selection of targeted person or property. Proof that the target of the underlying offense was selected by the defendant, or by another acting in concert with the defendant, because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity shall give rise to a permissive inference by the trier of fact that the defendant acted with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

Seven Machos said...

So the poor kid who committed suicide wanted to keep his sexual persuasion a secret. On the down low, so to speak.

Who could have ever guessed based on the picture of him in the article that he was gay?

EDH said...

Paris Hilton "Drunk Text" lyric should have been...

But my mouth kept pouring desperate clauses of random intent.

bagoh20 said...

Doesn't it seem that gay sex is somehow more embarrassing than straight sex even for those openly gay. You don't see many gay sex tapes recorded by the participants themselves and then leaked like you do for straights. It's like a requirement for a certain young sexy celebrity genre of straights, but I don't think that is true for gays. Am I right?

Seven Machos said...

Bag -- I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the market for male gay porn is well sated. I know for a fact that the market for lesbian porn is.

As an aside, I once saw this thing on HBO. The show was called Real Sex, I believe. The segment purported to show a guy who said he was straight and had a girlfriend, but he did gay porn because, he said, it paid well. But he insisted he wasn't gay.

I remain skeptical. Don't you have to be a little bit, somewhat gay to take it up the ass voluntarily, even for money?

Seven Machos said...

Also, Donald Douglas, you make me angry. And I'm going to sue your sorry ass.

Gene said...

God: But aren't they already governed by a well-fed, grown, and competent man named "Christ" or something like that?

I would certainly hope the governor (no matter what his name) has no power to tell the courts how to decide this case.

Lyle said...

I support the defendant in this case. Glad he didn't take the plea agreement. The State of New Jersey needs to be bent over knee and spanked.

Prosqtor said...

I think this is modern politically correct society gone insane. It is a tragedy that the young man committed suicide. His roommate was rude in a way I find wrong. Trying to make rudeness into a crime is a recipe for disaster.

He did not threaten his roommate.
He did not blackmail his roommate.
He did not take his roommate's property.
He did not destroy his roomate's property.
He did not physically injure his roommate.

If it is a crime to reveal something embarrassing about one's roommate, a lot of people are going to have to be prosecuted.

John Lynch said...

If there had been no suicide, would there be a crime?

Can killing yourself cause someone else to go to jail?

What?

There was a crime- suicide- and the victim was also the perpetrator. Case closed.

EDH said...

A little more on "permissive inference" from Charles Nesson.

R. Chatt said...

I think the act of spying on his roommate's homosexual sexual activities and mocking him was intentional and was mean-spirited, and was the action of a bully.

The fact that the Ravi was 18 at the time means he is considered an adult, not a child. If he were arrested for drunk driving at age 18, would his lawyer claim his age and bad judgement for some kind of defense? No, of course not. The punishment would be considered obligatory because of his immaturity and the need to learn a lesson.

Regarding what if his roommate had been straight and having sex with his girlfriend and Ravi videoed the act and tweeted about it? He probably would have had the snot beat out of him. And it's also doubtful Ravi would have done it because it would have made him appear creepy and uncool. But making fun of a gay kid was considered A OK! It makes me angry too. The fact that Ravi considered it a humorous thing is an indication of his contempt for gays.

Bullying is typically done towards someone you consider weaker than yourself and the bully always picks someone who is unable to defend himself. That defines Clementi and his roommate knew it.

I don't think it was any secret that Clementi was gay, but I don't think he was prepared to deal with ridicule and being publicly exposed. Those are two separate matters. There is often a wide gap between accepting being gay within yourself and being able to deal with other people knowing about it.

I wouldn't blame his suicide on that one event, and am shocked at the potential penalty of 10 years. However, I think some punishment is warranted.

EDH said...

John Lynch said...
If there had been no suicide, would there be a crime?

Probably. There needs to be a predicate crime for the "Bias Intimidation" statute to apply. You might indeed have that on an invasion of privacy or other related charge.

Now you ask, would that charge have been prosecuted if the kid didn't kill himself?

Probably not. But many people are prosecuted because they had the dumb luck to get caught, and due to consequences that are a lot less tragic. So that's not the basis for a strong objection.

Rather, what's significant here is the Bias Intimidation statute. It's what's known as a "penalty extender", not a specific crime. It's meant to drastically increase the effective penalty for a given predicate crime based of the perceived status of the victim.

It used to be the state would also have to prove intent along with that. However, as I indicated, that burden is reduced by the "permissive inference" granted by the New Jersey statute itself. Again, based largely on the status of the alleged victim of what might otherwise be construed as a relatively minor crime.

Yea, it is scary stuff.

Palladian said...

The law aside, I think that a lot of the usual suspects around here are actually happy that there's one less faggot in the world.

Seven Machos said...

some punishment is warranted

Why punishment from the State? You don't think this douchebag who caused this suicide has felt a level of inner turmoil that you will never remotely feel?

Man, fuck you. Fuck you moral scolds. Just because something is terrible and wrong, it doesn't make it a crime. You are petty tyrants. The lot of you. You are Rick Santorum without the class.

R. Chatt said...

Honestly I have not studied the NJ law -- but there is some point at which the State, meaning civilized people, determine that certain behavior is unacceptable and can not be tolerated.

You are right, I have no idea how Mr. Ravi feels about what has happened. But that doesn't excuse the crime, it just might mitigate the sentence. I think what he did was seriously wrong, like say, sexual harassment. Lots of people thought that wasn't a crime either, but only because they were unwilling or incapable of appreciating how horrible that kind of intimidation is for the victim.

Carnifex said...

@Palladian said

"The law aside, I think that a lot of the usual suspects around here are actually happy that there's one less faggot in the world."

Wow! you showed us faggot haters what for there, boy. I'm surprised you din't pull out cock sucker, pole smoker, rump ranger, etc... that would really put us in out place.

You're absolutely right. We do need more dead faggots in the world. Let's stop all AIDS research('cause that's a faggot disease). Let's outlaw petroleum jelly('cause sometimes life gives you off ramps when you need an on ramp). And no more "Top Designer"(oh hell, let's just ban all fashionista shows).

I'm gonna be like Spider man here for you Palladian (everybody gets one) I don't care if you, or your son, or you dad, or your priest are butt buddies. And I suspect the majority (more than 90%) on here feel the same way. What I do care for is your stupid ass politics running this country into the ground, and we wind up like Europe is now.

My gay friends, while born gay, weren't born stupid, and so they are staunch conservative Republicans.(further right wing than I am, and that's going some)

They had an Episcopal ceremony, that I attended, because though I disapprove of gay marriage, my friends are more important than some philosophical political belief.(and the catering was MAAAHVELOUS)

Pogo said...

Gay libertarians decry the state, except where it can help gays.

Lavender social conservatives, Harvey Milk Santorum.

hoyden said...

This tragedy and the comments here allowed me to consider how I feel about it versus what I think about it. After filtering out the vituperation I believe that criminal prosecution is wrong.

The defendant is guilty of illegal surveillance or whatever law says you cannot record another person without their permission.

Michael said...

Palladian. I usually greatly respect your opinion, but not this time. I am sorry to inform you but it has been my observation that conservatives spend even less time thinking about how they can harm and impede homosexuals than they do thinking about how they can hold blacks down. No time, actually. We spend no time thinking about your sex life. We waste no energy on keeping blacks down. This will be a huge disappointment to AndyR but we do not care enough to repress you.

rhhardin said...

John Derbyshire at NR tore into the prosecution when it started, as completely lawless state behavior, and wrote off NJ competely as a civilized state.

(Some Radio Derb podcast; you might have to guess the .mp3 filename if it's not listed. They usually come out dated Fridays. Just get a calendar and stab away with your browser. The podcasts seem to go back to January 2006.)

rhhardin said...

Ah, the Radio Derb podcast was just last week, here.

I'm unaware of the broadcast date because I listen to a sequence of random radio derb's with a shell command, taken from anywhere in 2006 to current, albeit in time order among those half dozen randomly chosen.

Leland said...

but there is some point at which the State, meaning civilized people, determine that certain behavior is unacceptable and can not be tolerated.

I completely disagree. The state does not need to get involved in every disagreement between college roommates. If you think this is the first time college roommates pranked each other, particularly because one asked the other to give up the room for sex, then you are simply ignorant about college life.


that doesn't excuse the crime, it just might mitigate the sentence.

What's the crime? Can you spell it out, so that the rest of us can clearly identify how not to breach the law and become a criminal?

I think what he did was seriously wrong, like say, sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment? If that's the law, consider that Ravi was asked to leave his own domicile, so that the other guy could have sex in it. So now, complaining about having to leave the room because someone else is having sex in it is "sexual harassment"? Who is being the bully here?

Lots of people thought that wasn't a crime either, but only because they were unwilling or incapable of appreciating how horrible that kind of intimidation is for the victim.

So you think its wonderful for someone to use your bedroom for sex? Actually, ask you to leave so they can get it on? I'm not saying what happened in this college dorm room is unique. Rather, the opposite, it happens regularly. And yeah it sucks to find another place and people complain about it. NJ is trying to convict a man for complaining openly that he was displaced from his room to allow someone else to have sex in it. I can't believe people want to make this a crime.

lemondog said...

Reprehensible behavior. Unintended consequences.

Youth and stupidity on trial.

How does one legislate it out of existence?

I suspect that many of us have hurt others along our way in attaining age and a modicum of maturity, and in retrospect have deep regrets.

Common sense and wisdom gained on the pain of another.

Lucien said...

Every prosecutor should be required to read the speech given by (then)Attorney General Robert Jackson to the US Attorneys at least twice a week.

They should have "prosecute the crime, not the person" tattooed on their foreheads.

Here there were just two college room-mates, messing with each other: one asking for the room for the night for an assignation and the other spying on him. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Leon said...

from what we can see the prosecution is going to try to send a guy to jail for watching his room mate make out with a guy and then sending this message.

“Roommate asked for the room till midnight,” Ravi posted on Twitter. “I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."

to make it stick they will have to convince someone that this was intended to be intimidating. from where i sit it looks more like humiliation and mocking.
Verb:
Frighten or overawe (someone), esp. in order to make them do what one wants.
and they'd have to prove that from that text or other behavior. i'd not buy it unless they could prove not only that tweeting about him having sex was frightening but by that the defendant expected to receive a desired outcome other than mere humiliation. people watching me have sex would cause me anxiety and maybe shame but not fear.

Rob said...

Palladian, don't go Andrew Sullivan on us here. I don't care about the decedent's sexual orientation. I am focused on the behavior of the alleged criminal. Regardless of the status of the victim, if this sort of behavior is going to be criminalized then many behaviors we (as individuals) accept will be criminalized. Pretty soon jokes about Islam, skin color, sexual preference, height, weight, gender... will be outlawed. Let us not go further down that path.

Rob said...

HERE is a portion of Robert Jackson's speech, which gives some of the flavor of it:

"If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm—in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself."

However, the real problem with modern criminal law is laws which are so broad that many, many people commit them and prosecutors are left to decide who will and will not take the heat. The result is cases where local political pressure (not in the partisan sense) results in prosecutions such as this one and the Duke "rape" case.

dbp said...

If this kind of prosecution is successful, wouldn't it feed the kind of malignant self-adsorption that leads to suicide in the first place?

William said...

I get the sense that Palladian would not cry salty tears if, as the result of all this publicity, Ravi committed suicide. "Good, another stinking homophobe gone under. Let's hope there's more to follow.".......Tolerance and good will demand that there should be some disapproval of Ravi's actions. Sending him to prison seems to me to be intolerant and malicious.

Joe said...

Once again, a proximate events does not mean a causative event. Is there actual evidence that this man commuted suicide because of the video? Did he make a statement to that effect? Or was he responding to something else--he just came out to his parents, perhaps they weren't so accepting? Or he'd gotten spurned. Or he was just plain depressed over a something else entirely--maybe he'd gotten a low enough grades to lose a scholarship or grants.

EDH said...

Care to guess how many people who kill themselves have tax problems with the IRS or are under indictment by a DA?

Palladian said...

"The favored classes will not be mocked."

You consider digital eavesdropping on a private sexual encounter the same as "mocking"?

"I am sorry to inform you but it has been my observation that conservatives spend even less time thinking about how they can harm and impede homosexuals than they do thinking about how they can hold blacks down."

I respect your comments as well, Michael. A good conservative should spend little time concerning themselves with the private matters of anyone, at least as far as the State is concerned. But statist social conservatives are a different breed and in my opinion are as dangerous as socialist liberals.

"Gay libertarians decry the state, except where it can help gays."

I did not suggest criminal punishment as a solution to this horrible situation, other than punishment for the crime of electronically eavesdropping on a private encounter.

But I do think Tyler Clementi's family are perfectly justified to sue the living hell out of Dharun Ravi in civil court.

"I get the sense that Palladian would not cry salty tears if, as the result of all this publicity, Ravi committed suicide."

You don't know me very well, then.