May 21, 2012

Dharun Ravi gets 30 days in jail (for spying on his roommate with a webcam).

The maximum sentence was 10 years in prison. The judge criticized Ravi for a while before announcing the light sentence:
“You lied to your roommate who placed his trust in you without any conditions, and you violated it,” the judge, Glenn Berman of State Superior Court, said. “I haven’t heard you apologize once.”

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.
Counseling about alternative lifestyles? How is that meted out? Government indoctrination on lifestyles?
Prosecutors appeared angry — they and the Clementi family canceled a planned post-sentencing news conference — and said they would appeal...

Steven Goldstein, the chairman of Garden State Equality, a prominent New Jersey gay rights group, was displeased. “We have opposed throwing the book at Dharun Ravi,” he said in a statement. “But we have similarly rejected the other extreme, that Ravi should have gotten no jail time at all, and today’s sentencing is closer to that extreme than the other. This was not merely a childhood prank gone awry. This was not a crime without bias.”...

Mr. Ravi, who is a legal resident of the United States but a citizen of India, could face deportation, but the judge said he would add a letter to his record encouraging the immigration authorities not to deport him.
Click the Dharun Ravi tag if you want to know more about what I think about this case. Basically: I think the judge did the right thing, which is punish him appropriately for the crime he committed. Making a scapegoat or an "example" out of him is an abuse of the legal process.

45 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Jeez that is all huh 30 days!

Some perv was just arrested at a local mall for taking upskirt photos of women- I guess he is relieved that now he is only looking at 30 days in jail.

rhhardin said...

They should have gotten Judge Judy.

rhhardin said...

My thoughts are that they should have jailed the prosecutor.

ndspinelli said...

Having been involved in many trials, I always try and be prudent in my opinion. I can say this was a tough decision for the judge and I accept it. My heart goes out to the victim's parents. That's why I got out of criminal work.

I'm going to take a wild guess and predict comments on this thread will not be so prudent.

FloridaSteve said...

This sounds like about the right sentence. Especially for a group that claims to want equal treatment under the law.

shrug..

RonF said...

Damned if I want the State to tell people what kinds of "lifestyles" or "sex" (absent non-consensual sex) are or are not appropriate.

David said...

Try to imagine what the punishment would have been if the young man had not committed suicide. Then justify why that punishment should be different because he did based on the facts of this case.

Ravi was a jerk. That's generally not a criminal offense punishable by extensive jail time.

ricpic said...

I guess saying cruel things becomes a crime when it's directed at a protected class.

SMGalbraith said...

"Counseling about alternative lifestyles?"

Geez.

How about counseling on treating your fellow human beings as, y'know, human beings?

I don't harass gay people not because they're gay or have an "alternate" lifestyle; I don't harass gay people cause they're people. Real life human beings.

I'll never make it in academia with this attitude.

Mitchell said...

If he gets deported he'll violate his probation so he'll have to be extradited.

damikesc said...

He shouldn't have been punished at all. Again, if the situation was identical except Clementi was straight --- there would be no case.

And hearing his parents berate Ravi was hilarious. Perhaps if you were more engaging towards your son, this wouldn't have happened.

Don't blame a kid thrown into a situation because you're piss-poor parents. Apparently, a kid who knew him briefly could un-do the bang-up job his parents who have known him his entire life did in raising him.

MayBee said...

My heart goes out to the Clementis for losing their son, but their support of Ravi's prosecution is despicable.

They raised Tyler, they knew he was a bit troubled, and Mrs Clementi is transferring onto Ravi her own guilt for rejecting Tyler's gayness.

Matthew Sablan said...

Eh, seems fair-ish.

prairie wind said...

Counseling about alternative lifestyles? How is that meted out? Government indoctrination on lifestyles?

Counseling, not indoctrination, Ann! They are completely different. Counseling is telling you that you are sick if you think this. Indoctrination is telling you that you are criminal if you think this.

Quayle said...

When do Clementi's parents get indicted for creating a world view in their son that made the GW bridge a safer and more appealing place than consoling each other and crying together in their home?

Think about it.

Tank said...

30 days too much, but overall, a good job by a Judge in a tough squeeze.

David said...

Change the facts a little.

They are spying on sex between a male and a female. The male has a fiancee. The female is a member of a group which advocates celibacy before marriage.

Otherwise the facts are the same--an invasion of their privacy, some publication of the event which embarrasses the (adult) male and female.

What is the crime and punishment if:

1. They are embarrassed but nothing else happens.

2. The male is shot by his jealous girlfriend.

3. The male commits suicide.

4. The female commits suicide.

(We are talking crime here, not torts.)

Why, if at all, are any of these situations different that with two gay men?

traditionalguy said...

But where will we get our Scapegoats from now?

He should at least have been put through gender re-assigned ...or is that punishment???

Life was so much easier before gay folks decided that they must have a right to sex any which way they want it because it is normal except when it is a medical diagnosis.

edutcher said...

"I haven’t heard you apologize once."

Never apologize. Besides being a sign of weakness, that's when the Lefties know they have you.

Ann Althouse said...

Counseling about alternative lifestyles

Where do they send him - Attica on the Mekong?

Political re-education, pure and simple.

Guess whose side the judge was on 45 years ago?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Counseling is telling you that you are sick if you think this.[homosexuality is icky or wrong]

No. That IS indoctrination. Trying to convince people that they are sick for holding certain ideas that are not unusual, that have been customarily held for millenia, are based in their religious or moral fundamentals and are not delusional.

Trying to force people to accept certain lifestyles that are currently in favor against their will.

Indoctrination. Conform to the politically correct viewpoint or be chastised and punished.

Ravi has every right to have a negative view of homosexuality. He didn't have the right to film his roommate and expose him.


How about counseling on treating your fellow human beings as, y'know, human beings?


THIS is a more reasonable approach.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

“You lied to your roommate who placed his trust in you without any conditions, and you violated it,” the judge, Glenn Berman of State Superior Court, said. “I haven’t heard you apologize once.”

Oh bullcrap. These were two guys thrown together involuntarily in a dormitory situation. They weren't married, weren't BFFs and didn't make any 'trust commitments' to each other. They probably didn't even like each other and were forced to share the same space.

If anything the dead guy broke the 'trust' by having sex in his roommate's living space. It wouldn't have mattered if it was a woman he was having sex with. It wasn't his private space. He was sharing it with someone else and should have had the decency to find out if it was OK to have sex in the room.

First rule of being successful and survival in the big ugly world....don't trust.

prairie wind said...

Sure, DBQ. I was making the point that required counseling = indoctrination.

cassandra lite said...

“I haven’t heard you apologize once.”

Why do judges say such things? Is failing to verbally apologize a corollary of hate speech that increases the punishment? If so, does an abject forehead-on-the-ground grovel decrease the sentence?

MadisonMan said...

What if Clementi's suicide was unrelated to the webcam? I've seen lots of correlation, but not much causation.

I wouldn't want to walk in Clementi's parents' shoes, and they have my deepest sympathy. I'm just not sure a heinous crime was committed.

So I think the punishment is just about right, except for the cyberbullying counseling. I mean, don't you think Ravi knows a lot more about that than any counselor will?

Shanna said...

Try to imagine what the punishment would have been if the young man had not committed suicide. Then justify why that punishment should be different because he did based on the facts of this case.

This is my problem with this and some of the facebook taunting prosecutions. You should not be making legal decisions based on whether or not someone killed themselves. There are all sorts of other factors, including genetics and background history of the individual, that will factor into that.

Determine if the thing they did was illegal under normal circumstances, and what is the appropriate punishment, absent the after effects. People kill themselves all the time and you can't go around trying to find someone else to blame for it every time.

Michael said...

I am with DBQ on this. As to the kid who murdered himself he undertook a long term solution to what was probably a short term problem.

Robert Cook said...

I agree...Bravo to the judge for not inflicting the cruelty of a long prison term on this young man for behaving...like a young man! (That is to say, stupidly!)

Blue@9 said...

If anything the dead guy broke the 'trust' by having sex in his roommate's living space. It wouldn't have mattered if it was a woman he was having sex with. It wasn't his private space. He was sharing it with someone else and should have had the decency to find out if it was OK to have sex in the room.

Dude, they were in a dorm room. In college. It's pretty much implicit that sex will take place.

That being said, it's ridiculous that this kid was prosecuted. He was a douchebag, but he didn't kill his roommate.

X said...

the drama queen would be pleased. he showed you all.

Lyle said...

I'm glad it is not worse.

Justin said...

Making a scapegoat or an "example" out of him is an abuse of the legal process.

I'm sorry, but while I agree with you that making a scapegoat out of someone is an abuse of the legal process, making an example out of someone is not. That is one of the fundamental purposes of sentencing.

Steve Koch said...

Sentence might be light. IIRC, when a guy films a girl with whom he is having sex without her permission, he is likely to do serious time (i.e. measured in years).

The suicide and the fact that the victim was gay should not influence the sentencing process.

t-man said...

The judge's sentence is right for the "crime", but he should still appeal and have the conviction thrown out. There a number of deleterious, life-long consequences to his conviction beyond the 30-day sentence.

What is wrong is not always, criminal. That is the situation here. What is becoming more common though, is that that what is criminal is not wrong.

prairie wind said...

the drama queen would be pleased. he showed you all.

Sorry, wrong blog for that kind of shit. Go away.

Justin said...

Why do judges say such things? Is failing to verbally apologize a corollary of hate speech that increases the punishment? If so, does an abject forehead-on-the-ground grovel decrease the sentence?

Acceptance of responsibility and guilt is relevant to sentencing. It's a mitigating factor. It's up to the judge to decide whether a person's contritition, if present, is credible or not.

X said...

sorry prairie wind, I have no sympathy for suicides. but go ahead and feel sorry for him. he would have wanted it that way.

Hagar said...

Demands for apologies or other expressions of remorse = if you say "uncle" we will let you go.

Also evidenced by the crapola punishments attached to the "light" sentence.

And it is not all that light. Mr. Ravi will be well advised to leave this country and change his name, since he will never find gainful employment here.

RC3 said...

30 days for spying with the web cam (invasion of privacy) - I'd have whacked him a bit harder because of the tampering conviction.

Anyway, glad the hate-crime nonsense was ignored.

Marie said...

X, I didn't know the kid so I don't really feel one way or the other about him. I imagine his family is suffering all kinds of hell over his death, though. They don't need people like you, piling on. There is no point in what you said except to show us...what? That you have no respect for someone you read about in a news article? I do not think that all suicides are drama queens, by the way.

William said...

I have heard of many pranks that were far crueler than this. If the victim is not gay or a member of a minority group, does that make it OK. It seems that the metrics of the crime is not the cruelty of the joke but the vulnerability of the victim....The kid involved was way too vulnerable. He was out and his encounter was not actually televised. Perhaps his suicide had nothing to do with this incident. At any rate, it was the kind of thing a sane person should be able to walk off...Also a word of sympathy for Ravi. Clementi apparently invited a stranger, an older man, back to the dorm room based on some kind of internet hook-up. Can't this be considered a form of harassment by Cleminti on Ravi?....I'm sure gay kids suffer more than their share of harassment in adolescence, but it is unfair to judge one particular person guilty of the cumulative weight of all those slights.....The gultier Ravi is, the less guilt the parents will feel.

RC3 said...

"I have heard of many pranks that were far crueler than this." - William

Line 'em up. We're ready to dole out the punishments.

(Plus webcaming your roommate ain't a prank. It's a crime. So is evidence tampering.)

Richard said...

"... Counseling, not indoctrination, Ann! They are completely different ..."

LOL. prairie wind is a true believer! What's the betting she's a lib?

OldGrouchyCranky said...

What was the crime? The "offender" and his victim shared a room! So, the offender violated a moral obligation, perhaps, and videoed his roommate doing something in their shared room! Was there really an expectation of privacy and why so? Did the victim really think he could do what he wanted in that room?

There's no doubt that the offender did act badly yet what was the exact criminal charge? And, why was videoing activity in that room a crime! I doubt seriously that there is an expectation of privacy from his roommate, yet big brother will make an act criminal if that act offends one but not if it offends another.

X said...

I've seen what suicides do to the people left behind. I refuse to encourage it in any way. I had a classmate do it and saw 2 others attempt to follow. A couple of years later I was living in Plano and saw up close the 1983 suicides. 9 dead. It can be contagious and sympathy does not help. it hurts, especially with kids around that age.

X said...

In the Plano suicides there was a massive outpouring of sympathy and a huge media focus after 5 suicides. 4 more killed themselves. The media eventually figured out sensationalizing was a problem and stopped.