May 30, 2012

"I can’t find it in me to remand him to state prison that houses people convicted of offenses such as murder, armed robbery and rape."

"I don’t believe that that fits this case. I believe that he has to be punished, and he will be."

Says Judge Glenn Berman, as he sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail for spying on his roommate Tyler Clementi (who shortly thereafter killed himself).
[The judge] argued that the legislature intended prison terms to be attached to bias crimes that were “assaultive or violent in nature,” not invasion of privacy. 

“I also know his age,” Judge Berman added, calling it a mitigating factor. 

“I believe justice compels me to deviate from the guidelines,” he said.

121 comments:

BarryD said...

Justice would compel him to sentence Ravi to, say, 5 days of house arrest, the same as a Hollywood celebrity would get.

Triangle Man said...

People convicted of murder, armed robbery, rape, and selling more than an ounce of marijuana. Was Crazy Eddie convicted in New Jersey, or Federal Court?

edutcher said...

All homophobes must die!

Unless, of course, you're a rational human being who realizes what this guy did was dumb, but dumb is not a felony.

Chip Ahoy said...

It was a little bit mean and dumb. There was apparent malice in the emails, "hey, look, come and watch my roommate make out with a guy." That is what people are responding to. Dumb, yes, but mean too.

Shanna said...

Dumb, yes, but mean too.

Indeed. But we don't lock up everyone that's mean.

This seems like a fair result.

Ann Althouse said...

"make out with a guy."

Let's remember that the guy was in his 30s and scruffy looking, and Tyler and Dharun were teenagers. I think Dharun was not necessarily "homophobic" to be creeped out by what was happening in his dorm room. He acted out on that feeling inappropriately, but I think he ought have been treated with much more sympathy.

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

The prosecution was excessive. The sentence was far too long.

To ask for longer, to act shocked that it was not 5 years in a state pen, proves everything that's been said about the totalitarian left.

What Dharun Ravi did was not a crime, but a Mortal sin in their PC religion.

rhhardin said...

It's about appeasing the mob.

Schorsch said...

Why was deportation apparently off the table? A previous report said that as an Indian citizen, he could be expelled from the country. Sounds fair to me, and a punishment that fits the crime. We don't want people who act with such reckless regard for others in this country, and we have a chance to legally expel one.

ricpic said...

A layman's question: is a judge under any obligation to either explain, justify or rationalize the sentence he hands down in any case?

MadisonMan said...

Let's remember that the guy was in his 30s and scruffy looking

I didn't hear about that part of the story. I would flip out if my kids started dating 30-year-olds.

Bob Ellison said...

Since the plaintiff is the people, the purpose of prosecution and punishment is protection of the people. That would not likely be served by an excessive sentence, and it would be an injustice to the defendant.

damikesc said...

I didn't hear about that part of the story.

Oh yeah. The other dude was almost twice Clementi and Ravi's age.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me the judge rendered an appropriate sentence. And had the decency to explain his thought process. I submit justice was served.

harrogate said...

"scruffy looking"

Seriously? WTF? Good God, Althouse, surely even you know that is lame.

"I think Dharun was not necessarily 'homophobic' to be creeped out by what was happening in his dorm room."

Because if it were a woman in her 30s, he would likely also have been "creeped out."

It's the age! The age matters! Give him more sympathy!

I don't think what he did warrants prison time either, but it certainly qualifies him as a grade A bastard who needs to grow the fuck up.

lemondog said...

,.... but dumb is not a felony.

Ooo,ooo, ooo, ooo ........I gotta write my senator about this egregious oversight. What an opportunity for him to get a new law named after him..........

Hmmm......., if it does pass does that mean many/most/all members of Congress could be subject to prosecution?

BarryD said...

'Because if it were a woman in her 30s, he would likely also have been "creeped out."'

Yes, actually. I remember being hit on seriously when I was 20 or so, by a woman who lived next door, 10 years older than me, in a string bikini with a bottle of red wine in her hand. I was creeped out.

In hindsight, I can't BELIEVE I didn't jump at the opportunity. GOD I was stupid! Stupid! Young and stupid!

But I was creeped out, at the time. That's how most kids tend to react.

AJ Lynch said...

I am surprised at the ho hum attitudes. If he had filmed a coed, I bet he'd be called a perv and be looking at a much longer jail term.

damikesc said...

I don't think what he did warrants prison time either, but it certainly qualifies him as a grade A bastard who needs to grow the fuck up.

In his defense, he WAS 18 years old. "Growing up" is kinda the expectation.

How many people here want to be labelled by their actions at the age of 18?

Roger J. said...

BarryD--a lost opportunity indeed. Oh well, youth is lost on the young. :)

Christy said...

Judge acknowledges deviating from the guidelines for sentencing in a bias crime. Obviously the guidelines are not set in stone. Or are they to some judges? Should the judge not comply with the guidelines and then work to change them? We hear a lot pro and con on sentencing guidelines. Is this unfair to less attractive defendants who get the full weight of the guidelines thrown against them? Wasn't there a case not so long ago of a judge who used the extreme of guidelines to send young men to a violent juvie jail that gave him a kickback? (Or was that an episode of Law and Order?)

Anyhow, my point is that this sentencing tells me guidelines don't work.

Pogo said...

Too bad Ravi wasn't into choom, coke, or the purple drank.

None of this woulda ever happened.

harrogate said...

"In his defense, he WAS 18 years old. 'Growing up' is kinda the expectation.

How many people here want to be labelled by their actions at the age of 18?"

You make it sound like he was busted doing a line of coke or listening to Jay Z. It's more than a bit worse than these things.

Rabel said...

The prosecution's appeal of the sentence is still open, isn't it?

Fen said...

There was apparent malice in the emails, "hey, look, come and watch my roommate make out with a guy."

Not seeing the "apparent malice" there. Lil help?

it certainly qualifies him as a grade A bastard

Why? Is it now a felony to find homosexual sex "icky" ?

Dan in Philly said...

How long will Zimmerman get for having the bad taste to be assulted by the wrong man?

Fen said...

Harrogate: You make it sound like he was busted doing a line of coke or listening to Jay Z. It's more than a bit worse than these things.

Uhm..its NOT worse.

I think its "ikcy" that you lick sheep genitals. Does that make me a felon?

tim maguire said...

I'm not surprised that there is a fair amount of subtext to these posts that Dharun really shouldn't be punished because Tyler was gay and...ick! Butt sex!

But I'm surprised the Prof. is one of those people. He was in his 30's and scruffy looking ?!? One of the adults was older than the other adult?

So what?

MayBee said...

but I think he ought have been treated with much more sympathy.

Exactly.
Why should we assume he can handle his roommate's sexual behavior in a more mature way than the roommate could handle them?

Clementi was so unsure of how to handle his sexuality he killed himself. There shouldn't be any responsibility placed on Ravi to know exactly how to handle the situation. Sure, it would be nice, but that's an unfair, unequal burden.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rabel said...

"I was a confused kid and was making a bunch of negative choices based on stereotypes of what I thought a tough young man should be,"
"Those choices were misguided, a serious mistake."
"A lot of us make mistakes when we're kids."

Forgiveness is relative.

Self-absolution

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

When I was in college, I found out an acquaintance of ours had opened a window and spied on my boyfriend (now husband) and me. It was before webcams and twitter, but I'm certain if he those existed, he would have used them in the situation.
I would never have wanted that guy charged with a crime, although to this day I think he's a jerk.

I also had a friend who, right out of college, married a guy we thought was sooooo old. She was 22, and he was 26. We thought of him as being from practically a different generation.

Palladian said...

"So what?"

The were faggots! And... THE CHILDREN!!!

Palladian said...

I dated someone that was 21 while in my earlier 30s. What's the problem, exactly? Oh! The "old" man was "scruffy-looking"! How terrible! The pervert should be locked up, for THE CHILDREN!

So the curried suicide provoker deserves sympathy for criminally invading someone's privacy just because the little dear thought it was "icky"?

edutcher said...

harrogate said...

You make it sound like he was busted doing a line of coke or listening to Jay Z. It's more than a bit worse than these things.

Gee, last I looked, "doing a line of coke" was illegal. Since cocaine rots your brain and other body parts, I'd say harro has the typical Lefty "situation ethics" mindset - "It's immoral when I say it is".

MayBee said...

I dated someone that was 21 while in my earlier 30s. What's the problem, exactly?

As I get older, I include a larger and larger age range in people I consider about my age.

When I was younger, probably up to my mid 20's, I considered people even just a few years older than me to be much older. High school kids think college kids are older. College kids think grad students and working people are older. It isn't until you are older that you start thinking all people in their 20's and early 30's are young togehter.

Q said...

So the curried suicide provoker deserves sympathy ..


There is zero evidence that Ravi "provoked" Clementi to kill himself.

This is one of those lies which gets half-way around the world while the truth is still pulling on its boots.

Lem said...

Locked Up

Q said...

I dated someone that was 21 while in my earlier 30s. What's the problem, exactly? Oh! The "old" man was "scruffy-looking"! How terrible! The pervert should be locked up, for THE CHILDREN!



Your hormones are out of whack again.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Q said...

I dated someone that was 21 while in my earlier 30s.


And if he had killed himself I'm sure you'd have done your best to absolve yourself of any and all responsibility.

Smilin' Jack said...

curried suicide provoker

So we're still talking about cannibalism?

John Lynch said...

If I kill myself because of mean people on the internet, should they go to jail?

Or am I just stupid?

PatCA said...

The designation "Hate crimes" stinks, lenient sentences for cool people stink, and being mean to your Bambi roommate stinks.

EFB said...

Let's not forget that not only did he invade his roommate's privacy he broadcast it on the internet. If you're gay, everyone wants to get into your bedroom. How ironic.

Eric said...

I'm not surprised that there is a fair amount of subtext to these posts that Dharun really shouldn't be punished because Tyler was gay and...ick! Butt sex!

I'm not surprised people are wont to see what they expect to see even if it isn't there.

This entire prosecution was an abuse of state power. It's not illegal to be a jerk, and he was prosecuted because that's what the mob wanted. Why do we even have a justice system if that's the way we're going to decide who gets punished for transgressing our sensibilities?

Ann Althouse said...

As a teenager, with his own bedroom taken over by a stranger, who is old and who has arrived for the purpose of sex -- not a good friend or a serious relationship -- but just to fuck in your bedroom, he could be creeped out without being homophobic.

These were specific people not icons of gayness.

Did Tyler take care of his roommate's feelings as he made arrangements to use the room for his tryst? Or does the fact that Tyler murdered himself erase all individuality and responsibility?

Penny said...

The verdict should have been appealed ...but it won't be. This young man and his family must be well aware by now that Judge Berman was the only thing standing between the accused and the mobs' justice whose bandwagon even included Chris Christie early on.

May George Zimmerman find a similarly wise judge.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

harrogate said...


You make it sound like he was busted doing a line of coke or listening to Jay Z. It's more than a bit worse than these things.


Actually, it is a bit less than cocaine possession.

But you're in full blown hyperbole mode, so carry on.

Palladian said...

but just to fuck in your bedroom, he could be creeped out without being homophobic.

So the poor little child was creeped out by the "old" (30-something is now old?) man and his roommate having a private encounter, therefore he was justified criminally eavesdropping, then sharing the video feed with all the students at Rutgers?

Palladian said...

And comparing this case to the Zimmerman/Martin case is dishonest and revolting.

dbp said...

Ravi was not charged with causing Clememti's suicide, but let's face it; in the absence of suicide we would never have known anything about this case. There would have been no case because no crime would have been charged.

The reason for the suicide is thus a key to judging who to blame. For the record, I put the lion's share of the blame on the guy who actually jumped off the bridge. Looking to other figures such as Ravi and the older boyfriend, the suicide note might tell us who Clementi had a beef with, but it has not been make public. It is certainly possible that an affair with the older man turned out to be traumatic for Clementi. The older boyfriend might have been a total jerk. I don't think he or Ravi should have been charged with anything.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harrogate said...

"So the poor little child was creeped out by the "old" (30-something is now old?) man and his roommate having a private encounter, therefore he was justified criminally eavesdropping, then sharing the video feed with all the students at Rutgers?"

In the moral universe of this blog, yes.

harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

tim maguire: I'm not surprised that there is a fair amount of subtext to these posts that Dharun really shouldn't be punished because Tyler was gay

Stroke that Strawman!

And in public no less. Ick!

Does thinking you are a sicko exhibitionist perv make me a felon?

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

So the poor little child was creeped out by the "old" (30-something is now old?) man and his roommate having a private encounter, therefore he was justified criminally eavesdropping, then sharing the video feed with all the students at Rutgers?

Another Strawman enters the room...

Seriously, no. Criminal eavesdropping and sharing the video feed are still wrong.

But not more *wrong* because the victim was gay. Women deal with this all the time. Hell, there's an entire website about ex-girlfriend (blindfolded) sex tapes.

Gene said...

As far as I know Ravi didn't share the videofeed of his roommate having sex with anyone other than Molly Wei. It did not go out over the Internet or on the Rudgers internal system. Ravi did promise on Twitter that he would post it live the next time it happened but he never did.
In short, to the best of my understanding, only two people saw it.

Fen said...

re: blindfolded

Most males know where I'm going with that. As soon as the girlfriend is blindfolded, the phone cam comes out.

Women are frequently sex-taped without their knowledge. Doing some shameful things that their parents and friends don't need to see. But I don't see alot of women jumping off buildings.

George said...

The Rutgers events are, more than anything else, an abject failure on the part of the residence hall staff. Clementi should never have been bringing a 30-year old homeless prostitute into the residential community for casual sex, he should never have asked his roommate to vacate for that purpose, and should have stopped the situation before it developed to the point that Ravi was acting out by filming his roommate.

Ann Althouse said...

"So the poor little child was creeped out by the "old" (30-something is now old?) man and his roommate having a private encounter, therefore he was justified criminally eavesdropping, then sharing the video feed with all the students at Rutgers?"

A 30-year-old is an OLD sexual partner for a teenager. And it was his bedroom, so he had feelings of privacy about it that were violated... by an OLD man.

And I never said the spying was JUSTIFIED. I'm talking about the degree of responsibility and the way it was shared by the 4 persons involved.

Let's keep this very precise, because it is a criminal matter and the state is wielding its power to punish.

Penny said...

"And comparing this case to the Zimmerman/Martin case is dishonest and revolting."

There are parallels in these two cases.

Gay and black activists worked up the masses, and then the media had its turn, to be sure it kept catching eyeballs. Important political leaders, Christie and Obama, felt compelled to add fuel to the growing outrage when they should have kept their mouths shut. All of this resulted in prosecutors overcharging both young men. Additionally, in both cases, most people commenting on these cases have little grasp of the facts, but instead have attached themselves to "media memes of the outraged in search of justice"...with lots of exclamation points for emphasis.

Finally, my view is, as you might guess, my view. Dishonest? I sure don't see it that way. And if you are "revolted"? Well, I accept that as how you feel, but wonder why that is?

Maguro said...

Giving potential suicides the idea that the state will persucute their enemies if they off themselves would seem to be a pretty bad idea.

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

No, the HomoFascists demand Ravi be imprisioned because Clementi felt Society would view homosexual kissing as "icky".

LarsPorsena said...

Would this even be news if he had brought in a 30 year old female hooker?

Methinks not!

Special laws for 'special' folks.

Jay said...

then sharing the video feed with all the students at Rutgers?



Given that no such thing happened, no.

harrogate said...

"Let's keep this very precise, because it is a criminal matter and the state is wielding its power to punish."

That's intellectually dishonest. it is no longer a criminal matter and the state is no longer wielding anything.The case, the sentencing is over. I could see it if there were a bunch of commenters saying he should go to prison but that is not what I am seeing.

You did, however, state that Ravi deserved sympathy. Because the guy was old and scruffy. Or something.

The responsibility for the recording and the sharing of the video is NOT shared. At all.

Gene said...

As far as I can tell some people want Ravi to go to jail for five to ten years (a prison term a woman who is an editor on another blog suggested Ravi deserved) because (1) Clementi was gay and (2) he was so embarrassed he killed himself.

To me these reasons are slim reeds on which to hang a prison term. The prosecutor knew he had no legal basis to charge Ravi for Clementi's suicide. Otherwise he would have done so. God knows the pressure from the liberal media was there. But that line of reasoning is the most slippery slope I ever heard of.

If it were possible to successfully prosecute anyone who had previously embarrassed someone who committed suicide, the jails would be full of women who spurned unwanted lovers.

A lot of people wanted extra punishment for Ravi because he humiliated a gay man. But I don't see that gays deserve special treatment for embarrassment. Suppose Clementi was heterosexual and had had a female prostitute in his room. He might have been just as embarrassed. But no would be demanding a five year prison term for Ravi on that account.

The the fact that Ravi viewed Clementi on a computer camera is immaterial to me. What if he and Molly Wei had simply watched through a keyhole? I don't see the difference.

It isn't as if this went out over the Internet. As far as I know, only two people ever saw it--Ravi and Molly Wie. Anyone who has ever lived in a fraternity house has probably seen other people having sex. But I've never heard of anyone going to jail on that account.

chickelit said...

I'm going to have to stick up for Penny here--not because I want to get whacked down--but because she raises good points.

harrogate said...

BarryD,

In my opinion the experience you shared appears on a very unrelated note. But, damn. You do have my sympathies.

Jay said...

harrogate said...

That's intellectually dishonest. it is no longer a criminal matter and the state is no longer wielding anything.


Considering the sentence is being appealed, yes, yes it is.

Are you really this clueless or just trying to make an idiot out of yourself in front of everyone for fun?

Jay said...

You did, however, state that Ravi deserved sympathy. Because the guy was old and scruffy. Or something.

Hysterical.

You're unable to read and comprehend basic sentences.

Or something.

harrogate said...

Jay,

I mean really. Anyone who thought, really, or continues to think, that Ravi will do anything resembling hard time for this should be the embarrassed one.

More importantly, the discussion here on this thread seems pretty near unanimous, that Ravi should not do hard time. The debate happening here is not about sentencing.

When AA claimed that Ravi deserved "sympathy" and pointed out the partner was "old" and "scruffy" (for God's sake, "scruffy," horrors of the Gothic museum!!!!), this was not an appeal for a particular sentence. It was arguing that we view Ravi in a certain way.

Anyway, you don't appear to know how to comment without hostility and without insulting someone. Where is all the hostility coming from?

Darrell said...

He set up the camera because he had expensive electronics in the room and some of his stuff was tampered with--maybe even missing--after that scruffy guy left the room. He asked the roommate not to bring strangers into the room--particularly non-students--but the roommate refused.

Can you guess how many practical jokes are played on a foreign student? Getting him to do things like go up to a girl with lines his "pals" feed him, then watch as she slaps his face. Or a guy throws a punch. Things like that and worse. And you know they are all filmed today. Imagine having something on video that you an use to turn the tables on your classmates.

Anything other than a short stint of community service is an outrage.

dbp said...

Had there been no filming, no suicide, only a guy put out of his own room so his room mate could have sex with a creepy older man; is there any doubt that we would have sympathy for Ravi? He rather obviously had his privacy invaded and he was inconvenienced.

Jay said...

harrogate said...

Jay,

I mean really. Anyone who thought, really, or continues to think, that Ravi will do anything resembling hard time for this should be the embarrassed one.


Er, nobody, anywhere, said he will do "hard time"

So you have no point. Which of course is the point after demonstrating to be ignorant of basic facts.

The debate happening here is not about sentencing.

Nobody, anywhere, said it was.

So you have no point. Which of course is the point after demonstrating to be ignorant of basic facts.

Q said...

Ravi was not charged with causing Clememti's suicide, but let's face it; in the absence of suicide we would never have known anything about this case. There would have been no case because no crime would have been charged.


The reason for the suicide is thus a key to judging who to blame.



If the suicide note said "I'm killing myself because of what that bastard Ravi did" then it would have been introduced at Ravi's trial for murder, at at least for manslaughter.

The fact that nothing of the sort took place makes it clear that the suicide and the taping were unconnected.

Q said...

So the poor little child was creeped out by the "old" (30-something is now old?) man and his roommate having a private encounter


It wasn't a "private encounter". You cannot have a "private encounter" in a shared living space.

I've shared dorm rooms, and shared rooms with other men in the military. It is a common practice to vacate the room if your roommate wants to enjoy a (short) sexual encounter, but it is not a legal requirement. It is not a question of complying with another persons "rights". You have no "right to privacy" to have sex in our joint room without me present.

Fen said...

Harrogate: You did, however, state that Ravi deserved sympathy. Because the guy was old and scruffy. Or something.

Others have suggested you go back and read more carefully.

But I think you already understand what she was saying. You just need to pretend you don't so you can browbeat people for "hating" gays.

If a race-monger is scum, what does that make you?

Fen said...

HomoFascist Harrogate has a nice ring to it.

Eric said...

May George Zimmerman find a similarly wise judge.

It won't matter. Even if Zimmerman is acquitted in state court, which is likely since all the physical evidence and witness statements back his story, he's still going to go through the federal "civil rights" wringer. He may never serve jail time, but he's going to be dealing with this for a decade.

Titus said...

Ravi is kind of hot.

I would do him...but not in his dorm room.

Fen said...

Schorsch: Why was deportation apparently off the table? A previous report said that as an Indian citizen, he could be expelled from the country. Sounds fair to me, and a punishment that fits the crime. We don't want people who act with such reckless regard for others in this country, and we have a chance to legally expel one.

I think we should expel Schorsch for his uncivil thoughts about Christians, Red Staters, gun owners and penguins.

No worries, Schorsch. We'll drop you off in Syria. You should feel right at home.

Titus said...

Many 30 something scruffy guys are hot too.

Titus said...

One time I did a guy in the Harvard Science Center in the basement.

Each of us had roommates and didn't want to deal with it.

He worked at The Science Center so we did it there.

It wasn't good.

I also did another guy in the MIT Media Lab and a MIT lecture hall. The lecture hall was right next to the chorus room. It was Christmas time and they were singing Silver Bells. A friend of mine was waiting outside for me as he was driving me to the airport to go to Wisconsin for the holidays. He was pissed at me. I almost missed my flight.

tits.

harrogate said...

Ann wrote " ...because it is a criminal matter and the state is wielding its power to punish."
To somewhat recap.


Jay wrote: "Nobody, anywhere, said it was" about sentencing.

He's right of course, on the whole. Which is why Ann's comment above was intellectually dishonest. As someone above had noted. Jay follows with yet another erudite insult. That one's a reader, sure!

Fen does his usual part, chiming in in ways that confuse ankle biting for wit.

Threads, like sands through the hourglass. Or maybe it is more like a clock.

EFB said...

This is a pretty hysterical thread. It seems to me that nobody commenting knows anything about the case.

Darrell said...

EFB--

Please give us the party line. We so miss not having Commrade Stalin telling us what is going on and how to think.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Look, if my dorm roommate my freshman year had told me she wanted the room to herself one evening as her thirty-something male friend was coming over for some nookie, I would've been creeped out. So, I think, would her parents have been.

Sexual relationships between teenage girls and men a decade or more older are basically assumed predatory unless there's evidence to the contrary. I don't see why it should be different if the teenager and the older party are of the same sex.

Christoph said...

Good on the judge.

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

"Sexual relationships between teenage girls and men a decade or more older are basically assumed predatory unless there's evidence to the contrary. I don't see why it should be different if the teenager and the older party are of the same sex."

So we're now going to start the process of stigmatizing and potentially criminalizing relationships between consenting adults, because of an "icky, creepy" age disparity between the partners?

So age 18 is not really adulthood and the age of consent, even though it is? There's apparently some sort of "emanation and penumbra" that obscures the wording of the law? We allow 18 year olds to fight and die for our country in the military, but somehow they're still "children" or "teens", potential victims of "old man predators"?

I disagreed with the whole absurd prosecution of Ravi for "bias" or "hate" crimes, primarily because I don't believe in the concept of "hate" crimes.

But the fact remains that Ravi did a terrible thing, a criminal thing, and we can never know Clementi's side of the story. While I don't think Ravi should be punished for the "bias" charges, I do think he should be culpable in some way, perhaps through a civil suit over his illegal electronic eavesdropping on Clementi. I don't have any sympathy for him, and much of the rallying around him seems to me a rather threadbare extension of some people's anti-gay attitudes, just as making a gay martyr out of Clementi seems an exploitative extension of other people's political ideas.

I also find the need to moralize about Clementi's personal and sexual choices suspect, since we shouldn't be privy to that aspect of his life, and we wouldn't be if Dharun Ravi hadn't invaded his privacy in such a malicious and stupid manner. The fact that you can sit around and moralize about a private encounter between consenting adults is entirely due to Ravi's actions.

It's telling that the commenters who object to the age disparity between Clementi and his partner are all women. Show me a man who would refuse a (hypothetical) consensual encounter with an attractive, willing 18-24 year old and I'll show you a liar.

Gerad Hibbs said...

Howls of outrage at the concept that a 30 something guy having sex with someone just out of high school is icky? Apparently, if it is legal we are now honor bound to applaud it. How far our nation has fallen. How dark is our future.

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- The issue here is that it happened in a dorm room -- a little room with two beds and two desks that is shared by two people who probably don't know each other well and may not particularly like each other. Moreover, it's college, where most everyone is a certain age, and they all live in a pseudo-monastic bubble for awhile. You and me, if we had some 20-year-old hottie to bang, we would not even consider doing it in a dorm room. Because it's bizarre.

If I was in college, and my roommate brought a 30-something man or woman or tranny back to the dorm some late night, it would be weird but quite humorous. Great story. It would be simple beyond strange, though, if my roommate planned the event beforehand.

I don't think you can get past this simple, unequivocal likelihood: if this had been a thirty-something woman who came over, and exactly the same things otherwise happened, this would not have been a national news story, and the punishment would seem about right.

If there is a civil suit, great. That's what courts are for. I strongly suggest suing the school as well, as that's where the deep pockets are.

But the bigger question is: what do gay people want? Do you want equality? Do you want normalcy? Or don't you?

MayBee said...

It's telling that the commenters who object to the age disparity between Clementi and his partner are all women. Show me a man who would refuse a (hypothetical) consensual encounter with an attractive, willing 18-24 year old and I'll show you a liar.

But that's the opposite of what happened here. It's the teenager (Ravi) who thought the 30 year old was old and creepy.
People who are in their 30's are kidding themselves if they don't think an 18 year old thinks they are much older and therefore less appealing sex partners.
People in their 30's think younger people are not that much younger, but are very appealing sex partners.
It's the younger person who keeps the young/old sex thing from happening as often as an older person may wish it to happen. It is an unequal view of youth and beauty.

Palladian said...

You and me, if we had some 20-year-old hottie to bang, we would not even consider doing it in a dorm room. Because it's bizarre.

I suppose that's true. When I was in my earlier 30s (I just turned 37), before I was hitched up to a more stable partner, my younger lovers always came to my place, since I have better furniture, better food and a better bed.

I must add that the younger guys I have been with liked being with a (slightly) older man, and it had nothing to do with money changing hands. I have no idea if there's a heterosexual analogue to this, as I generally assume that all women look for a primarily financial relationship, but there are some younger males who like having an "experienced" partner with a big cock.

MayBee said...

I must add that the younger guys I have been with liked being with a (slightly) older man, and it had nothing to do with money changing hands. I have no idea if there's a heterosexual analogue to this, as I generally assume that all women look for a primarily financial relationship, but there are some younger males who like having an "experienced" partner with a big cock.

Well, no, I don't think most females are looking for a primarily financial relationship. The heterosexual analogue to your situation would be a younger woman who likes having an experienced partner with a big cock.
And certainly, that happens often enough. But the fact that there some 18-year olds who think sex with a 30 year old is desirable doesn't mean that most 18 year olds don't see 30 as old.

I mean, even the hippies thought 30 was old.

Palladian said...

Don't trust anyone over 30.. mm

Fen said...

So we're now going to start the process of stigmatizing and potentially criminalizing relationships between consenting adults, because of an "icky, creepy" age disparity between the partners?

Geez. Stigmatize? Criminalize? Hell, there are people out there who its "ikcy, creepy" to have more than one partner at a time.

And guess what? They are *allowed* to feel that way. Its *their* right to not accept it. You could learn to be a little more tolerant of other people's values.

:)

Fen said...

But the fact that there some 18-year olds who think sex with a 30 year old is desirable doesn't mean that most 18 year olds don't see 30 as old.

Hell, its almost sex with a minor.

Was the 30 year old in town for a NAMBLA convention?

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

Waitbackup. Can we all at least agree that NAMBLA is "icky" and "creepy" ?? I just want to set a baseline here...

Jay said...

It's telling that the commenters who object to the age disparity between Clementi and his partner are all women. Show me a man who would refuse a (hypothetical) consensual encounter with an attractive, willing 18-24 year old and I'll show you a liar.



I object, and I'm not a woman.

I think you should give up on the idea that anyone else needs to accept your sexual morals.

Ok?

OmegaPaladin said...

I still don't see how being a jerk to someone who later kills himself is some kind of horrible crime. Fundamentally, the criminal responsibility for the death lies with the suicide, not with the jerk who harassed him beforehand. If I call someone a moron, and said moron kills himself, how would I be responsible? I'm aware of the eggshell skull rule, but doesn't that require a direct link from the result to the cause?

I honestly don't care about the gay element. Gay people have equal rights with non-gay people under the law. No more and no less.

Also, I remember being annoyed as all hell when my roommate kept me out of the dorm room so he could have sex with his girlfriend. Remember, this is a shared living space. It's just as much Ravi's as Clementi's. I also had a roommate who was a male stripper who walked around the apartment in spandex underwear. I dealt with it because moving out meant they would win.

I think part of this comes from the dorm system. Clementi and Ravi could not have been a worse match, in terms of personality. You have a shy, sensitive guy with a boisterous, party animal tech guru.

Jay said...

I also find the need to moralize about Clementi's personal and sexual choices suspect, since we shouldn't be privy to that aspect of his life, and we wouldn't be if Dharun Ravi hadn't invaded his privacy in such a malicious and stupid manner.

I'm sorry, but engaging in sex in a dorm room which is shared on the campus of a public university isn't a private encounter

You are simply making up shit here.

aronamos said...

curried

Racist.

Palladian said...

I'm sorry, but engaging in sex in a dorm room which is shared on the campus of a public university isn't a private encounter

Really? So then we can set up webcams to watch students at all public universities shower and dress and stuff? I mean, why not?!

damikesc said...

So age 18 is not really adulthood and the age of consent, even though it is? There's apparently some sort of "emanation and penumbra" that obscures the wording of the law? We allow 18 year olds to fight and die for our country in the military, but somehow they're still "children" or "teens", potential victims of "old man predators"?

Palladian, if the place your having sex isn't yours alone --- doesn't the opinion of the OTHER owner have any bearing? If this was Tyler's private residence, that is one thing. But it is a shared dorm room shared by two 18 year olds, NEITHER of whom could handle Tyler's sexuality terribly well.

Is there any evidence that Ravi was OK with sex being had in his dorm room (homo or hetero)? The dorm wasn't Clementi's alone and Ravi was under no obligation, at all, to simply give him space. I've had roommates I've had to chew out for having women over when I needed to go to work in the morning and they were keeping me up.

While I don't think Ravi should be punished for the "bias" charges, I do think he should be culpable in some way, perhaps through a civil suit over his illegal electronic eavesdropping on Clementi.

Can you, however, illegally eavesdrop inside YOUR domicile? That is going to be a stumbling block here. Ravi had as much right to the space as Tyler.

I also find the need to moralize about Clementi's personal and sexual choices suspect, since we shouldn't be privy to that aspect of his life, and we wouldn't be if Dharun Ravi hadn't invaded his privacy in such a malicious and stupid manner. The fact that you can sit around and moralize about a private encounter between consenting adults is entirely due to Ravi's actions.

Back when I had roommates, if they had sex in MY room and I wasn't OK with it, I'd have few qualms publicizing it. I'd even put up a webcam in my room if I felt the need. Don't want it publicized? Then either talk to me about it and we'll come to an understanding --- or do it elsewhere. Hotels exist.

But you choose to inconvenience me and not at least ask if it OK first --- then that is your problem. Your privacy ends when you're sharing the same living area as somebody else.

Somebody who had no choice where they stayed and might have thought Tyler was a prick anyway. We don't know. He certainly seemed unable to handle problems terribly well.

damikesc said...

Really? So then we can set up webcams to watch students at all public universities shower and dress and stuff? I mean, why not?!

If it's YOUR dorm room, then the person has zero expectation of privacy. Tyler wasn't living alone.

Can WE set up web cams? No. We don't live there.

Can their roommates do so? Heck, I'd RECOMMEND doing so. Thievery abounds.

Would Tyler have been happier if Ravi walked in instead? Or just opened the door and somebody else saw it in the process?

Tank said...

ricpic said...

A layman's question: is a judge under any obligation to either explain, justify or rationalize the sentence he hands down in any case?


In NJ there are aggravating and mitigating factors the Judge is supposed to consider and comment on when sentencing, particularly when deviating from the guidelines.

I've been in state prison in NJ, and sending Ravi there is not going to "help" him in any way, he's likely to be seriously injured there or worse, and, lets' be honest, do we, the citizenry, really need protection from this young man?

dbp said...

"I also find the need to moralize about Clementi's personal and sexual choices suspect, since we shouldn't be privy to that aspect of his life, and we wouldn't be if Dharun Ravi hadn't invaded his privacy in such a malicious and stupid manner."

We wouldn't be having this discussion if Clementi hadn't murdered himself. And since the suicide note has not been made public, we have no way of knowing if the invasion of privacy had anything at all to do with the suicide.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Palladian,

It's telling that the commenters who object to the age disparity between Clementi and his partner are all women. Show me a man who would refuse a (hypothetical) consensual encounter with an attractive, willing 18-24 year old and I'll show you a liar.

Yeah, well as someone who was 16 when I entered college (i.e., not "consenting adult" just yet) and got hit on repeatedly by a guy in his 30s in a very disturbing and stalker-like way -- no details here -- maybe my perspective is a tad different from yours.

Your "younger lovers" may well have been totally keen on "experience" and big cock. Me at that age, not so much.

I would've been seriously alarmed had my roommate warned me to stay out of our room so she could get it on with a non-student nearly twice my age, male or female.

(I had some issues with my roommate, but they were fortunately not of that sort. The chief one was that I handled the phone bill, and the moment she knew that the next bill would arrive just after she had left for the summer, she stopped making all her calls home to LA collect. The bill I was stuck with was staggering. Eventually my parents hashed it out with her parents. It helps to have a lawyer for a dad, even if his specialty is patents.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Palladian,

Forgot to respond to this,

I have no idea if there's a heterosexual analogue to this, as I generally assume that all women look for a primarily financial relationship [...]

Then all this contemporary folklore about how gay men are specially attuned to women is clearly a steaming pile of horsepucky.

I won't address the insult to every married woman on this blog (including the blogress), because it's too stupid to argue. But if you think women in college want men mainly for free meals and bling, you're nuts. Women want men (or women) for much the same reasons that men want women (or men).

PatCA said...

"and much of the rallying around him seems to me a rather threadbare extension of some people's anti-gay attitudes"

I don't think so. It seems to me that Ravi is an upper class, hipster, cool dude. The hate crime laws IMHO are directed at rubes that haunt the liberal imagination.

harrogate said...

Watching people here try to perpetuate AAs "let's call it self murder" phase is sorta cute.

Scruffy!

Eric said...

The chief one was that I handled the phone bill, and the moment she knew that the next bill would arrive just after she had left for the summer, she stopped making all her calls home to LA collect. The bill I was stuck with was staggering.

Hah! The same thing happened to me. If I could only give one piece of advice to a new freshman going off to school in the fall it would be "make sure all the utilities are in someone else's name."