Thursday, February 04, 2016

Ex-Rutgers Student Dharun Ravi, Who Broadcast Gay Roommate's Sex Encounter Online, May Have Conviction Tossed


I have very mixed feelings about this tragic case. I don't think you can blame anyone but Tyler Clementi for killing himself. Suicide is a very complicated thing, and it's never just one thing that pushes people over the edge. What Dharun Ravi did was fucked up and beyond shitty, but I don't it's fair to say he caused Tyler to commit suicide. My grandmother killed herself shortly after her 50th birthday when her third husband announced he was leaving her -- and we never blamed Tom, regardless of what he may have said or done to her leading up to it. Her closest sister thinks it was just an impulsive decision that happened in a very dark moment. For those who say Tyler's suicide was the "direct result of bullying" I respectfully remind you that even after he was humiliated, he had the wherewithal to request a room transfer and had his sex date over for a repeat, which doesn't sound like the actions of a complete victim. He also took a very long bus ride into the city then got uptown to the bridge from which he jumped, which gave him a surprisingly large amount of time to think about what he was doing. His complicated relationship with his religious mother -- who seemed to reject him when he came out to her days before -- must have also weighed heavily on his mind, yet I would never in a million years blame her. That said, Dharun Ravi only served 20 days of a 30-day sentence for crimes that were not related to the suicide -- he was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and tampering with evidence and witnesses -- all of which he clearly did. That the statute under which he was charged has since been changed should not be let him off the hook, unless we're going to expunge everyone's record in states where marijuana is now legal who was ever convicted of pot possession. I have a friend who, I should note, is of Indian descent. She keeps saying to me that "Dharun's life is over" because of this conviction. Um, no it isn't. TYLER's life is over. What do you think -- does the punishment fit the crime? I certainly don't think he deserves to have what little punishment he got overturned. 

11 comments:

Damien said...

Quote "I have very mixed feelings about this. I don't think you can blame anyone but Tyler Clementi for killing himself."

I don't know where to start with this knowing the blogger/writer that you are. The criminal act committed by that horrid man CAUSED the circumstances that meant Tyler Clementi considered suicide the ONLY option.

You aren't a silly man. You're a smart and informed man. I have to think you wrote this in haste. Otherwise it means you have a horrid take on this situation.

Dwight Williamson said...

So Kenny, your college roommate, videos you having sex with man. Does it in a malicious manner and he and his female cohort think they have no responsibility. Do you remember when you were a college freshman? Obviously poor Tyler should have rented a hotel room and changed his gay patterns so his snooping probably closeted roommate wouldn't be inconvenienced. If the dead boy had been straight would any of this ever happened. People do life altering and life ending acts, only when they feel all hope and all their other options have been taken from them. Ravi may not deserve fifteen years, but the fact he is still not in jail speaks volumes on where gay equality stands in America!

das buut said...

What he did was despicable and illegal. He should have spent years in jail, if only for the filming and broadcasting of it alone. That he did it with malicious intent and hatred compounded that.

He should still be in jail.

Mike in Asheville said...

In this suicide case, I agree with you. Ravi's actions were certainly contributory in a "being an asshole" kind of way, rather than other suicides where victims were ruthlessly hounded by their tormenters.

In the invasion of privacy charges, Ravi should be held accountable for all criminal actions. Per the news reports, there have been changes in the law, and parts of the law Ravi was convicted have since been rules unconstitutional. Adjustments for those changes need be addresses, like any citizen, there should not and cannot be criminal liability for breaking unconstitutional law. BUT, any and every other instance of criminal invasion of privacy, hopefully, will be sustained AND, again hopefully, sentences strictly applied.

One good thing about Ravi's conduct, it will always be easily searchable by any interested party (future employer, girlfriend/spouse, neighbor) and they will see what an asshole he was/is and his complete lack of remorse and the effing smug faced attitude.

northalabama said...

from what i understand (which is, admittedly, very little), the state supreme court struck down parts of the law used to convict ravi, and state law allows for this ruling to be applied retroactively to the conviction.

ravi and his attorney are doing what any defendant would do, challenging the conviction based on the changes in law, while the prosecution argues the sentencing ruling of 30 days, when the max was 10 years, was too lenient, despite the law changes.

i'm hoping middle ground is reached, longer than 30 days, less than 10 years. this was a deplorable invasion of clementi's privacy, and if ravi were to walk, i'd be further upset with the sentencing, and my heart would go out even more to clementi's family. ravi's behavior was unacceptable, and his sentencing should reflect this.

The Polar Beast said...

Ravi needs to own his actions. He broke laws that were on the books at the time. To clear his record in light of new laws seems to me revisionist and not in our legal tradition.

Rutgers Howard said...

I think Ravi was a spoiled ASS but not a criminal. His stupid, thoughtless freshman hijinks had a result greater than he intended. Ravi's college career and life were pretty much ruined -- he will always be that guy who is blamed for a death -- so I am not worried about the short jail term. MY TAKE has always that Jane Clementi, having left her son with the impression that she completely rejected him, was the villain of the story. She ignored that Tyler was obviously Gay, using him to spy on his older Gay brother, James. Tyler felt safe to come out only when on his way out the door to college. Then, the poor kid tried experimenting with someone 12 years older, only to be found out and ridiculed. His life was fucked at home, and fucked at school. No wonder he drove up the highway right past his parents' house to the bridge -- there was no safe place. Sorry -- not all agree -- but I place parents who do not accept their Gay kids in a far lower level of HELL than a stupid spoiled new.

macguffin Fifty four said...

You don't think you can blame anyone but Tyler Clementi for having killed himself?? Do you understand what bullying is? Bullying is like inciting a riot. It's a passive way of causing or contributing to a situation that is illegal, destructive and dangerous. This is just like that scuzzbag man who pretends to be a suicidal teen in depression and suicide chatrooms and then goads and prods and coerces other at risk and vulnerable people to agree to a suicide pact with him, arguing that it is the only option and that things will NOT get better and medication and therapy don't work. He has led to the suicide of several people. Perhaps the guy in the Clementi case didn't intend for this outcome, but his illegal actions clearly created the situation and state of mind of the deceased that would not itherwise have been there. Let's not blame the victim.

John said...

He should be held liable for his actions to the fullest extent of the law. Changing laws to make it easier for him makes me sick to my stomach.

Stephen said...

I have a suicide attempt under my belt and suffer from severe depression. I disagree with you. I completely agree with KW on this.

Ace said...

Folks this is not about not "doing" the 10 days he has left. This is about getting the charges dropped so he doesn't have it on his record. Ya, know leave it behind him and start over.

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