Friday, March 16, 2012

Dharun Ravi Convicted of Hate Crime in Tyler Clementi's Death


This verdict is in:  Dharun Ravi, GUILTY of hate crime in the Tyler Clementi case.  This arrogant young man had a chance to plea out to a lesser charge, one that would've assured him no jail time, late last year but opted, instead, to take it to trial.  Foolish mistake.  Instead, Mr. Ravi was found guilty on all 15 charges against him.  Sentencing is to come, and he's looking at years.  Tyler Clementi's family was sentenced to life without him on September 22, 2010 because of Dharun Ravi's actions.  He gets off easy.


As 18-year-old first-year students at the prestigious Rutgers University, Ravi and Clementi ended up being roommates.  Tyler had just come out to his family as being gay before he left for college.  Once at school, and as Ravi's roommate, he met with a man with whom he'd apparently started becoming intimate with.  Dharun Ravi decided it would be cool to secretly set up a webcam and broadcast Tyler and his partner during their intimacy on his Twitter account.  As a result, Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.  The case made national, international!, headlines.  It was also one of a flurry of LGBT teen suicides in September 2010 that included Seth Walsh and Asher Brown.

Dharun Ravi, incredibly, was offered a plea bargain December of last year that would've all but set him free.  He would've received no jail time and would've been able to remain in this country.  He declined.  He wanted to argue his case.  He lost.  And, now, he's facing prison time as well as deportation.

In my own opinion, the question that isn't being explored is why was he offered a plea deal in the first place?  Why was the State of New Jersey willing to offer this man much lesser charges with no consequences when his actions led directly to the suicide death of Tyler Clementi?  To me, that's almost as troublesome as Ravi's actions.  Luckily, he had the misguided notion that he could win if only he was able to have his day in court to present "his side" of the story.

"His side" of the story is irrelevant.  A jury told him that today.  Tyler Clementi is gone forever because of Dharun's actions.  Let's hope that this very high-profile case of homophobic bullying, it's tragic results, and now the consequences for the perpetrator sends a message to those who think that bullying is cool or acceptable:  there will be consequences for your actions. 

The Clementis suffer the consequences of your actions every single day of their lives, Mr. Ravi.  Now, so will you.

15 comments:

  1. don't they HAVE to offer plea bargains in pretty much every case? i think that's par for the course in our legal system. even outright rapists and murderers get offered plea bargains.

    i'm just glad they had the sense to convict him, unlike the judge who let off Phoebe Prince's bullies with next to nothing after they drove her to her death.

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  2. I think the case was taken seriously by the jurors and the media, and sends a loud message which honors Clementi.

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  3. My thoughts exactly.

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  4. thats great and all, but what about all the others let off free?
    sorry to say but there have been worse cases then this, yes this is sad and bad and all and its good he's going to jail and all, but whats got me a bit angry now is what about all those other suicides that will forever go unnoticed, unpunished. Will this change anything? Or will this just be one of those lucky breaks? I guess only time and what the full mass reaction to this will tell.

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  5. NO, they do NOT have to offer plea bargains, those are optional, not mandatory, Ruby

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  6. To Ruby that's what they said they offered him a plea bargain but he decided to trail. Then you can not bargain again. The way I see things is: It's not nice to do record people, but being realistic; I would not have jumped off a the GWB. I am from NYC. I just would of sued the roomate and made some money. There should be no shame to the game if your gay or not. Life is what it is. If you don't want people to know what you are, then don't do it. its the reality of life

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  7. My thoughts tell me all is foolish. If I was gay I's sue him, not commit suicide; that's the easy way out of things for mostly teenage boys and men. You should not be ashamed and if you are ashamed;, why be GAY. I would of taken money over suicide anytime. You need to be whom you are step out of them closed closets and not be hidden. You are whom you are. Take it or leave it. That's my way of seeing all this Trials and Tribulations people get put here to face. The Lord did not invent Jail he punished. White Man created Jail like always to put all these men in jail and for them to come out rebelious. I don't agree with our Laws in the USofA. This is just shows.

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    1. Clearly you've never been humiliated like that then.

      Suing him would not have taken away further attacks by other people. It would not have erased the social humiliation (both for himself and the other man filmed). It would not have made any of it any easier. What is money compared to ease of mind? If you can't feel happy and safe, then money is meaningless.

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    2. This man believes he did nothing wrong. It is sad, but he must have been taught hate from birth, until it was embeded into him, To believe invading another persons privacy to the point where it contributes to their suicide is a family value. He has been convicted and does not understand how the jury could have come to their conclusion.

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  8. This is the correct decision, I just wish Mr. Ravi could be sentenced to life in jail.

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  9. Humiliation is humiliation, gay or straight. It was a hate crime that can be committed against anyone.

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  10. Hello Dear Friends!

    Tyler's suicide was part of what I began dubbing "Bloody September 2010", where 8 other young folks either struggling to "Come Out", or merely percieved as being "Gay", made this same terrible choice!That consequences appear to be attached to the behavior the "Perp" here was found guilty of, marks a real "Mile Stone" in my life experience! I grew up in a very different America, where this was continually written of as "Boys Will Be Boys! As the "Once Upon a Time" young lover of Bobby Griffith, of "Prayers for Bobby" fame, I must say I feel a bit "Vindicated" on this day, as if my Country is finally "Waking Up! Blaine

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  11. its so refreshing to have a blog supporting gay people, i am a lesbian and finding it hard to reconcile my sexuality and my faith, i am blessed by my friends and church family who are supportive but i know i would be seen differently if i were in a relationship, would still be loved and supported though so in that sense am very lucky, have you heard of the It Dies Get Better Project? check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EUifVn-TC4&feature=g-all-u&context=G2ea3853FAAAAAAAAAAA its aweosme:)

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    1. Hello Innermuddle. Glad you like the blog. And, yes indeed! I certainly HAVE heard "It Does Get Better" by The L Project. Awesome. Actually, I ever wrote about it, here!!! :)

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  12. I'm not entirely sure this is the right decision. Having not seen the all details of the case, I can't say for sure; but I know plenty of people who have been "bullies" who didn't know any better. One was a roommate of mine who was guilty of accidental sexual harassment of another roommate: Roommate 1 left a sexually explicit picture meant as a joke from his friends where Roommate 2 (who was nowhere near as comfortable with sexuality) found it.

    Sometimes, the correct answer with bullies isn't punishment, but rubbing their nose in the pain they caused. I was bullied between 6th and 8th grades. Many of those bullies have since apologized for the pain they caused me. Growing up does wonders.

    But you don't get that chance if you're in prison. Yes, it led to a suicide. But if Ravi really meant it as a joke; the proper consequence would be to make him confront every person who Clementi cared for and who cared for Clementi, and apologize, and hear their response. I think it would have a far greater impact on Ravi, and perhaps allow those who did care for him to experience some closure, in a way prison sentences only pretend to do.

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