Up for Debate: 30-day sentence in webcam-spying case

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 12:29am

Dharun Ravi was sentenced to a 30-day jail term Monday after being convicted two months ago on 15 counts including intimidation, invasion of privacy, and tampering with evidence, according to 'The New York Times'. Ravi faced a maximum of 10 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi having sex with a man in a Rutgers University dorm room. Clementi killed himself shortly after learning of the spying. How do you feel about the 30-day sentence in this case? Can the battles against cyber bullying and antigay bias be fought in the courtroom?


Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

114 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 5/21/12 at 11:37

Only thirty days for personally spying on someone causing their death? Clementi should have killed the spy instead of himself.

By: acluu on 5/22/12 at 4:27

“I remember asking if you had a boyfriend, or if you wanted one, and you scoffed at me. “I just want to hook up.” That’s what you said -- and that’s fine -- but I think maybe you didn’t see how much more you deserved.” James Clementi, speaking of his conversations with his brother Tyler Clementi before Tyler’s suicide.

As with Tyler Clementi, video graphed in the act of a licentious “hook up” (in his own words), there is little to be said. In his rush to do evil, he was punished for it and so it shall always be, for anyone so inclined.

God informed Abraham, that were he to have found ten righteous in Sodom, he would not destroy it. Take it for what you will, Sodom was destroyed because the ten were not there to be found. The only reason that Lot and his entourage were spared is because of Abraham’s pleading for him.
“And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.”

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Thomas Jefferson

By: Ummm... on 5/22/12 at 4:51

Translation for acluu: "Jeebus don't like no gay hookups." (Any self-righteous bigot can find all the justification they're looking for in "holy scripture.")

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 5:10

Killed by the swift justice of God...what a bunch of BS...religion is a mental disease.

By: dargent7 on 5/22/12 at 5:10

He'll get out in 2 weeks.
Should of been expelled.
But, Clementi jumping off the George Washington Bridge, committing suicide over photos? So, he's gay. So, what?
Everyone probably knew it. He should of sued Ravi and moved on.

By: BenDover on 5/22/12 at 5:13

I heard they offered him a plea with no time and he turned it down. I'm kinda surprised it didn't turn out worse for him.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 6:06

Good morning, Nashville.

The Indian-born student would have gotten a stiffer penalty for his deadly bullying...but the judge, Glen Berman, figured that we need more Indian Cyber-Geeks, like Ravi the Wonder Boy, working to invent more electronic gadgets and games for our pleasure...the judge did not want to send the wrong message to geeky foreigners who want to come to the USA to receive a top-rated education.....the message is now clear, bring your prejudices with you from the old country.....America will forgive you when your faith-based bigotry causes the deaths of innocents.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 6:15

Judge Berman probably would have thrown the book at any Islamic student who might have pulled the same deadly prank on an Israeli student studying here, that's a given.......apparently Berman felt that the Clementi family did not deserve a scintilla of justice in this sordid case....all the mercy went to the perpetrator and his family....it's all about the ethnicity/religion of the litigants and the judge.

We now have different criminal justice standards for different ethnic and religious groups....Lady Justice wears no blindfold these days. Judge Berman should be de-frocked, IMO.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 6:21

Gay vigilantes may be forced to mete out justice in this case...Ravi the Homophobic Indian Wonder Boy ought to pack up and return to his homeland...while he still can....he has built up a huge Karmic imbalance....this is not the end of it for poor little Ravi....like they say, he's got it coming.

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 6:24

Loner, he violated the guys privacy, but didn't cause his death. IMO the punishment for this type of privacy violation, should be same for straight or gay people.

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 6:29

Ask yourself this, slacker. If Ravi didn't violate his privacy, would he have still killed himself?

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 6:33

gdiafante, a heterosexual person with suicidal tendencies, might have been embarrassed enough to do the same.

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 6:36

That person should still be held responsible for triggering the suicide, regardless of the reason for the bullying. Seems pretty simple to me.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 6:37

Ravi did not cause Clementi's death?

I dunno, Slack, that's a judgment call....Ravi went to a lot of trouble and effort to entrap Mr. Clementi and his motivation was to embarrass and humiliate his victim...clearly a hate crime, IMO.....Ravi did not seem to care about the repercussions of his crime...a really smart guy like Ravi must have realized that his victim would be horrified and traumatized by the experience....he went ahead with his vicious scheme anyway...and he has never apologized, according to the NYT report.

I cannot understand why the judge would be moved to show such a degree of mercy to the master-bully...the unrepentant bully was facing a ten-year stretch...he gets 30 days.....what's up with that? Is the judge a homophobe too?

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 6:39

gdiafante, should Robert Kennedy be charged with triggering his wife's suicide?

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 6:42

I don't know about a hate crime, though. Was Ravi's intent to drive Clementi to suicide? I doubt it. It sounds like a typical dumbass prank that had unintended consequences, but that doesn't absolve Ravi from responsibility...well, maybe it does...that seems to be the message being sent...

Bullying is bad, don't do it kids...but if you do, and bad things happen, it's not your fault...they were already damaged goods.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 6:43

Hey acluu. are you still here or did you haul @ss? I have some questions for you...let's debate a few items....I'll play the Devil's Advocate...you can defend your God and your dogma....what do you say?

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 6:44

If you can't understand the difference between the Clementi case and divorce, you're on yogi's level, slacker.

By: Kosh III on 5/22/12 at 6:53


This bit of hate-mongering should warm the hearts of some folks here--after all Jesus said "hate one another."

By: govskeptic on 5/22/12 at 6:53

Based on all the jury convicted him of, he could have received up to
10 yrs, homicide was not even a charge, nor should it have been.
He didn't take the stand, nor speak up before sentencing. Oddly,
the light sentence by the Judge as reported, : was because he
didn't understand the ramifications of his actions. How did the
Judge reach that conclusion since he never spoke? ICE remains
silent on possible deportation back to India!

By: Kosh III on 5/22/12 at 6:54

30 days for tampering with evidence? That would seem to be a serious charge. I'd not be surprised if the judge didn't secretly agree with the gay-hostile attitude of Ravi.

By: global_citizen on 5/22/12 at 6:56

acluu, you're simply depraved. You speak of evil, and I think you know it because you see it in the mirror every day.

Tyler Clementi deserved to die because he hooked up? You do realize, don't you, that millions of college students hook up, gay and straight.

You're the most evil kind of person there is, someone who espouses hatred and division and says it's God's will.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 6:59

Is outting a gay person an example of "defamation of character"?

At one point in Western history, not that long ago, most folks would say, "Yes, it certainly is."

Today, it's "OK" to be gay...but does that mean that outting a closeted gay is no longer an act of defamation of character?

Today, the stigma of being gay has been somewhat removed in civil society, but not so, in most religious societies.

Exposing a "sinner" is not a "hate crime", or so it would appear....maybe Ravi is working an anti-GLBT ministry?

You gotta wonder what would motivate Ravi to set-up the elaborate entrapment situation...and then put the video on the internet....must have been a hate deal...was it a "crime"? Apparently not.

If it's true, that Ravi has not repented of his "sin" against Mr. Clementi, then the Supreme Being(s) will have to deal with that...it's out of our human hands.

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 7:02

I'll clarify, slacker, and I apologize if that came across as harsh. In the Clementi case bullying was proven. There's no denying that Ravi intended to embarrass and inflict maximum psychological damage. As I said, I doubt that the intent was to drive him to suicide...but that was what happened.

Now, I doubt anyone here would have even known about Kennedy's divorce if this hadn't happened. Kennedy did not have a concerted effort to embarrass, ridicule or torment his ex-wife. There was no intent to cause damage. There was no bullying or abuse.

That's the difference.

By: global_citizen on 5/22/12 at 7:03

I think a sentence of six months to a year would have been more appropriate.

And acluu, if you're going to quote Thomas Jefferson, try to keep it in context. Jefferson's quote about God's justice had nothing to do with sexual morals or homosexuality.

He was writing about the immorality of slavery and the mistreatment of one man against another. Ponder that for a while. I think Jefferson would have been rebuking people like you.

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 7:04

I just saw that a pastor said that gays should be put in electric fences...what the hell is wrong with these people?

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 7:09

I concur with Govskeptic's analysis as expressed in his 7:53 post.

How did Judge Berman arrive at his conclusion? Since the perp never said a word in court, the judge must have relied on hearsay evidence as to the accused character, motivations, prejudices etc. Ravi had a great legal team...does his family have money?

As I said earlier, de-frock Berman now.....what a putz.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 7:12

Gays on electric fences? AC or DC?

....sorry, could not resist the urge.

By: bfra on 5/22/12 at 7:17

Loner- A lady from India told me, there are only 2 classes in India, the very rich & the very poor and only the rich can afford to come to America. Don't know if this is true or not. Maybe some one on here has more info on that subject.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/22/12 at 7:18

It would be very hard for me to comment on this article. Never in my life would I have thought that it would be great fun to film someone having sex. Even more impossible it would seem bizarre to distribute my perverted film to the "public." It would seem unnatural to do anything that would do lasting harm to somone. I cannot imagine what was going on in the mind of the fellow doing the filming.

If this is not a crime and I do not know what to call this behavior then the fellow should have at least been kicked out of college and have him register as a sex deviant.

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 7:20

gdiafante, that wasn't harsh, thats just how you see it. I have no doubt that the prank, embarrassed the boy, and tipped him to suicide. I've always felt special sympathy for people who committed suicide because of the emotional pain they must have been suffering. But I don't think its prudent to make punishment more severe for a crime or misdemeanor against a gay person. Bullying is wrong regardless of who is being bullied. Bully's should have their asses kicked daily.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/22/12 at 7:22

LONER........I noted that you offered to debate with ACLU. You picked on a cripple. No debate has ever been lost by anyone in a religious debate who chooses logic and reason. Religion is always based on "You gotta have faith" or you will go to hell.

Faith does not stack up well against logic and reason at least in the world that you and I live in.

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 7:34

But I don't think its prudent to make punishment more severe for a crime or misdemeanor against a gay person. Bullying is wrong regardless of who is being bullied. Bully's should have their asses kicked daily.

I agree, but 30 days isn't enough. Not if they were trying to send a message that bullying isn't tolerated.

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 7:35

Is kicking a bully's ass daily, considered bullying?

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 7:38

gdiafante, the prosecution is appealing, so it might not be over.

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 7:51

I think we all experienced some form of bullying...probably. I know I did. But I don't remember it being especially damaging...meaning, I just blew it off as idiot kids acting like idiots.

But there's been a rash of suicides from cyberbullying especially, something I didn't really have to experience back in the days of landlines, three channels on TV and Pong.

By: yogiman on 5/22/12 at 7:52

Why didn't Clementi beat the hell out of Ravi? If he couldn't do it by himself, didn't he have enough friends to give Ravi a new face?

I don't know what kind of advances India has made over the years, bfra (if any), but I do remember there was only two classes decades ago.

By: Loner on 5/22/12 at 7:54

Yeah, I was challenging a "cripple". Rasp.....I was in the mood to bully a religious fanatic...what was I thinking? I do hereby repent of that sin.....Amen.

Thanks, Rasp....I needed that.

...and Slack, yes, kicking a bully's ass on a daily basis is bullying...it's bullying squared....but the ends justify the means...so bully on, ye bullies!

Running Gag Time: "A foreign-looking, homophobic bully, with a hidden video camera, quietly slips into a gay piano bar...."

By: yogiman on 5/22/12 at 7:59

Is kicking a bully's ass daily bullying, slacker? I believe it would, in effect, depend on who's ass the bully was kicking everyday.

Usually when you whip a bully's ass he quits bullying you.

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 8:13

'Wooly Bully'
-Sam The Sham

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 8:23

Buy Sham-Wow...or I'll kick your ass

-Vince Schlomi

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 8:25

''I'll be back''
-Billy Mays

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 8:31

''John Gotti bullied me into the mob''
-Sammy The Bull Gravano

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 8:32

Hey...that's not BC powder...

-Billy Mays nose

By: slacker on 5/22/12 at 8:33


By: yogiman on 5/22/12 at 8:50

Sometimes, a letter to a bully might hopefully have an effect on his mentality. I just read a letter to the bully sitting in the Oval Office as a LTE. It goes:

[Dear Mr. President:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally, you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me becauseyou have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life, you have alined yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to respnsibility capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you listen to, or even consider, opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing conservaive points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.]

Many newspapers refused to publish this great 'Open Letter' written in June 2009 by Mr. Lou Pritchett, a well known public speaker who retired after a successful 36 years career as the VP World Sales for Proctor and Gamble. Mr. Pritchett has brought out some alarming issues that should awaken the citizens of our nation.

There is one issue I disagree with Mr. Pritchett on. His last paragraph stating he 'ptobably would not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years. If Barack Hussein Obama is elected to serve a second term, our 'government' will not take that long to gain absolute control.

A hard question is: Why did our Congress allow this to happen?

By: bfra on 5/22/12 at 8:54

Please, somebody invent a yogi blocker!

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 8:56

You scare me because you listen to, or even consider, opposing points of view from intelligent people.

Yes, I can see where you would be afraid of listening or considering other intelligent points of view.

Is yogi for real? He must be paid to be this stupid...it just doesn't occur in nature.

By: bfra on 5/22/12 at 9:00

g - We have proof before out eyes everyday, yogi is that stupid,

By: dargent7 on 5/22/12 at 9:05

I think what's going on here, is the Internet, ie., connectivity.
In my day, there were no Web-Cams, Facebook, iPhones, iPads, Twitter, Texting, cell phones.The wall phone was "dial-up".
We all communicated by telephone or word of mouth, face to face.
Ravi used "Cyber-Bullying", hate crime, invasion of privacy...All-in-One.
I think he thought it was a "prank".
But nowadays, kids are hanging themselves when "disgraced".
There's really no longer "privacy".