The mother of tragic suicide victim Tyler Clementi broke down in court as the jury convicted a former Rutgers student of the most serious counts of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy for using a webcam to spy on her son’s love life.
Jane Clementi sobbed as the mixture of guilty and not guilty verdicts were read out in the trial of Dharun Ravi, 20, accused of 15 criminal counts including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and tampering with a witnes.
He was convicted on most of the serious bias intimidation counts as well as the invasion of privacy of Clementi and the man he was with at the night of the webcam spying incident.
The case garnered national attention after Tyler Clementi threw himself off the George Washington bridge following the spying incident, when Ravi held ‘viewing parties’ so other students could watch him with another man.
Ravi faces up to ten years in jail when sentenced.
“He was convicted under a State of New Jersey law, and other states have different laws,” Moriarty said. “But certainly we could see states enact a law similar, or we could see prosecutors decide to bring charges for acts that don’t quite meet the definition of hate.”
Moriarty noted that the judge in the Ravi charge himself said, during jury instructions, that “the law is muddled – I could have written a better law.”
Via CBS This Morning
Dharun Ravi had no business violating his roommates privacy. What he did defines thoughtlessness. Nevertheless, Tyler Clementi managed to up the anti and committed a more atrocious act–killing himself. Dharun didn’t throw Tyler off the bridge. He did it to himself and since someone is dead, the court system is being used to destroy another life with enhanced consequences.
Tyler Clementi suffered humiliation and decided that life was no longer worth living. I’m certain that enough humiliation goes on at fraternity houses across this country to a level that may make Tyler’s experience seem mild. An important point to consider here is that Tyler made some poor choices and probably was not all together comfortable and secure with his behavior and sexual orientation. If he was that fragile and insecure, he should have opted for a hotel as a venue for his tryst. Your own hotel room helps deflect the embarrassment of a classmate barging in. It would have also made it rather difficult for someone like your college roommate to record your love-making activity with a web cam.
Though it was by his own hand, a dead homosexual means that everything has to go into hyper-drive and enhanced consequences must be doled out. The politics surrounding the gay lifestyle reared its ugly head in the Ravi trial and spun the facts to create the specter of a hate crime. The only hate that existed was what Tyler felt about himself. His hatred and bias toward himself was so great that he took his own life without giving a thought to anyone else. Everyone that loved and cared for him now has to suffer because of his selfish act. How could any parent who loves their child get over something like this? The suicide makes Ravi’s transgressions seem almost laughable, but since Tyler is a member of a protected subculture, all the extra punitive measures were applied. This was not a Matthew Shepard case and shouldn’t be treated like one.
I’m sure if Ravi had looked in his crystal ball and saw the future, he would have never engaged in such reprehensible behavior. I wonder how he would have liked to have been spied on and humiliated the same way that Tyler was? He’ll now have to live the rest of his days knowing that his cruel and insensitive acts played significant role in pushing a troubled soul over the edge. I believe Ravi never imagined the horror that was to follow and would have done almost anything to go back and stop himself. If Tyler was alive, he would probably feel the same way too.
I’m neither a fan nor a hater of homosexuals. Gays shouldn’t be terrorized and bullied; they should be left alone to lead their own lives. Getting along and tolerating other people’s differences turns out to be a very important social skill. It can keep you out of trouble and avoid enhanced trouble that comes with all the new biased laws on the books.