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Rutger's Student Dharun Ravi Sentenced To 30-Day Jail Time 683

parallel_prankster writes "New York Times reports that a judge in New Jersey has sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail Monday for using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers University roommate having sex with a man, in a case that galvanized concern about suicide among gay teenagers but also prompted debate about the use of laws against hate crimes. The case drew wide attention because his roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, a few days after learning of the spying. A jury convicted Mr. Ravi in March of all 15 counts against him, which included invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. The relatively light sentence — he faced up to 10 years in prison — surprised many who were watching the hearing, as it came after the judge spent several minutes criticizing Mr. Ravi's behavior."
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Rutger's Student Dharun Ravi Sentenced To 30-Day Jail Time

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  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @05:20PM (#40069737)

    The invasion of privacy angle I can see. How many times have we had stories of guys taping unwilling sex partners or roommates taping roommates? I just didn't think there was enough meat to the story to push it into the realm of hate crimes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @05:23PM (#40069769)

    Secretly filming your roommate having gay sex is a little worse than just saying something random and mean on slashdot.

    I don't know about wrongful death, but I think it's pretty fucking awful... assuming he intended to do some kind of emotional harm with the video.

    If he was just going to wank to it later, then well, 30 days in the pen might just work out for him.

  • because if you secretly record straight sex, it's invasion of privacy, but if you secretly record gay sex, it's a hate crime?
  • Which comment did he make that was homophobic? simply stating that your roommate is doing it with a another dude is plain fact. Is the truth homophobic?
  • by Genda ( 560240 ) <mariet@NoSPaM.got.net> on Monday May 21, 2012 @05:34PM (#40069943) Journal

    There were tons of mitigating circumstances including the parents of the dead boy publicly saying they didn't want the young man to suffer a harsh sentence or extended jail time. One life lost was enough. A sentence of over a year would have almost certainly meant deportation for a young man who has never known a home other than the United States. He also has to receive counseling and pay $10,000 towards a program to prevent hate crimes.

    Of course lawyers on both sides are unhappy, one side wanting exoneration, the other wanting public human sacrifice. This is a tough one. The kid did something terrible and it had an impact that can never fully be reconciled. That said, it was a stupid, childish, thoughtless action for a kid, and if we crushed every young person who committed such an action we'd have about 12 Stepford Children walking around to send cards to the rest of our children in permanent detention. I know I did some rather profoundly stupid things when I was his age and I hurt some innocent people's feelings. Thank goodness, the harm wasn't permanent, and I could clean up the mess I made. I don't have a clue how I'd deal with what he's facing.

  • Re:sex offender? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @05:35PM (#40069949)

    Pretty certain if I was video taping two people having sex that'd put me on the sex offender registry

    LOL that would put a hell of a lot of professional cameramen from the pr0n industry in prison. Also a lot of CCTV watching security guards. I think you meant to add "without their permission in a private space".. Is it wrong to record people without their permission when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy?(admittedly banging away in front of a laptop, for anyone aware of their surroundings and born after 1950 or so, that's not very reasonable anymore, is it?) Coincidentally, looking at the charges...

  • Re:Good decision (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @05:50PM (#40070137)

    "A former prison inmate once confided in me that he participated in gay sex while in prison because, as he put it "Hey, that's your life."

    I've done time in prison.

    Straight guys do NOT "become gay" just because they are behind razor wire.

    Your friend was gay and did not want to admit it.

    The straight guys in prison jerk off because there are no women available.
    There are enough gay guys in prison that they are able to find each other
    and do whatever it is they want to do behind closed doors. Straight guys in
    prison stay straight, and they are not even slightly tempted to become gay.

    As for you, you are a closet sadist who wishes suffering on other people.
    That's about as low and pathetic as a human being gets, boy. And I do mean BOY
    because you sure as hell are not a man, "pr0t0".

  • by __aaeihw9960 ( 2531696 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @05:50PM (#40070139)

    You are walking a fine line.

    Intention is everything. If I am driving down the road, and hit a pedestrian on accident, your theory states that I have committed the same crime as someone who goes out of his/her way to hit a pedestrian on the same road.

    Intention is everything - If I pull the trigger in hate, I have committed a crime. If I pull the trigger in self-defense, have I committed a crime?

  • I once tried to crash at a large new year's party in a room where there was also a girl present. She would not sleep in the same room because I might "try something" (which was ridiculous, but she was a christian). So anyway, if she had said, "That means I need to watch my pussy", does that mean she's heterophobic and it's a bias statement?
  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @06:01PM (#40070229)

    Sometimes the victims didn't handle it well.

    Am I bad for being a tiny little bit happy when I hear these stories? Just tiny bit not a lot? Like some chick got teased on the internet so she hung herself and I'm thinking, luckily for me, because 10 years later I'd probably dump her or steal "her" parking spot or not hold the door open for her like a gentleman should or decline to purchase a drink for her at the local watering hole and then being obviously ridiculously unstable she'd blame me and blow her brains out and I'd have to feel guilty for the rest of my life about it, even though what I did wasn't really all that awful (come on chick, find another parking spot?), so if there is a tiny silver lining to this at least someone other than me is feeling guilty? Almost like they did a community service?

    Like this dude, OK he did some other dude, didn't want people to know, despite the fact that most civilized people don't really care and in this modern era you don't have to care about the uncivilized people who do care, so now he's dead. If this didn't happen, I can just imagine this dude got a job working with me, and some day in a staff meeting in front of everyone I'm all like "dude, you totally made a picket fence error in your for loop making it crash when it hits an uninitialized array element" and then, being about as stable as a plutonium atom fattened up with an extra neutron or two, dude walks into his cube, blames me for ruining his life (so he claims, anyway) and blows his head off, and then I've gotta go thru the rest of my life feeling guilty for calling out a dude for having the wrong end condition in a for loop. I can totally see this happening, and I just don't personally want to deal with unstable people blowing up, its just not my thing.

    Its kinda like when you hear about a suicide where somebody jumps in front of a car, and you're like "sucks to be that guy, but at least they didn't jump in front of my car, because that would really suck for me".

    I don't feel any ill will toward the guy who offed himself for no good reason, other then him being a remarkably amazingly poor role model for other kids dealing with bad feelings. I'm just glad he's not around so I could get blamed for him offing himself. Unstable means its gonna blow up sooner or later and murphy's law its gonna happen around me, so...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @06:04PM (#40070261)

    It's no different than secretly filming your roommate having straight sex. The only difference is that one is frowned upon more, and that is society's fault, not the individual who recorded him's fault.

    Right. Because he wasn't precisely operating on the magnitude of that "only difference" when he filmed his roommate.

    Sometimes the motive, just exactly how much you intended to hurt someone, doesn't really matter. Sometimes it does. That often gets factored in during sentencing.

    Again, I'm not saying he's responsible for a death, but at the very least he deserves this month of thinking it over (and worrying about ass raping).

  • by morari ( 1080535 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @06:13PM (#40070355) Journal

    How do I know? Because I am currently dating a shemale. I really cute and loving one, mind you.

    And I'm sure that she just loves being called a shemale, too! Never mind that every transgendered person I've ever met has generally considered the term to be pretty damn derogatory.

    Secretly videotaping interracial sex is just as bad. How do I know? Because I'm currently dating a nigger. I really cute and loving one, mind you.

  • Re:Wait a minute (Score:2, Interesting)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @06:36PM (#40070639)

    "i caught my roommate having gay sex" isn't homophobic

    Yes it is. "I caught my roommate having sex" isn't. As long as there is a difference between gay sex, lesbian sex and heterosexual sex in the opinion of the majority of people, it will be.

    Sure, it is true in the literal meaning of the world, but that is not how the real world works.

  • My .02 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @06:51PM (#40070785)
    Fight hate the way the Southern Poverty Law Center does it: through civil law. Imposing huge monetary fines and loss of assets actually does a whole lot more to bring down hatred than incarceration. Look at the decimation of some racist and militia-style hate groups where their assets were seized and turned over to the victim. Without a hate pulpit to preach from, these groups dissolve and disband. Anti-hate laws do little to curb the behavior - you have to hit'em in the wallet to stop it.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @07:06PM (#40070917) Homepage Journal

    If he had some reason to suspect the victim would take it badly, then YES. It speaks to the level of malice. And in this case, he would have to be a drooling moron to not realize it could go badly.

  • is it just me? (Score:5, Interesting)

    or is it whenever i see "legal" analysis on slashdot i see tons of posts by people who don't consider the notion of intent

    is it a psychological thing?

    that is, the relationship between aspergers syndrome and technological inclination is well-established, this is a tech site, aspergers renders one unable to appreciate and take into account other minds at work out there outside of your own. and just because you aren't clinically diagnosed with aspergers doesn't mean you aren't somewhere along the spectrum of a mild inability to have a decreased capacity to have a good working model of "theory of mind" going on in your head:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind [wikipedia.org]

    anyway, this is just a long-winded way of saying: INTENT. understand it, please

    if you judge other's actions, or develop an opinion of other's actions without applying or appreciating the concept of intent, at least understand that the rest of the world will consider your opinion invalid, if you can't understand yourself why intent is important

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @07:46PM (#40071227) Journal

    It just reinforces the idea that we should treat certain groups of people differently.

    I'm having serious issues wrapping my head around this backwards logic.
    You haven't even really made an argument at all and blindly asserting a claim is not the same as supporting it.

    Why don't you tell us why assault based on gender/sexual orientation/race is not worse than regular old violence
    Perhaps you just don't understand the history of civil right and hate crime laws?

    The law has always been neutral toward crime, but enforcement of the law was not.
    Minorities were being murdered, justice was not being done, and tension would build.
    Communities became embroiled in violence, leading to retaliation, leading to more violence.

    There are strong reasons behind enhancing the punishment for certain crimes over others.
    Maybe some day we won't need those laws, but America is still struggling with basic things like equality for all.

    Is that really the best way to address prejudice in society?

    I can't say for sure that we've come up with the best way to address prejudice in society,
    but nothing else we've tried has worked and I don't see you putting forward any alternatives.

    Does anyone really think some dumb asshole bigot is going to think "there are hate crime laws I better not commit this crime"?

    Not really but it sends a message that, as a society, we will not tolerate such odious behavior in our midst.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:38PM (#40072375) Journal

    Pray tell, of how many millions of homosexual that you get one Alan Turing ?

    Or are you saying that all the homosexuals are as bright as Alan Turing ??

Loose bits sink chips.