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Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail

Jim Burroway

May 21st, 2012

 After emotional statements from Tyler Clementi’s parents and surviving brother, Rutgers University freshman Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation for invasion of privacy, witness tampering, tampering with evidence, and hindering prosecution. According to the New York Times:

Prosecutors appeared visibly angered by the sentence, and said they would appeal. Mr. Ravi’s family, meanwhile, hugged one another; just a few minutes earlier, his mother sobbed through a statement in which she implored the judge to go easy on her son. 

Ravi was also sentenced to 300 hours of community service, counseling about cyberbullying and LGBT issues, and a $$11,950 fine which will be donated to astate-sponsored group “dedicated to assisting victims of biased crimes.” Ravi also faces deportation back to India, but the judge said that he would add a letter to Ravi’s record recommending that immigration authorities decline to deport him.

Ravi was expected to address the court before sentencing, but he chose not to do so. Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman addressed Ravi before imposing the sentence:

“I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi,” Judge Glenn Berman told the court. “He had no reason to, but I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity.”

Ravi must report to Middlesex Adult Correctional Center on May 31 at 9 a.m. for his probationary sentence.

“I heard this jury say, ‘guilty’ 288 times–24 questions, 12 jurors. That’s the multiplication,” Berman said. “I haven’t heard you apologize once.”

During statements before sentencing, Clementi’s family asked the judge to impose an unspecified prison term. Joseph Clementi, Tyler’s father, noted that his son had checked Ravi’s Twitter page 37 times before jumping off the George Washington Bridge.He also accused Ravi of  “lack of remourse“:

Joseph Clementi said that Ravi decided his son “wasn’t deserving the respect of basic human decency” and “was below him” because Tyler Clementi was gay.

“He did it in a cold calculating manner and then he tried to cover it up,” the father, who had to pause to compose himself, said. Clementi’s mother Jane Clementi cried in the front row has her husband spoke.

He asked for a fair sentence “to serve as an appropriate deterrent,” but didn’t suggest a term.

According to court testimony, Ravi learned that Tyler was gay through internet searches before the school year started. Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mother, recalled that Ravi never bothered to speak with Tyler or his parents when they were moving him into his dorm room:

“He never even paused to acknowledge that Tyler was in the room,” she said. “He never stopped what he was doing, no greeting, no smile, no recognition, no nothing.”

…He never really knew Tyler, not the smart, kind, articulate, humble, funny, talented, caring, thoughtful, generous, trustworthy and dependable person Tyler was,” she said. “All he found out was that Tyler was gay.”

She called Ravi’s actions toward her son “arrogant and mean-spirited.”

Jane Clementi called Ravi’s actions “evil and malicious” and called for justice:

What I want is justice,” Jane Clementi declared before a packed courtroom in New Brunswick. “The court needs to show … this was not right and it was not acceptable behavior and it will not be tolerated.”

You can read statemens from Ravi’s parents here, and an impact statement from “M.B.,” Clementi’s visitor, here.

Update: Garden State Equality reacts:

Moments ago, Judge Berman decided to sentence Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail. We have been public in taking a position of balance: We opposed throwing the book at Dharun Ravi. We have spoken out against giving him the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and against deporting him. That would have been vengeance beyond punishment and beyond sending a message to the rest of society.

But we have similarly rejected the other extreme that Ravi should have gotten no jail time at all, and today’s sentencing is closer to that extreme than the other. This was not merely a childhood prank gone awry. This was not a crime without bias.

Update: Dan Savage reacts:

Ten years and deportation—which the judge could’ve ordered—seemed excessive to me, like overkill and blame-shifting. I was one of the “gay rights advocates” quoted in a NYT piece this morning who expressed misgivings about the severity of the sentence that Ravi faced. But a 30 day sentence is far, fat too lenient—a slap on the wrist.

Comments

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jOHN
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

There can be no winners here!

The whole thing is a very sad situation that went very bad.

We can only hope that it does not ever happen agian but that is very unlikely.

Lucrece
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

You get more days in jail for driving with three beers on your body and killing no one, or growing your own pot in your property.

mike
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

uhm yeah, the judge doesn’t need to do him any favors, if there was actualy justice he would have been immediately deported because we already have enough crazy Xtian taliban people here bullying kids into suicide we don’t need people from other countries doing it too!

This was a fail judge to say the least!

Norm!
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I don’t know anything about criminal sentencing, but 30 days in jail seems like a substantial sentence for a first-time offender. I think it’s more important that he is getting significant jail time. If we’re going to scapegoat Ravi into representing all anti-gay bullies, how many days, months, or years is sufficient?

Lucrece
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Three months at least.

And now you call the needs for heavier sentencing scapegoating? Are we going to scapegoat one creepy guy into representing all sexual harassment cases?

AMPGlass
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Well, I was hoping that he would receive much more of a sentence. If I remember correctly, a sentence longer than 30 days would be a prison sentence, and in this case an automatic deportation, as opposed to him remaining in this country and serving jail time. If he breaks his parole, he will end up with a prison sentence. And that, in turn would lead to him being deported. So, this is about the best we’ll get…

Jim Burroway
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I was leaning toward “leniency.” But my version of leniency was a year in jail and no deporation (although the judge doesn’t get the final say in that.) But not the ten he was eligible for.

30 days is insulting.

Charles
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

What Ravi did was horrible, but it was Tyler who tragically took his own life. Major depression is something that I know about all too well. Five years ago I nearly took my own life, because I am gay and couldn’t deal with it any longer. Our society still has a long way to go in showing its acceptance of individuals such as us. As John says about this case, “There can be no winners here!”.

Andrew
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

30 days for what he actually did – and remember, he was not convicted of clementi’s suicide (nor should he have been imho), was not entirely unreasonable given the full context…

what ravi has lost here is immeasurable. this is a very young man at the start of his career — which he has now lost. while he may have sought to subject clementi to scrutiny, it is ravi who will probably never be able to get a job outside a family business and will be shunned.

you can guarantee he’s no longer welcome on the rutger’s campus, and good luck getting a degree elsewhere. a felony conviction for bias crime tends to dissuade admission committees.

in short, everything the family left home for – that brighter future in america – is likely gone. deportation may be besides the point – i wouldn’t be surprised if, in the end, they “self-deport” rather than deal with the life-long notoriety here in the u.s.

sometimes social shaming — especially when you consider ravi’s peergroup and the bullying zeitgeist – is the larger issue, and jailtime is just a reprieve from having to pick up the pieces and figure out… “what now”?

the sad thing is — and this is deeply cynical of me — if he had expressed remorse, if he had, in fact, ridden the anti-bullying express… he could have totally capitalized on what america loves most: redemption stories and second chances. i could easily see a totally different future for him had he acknowledged what he did, apologized, “learned his lesson” and gone on to non-profit speaking engagements about the “path to being a non-bully” or whatever. he could possibly have become a media darling with the backing of the gay community and the youth anti-bullying movement. instead he’s sullen and portraying himself as the victim – something no one but him and his family is buying here…

Priya Lynn
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Norm said “If we’re going to scapegoat Ravi into representing all anti-gay bullies, how many days, months, or years is sufficient?”.

He’s guilty, its not scapegoating. he should have gotten one to two years.

Lucrece
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Charles, if laws for libel can exist because words cause harm, why is emotional harassment toward vulnerable individuals not considered at the very least criminal negligence?

Tyler took his life, but don’t pretend like Ravi didn’t give him that nudge. It takes willpower to jump off a bridge — it’s not something you whimsically decide.

Charles
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

“Charles, if laws for libel can exist because words cause harm, why is emotional harassment toward vulnerable individuals not considered at the very least criminal negligence?

Tyler took his life, but don’t pretend like Ravi didn’t give him that nudge. It takes willpower to jump off a bridge — it’s not something you whimsically decide.” – Lucrece

The point I was trying to make is that there should be no shame in being gay. Sadly we have not gotten to that point. And, today I don’t think that any court would convict someone of libel for accusing someone of being gay.

Mark F.
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

You try spending 30 days in a cage and see if you view it as a “slap on the wrist.”

I never understood the baying for blood you get in these cases. It’s like people enjoy seeing someone in prison. It seems almost like a form of sadism, rationalized by saying it is “justice.”

F Young
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Personally, I think that 30 days in jail would be okay for the bias intimidation alone.

But he was also convicted of witness tampering, tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution, each of which could warrant much more than 30 days.

It looks like the judge leaned over backward so as to not give grounds for immigration to deport him.

However, I agree that he may need to (change his name, grow a beard, wear glasses and a turban and) self-deport anyway.

Snowman
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Well, either way he’s pretty much managed to wreck his own life. With as well known as this case became…good luck finding a job anywhere in America.

The important thing is, did he learn from this experience?? Only time will provide that answer.

While I agree that he should’ve gotten at least a year or two out of it…American prisons have a way of making most people come out worse than they were when they went in.

Ravi strikes me as a little punk ass asshole, hopefully he learned his lesson, if not…life will not be so kind next time.

Priya Lynn
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Mark said “I never understood the baying for blood you get in these cases.”.

A man is dead because of Ravi. A year or two in prison is pretty mild for that.

Lucrece
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Anyone who sits here and pretends than in a few months or years people will remember who the hell Ravi is or what he did is being a moron. Most people don’t keep mental track of who the bullies are or what they do.

You know who’s life is really over? Tyler’s. Ravi will go for less than 30 days in prison, go into a community college, earn a degree, and be able to apply for any job or start a business himself. Meet a wife. Have children. Pursue many other life goals.

Seriously, to hell with the people that think Ravi’s case is even that widespread outside the gay community, or that any serious repercussions are headed his way for what he did.

Lucrece
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

whose*

Timothy Kincaid
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

It’s a judgment call I guess. Thirty days accompanied with public services and fines feels acceptable to me.

What Ravi did was disgusting. But it doesn’t – in my estimation -really fall into “criminal” or at least not the parts that are getting the most attention.

It seems to me that the objections to his behavior are based more on holding bias and for feeling superior and for being emotionally cruel than for the privacy violation. And those, while being negative attributes are not crimes. And I continue to be uncomfortable with time in jail for “hating”.

I do think that that spying deserves jail time. And I’m not sure what the witness tampering consisted of so I am holding judgment on that.

But at the heart of this is, I think, what Ravi viewed as a prank. And I recall being in college where perspectives are distorted and the social environment is one in which stupid irresponsible offensive behavior is pretty much the norm.

And I am also troubled by one presumption that everyone seems to hold: that it is inherently more criminal to spy on a gay kid’s date than a straight kid’s date.

Frankly, had in college I been sufficiently technically savvy to figure out how to broadcast my roommate’s dates – maybe through closed caption -to the TV in the House’s living room, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it but I would have considered it. And he was my best friend. (I did climb onto a porch roof and through the window one time when he had the door locked. He stayed mad at me for a day.)

In this case, I do understand that it impacted Tyler more severely. But it troubles me that gay kids are presumed to be more fragile.

Yes Tyler felt perhaps more violated than might a jock who scored with any cheap drunk girl he could get his paws on. And most of that is related to society’s base level of homophobia. But I don’t think that Ravi should be jailed for the culture’s bias.

TampaZeke
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, you really don’t see the difference between spying on a straight date and a gay date between gay men who are not completely out? REALLY?

The difference in ramifications between the two are enormous.

StraightGrandmother
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I really liked Andrews closing paragraph. Where he talked about redemption.

I have an opinion about most things, but I don’t about this. As a mother I think for a few minutes what if Tyler was my son, then I think a few minutes more and think what if Ravi was my son. I’ll have to leave it to the rest of you to talk about this.

tavdy79
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I’d have thought thirty days would be short in the UK, and British sentencing is ordinarily far less punitive than American sentencing. This side of the Atlantic, a sentence this light could potentially place Ravi at risk of retaliation from people who thought he should have received a heavier sentence.

Yes Tyler felt perhaps more violated than might a jock who scored with any cheap drunk girl he could get his paws on. And most of that is related to society’s base level of homophobia. But I don’t think that Ravi should be jailed for the culture’s bias.

— Timothy Kincaid

Part of the reason the situation was sensationalised by Ravi was the fact that Clementi was with a guy, not a girl. That makes homophobic tittilation, and therefore society’s endemic homophobia, central to Ravi’s motivation.

Charles
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

It seems that everyone has their own ideas about what the proper sentence for Ravi should be. Frankly, I think the judge got it about right.

What we need to work toward is letting gay teenagers know that they are just as normal as straight teenagers, and to stand proud of who they are. And, to get them a support system while they are teenagers.

Ryan
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I think justice was served. I don’t like Ravi’s attitude and refusal to take responsibility for what he did wrong, but ultimately, it’s not his fault Tyler killed himself. His punishment for evidence tampering and spying is appropriate.

Leonard
May 21st, 2012 | LINK

I am frankly disturbed by this sentence. In Arizona, a 30-day jail sentence is the penalty for a class 3 misdemeanor. That is the lowest class misdemeanor crime in this state (except for a petty offense, which does not carry any incarceration). I do not believe engaging in any behavior leading — neglegently, recklessly, or carelessly — to the death of another, even if that death at that third person’s own hand, should not be punished as a misdemeanor.

And then for crimes of tampering with evidence, witness tampering, and hindering prosecution — acts which occured after Tyler Clementi’s death? 30 days? DAYS? Puh-leeze? This is a MISDEMEANOR-LEVEL term to jail!

Under N.J. Stat. § 2C:43-6(a)(2), a Crime in the Second Degree is punishable by a term between five and ten years in prison. Those letters and pleas to the court must have been REAL good to get the sentence down from five years to 30 days. Damn!

Ben in Oakland
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Thank you, Timothy. That’s exactly how I feel about it. I couldn’t add a word.

Lord_Byron
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

“But at the heart of this is, I think, what Ravi viewed as a prank.”

So what? He considered it a harmless prank and that makes it ok? So you would be perfectly ok with your roommate hooking up a webcamera and twice broadcast the fact that you are going to have sex to whoever wants to watch? Invasion of privacy is a crime and that is what he was prosecuted for. He was not charged in the suicide, but 30 days is just plain BS.

It may be vindictive, and yes i wasn’t personally effected by this, but I hope he suffers for the rest of his life because of what he did. It doesn’t even sound like he has any remorse for what he did.

Donny D.
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I think Andrew has a good point about Ravi’s felony for a bias crime, but any felony is a serious weight to have around one’s neck. Just about every job application I’ve ever seen asks if the applicant has been convicted of a felony. So he’ll be having trouble getting jobs for the rest of his life, and I’m sure other problems in important areas in his life, too.

Still, I think 30 days is a bit light. I think he needs a larger portion of a year in jail, with a year as a maximum. I don’t see the point of more than a year in this case.

He’s also getting three years probation. I don’t know what probation entails, but depending the terms of probation, that could be a significant thing also.

If Tyler Clementi’s parents’ description of Dharun Ravi’s bigoted behavior toward Clementi are representative of Ravi’s thinking, then the judge worked hard to ignore the evidence to be able to claim Ravi didn’t hate Clementi but acted out of “insensitivity”. And I don’t accept the judge’s implicit false dilemma that lets Ravi substantially off the hook if he doesn’t feel hatred. Contempt and callousness are each probably more common among anti-gay bigots than is hatred. Either emotion could motivate someone to commit worse crimes than Ravi’s in this case.

I’m against deportation for Ravi, too, but for a different reason than anyone here has stated so far: India doesn’t deserve this little creep either, and since he commit his crimes here, he’s our problem to deal with.

Jay Jonson
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

This is a gross miscarriage of justice. Savage is a huge disappointment. He called for leniency and when the judge did what he wanted, he now claims he didn’t want that much leniency. This sets a very important precedent for how bullies are treated in this country. You can bully a person to death and get a judge to regard it as a prank. At least, the jury did the right thing, finding the little creep guilty of 24 charges on 15 counts. He should have gotten at least a year in prison and then deported. I am glad that the prosecution will appeal this sentence even though the appeal is not likely to succeed.

Regan DuCasse
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

@Charles

There is an important point to be made here: the culture and attitude that allows people like Ravi to go out of their way to humiliate, and mentally and emotionally abuse a gay person.

Tyler was a specific target for a specific reason. From the mouths of pastors and educators, there are calls to treat gay KIDS that way. There are calls for outright violence against gay children.
Young people like Ravi know they won’t receive much consequence for how they treat a gay person and are surprised, if not angered when there are.
His actions came at a time, when there was much publicity and national discussion on the risks and results of anti gay sentiment and it’s connection to suicide.
Ravi isn’t stupid and surely he knew about that.
And didn’t care and STILL doesn’t. He’s only gotten emotional for himself, and his mother pissed me off.
Weeping and wailing like that as if it’s HIS FUNERAL.
As if HE is the one suffering UNFAIRLY in all this!

While Tyler’s parents are sitting right there.
The Ravis apparently are indifferent to the pain of others and are remarkably selfish and unthinking.
THEY still have THEIR son. Alive and well, with the potential to still be successful in life and all too easily put this behind him.

There is a great deal of power in the abuse of gay people, and little it seems, to get the proper response (still) to this abuse from the justice system.

The thing about the freshman year, Charles, is that is a time of great vulnerability for students. They are away from home for the first time. They’ll have to navigate around thousands of strangers of mixed ideas and cultural values. A gay young person would likely be moreso. And sometimes, it’s sociopaths that sense when to strike at the softest spot of their target. That is the nature of bullies. He didn’t HAVE to actively hate Clementi, but he did go after him where he could be hurt the most, and in fact, he was right, wasn’t he?
He didn’t try to do it on ANY OTHER person in the school.

So his actions, MUST be taken for the seriousness it represents in that he knew he was fucking with Tyler and didn’t CARE what the outcome was.
So he did quite deliberately, PUSH Tyler to suicide, if not off the bridge.
Don’t softball this.
If you know about depression, then know also what sociopaths are like. They take advantage of people’s weaknesses and exploit them.
And the whole of Ravi’s actions are that he’s a dangerous person and should have been sentenced to a year or two, and DEFINITELY deported.
THAT would be the just response to a creep like that.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Further to Charle’s and Regan’s comments, there is no evidence that Tyler was experiencing depression BEFORE Ravi tormented him – the idea that “He was depressed and suicidal anyway” doesn’t hold water.

Andrew
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Grandmother – I think, sadly, that my comments about redemption speak more to cynicism and media than to any actual change of heart. My point was that he’s stupid – this could easily have been quite profitable for someone with a good PR rep and an agent. Instead, he’s been obdurate and whiny at a time when the public sentiment is flowing the other way.

Let’s be honest, if this was what it took to push Clementi over the edge, then what would have happened after his first failed love interest, or a failing semester, or any of the other insane dramatic things that happen the first time you’re on your own. Priya says a man is dead because of this, and I respect her, but I think there’s some overstatement there. Clementi desperately needed some help, and it didn’t arrive in time (and where is the culpability for Rutgets in this — why don’t they do more to address freshman mental wellness???) But lots of bad things happen to people every day – far worse than this – and they don’t throw themselves off a bridge. The argument that this was the logical, foreseeable, and reasonable thing for Clementi to do doesn’t be credulity, it begs anything approximating reason.

Lastly, after 25 years, the statute of limitations has run out, so I can fess up. When I was in college, the guy next door had his girlfriend over everynight. She had her own room on the floor, but they lived as a couple in his room. They had loud sex constantly — her moans were so loud, you could hear it through the cinderblock wall. I could tell when she was climaxing by the change in octave. It actually interfered with my studies, and they basically flipped me off. I finally got tired of it, flipped on my tape recorder, and played it back at full volume. The fact is, that was probably illegal. But, at a certain point, I had simply had enough.

Ravi said he was pissed off about Clementi inviting sketchy (much older) men into the room. This doesn’t legitimize why he did what he did, but in college, one lacks good judgment, and you are often thrown together with people you don’t like for a lot of different reasons, with very little way of dealing with them without making a federal case out of it. What Ravi did was spiteful, nasty, and yes, criminal – and he strikes me as an a$$hole and probably doesn’t like queers, but he when you have to share space with people not of your choosing, people can behave very, very badly. There is an element of culpability here for Rutgers as well.

Ultimately, Ravi had no way of knowing how precarious his roommate’s mental situation was, and he lacked the life experience to understand the devastating consequences it was going to have regardless of Clementi’s state (if Clementi had turned his anger outward rather than inward, Ravi might have found that a very uncomfortable place to live). In short, yes, he committed a crime that turned out to have horrific consequences. But those consequences were not entirely foreseeable. This trial, the media coverage, 30 days, and a felony conviction for a man of his age is ample punishment for the circumstances, IMHO.

Andrew
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Tim — thanks — I think the mantle of victimhood offered, and too often accepted by gays — is incredibly destructive. It’s like embracing your own stereotype.

On Mark Bingham’s birthday, of all days, let’s remember that the equation of “gay = victim” is bulls4it. As Savage points out, you can’t be a victim unless you let someone victimize you.

If Clementi had taken a bat to Ravi’s electronics — a completely reasonable response in my book, it would have been Clementi on trial here, not Ravi.

It just wouldn’t have gotten national attention.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Andrew said “Ultimately, Ravi had no way of knowing how precarious his roommate’s mental situation was…”.

Once again, there is no evidence that Tyler’s mental situation was precarious until after Ravi posted that video. You and Charles are both claiming facts based on nothing but speculation in a baseless attempt to claim Tyler was close to the edge anyway. Either post evidence of that or stop making the claim.

Andrew
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Priya, you’re the one making the positive assertion – that Ravi’s actions drove the suicide independent of any other circumstance or environmental factor — that Ravi alone was responsible for the suicide without any other possible intervening state of mind or event.

Either prove that or stop making the claim.

In court, one has to prove liability beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s why the prosecutor didn’t even bring that into the charges regarding suicide.

Depression can exist without “evidence” unless one acquires a full eval. Not everyone leaves a diary. Not everyone has prior attempts. Not everyone has a therapist with a body of case evidence prior to the event.

Timothy Kincaid
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

To cut to the chase: there is no reasonable presumption that what Ravi did would lead to Tyler’s suicide. That is not a logical conclusion, an expected conclusion, or a predictable conclusion. It had never, to anyone’s knowledge, been a cause/effect situation and there is simply to possible way to assign expectation or presumption to the act.

As Andrew said, Tyler could have taken a bat to Ravi’s computer. Or have gone to his RA or the Dean of Students. Or have gone to the police. Or (here’s an idea that no one is talking about) called his gay brother.

I think Ravi should have been prosecuted for the crime of digital spying or invasion of privacy or whatever it’s called. But let’s stop with the presumption that Ravi drove Tyler to suicide. It’s just not a conclusion that we can support.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Andrew, I’m not making the assertion. I don’t know what Tyler’s mental state was prior to Ravi’s actions and neither do you. The only thing we know for sure is what Tyler’s mental state was after Ravi’s actions.

Once again, I’ve made no claim as to Tyler’s mental state prior to Ravi’s action, only you and Charles have. The onus is on you to either provide evidence to support what you claim was Tyler’s state of mind or stop making the claim that he was near the edge prior to Ravi’s action.

Timothy said “To cut to the chase: there is no reasonable presumption that what Ravi did would lead to Tyler’s suicide. That is not a logical conclusion, an expected conclusion, or a predictable conclusion. It had never, to anyone’s knowledge, been a cause/effect situation and there is simply to possible way to assign expectation or presumption to the act.”.

You’re entitled to your opinion. I however, and I’m certain many other people, would agree that it is not unreasonable to assume what Ravi did would lead to Tyler’s suicide. I have in fact heard of such revelations leading to suicide so don’t make claims about “anyone’s knowledge”, you are not in a position to judge what everyone’s knowledge is.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I should add that contrary to Timothy’s claim, if we can’t support the conclusion that Ravi’s actions drove Tyler to suicide there never would have been a court case in the first place.

Timothy Kincaid
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

You’re right, Priya Lynn, many people think that if one thing happens and then a second thing happen that the first thing must have caused the second.

They aren’t the sort of people to whom we turn for wise counsel, analysis, or advice. But, yeah, there are a lot of them.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

And some people claim that if one thing happened and then another thing happened there has never to anyone’s knowledge been a cause/effect situation that would allow one to believe the first caused the second.

Those sort of people are a great deal less deserving of being someone who we turn to for wise counsel, analysis, or advice than the type of people you mentioned.

What you’re essentially saying is that there’s no reason to believe Ravi’s actions had anything to do with Tyler’s suicide. I’m certain no rational person would believe that. Even Charles and Andrew took the position that Ravi’s actions was the straw that broke the camel’s back, you’re trying to claim that there is no logical reason to even believe that.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

And once again, my position is not that I rule out Charle’s and Andrews “straw that broke the camel’s back” hypothesis its that they don’t have evidence to back up their claim that Ravi’s actions weren’t the primary cause of Tyler’s suicide.

Jim Burroway
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn

You said that already.

You know, being the last commenter doesn’t make you the winner.

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Jim, I don’t think I made it clear that I wasn’t ruling out “the straw that broke the camel’s back” hypothesis. No harm done even if you think I did.

I’m sure you know I’ve never believed being the last commenter makes me the winner.

Andrew
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Jim, be nice. She’s getting double-teamed here. Been there before myself.

Priya, I think it comes down to perception of state-of-mind and suicide. Each of us is going to have a different take on that.

In my experience, with the exception of terminal illness, suicide is not incident-driven. Instead, it plugs into a pre-existing state of despair and depression. Suicide can be a rational decision, but when the massive number of alternatives are present as they are here, a reasonable person is unlikely to see it that way.

It’s not like “confront your roommate” “go to my RA” and “kill myself” are equivalent choices here.

In order to make that so, something else needs to be in play.

Reasonable people can disagree. Assuming either one of us is reasonable (and I’m sure there are folks who would argue against one or both of us), I think we can and do disagree on that fundamental assumption.

Based on my understanding of the world, I’m going to continue to make my assertions, and you will counter them based on yours. I think both on the same page is actually a good thing.

…Now, quick, say something so we can tell Jim you won ;)

Priya Lynn
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Andrew said “In my experience, with the exception of terminal illness, suicide is not incident-driven. Instead, it plugs into a pre-existing state of despair and depression.”.

Well, I think it can be either way and our personal experiences aren’t going to tell us which one of us is right. Certainly I’ve heard of people who seem to be doing well in terms of mental health and yet committing suicide after the loss of a job, money, a romantic relationship, status, or some such other incident.

You could be right but I just want you to acknowledge that that is speculation and you have no evidence in this case to support it.

Timothy Kincaid
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

So often in discussion with Priya Lynn, I’m reminded of this.

PaulR
May 22nd, 2012 | LINK

There’s an awful of psychological projection going on here. I’m dealing with it too since I was bullied as a kid, and lived in fear, and today I live a few miles from the George Washington Bridge.

And I don’t think Ravi is a typical “Christian” bully, or even a typical American bully. The New Yorker article on the case, made it fairly clear that this was young kid who looked down on anyone who wasn’t white (or upper caste Indian), wealthy and smart (and into tech, like him). It was the shallow prejudice of someone young who came to America–and let’s not idealize immigrants here. This is a rather callous and arrogant young man. But he may grow out of that. That’s not what’s at issue.

I agree with Leonard. 30 days in prison for spying on his roommate. And witness tampering. And destroying evidence. (And he knew that shit was wrong, but maybe he didn’t realize how wrong until the cops came.) The jury found Ravi guilty on something like 20 counts. (Obviously, they couldn’t convict him of being an unsympathetic dickwad.) 10 years max would have been excessive. 30 days, 3 years parole (~ drug offense) and 200 hours of community service. I don’t believe in retributive justice, and he’s young, but that’s not much….

Lord_Byron
May 23rd, 2012 | LINK

“Or have gone to his RA or the Dean of Students. ”

He did and asked to be transferred from the room. They didn’t respond.

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