Is 30-day sentence fair for student who bullied gay roommate?
May 21st, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Is 30-day sentence fair for student who bullied gay roommate?

Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail for spying on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide in September 2010.

Ravi will also serve three years of probation, complete community service and pay more than $11,000 in restitution for the conviction. But after potentially facing deportation and 10 years of jail time for using a webcam to spy on Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in the Hudson River, the world is taking to the web with their opinions on the sentence.

On Twitter:

A miscarriage of justice? 

Faiza S Khan ‏@BhopalHouse If the law means vile Dharun Ravi gets 30 days for bullying his roommate to point of suicide, surely something wrong with the law?

Karl Frisch‏ @KarlFrisch 10 years and deportation was a bit excessive, but 30 days? Really? Ravi gets 30 days in Rutgers spying case:

Kashmir Hill‏ @kashhill Ravi sentence in Clementi case is more a deterrent for future prosecutors than for future privacy invaders.

Ms. Tee  (Bawse) ‏@TheTeester Dharun Ravi only gets 30 days. I'm sorry but this is making a mockery of the justice system #RutgersTrial

A missed opportunity? 

Ethel Mertz ‏@boyalexboy Best community service is having Dharun Ravi go out and speak at high schools as a warning to bullies to mind their own business.

John Kultgen‏ @getitsally I believe in learning from even the worst mistakes. I don't have any "should" belief of what should happen to Dharun Ravi.


Childish prank or heinous crime? 

Bryan Jones: He is a kid that did what hundreds of thousands of kids do everyday... something stupid. The judge did a great job. Don't make it into something it isn't.

Anthony Negron: I think you don't know what you are talking about. If an U.S. citizen did this overseas, they would of made the U.S. kid an example in that country

Heather Anne: Yes, but that there not here and it not what we're about.


An issue of privacy, or an issue of prejudice? 

eyeofsauron: That's it? He went out of his way to spy on what people did behind closed doors. He builds his joy on someone else's pain, and he has a fundamental character problem. He should have been locked away and pay for a good part of his life. It would be unfair for him to have a life after what he has done while the other family ended up with a dead kid.

TheTurth: That was his room. The other guy went behind to have some gay fun in their shared room.

CapnHowdyxkl: Once again the homosexual haters are out in force, but in the end you have to ask yourselves , what if this were your son? Would you feel this is justice. Same as the Trayvon case, put yourself in the shoes of those people who lost the light of their lives, would you feel the same?

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Filed under: Justice
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Mike

    During my time in school I was bullied once, but I didn't jump off a bridge,. come on if he hadn't been caught doing something that he was ashamed of he wouldn't have killed himself.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • boxermoma

      Yes sir!

      May 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Raymond

    In response to everyone saying this was a kid that did something that every kid does. Well, a lot of college kids drink and drive. If they get pulled over, what do you think should happen to them? If they kill or severely injure someone while driving drunk, what sentence should they receive?

    May 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • stronghold

      Your example is by far not similar to this case, yes this kid (the defendant) violated the victim's privacy, but by no means he should be punished for the victim's decision to commit suicide. If you break-up with your girl/boy friend, b/c you love someone else, and he/she commits suicide b/c of it, are you to blame?... there was a serious issue with the kid (the victim), who knows if he had problems with his family or even himself.... dont step on someone who is already on the ground....

      May 31, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. NJ Guest

    I don't think it is fair to blame Ravi for the death of Tyler. Tyler needed help and he committed suicide and this cannot be fixed no matter what we try. Also, Ravi did something wrong by intimidating Tyler. Judge was clear at the time of sentencing that both sides will not be happy but gave a reasonable judgement.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sherlock Steve

    Sadly to say, a human being died when he was outed and ashamed. Person who did the outing was a guy from India named Dharun Ravi who decided to have fun saying his roommate was gay and shared it with the world in which he didn't have Tyler Clementi's permission. When he sat through his trial, got convicted, and said nothing when the sentence was passed, now he decides to admit his guilt and hand out his LATE apology for his actions as he heads to his 30 day jail sentence. But he'll have ONLY 10 days to serve.
    After that he could face deportation back to his country of India. Rutgers University should consider giving Ravi a swift kick in his pants and telling him to GET LOST.
    BUT while the prosecutors are trying to appeal the sentence (long shot), this judge should face a recall election in NJ and be told "you are not on the job for 30 years!" (equal to being FIRED).
    Sadly to say, Dharun Ravi should consider heading back to his home country to take up a religious vocation and consider to atone for causing Tyler clementi's death. It would be nice if Dharun Ravi became a monk.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • boxermoma

      He did not cause tylers death, tyler caused his own death. He did not push him off the bridge. I was hoping Ravi would not end up in prison. Bullying is not ok, but putting Ravi in prison wouldn't have help anything either.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jayakumar

      Agree that he was a bully. But he did not share it with the world. That was proved untrue. According to the lady who very cleverly turned prosecuter witness inthis case and gained immunity, Ravi and his friends only saw hardly 15 seconds o the video and they switched it off as soon as they realised what was going on. He did twitter childishly about it to his friends, but not to the world. So you have incomplete information. If he had posted the video on youtube, I would have supported a 10 year sentence for him. But in this case, it is clear that the only thing he is guilty of doing is behaving immaturely. Moreover, thought he was born in India, he was brought up his entire life in the US and any values he has, was imbibed here and not in India. So dont blame the country of origin.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sidney

      Give me a break! Tyler was a troubled/unstable, gay student in a straight college environment. Ravi didn't cause his death at all. A stupid college prank would not cause YOU to jump off a bridge. Ravi is no danger to society. Why waste tax dollars on housing him in jail,.... to protect us??? I'm sure he could benefit society more by community service at high schools throughout NJ. Increased awareness of issues like his would help troubled teens. We should think more of how to make the best of such cases rather than just how to blame and punish.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Puneet

      I don't think it was Dharun ravi's intention to kill the boy. If ravi knew that the boy would end up killing himself, probably Ravi wouldn't have done that. He didn't share the video with whole world. have you seen it urself???? I think, ravi's rooommate committed suicide out of guilt.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bruce

    Ravi wasn't responsible for this idiot's suicide. Yes, it's a form of bullying, but how the idiot chose to react to it made a big difference. He chose to jump off a bridge. Good riddance. One less whiner to worry about.
    Ravi's action was stupid (like college kids do all the times) but in no way he should be held responsible for a loser's suicide. He chose to jump off that bridge. Ravi didn't push him, didn't encourage him, didn't put a gun to his head to make him jump. He jumped on his own. Ravi is responsible for being stupid, but definitely not for the suicide.
    If Ravi didn't show the video online, who would be responsible for this idiot's action? His parents then ??? Also, Ravi being from India should have no bearing on this case... I'm tired of the ignorant people keep pulling that up as to someone being an american makes you better than others somehow. I am an american, tired of the ignorant americans thinking of you being mightier than others around the world.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kabala

    Like someone said, just a dumb choice a kid made. It was wrong clearly but he didn't make his roomate commit suicide. People are faced with all sorts of trauma and stress in their lives and yet don't kill themselves over it. If I let an employee go and he can't handle this and decides to kill himself, is it my fault? The question is, why did he kill himself? Not because he was spied on but because of some instability within himself. He knew he was doing wrong and feared others would find out. If he thought it was acceptable he would be here today.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    It's amazing how much hatred is being spewed out here in the name of not being hateful.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sassy Lassie

    There were no winners in this case. However, I think a year would have been more appropriate.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mary

    I think 30 days in jail is too much even. I am gay, and I think Tyler was ill. He way over reacted. I think Dharun made bad insensitive choices, but not of the kind that should send him to jail.

    May 30, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • OJ

      The only thing is that Ravi isn't being charged with the death of Tyler. He is being charged with spying, a form of espionage, which in his case was a misdemeanor but easily could have been a felony.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. OJ

    I honestly can't believe that this kid only got 30 days! I think a year would have definitely fit the intensity of this crime. 30 days just goes to show that you can spy on someone, use it as a form of bullying and still (basically) dodge jail, even prison time.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. P.O.C.

    how come nothing I post, posts?

    May 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. skinny4evr

    My son is a student at Rutgers, a freshman in Sept. 2010. The general thoughts of the students are he's guilty and he should be punished. More than just being expelled and having his future ruined,(who will ever hire him?). He'll never be able to show his face there again. The students wanted him to go to prison, just not for 10 years, but more than a month. Also, the kids were mad that the girl involved did not have any punishment. The girl came up every time we spoke of it. It's sad, there will never be justice because Tyler is gone forever.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. KGB 007

    The sentence is fair – this wasn't a repeated bullying, it was a 1-time incident, and I'm sure the guy never would've done it if he'd know the kid would kill himself, I think he learned his lesson and he'll have to live with it for the rest of his life – adding more jail time would just be vindictive.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. shannon ray blake

    the holy bible calls being gay an abomination,oh i forgot "you people"only follow the words of the bible when you want to ,and do not follow bible when you do not want to!shannon

    July 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
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