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: http://ow.ly/b3cvy

Kashmir Hill‏ @kashhill Ravi sentence in Clementi case is more a deterrent for future prosecutors than for future privacy invaders. http://onforb.es/Lb3Ax8

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.

On HLN.com:

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.

On CNN.com 

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. paul

    Prison is for criminals. Mr. Ravi is an insensitive child who pulled a stupid prank. There are already too many people in our prisons. Most of those advocating for prison time blame Mr. Ravi for Mr. Clementi's death. The suicide was unfortunate, but Mr. Clementi's death was by his own hands, not Mr. Ravi's.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Art

      He wasn't convicted of killing him even though any reasonable person who knows the evidence would agree that being outed by Ravi is the reason he is now dead. There are people in prison or jail some for years for marijuana, for shoplifting, for traffic violations and non support. He was found guily on 4 counts of bias intimidation, other counts of evidence and witness tampering, he stole Clementi's password. He did everything but push him off the bridge.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. maylane22

    This is an insult to the American justice system!!!! Send him back to India where he belongs.
    And send the Judge too. I believe the judge was paid off!!!!!~!!!!!

    May 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. christina

    this is a bunch of bull crap what the hell was the system thinking!!! go ahead send him to prison see if he makes it out. or i just hope he lives through it each day and if any remorse kills him inside.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rick

    again, our court system has 'failed us' , the judge is a flake and should be removed immediately. how can he sleep at night.
    the courts are full of laws but justice is nowhere to be found.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Scottish Mama

    30 days is not enough, must be a wealthy sheiks son. Deport him.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Diana

    the jury obviously determined it was not "just a prank", but malicious. A 30 day sentence is an embarassment, and there should be a review of the judge. All this says is if you spy on your roommate, or anyone you share space with, can broadcast whatever you do; to anyone, and they will get their hands slapped. I'd love to see what would happen if the shoe was on the other foot of the defendant or the judge! I bet there would be a totally different outcome with the same jury verdict to consider.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Also if he tried to cover it up and tamper with witnesses he knew it was wrong.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • c simmons

      30 days is not even a slap on the wrist. He is a criminal. It is not a prank as determined by the jury. What is the judge saying about my privacy and my personal integrity. The speeches by the parents of the defendant show that no one in the family blames Mr. Ravi for what he has done. Thus I do not believe that any of his supporters believe he is responsible for any wrong doing. 30 days in jail will not teach him or his supporters what was wrong with what he did and was convicted of doing.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Portland tony

    The young man wasn't outed by anyone. He asked for private use of a shared room to entertain a male friend. No, he didn't come out just to jump off a bridge. There are support groups for gay men on campus. There had to be more underlying issues that caused this tragedy. A stupid prank may have triggered irrational behavior, but no one person can be blamed or
    held accountable for this death. Perhaps society?

    May 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • madmaninthemiddle

      In addition to the 4 "hate crime" counts there were multiple counts of evidence tampering. That's a crime that deserves to be punished, regardless of how you assess blame for the suicide.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scottish Mama

    I disagree tony, he was put on the internet and Ravi called his friends to view it. Not once, what is on the net stays on the net. Potential job offers who knows what Mr. Clementi was thinking, he was distraght enough to go to campus authorities. Perhaps an unfeeling roommate is to blame?

    May 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Laura Robertson

    He should have gotten at least 5 years. The other boy is dead forever. This is why there is so much bullying going on, because no one is punished for it. It was none of his business if the other boy was gay. If he didn't like it he could have roomed with someone else not made fun of him until the othr boy wanted to die. Shame on the judge who gave a tap on the wrist. That sends a big message to other bullys that we think it is ok. There is more than one way to commit murder. He isn't a child anymore. He is responsible for his mean behavior. I hope the people who know him let him know what a monster he is. He is disgusting and there is no justice for the dead young man. He should be sent back where he came from..

    May 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      OMG...Mean, if he can't handle mean, what's he gonna do in the real world unprotected by the college campus? Young men and women are taught how to prepare for the hard knocks of the outside world by going to college.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      i know this is insensitive but the victim's lifestyle woulddah shorten his life anyways...ravi is guilty of nerd on nerd crime...shouldn't be imprison..,good call judge long enough to let him know maliciousness does have limits...hope ravi is not be deported and permitted to finished school...now if the paparazzi can get 30 days and $11,000 fine for their lens "intimidation"

      May 21, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hamsta

    Why is it always someone elses fault when these wimps commit suicide? blaming the bully fault is just as lameas when they blamed ozzy osbourne and judas priest.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. hamsta

    sorry for the bad grammar. i meant to say blaming the bully is just as lame as when they blamed ozzy osbourne and judas preist.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Johnny Dangerous

    The kid did not throw the other kid off the bridge. He jumped off the bridge out of shame. If he was not ashamed of being gay he would still be walking around today and none of this would have ever taken place.

    This was such a crock... there is no way this kid should have been charged with ANYTHING at all.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Judge Ito

    30 days is too much. A guilty sentence was too much. Hell, taking this to trail was too much. And if you want to know the truth even charging the kid was too much.

    Over zealous prosecutors are ruining this country left and right.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dan S

    And the message sent by the court is that if you're gay, driving you to suicide is legally not that big a deal.

    Ten years would have been excessive, sure. But thirty days simply is not enough: Ravi was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence. These are *not* minor charges or youthful hijinks, and because of his actions, another person is dead who would in all probability *not* be dead if Ravi had not acted the way he did.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. rescuesu

    HORRIBLE! HE bulied and harrassed and humiliated someone to the point they felt they can no longer live in this world!! He is responsible for Tylers death. The sentence is unjust and sends a very scary message to others that engage in this behavior and think its no big deal. Sadly, the message is...'its no big deal'. What an outrage and I send my prayers to Tylers family.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Prettygal

      Wrong. Tyler was mentally unstable, and confused about himself. Tyler was upset that his mom could not accept that he was gay. His mother was the last person to communicate with him. Why blame this on poor Ravi? Ravi was always polite, never rude, even once. He never said anything bad about gays.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
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