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. kellyintulsa

    I have followed this story from the beginning. My heart goes out to Tyler's family and friends. I don't understand what the judge was thinking in this case though. This man and let's face it he is a man at the age of 21, did what he did because he was afraid of being a roommate with a gay man. I thought we had the freedom to do in our bedrooms whatever we want to do without judgement from other people. He took that away from Tyler and therefore I think that his freedom should have been taken from him as well. What good does probation do when he still has the right to live his life and do this again to someone else. It makes me mad as a mother to see that this young man was treated as though he was some type of entertainment for an idiot like Ravi. Our justice system failed this family,

    May 22, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • DM

      How in the world do you pretend to know why someone did something?

      May 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. amusejay

    30 days is too short of a sentence for an offense like that. Lesser crimes have resulted in people serving at least 90 days in jail. Where is the justice when petty theft gets you 90 days, but harassment resulting in a death only gets you 30? This has become an ass-backward world that we live in and the "system" is to blame.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Anarkist4d2

      "harrassment resulting in death"
      The death was self inflicted. There is no proof whatsoever that what this guy did, wrong or not, caused Tyler to kill himself.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Randy

      There is no proof that this led directly to the death. Was it a factor, I'm sure. However, Tyler's mother rejected him, I'm willing to be that played a bigger role in his decision to take his life over what Dahrun did. I am not defending Dahrun at all but the media has for the most part only played one side of the issue. It was a stupid prank gone wrong, if he wanted it to be hateful and more malicious he could have easily recorded the video and done a lot worse with it. I agree that 30 days is a bit short, I would say maybe 6 months to a year in conjunction with the rest of what he has to serve. When you take the emotion out and look at the evidence and the facts that have been presented the judge did a good job of pointing out his faults and the fact that he never once apologized. When it comes to these situations it's hard not to but people need to be objective.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jane Henderson

    30 days that led directly to the death of a gay young man? He may as well have pushed him off the bridge himself. I suspect the judge must have some subconscious anti-gay opinions himself.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Anarkist4d2

      Jane Henderson,
      Saying this led "directly to the death" of Tyler is an assumption. No proof of that at all.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. mike

    no, 30 days is NOT enough for a hate crime, but the judge in this case intelligently weighed the evidence and decided this did not qualify as such, despite the bullying tactics of the lgbt community to convince everyone that everything that happens to any lgbt'er is a hate crime. was there anything in ravi's tweet that expressed hateful feelings towards tyler? this is "victim mentality" at it's worst.....and i'm sorry to say that cnn's biased & incomplete reporting in cases like this causes more damage than anything else.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • DM

      Sounds like you hate the folks at CNN. Is that a crime? Shall we lock you up for, say, 10 years. Some of the folks at CNN are also in the victim classes.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    Hopefully Dharun doesn't end up with a gay cellmate... One who owns a video camera.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mary

    It is very sad that Tyler died and my heart goes out to his family and friends for such a young life lost. That being said, Dharun has had enough punishment going through this case, being judged and prosecuted by every person who reads about him. He will have to live as the person declared responsible for Tyler's death for the rest of his life. He obviously showed remorse by texting Tyler. He did something stupid and will be punished for the rest of his life in some way. 30 days is plenty at this point. I don;t think it's fair to say you know he acted out of hatred and intentionally hurt Tyler because e was gay. You are not Dharun so therefore you don't know what was going through his head. It was a fair trial and the judge did the right thing in my opinion.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Amen I'm with you.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The Ghost

    Deport the kid, allow the punishment to be "We don't act this way in our country", flag him as an "undesirable" and don't allow him back – pretty simple, the taxpayers don't have to pay for him to be incarcerated, don't have to pay to have someone hold his hand through a community service program, no probation officer to pay for !

    May 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      You can deport an American Citizen.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philly Lady

    Sentence far too lenient. Should be locked up a lot longer.
    Send a message that it is OK to torment others and to invade privacy.
    At least deport him!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pam

    Yes it's fair he should not have gotten any time, he DID NOT KILL THE GUY HE KILLED HIMSELF... Sorry but I get so tired of these Gay's thinking the world is supposed to accept what they do. I don't care what you do just don't get married, people are ignorant the guy with the Camera was just Ignorant he didn't push the man off the building he jumped he should have been more secure with who he was as a gay man...

    May 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pam

    Well Trayvon has nothing to do with this case, but as a Black woman I know there will not be justice for him Blacks have had it bad for centuries the gays, latino's and any animal will always have it better in America than a black person any day... It's sad...

    May 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lee

    Dharu Ravi never showed remorse, said he was sorry to the family. He makes me sick!
    Dharu's mom sobbed because he has been going thru hell since this happened. Well, he deserves it.I guess that is the justice because 30 days in jail isn't!

    May 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hamsta

    so its someone elses fault the kid decided to kill himself? blaming the bully is just as lame as when they tried to blame ozzy osbourne and judas preist.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. eg

    30 days in jail sorry not enough.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Prettygal

    It was Tyler's choice to jump off that bridge. No one pushed him. He was probably upset that his mom could not accept that he was gay. He could have been dumped by that older lover of his. Why blame poor Ravi?

    May 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Blessmysol

    I'm just surprised that all those counts of evidence tampering and witness tampering only earned him thirty days, without even considering his obvious malicious intent in regards to his roommate's invasion of privacy.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
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