Monday’s sentencing of former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was a hot topic of conversation. Was the punishment too light? Just right? Too far? Now that we’ve all had a day to talk about it, what do you think of the outcome?
Monday’s sentencing of former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi touched off further debate on the case. Was the punishment too light? Just right? Too far?
The 20-year-old, who intimidated and spied on his roommate Tyler Clementi, who eventually committed suicide, was convicted in March of all 15 criminal counts he faced, including invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, and trying to destroy evidence by deleting text messages and tweets.
He faced up to 10 years in prison, but Judge Glenn Berman sentenced him to just 30 days in jail and three years of probation, and he ordered him to pay $10,000 to go in service of hate crime victims. (Prosecutors say they will appeal the sentence.)
Since his suicide in 2010, Clementi has been held up as a symbol of the effects of bullying on young gays. But is that death too heavy a responsibility for Ravi? Reactions on social media reflect a mix of opinions. Some say Ravi’s behavior was ugly and misguided, but he did not directly kill Clementi, and he did not deserve a years-long prison sentence. Some NewsWorks readers said the sentence was far too lenient.
The sentencing raised again questions that were debated before his conviction. Should Ravi have taken the plea deal instead of risking a 10-year prison term to fight his charges? Why didn’t he apologize to Clementi’s family? Was this a hate crime?
There is no closure here. Clementi’s family will continue to grieve. Ravi’s parents are entitled to their own sadness, embarrassment and confusion. Arguably, whatever the length of his lock-up, Ravi will continue to suffer for this actions. And perhaps the outcome raises more questions about bullying and fairness than it answers. Give us your thoughts below.