Dharun Ravi’s conviction

By |2018-01-16T01:25:11-05:00March 22nd, 2012|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

S/he Said

“The fundamental question in this trial was whether or not Dharun Ravi would have similarly invaded the privacy of a roommate having intimate relations with someone of the opposite sex, as Ravi did to Tyler Clementi and M.B. In our view, the answer is no – that Ravi would not have invaded the privacy of a straight roommate. In fact, the most compelling evidence in the case, Ravi’s text messages, indicated exactly that. The text messages demonstrated beyond any doubt that Ravi was deeply uncomfortable with Tyler’s being gay, and that Tyler’s suitor was a guy.”
-Steven Goldstein, board chair, Garden State Equality, about the conviction of Dharun Ravi, the 20-year-old former Rutgers University student, for invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness and evidence tampering, and evasion of apprehension in connection with several incidents in September 2010 in which he used a webcam on his dormitory room computer to spy on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who was with another man in their room, http://www.gardenstateequality.org, March 16. The conviction could land Ravi in prison for up to ten years with the possibility of deportation to his native India.
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“Invasion of privacy is a very odd crime for bias intimidation or hate crimes. It’s usually something violent – baseball bat, swastikas, cross burning. Maybe it’s new territory, lots of things involving computers are. The case was really a stretch. I think the evidence is pretty weak on bias intimidation. Though the suicide was technically not part of the case, it loomed over the proceedings. I think there was clearly political pressure by one segment of the gay community … to make Ravi an example because there have been and continue to be gay suicides and there continue to be examples of bullying. But a bias intimidation conviction won’t do anybody any good. I think that people who want to police odious behavior will be encouraged, even when it’s not appropriate to criminalize it, and I think there will be a backlash in terms of people who blame the gay community for being motivated by vengeance rather than justice.”
-Marc Poirer, openly gay professor of law and sexuality at Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey, about the conviction of Dharun Ravi, http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com, March 14.
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“You’re going to meet a lot of people in your lifetime. Some of these people you may not like. Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean you have to work against them. When you see somebody doing something wrong, tell them: ‘That’s not right. Stop it.’ The change you want to see in the world begins with you.”
-Joe Clementi, father of Tyler Clementi, in a brief message to middle- and high-school students, after the conviction of Dharun Ravi, http://nytimes.com, March 14.
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“The debate in this case was: Was this a stupid college prank or criminal intimidation? And the jury gave a clear answer.”
-Suzanne B. Goldberg, law professor, gender law expert at Columbia Law School, about the conviction of Dharun Ravi, http://nytimes.com, March 14.
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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.