Even assholes deserve justice
And justice was served Monday by a New Jersey judge who sentenced a Rutgers freshman convicted in March of bias intimidation to 30 days in jail. Dharun Ravi faced deportation and 10 years in jail for being a jerk.
A question for those who’ve condemned the “lenient” sentence: Had Ravi recorded a hetero roomie having sex would he have faced such a severe penalty? Probably not
But because Tyler Clementi — who killed himself after learning of the recording — was gay, the jury was empowered to judge Ravi’s thoughts.
What the jury had to decide, and what set off debate outside as well as inside the courtroom, was what Mr. Ravi and Mr. Clementi were thinking.
Had Mr. Ravi set up the webcam because he had a pretty good idea that he would see Mr. Clementi in an intimate moment? Had he targeted Mr. Clementi and the man he was with because they were gay? And had Mr. Clementi been in fear?
Even if you support punishing thought, there was insufficient proof Ravi was motivated by a hatred of homosexuals. On the day Clementi killed himself, Ravi, unaware of his death, texted him with an apology: “I’ve known you were gay and I have no problem with it.”