In 2010 Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University, killed himself three days after his roommate watched him kiss another man via a surreptitiously activated webcam. The roommate, Dharun Ravi, is now on trial for invasion-of-privacy offenses that are being treated as hate crimes. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum says the case illustrates the dangers posed by hate crime statutes, which enhance the penalties for existing offenses based on bigoted motives and therefore punish people for their opinions.
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