Jacob Sullum on the Trial of Tyler Clementi's Roommate

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.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties