Dharun Ravi Found Guilty on Most Charges


Dharun Ravi

Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi has been convicted of "bias, invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension and witness tampering" in connection with the Tyler Clementi suicide. 

I hope future generations will find the preceding paragraph as baffling as I do. In what the Newark Star-Ledger calls a "high profile case that sparked awareness of cyber-bullying and harassment of gay teenagers," Ravi cammed roommate Clementi canoodling with another man, then tweeted about it. Shortly thereafter Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

Jacob Sullum on the Clementi/Ravi case: Lack of evidence that Ravi's snooping led to any shaming, outing, or any other public response. Why giving a person 10 years for having expressed unpopular ideas is not different from old-school thought-crime prosecution. How deleting an embarrassing tweet can get you time for "hindering apprehension."

NEXT: Ilya Somin on Why The Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional and a Threat to Liberty

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  1. convicted of "bias"

    We are so screwed.

    1. We're just a step away from being convicted of "holding a minority opinion."

      1. "holding a minority opinion"

        Like, feeling that I'm under a "black cloud" or something? Sooo...racist?

        1. This reason post is mendacious, misleading, full red herrings and insults the intelligence of readers. John Cole of Balloon-Juice explains better than I ever could:

          1. Almanian's post is none of those things.

      2. Don't worry about things getting bad; things are bad.

      3. You can't just appropriate the People's brainwaves whenever you feel like it. Are we to be allowed to opt out of any law we don't like?

      4. You can't just appropriate the People's brainwaves whenever you feel like it. Are we to be allowed to opt out of any law we don't like?

        1. If being gay were a crime punishable by instant death, would you "opt out" of it, Tony?

    2. This is just one more example of why I call the U.S.A. a "fucking police state". Citizens who goose-step along with authorities deserve my everlasting hate.

      1. You probably shouldn't mention hating anyone.

  2. I'm predicting that this case will make it all the way up to the Supremes.

    1. I agree. Unless the government departs Ravi before he can appeal his conviction.

      1. "before the government DEPARTS..."
        Spell checking is not enough. You actually need to read your posts before you click submit.
        Unless....maybe the pricks at the government who prosecuted this case could 'depart'....NO, too much to ask for.

        1. I think he means "departs" as in "The Dee-pah-ted", meaning...

          Well, you know who ELSE "departed" people he didn't like....

              1. =boom

    2. As it should.

  3. Protected class remains protected, I guess.

    1. I don't get that mentality at all. Why? How is that not flat-out unconstitutional?

      1. There's a Supreme Court case about it ... somewhere ... [shuffles papers]

  4. So this a new beginning, as the new century dawns
    The world's a better place for you and me
    Shouldn't smoke or drink or watch that evil filthy porn.
    Be Christian and God will set you free.
    But being poor is worse than having AIDS,
    The homeless live in boxes at our feet
    Living in a constant state of dull frustrated rage,
    The innocent shot daily in the street

    Brave new world, brave new world, brave new world

    1. The government has always been your pal, as you well know
      Absolute corrupted power play,
      If we all wipe each other out, it only goes to show
      While the bureaucrats get richer by the day,
      Smoking dope will get you more than murder one,
      And even worse than statutory rape,
      Don't understand your children, so you send them all to jail,
      Believe me, you will never make a worse mistake.


      1. The government is coming and it wants to be your friend,
        It wants to show you how to be a snitch
        Inform upon your children, the inevitable end,
        Is everyone's a victim but the filthy fucking rich,
        And religion, like the monster that it is
        Keeps telling you to turn the other cheek
        God is on your side, but I don't think that you're on his,
        If Jesus showed up now he'd be in jail by next week.

  5. "bias, invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension and witness tampering"

    Other than "witness tampering, I don't get any of that.

    1. He had unapproved preferences, don't you get it? You're going to love us...or else.

  6. The guy clearly is a jackwad and a homophobe, but criminal? I mean, if the guy hadn't committed suicide, he likely would have had a civil tort claim against this dude, but criminal?

    1. Exactly. One side of me thinks a number of these charges are ridiculous. The other simply wants to pummel him. Or at least watch. While shoving gay porn at him.

      no homo

    2. I'm not even sure he's a homophobe. I had a gay roommate in college. I was uncomfortable with it, although I'm not uncomfortable with gays. I couldn't give a logical reason why it was an uncomfortable thing. Humans are weird. Case in point; dude jumped off a bridge after reading twitter.

      Jackwad - yes. Jailtime/deportation - no way.

      1. It't not even clear that anything Ravi said about him on twitter was what lead to Clementi jumping off the bridge. He didn't leave a suicide note or anything else explaining why he offed himself.

        People are just assuming that because his roommate was an insensitive jerk that must be it. The whole case was fucking stupid, and apparently the 12 mouth breathers in the jury box were all funcionally retarded.

      2. Yeah I was just using his suicide as proof that people are weird and often unfathomable. The whole thing is a stupid mess.

        Evidently his suicide wasn't even allowed into court as a determining factor, so he will be sent to jail based solely on being a jerk. Up next: every other 18 year old, ever.

        1. Evidently his suicide wasn't even allowed into court as a determining factor

          Holy shit I hadn't heard that part. He literally got sent to prison for (maybe) thinking gay buttsex is icky. This story gets worse the more you hear.

          1. Yup

            1. This country is so fucked. I don't know if we ever were a nation of laws that applied to everyone equally, but the appalling miscarriages of justice, bent on ideological favor and fervor, are becoming the norm.

              The warnings of the coming fascism is plain for anyone to see, who ever bothers to look. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop; the one that takes us over the edge.

          2. He hasn't been sent to prison yet. Sentencing is scheduled for mid-May.

              1. Only a couple years of prison rape. All is right with the world.

                (nothing else happened)

            1. Oh well, that makes it all better! He's not in prison yet, he just soon will be (either that or deported back to his "home country" where he hasn't lived since he was a toddler). I'm so relieved!

      3. You can't give a logical reason why you were uncomfortable having a gay roommate? Are you being disingenuous or have you also been p.c.-brainwashed? It's perfectly normal for a straight guy to feel uncomfortable living with a gay man. Imagine how a woman might feel being forced to live with a straight guy she is not attracted to.

    3. I mean, if the guy hadn't committed suicide, he likely would have had a civil tort claim against this dude,

      I don't see one, offhand.

      1. Intentionally filming someone having sex without getting their permission first?

        1. There was no sex on film and you know it.

          1. That's what he intended to do before Clementi shut the feed off. Regardless, he was capturing activities that were expected to be private.

            Or are you nitpicking the word "filming"? Fine, capturing video and streaming to a remote location. Same thing from the law's POV.

            1. Except he didn't actually capture anything the second time.

        2. So if my roommate brings strangers into my room that I'm uncomfortable with, I shouldn't be able to have a security camera to survey my room from a remote location in case said stranger steals something?

  7. It's official: gays, Blacks, Muslims, women have more rights than straights, Whites, Christians, males (in that order, apparently: 'gay' seems to trump 'Brown Indian').

    Thoughtcrime against any of the sainted minorities is to be punished. The help of the libertarians in importing more minorities and thus inevitably exposing more thoughtcrimes from the 'privileged' natives is commendable. The fact that they do this in spite of knowing that the minorities are not libertarian-leaning at all (with just one exception: Shikha Dalmia) is all the more reason to admire them. They have proven to be efficient tools for the spreading of Liberalism and Equality and Diversity.

    1. Way to microaggress and "other" teh mynoriteez, Royal JackWagon

    2. the minorities are not libertarian-leaning at all (with just one exception: Shikha Dalmia)

      Also, I believe Thomas Sowell, KMW, Walter Williams, Rucy Stigerwarrrrr, and any number of my personal acquaintences - just off the top of my head - would suggest the list is a bit longer.

      But I'll let them decide for themselves - No Slaver

      1. Aren't women a majority?

        1. Only in reality. Under the law, they are, in fact, a "Protected Class?".

          1. The whole protected class thing is just fucked. If we absolutely have to consider things like race, gender, sexual orientation in laws like this, there should be protected distinctions, or something like that rather than these othering classes. If it is extra bad to do something because someone is gay, it should be just as bad if it is done because the person is straight, and so on. Though just punishing people for the actual acts they commit would be even better.

            1. Zeb - I agree completely. I never understood "hate crimes". It's not bad enough I murdered him/stole from her - because I called him/her [epithet], it's REALLY bad,'ll give me the chair twice? Double the term of my incarceration because I'm racist/sexist/whatever-we-make-up-next-ist?

              Does not compute.

            2. That is already true. In Jersey, you're guilty of a bias crime if you commit an illegal act against someone because of their sexual orientation -- be it gay, straight, bi or whatever else there is.

        2. Yes we are but wymmin are a minority none the less, I learnt it in wimmins studies.

          1. What's a "wymmin"?

            The other thing that really bugs me about how people use "minority" is when someone says that some person "is a minority". No shit. Every person is a minority of one.

            1. Every person is a minority of one.

              That's straight-up fucking RACIST!

    3. I love how you're able to ride your hobby-horse (immigration) into any argument, no matter how divorced it is from the matter at hand.

      HAHAHA! Disregard that. I don't love it. You're an imbecilic Down's-syndrome mongoloid.

    4. Hey retard! Those people are coming here without the help of anybody.

      I love how we are totally ineffectual until you need us to be a boogeyman. Fuck off idiot.

  8. Imagine what the charges would have been if Ravi had, you know, said a single derogatory word to his roommate.

    1. They'd have tried him for murder if Clementi had left a note saying "Ravi's snooping was too much for me to take".

  9. LA Times headline

    "Roommate Killed Himself Over Snooping"

    They were there, apparently.

  10. Anyone that actually followed this case should be appalled.

    There is nothing wrong with filming your OWN ROOM. Especially when your roomate is having guests around that seem odd or unsetteling. His roomate's guest was a middle aged man. You would have to be totally oblivious to not raise an eyebrow at that.

    It is absolutely legal to videotape your own space (remember Ravi owned the RIGHT to live in his dorm room via his lease) and post it wherever you want.

    It stinks that Ravi's roomate killed himself. It's tragic.

    To think that the state can id why he killed himself specifically and pin it on a roomate's curiousity is so egregious because it strikes to the heart of personal privacy in one's own home.

    Your dorm is your home if you enter a legally binding contract and make payments upon the execution of that lease.

    1. If you point the camera at your roommate's bed and then tell the whole world to watch, there is plenty wrong with it. Ravi getting charged with bias intimidation is a bit much, but the invasion of privacy bit is legit.

      If your roommate filmed you changing in your own apartment and then posted it on Youtube, they would be guilty of invasion of privacy as well.

      1. Except if you read Sullum's article about this case, Ravi DIDN'T tell the "whole world" to watch. He merely streamed the video from his laptop to the laptop of his female friend in the other room where they watched a few minutes of the live feed before shutting it off. The only publicizing of this event was when Ravi tweeted that he saw his roomate kissing another man.

        But Below the Rim is correct, he did have a right to film his own room since he had reason to fear for the security of his possessions. The issue is to what extent to Ravi invade his roomate's privacy? By streaming it to his friend's laptop? By tweeting about it? Those are legitimate questions, but I don't think they merit the time this guy is going to get. This should be a civil issue brought forth by Clementi's family.

        1. If that had been the only time he did it, you'd be correct and there probably would not have been a case. However, he did set up the camera and then advertised how to on Twitter for the world to see. Clementi unplugged it prior to the second show. Ravi appeared to have known that he did something wrong because he modified the Tweet after being confronted by the RA.

          1. "However, he did set up the camera and then advertised how to on Twitter for the world to see."

            How to what?

            See the feed? No, he never did that.

            1. The case was rare because almost none of the facts were in dispute. Mr. Ravi's lawyers agreed that he had set up a webcam on his computer, then gone into a friend's room and viewed Mr. Clementi kissing a man he had invited to his room three weeks after arriving at Rutgers in September 2010. Mr. Ravi sent Twitter and text messages telling others what he had seen, and urged them to watch a second viewing, then deleted messages after Mr. Clementi killed himself.

              Yes he did.

              1. Still, the live feed never actually happened.

              2. "How to what?

                See the feed? No, he never did that."

                "Mr. Ravi sent Twitter and text messages telling others what he had seen, and urged them to watch a second viewing,"

                1) "urging to watch" is not "telling them how to see". From a semamtics point alone, you are wrong.

                2) since the feed NEVER ocurred, your claim that he told others how to see it is irrelevant.

                "Yes he did."

                No, liar, he didn't.

                That you resort to lying to further your point says all that needs to be said about you.

                1. Wow, is SloMo still trying to say he broadcast this feed when even the state says that's bullshit?

                2. His iChat was set up to accept all incoming chats. Telling people to video chat with him on iChat was telling them how to view it. That Clementi unplugged the computer because he caught wind of the plan doesn't change that fact.

                  1. OK, but you are still missing the point that it was never broadcast to anyone.

                  2. "Telling people to video chat with him on iChat was telling them how to view it."

                    No, it's telling them to chat with him. Even from a basic semantic point you are still wrong.

                    "That Clementi unplugged the computer"

                    Not what happened.

                    Why do you insist on lying about this?

                    1. Wait, is SloMo still moronically pretending that people were privy to a webcam stream that never existed?

                      Even though the state has said that was bullshit?

                    2. But but but, he told them how and when to watch it!

                    3. "Telling people to video chat with him on iChat was telling them how to view it."

                      RC Dean made the point and it stands, if you're explaining, you're losing.

                      You're explaining why what actually happened is the same thing as what you're claiming happened.

                      If it was, you wouldn't be explaining it.

                    4. Nice to see that Epi has hopped aboard the lazy rules of thumb bandwagon.

                      By this new "iron law", if anyone nitpicks unimportant aspects of your argument, you automatically lose.

        2. If I was concerned about my stuff being stolen, I would point the webcam at my stuff, rather than my roommate's bed, but that's just me.

          1. If it's like any dorm room that I've been in, they can be pretty damn small. Point it in one direction and you have a good part of the whole room.

            1. My old dorms rooms weren't big, but my desk, where my stuff was, was nowhere near my bed.

              1. There are thousands of collleges, and geometrically more dorm rooms.

                Only an idiot would think describing their single room was a useful anecdote.

                1. There are dorms with each roommate's bed above his own desk, but it would be extremely unusual to have one roommate's desk next to the other's bed. Plus of course Ravi's behavior at the time makes it quite implausible that he was concerned about his stuff being stolen.

              2. Well, if *your* room was nothing like that....

              3. Just for arguments sake, my desk was attached to my bed and my "closet". The other half of the room was a mirror of my side. If I had set up a cam in the corner to watch my desk and closet, I would have been able to see my roomate fucking his hot girlfriend.

        3. "Except if you read Sullum's article about this case, "

          Which is why you shouldn't rely on Sollum's previous articles. They don't tell you what happened.

  11. What has liberal justice wrought today?

    Sad day. Still don't know what "intimidation bias" is or how the prosecution proved this beyond a reasonable doubt. The intimidation bias of bigoted gays and friends I think had something to do with.

    Duke lacrosse and now Dharun Ravi. Ravi got the miscarriage of justice though.


    1. liberal justice


      1. Canadian Culture

        Now THAT'S an oxymoron.

        1. You hoser, eh!

          1. That's country-ist, straight up.

        2. Hockey, maple syrup and decent beer.

          1. Take off, eh?

      2. No, just moron.

    2. As near as I can tell "intimidation bias" means thinking any thought that could be construed as negative toward any member of any protected class. They've literally just made political correctness law.

      1. That sounds vaguely "other-ist".

        We have our eye on you, Loki...

      2. Yep. If Clementi had been a straight guy making out with a skanky middle aged woman, the most Ravi would have been charged with was a peeping Tom charge, if that. EVEN if he had used that information to torment the guy, which doesn't seem to have happened in this case.

    3. I see nothing liberal about prosecuting people for thoughtcrime.

      1. It's progressive.

  12. Hopefully this abomination is overturned on appeal. Apparently there isn't 1 in 12 people in New Jersey that knows that correlation does not mean causation. Clementi could have been depressed and despairing for a multitutde of reasons.

    1. If you think it's an abomination, why don't you install a webcam in your bedroom and let anyone who cares to watch do that?

      How is this an abomination? Ravi intentionally set up a recording device, pointed it at someone else's bed, then watched it from another location!

      I don't care what anyone's sexual orientation is -- that alone is downright despicable and very worthy of prison time.

      1. Pretty sure the first time was not on purpose and the second time never actually occurred.

      2. The 'bias intimidation', which carries the most weight in terms of jail time, is the abominable part. I can agree with guilty of invasion of privacy and being sued in civil court by the family, but he's not guilty of thought crime.

      3. Where is all this "pointed at his bed" talk coming from? Wouldn't it really be "pointed away from his own computer screen"?

        1. Those aren't mutually exclusive, of course. Don't capture video of people who have the expectation of privacy in the space where they legitimately have it. Not hard.

          And if Clementi "unplugged" the webcam, that implies it was a separate device, not affixed to the computer.

          1. Ooops, looks like it was indeed a laptop attached webcam. Still, my first point stands.

    2. He was not charged with Tyler's death, depression or despair.

  13. I still think they needed to make an example of him to prevent this in the future.

    1. I guarantee you that "this" is happening still and won't stop. Most people doing such things are fortunate enough not to do it to someone who is about to kill himself, so this kind of bullshit doesn't happen.

  14. It's funny, when you read the New Yorker article that went really in depth into the case, Clementi popped off about his roommate's heritage in the same way Ravi had certain comments to make when he found out his roommate was gay.

    From what I have read, the kid isn't even a bigot. He does come off like a complete dick, but there was nothing pornographic in what he saw (Clementi noticed the web cam light on Ravi's laptop before anything went down and closed it).

    Seriously, read this whole story if you haven't already. It's long, but it really reveals how many grey areas there were in this case.

    1. I agree, I don't even think he's a "jackwad" as someone called him aboved.

    2. Ravi still invaded Clementi's privacy.

      The other charges of tampering with evidence, resisting apprehension, and witness tampering are all trumped up if you ask me.

      1. Damn, I guess I should have left the room all the times my roommate was fucking his girlfriend, you know, so I didn't invade his privacy.

        1. Did you watch him have sex with his girlfriend remotely via webcam?

  15. You guys need to calm down a bit. 'Bias' was just one component of the verdict. How significant? Time will tell.

    1. Yeah calm down.


      Thanks, no.

    2. From what I understand, the "bias" bit is what gets you serious jail time.

      1. I read somewhere that it pretty much doubles the sentence.

  16. I still think they needed to make an example of him to prevent this in the future.

    Science, prevent what? Prevent suicide that may or may not have been motivated because of ugly speech? It is simply terrifying that people actually think that thought crime is a good thing.

  17. So it is now a crime to humiliate someone?

    1. Dude, you are SO busted!

      1. We should all pray that Tony doesn't kill himself. I have personally said many hateful and mean things to him, and would again.

        Liberty, how the fuck does it work?

    2. You have to commit some other crime while humiliating someone -- pushing, shoving, invading privacy, etc.

        1. Show your work.

          1. No, you show YOUR work.

            1. Here's the first sentence of the NJ statute:

              A person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation if he commits, attempts to commit, conspires with another to commit, or threatens the immediate commission of an offense specified in chapters 11 through 18 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes [and does the intimidatory stuff].

              (I'd post the whole thing if it weren't for the dang 900 character limit.)

      1. You have to commit some other crime while humiliating someone -- pushing, shoving, invading privacy, etc.

        We're still struggling with how you can invade somebody's privacy when THEY'RE IN YOUR ROOM.

        1. Ask Mo up-thread. He knows.

        2. Here's what The Man says:

          a. An actor commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know that another may expose intimate parts or may engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact, he observes another person without that person's consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed.

          b. An actor commits a crime of the third degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he photographs, films, videotapes, records, or otherwise reproduces in any manner, [the naughty bits].

          c. An actor commits a crime of the third degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he discloses any photograph, film, videotape, recording or any other reproduction of the image of [the naughty bits].

        3. Seriously? A simple google search is too difficult?

          He left a webcam on, pointing at the bed, and watched it from a remote location. How is this not obvious to you?

          1. The Left says this guy did something wrong, so half of H&R is automatically going to defend everything he's ever done.

            1. Protected class. BAD!

              1. And it's especially funny that our resident "above the fray" commenter who's always complaining about TEAM RED TEAM BLUE is very much in this fray too.

                1. I think it's pretty clear that: a) this was a case of invasion of privacy, b) intimidation bias is a bit much to tack on, c) Seeing as the main fact under dispute was whether Ravi put the computer to sleep or if Clementi unplugged it, Ravi was a fool to not take the plea of probation and community service

                  1. Wait.

                    They offered him a plea of probation and community service?

                    I don't think he's guilty of shit, but passing that deal up makes him a colossal moron.

        4. It is clearly an invasion of Privacy if I have a roommate and he never tells me that he/she is filming the shared area. Had Ravi told Clementi that Ravi was video-taping the common area, Clementi would have not hosted the one-night-stand from

          1. Have you seen a dorm room? There's no such thing as "common area". It's like taking your stuff and your friends stuff and craming it into a living room.

            1. Right. So don't film it at all, unless you tell your roommate before hand.

        5. We're still struggling with how you can invade somebody's privacy when THEY'RE IN YOUR ROOM.

          Speak for yourself.

          If I ask a woman to house-sit for me and put a pinhole camera in the guest room to record her undressing, that's invasion of her privacy. Regardless of the fact that it's really my property, I've given her the expectation that she has privacy there.

          In this case it's even more clear cut because it was Clementi's room too.

          1. Apparently houseguests at RC Dean's place can expect to have their bathroom visits recorded, since there's no expectation of privacy in his home.

            1. Foreseeable consequences are not unintended...which means staying at a pervert's house implies consent, right?

  18. Did Tyler not say some bigoted things about Ravi's ethnicity as well.

    1. Ravi's the Paki future 7-11 owner, right?

    2. Did Tyler not say some bigoted things about Ravi's ethnicity as well.

      Yes but don't you realize that racial bigotry is < homosexual bigotry? You need to update out your list of protected groups.

      1. There is no way I'm going to keep all of the straight.

        1. I see what you did there...

        2. straight


        3. There is no way I'm going to keep all of the straight.

          So you're accusing us of recruiting?

    3. It's OK to say bigoted things about skinny brown people from certain foreign lands.

      Had he been an Arab on the other hand...

      1. He'll have plenty of time to convert to Islam in prison.

  19. I'm seriously considering stopping paying attention to current events. This shit is not good for my mental state.

  20. The main conviction here are that he secretly recorded and watched video of someone else's bedroom, without their knowledge or consent. That SHOULD be a serious crime.

    1. The fact that it was also the defendant's bedroom might mitigate that a bit. It's not as if he were spying on a place he had no right to be. But generally, I agree that that sort of thing ought to be a crime.

      1. I'm pretty sure there are some rights regarding being recorded, regardless of where one is. This is essentially the same as a guy inviting a girl over, and telling his friends they can watch remotely via webcam. Should he not go to jail for that? I think he should.

        1. No he shouldn't go to jail for that. WTF!?!

          Should she be able to sue him civilly? Hell yes.

          1. Yes, he should. Putting a camera in someone's bedroom and later watching it for any period of time should be a criminal offense. I don't think that's too controversial.

            If the college or the State of New Jersey did what Ravi was accused of, Reason readers would be up in arms.

            Don't film people in private areas without their permission. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

            1. In Shinobi's scenario, it was his own bedroom. So now I don't even have the right to videotape myself in my own space? And you think I should go to JAIL for it if I do?

              And there is a HUGE distinction between the government spying on you and you streaming video of your room.

    2. And it IS a serious crime. The problem is

      1: Even though Clementi had asked for privacy, it still doesn't change the fact that it was his room too. He also says that he was worried that Clementi's "visitor" might steal his stuff and that's all he was trying to prevent. That claim might be bullshit, but there's no way to know that, and it does introduce a reasonable doubt wrt his motivation. Which brings us to:

      1. 2: He was for all intents and purposes on trial for thinking that gay buttsex is icky (maybe). Although based on his own assertions and some of the things he did say over twitter/ facebook he was perhaps a little "uncomfortable" with the idea, but there was certainly no evidence that he "hated" gays. Again, reasonable doubt: how does it work?

        Bottom line: at the most he was maybe guilty of the invasion of privacy (although there should have been reasonable doubt there as well, see above) and being a bit of an asshole, which apparently is now officially a crime if the the person you're and asshole towards is gay and for reasons unkown kills himself.

      2. Concerns over people stealing your stuff don't trump expectation of privacy. Clothing stores have much stronger and more justifiable concerns about people stealing clothes by putting them on under their own clothes in the dressing room, but that doesn't mean they can install pinhole cameras in dressing rooms.

        If you were doing this to prevent theft, you would have to be careful to only have the camera pointing toward your area of the room. Which Ravi clearly didn't do.

        1. Which is why I think his claim about being worried about his stuff getting stolen is probably CYA bullshit. So it may be appropriate for the jury to find him guilty of invasion of privacy, but they should have found him not guilty of the bias intimidation charges because there's no real indication that the guy "hated" gays or was doing it was anything more than an immature prank.

          The other problem is that noone has proven that Clementi killed himself because of his douche roommate. Apparently he did leave a note (earlier I said he didn't, but was mistaken) but the contents of that note was never publicly released, so who knows what it said. Although you'd think that if it said "I'm going to off myself because my roommate is an othering dickhead" the prosecution would have used that in court.

          1. Well, yeah. But above you claimed that it's impossible to prove he wasn't just guarding his stuff, that's what I'm disagreeing with. You have a duty to avoid capturing video of places where people have a legitimate expectation of privacy.

            1. Technically all his defense needed to do was introduce reasonable doubt as to whether or not he was deliberately invading his roommate's privacy. Actually going back through the New Yorker article, the girl whose room he watched from seems to at least partially confirm that part of Ravi's story "
              He's, like, 'If he steals my iPad I'm going to make Tyler pay for it.'"
              . Whether that was the only reason for doing it is another question.

            2. To me the 2nd time he conspired to video Clementi was far worse because that time he invited his friends via twitter to watch. Although since Clementi unplugged his computer, that would only be attempted invasion of privacy. I'm kind of on the fence wrt the invasion of privacy; at least in the first instance.

              1. Goddamned character limit!

                You have a duty to avoid capturing video of places where people have a legitimate expectation of privacy.

                I don't think I have "a duty". That would seem to imply that if I'm in my front yard filming and accidentally get a shot of my neighbor undressing through a window, I could be charged with "invasion of privacy" even though I was on my own property. Technically Ravi's webcam, it could be argued, was on his own property as well.

      3. If you're worried about that, say:

        a) "Hey, that guy is creepy. I really am uncomfortable with this. No, he cannot be in that room unless I'm there too."
        b) "Okay, sure, but realize that my computer's webcam is going to be on, you guys might very well be captured by it and I might be watching."

        1. If he had bothered to say either one of those things (this is why I think he's a dick) that would have mitigated a lot of this shit.

  21. Does anyone know why the NJ bias intimidation statute isn't unconstitutional under the principle of the RAV v. St Paul case? Just like the statute there, this lists a discrete set of protected characteristics.

    1. The statute in that case made it a crime simply to post a sign or symbol that was likely to arouse resentment (such as a burning cross). I think the theory is that statutes like the NJ one are different because the "hate" aspect is an aggravating circumstance associated with an independent crime.

      1. Yes, thanks for the response. I think that's what they would argue. That is it just like Wisconsin v. Mitchell. But the fact of the matter is that the underlying crime here is videotaping, an First Amendment action, not beating up a kid like in the Mitchell case. That's why I think RAV should apply.

        1. From the State's POV, the underlying crime was invasion of privacy. Though there is some dispute above whether this was invasion of privacy.

          1. Yes, and in RAV the state of Wisconsin said that a crime was going on as well. I understand your point that the statute here references a separate set of crimes. My point is that RAV would have come out the exact same if there had been a separate crime of "posting objects symbols etc" and the list of protected characteristics was a separately enacted bias motivated statute. What was doing the work is the fact that placing symbols, objects, appellations, characterizations is an act of speech. Granted 1st amendment actions aren't always protected, but they can't be discriminated against on a viewpoint basis. Similarly here, the act of videotaping is an act of speech(press/newsgathering if you prefer to look at it like that). Mitchell is different because the underlying act was a physical assault.

            1. LOL at, "Similarly here, the act of videotaping is an act of speech(press/newsgathering if you prefer to look at it like that)."

              Why would you prefer to look at it like that? It's a dorm room, not an exhibit at a zoo, and Ravi wasn't filming a wildlife documentary.

              1. Ravi wasn't filming a wildlife documentary.

                You sure? Kidding...

              2. Because I'm looking at the act itself rather than where and when it occurred. It's just like the Phelps protest didn't fail to be speech because it happened in the proximity of a funeral. (also a good example because a content neutral time place and manner rule can restrict it). What can not restrict it is a viewpoint discriminatory rule.

                1. Video taping isn't speech. The Phelps protest actually involved communication/expression of ideas, so it doesn't match this case.

                  For God's sake, do you guys even read what you type?

                  All above you're harping on how this wasn't publicly made available, so it's OK, and now you're claiming it was intended for publication so it's OK.

                  1. Tulpa. How many cases do you need me to cite to show that videotaping is protected 1A activity? How bout I just cite the most recent one and you read to all the cases it cites within:
                    Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F. 3d 78 (1st Circuit 2011)


                    1. I disagree with that decision's reasoning, though I do like the result. It's results-based jurisprudence at its worst.

                      In any case, that was a very different situation. This guy wasn't filming cops in public.

                    2. Tulpa, I agree that filming isn't speech. But it is "press" activity in my opinion so the no viewpoint-discrimination principle still applies.

                    3. It's not press activity unless they intend to publish it. And of course, publishing this video would have been an even more serious crime in itself.

                      Ergo, you can't use freedom of the press as a defense against invasion of privacy.

                2. So if someone posts a video feed of a public shower or a bathroom stall on the internet you're fine with it?

                  I'm mean, the government is really overstepping its bounds by prosecuting all those nice perverts that film people taking their clothes off in the changing room.

                  And using a camera to spy up a woman's skirt? I assume that's perfectly legal too?

                  1. If she didn't want me to take a pic, she shouldn't've worn a short skirt in public!

                  2. No, you are misinterpreting my position. My position is that maybe the recording or posting can be limited in various ways, but it can't be limited in a viewpoint discriminatory manner. And when you single out a set of characteristics in the bias-motivation statute that is exactly what NJ is doing.

                    1. That was a response to Benj fyi

                    2. The invasion of privacy statute has nothing to do with viewpoint discrimination.

                      Do you support that? You don't seem to above.

                      If you support the invasion of privacy conviction but not the bias intimidation, I agree with you.

                    3. I do agree with that. I only meant to direct my comments to the bias intimidation statute.

                      In my ideal world the invasion of privacy crime may be eliminated or reduced to just a tort action, but I don't see it as a viewpoint discriminatory 1A violation.

    2. Look at Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 US 476 (1993), decided one year after RAV.

  22. Well, if 'making fun of your gay roomate' is bad enough to do jail time, someone is going to get *totally fucked* for this one in China...

    Chinese schoolgirls commit suicide in attempt to travel back in time: report

    One of the girls allegedly wrote that she had dreams of traveling back to the Qing Dynasty, and of visiting outer space. The other may have had another motive: She was worried about telling her parents that she had lost the remote control to the garage at their home, the paper reported.

    Parents, TV-producers, garage-door-opener-manufacturers clearly to blame.

  23. Tyler knew his room mate was taping him from Ravi's computer. There's clear evidence of this from posts he made in a Gay men's forum.
    On another note, if I were a college student paying a gazillion dollars for my education room and board, NO ONE would be having sex in a room I was paying for. That's what hotels and bath houses are for!

    1. Oh u r an OLD Fuddie-Duddie Ptero9.

      Don't u remember the college years?
      Everyone was fucking and smoking and drinking.

      I went to Rutgers University between 1983-1987. We put lipstick and nail polish on guys that were drunk and passed out.

      I was drunk out of my ass in 1983 and fell asleep in my car on a bridge between new brunswick and piscataway,nj. The local cops called the campus cops. One guy drove my car back to my dorm while i was escorted in the campus police car. They escorted me back to my dorm and asked my roomate at the time if i attended Rutgers. They practically tucked me in.

      Today, I'd be in the newspaper, denied entry into Canada, and would have to deal with the hassle of a DUI every time I changed jobs, got insurance, etc.

        1. Had college roommate that was asian (not american born or american educated) that wasn't gett'n any tail and would complain to the administration that his roommates kept asking him to leave while we fucked chicks. U one of those? Not Asian, but never gett'n any Tail.

    2. I don't think you get to decide what your room mate does. And why wouldn't you have sex in your own dorm room?

      1. Why even bother going to college?

      2. A shared space in a room owned by a third party is not a private space. There's a number of behaviors that would not be permitted in a school dorm that would be permitted on private property.

        1. A shared space in a room owned by a third party is not a private space.

          Bullshit. The expectation of privacy is there.

          There's a number of behaviors that would not be permitted in a school dorm that would be permitted on private property.

          What behaviors are permitted on private property depends on the lease agreement. Which is analogous to the dorm rules.

          1. I don't know what the dorm rules are at Rutgers, do you?
            Is one of them "don't leave your web cam on when you leave the room?"

            1. Excuse me, you're the one making claims about what the dorm rules are/should be. Not me.

              Capturing your roommate's private behavior on video is against state law, regardless of what the dorm rules are.

              1. My suggestion was that there shouldn't be the same expectation of privacy that one would have on private property, because a dorm is not private property, therefore I'm not sure any behavior in a dorm room should be deemed "private."

                1. In that case your suggestion is wrong.

                  Does Obama have no expectation of privacy because he lives on public property?

                  1. Would it change anything if it could be proven that Tyler knew the webcam was on?

  24. I disagree with the bias conviction and I think the sentence is excessive for the actual crime that was committed, but Ravi *did* infringe on his roommate's liberties by illegally taping his private activities. That *is* an outrage, and would be so IMO if it had been reversed and Clementi was secretly videotaping Ravi without his knowledge or consent.

    1. How can one have a private activity in a shared dormitory? How is it that Ravi's privacy wasn't infringed upon by his room mate having sexual encounters in their room?

      1. When Clementi asked Ravi to let him have the room for a while, Ravi could have said "No dice, it's my room too, and I'm not budging."

        1. Yeah, you're right. I would have. So, his real crime was leaving the room?

          1. No, just saying that Clementi's sexual encounter did not infringe on Ravi's privacy because Ravi voluntarily surrendered the room to him and his paramour.

  25. I also disagree with the "Bias Conviction". I disagree with Bias and Hate Crimes in general. Assault, Murder, Invasion of Privacy, Fraud, urinating in public should be color-less, class-less crimes.

    I also agree that he IS guilty of Invasion of Privacy.

    1. And, given that this probably led to Clementi to foolishly commit suicide, I agree with Ravi's deportation as well. I'd say, waive jail-time and move on with deportation.

  26. Tim, you could at least accurately state what Ravi actually posted on twitter before lamenting all the horrible atrocities the jury did to him.

    Ravi told everybody on twitter to check out his webcam so they can spy on his roomate's encounter with another man.

    That is not "unpopular ideas" as you say,
    (honestly, please do us all the favor of explaining how inviting someone to spy on a roommate is an "unpopular idea") that is not merely "tweet[ing] about it" and that is not even accidently walking in on them before they are done. It is obvious harassment and invasion of privacy. It is not even a close call. The tweet alone is overwhelming evidence of Ravi's intent.

    1. Or you could read the linked articles. Tim was merely reporting the verdict.

      1. If Tim accurately stated the facts of the case, future generations wouldn't be so baffled by Ravi's conviction. JAcob Sollum's column, "No Sex Tape, No Outing in Tyler Clementi Case" also doesn't explain what Ravi actually did.

        And Sollum's "How Dharun Ravi Could Get 10 Years for Expressing Unapproved Views" is even worse. Sollum writes that "Ravi also said he was joking when he tweeted that he planned to watch the two again two nights later."

        That's not what happened. The day of the second encounter, Ravi posted to twitter telling them to log onto his webcam to watch. He also emailed friends at other schools and told them to watch as well.

        That's not joking. He is not guilty, at worst, of "being a jerk." It is clearly invasion of privacy, but they don't care enough to inform readers of what actually happened.

        1. But as testimony during Ravi's trial has confirmed, there was no sex tape, and the images were never available to the general public. On the evening of September 19, 2010, Ravi set the webcam on his computer to automatically accept video chats, then went across the hall to a friend's room, where they saw a few seconds of Clementi and his visitor kissing, fully clothed, before shutting off the feed. The images were not recorded, and they were not transmitted anywhere except across the hall.

          1. And on the second date, Ravi posted to everyone on twitter so that they could see it again, and he messaged other friends so that they could watch too. That's not a joke, Ravi's defense and claim that it is a joke is idiotic.

            If Ravi was so concerned about his ipad being stolen, why didn't he take it with him on the second encounter, and why does he need to alert the world to tune in to his roomate having sex, when Ravi could watch the action by himself and, by himself make sure nothing is stolen? He doesn't need 20 people watching a video feed to make sure his crap is safe.

        2. The second Sullum article is all about "unapproved views" that's the point of the "bias intimidation" charge.

          1. And if Tim had actually linked to an article that explains what happened in the case that would be fine. Sollum's articles are about what didn't happen. The invasion of privacy conviction isn't baffling, its practically a no-brainer.

            The problem with the second article is Sollum takes Ravi at his word when he says he was joking, and even more seriously, writes about what happened in a way that confuses what actually occurred.

            If Ravi had tweeted "And when it happens again I'll be ready to watch!" and that just so happened to be 2 days later, that would be easier to interpret as a joke, and what sollum wrote would be accurate, and not confusing the issues, both in terms of the tweet's content and place in the timeline.

            1. SO you didn't actually read Sullum's articles or you are being intentionally obtuse. Or you are a moron.

              1. I did read Sollum's articles, Tim linked to, the only one that sufficiently tells you what happened so you can begin to accurately form an opiniopn on what actually happened is the hit and run article posted later today, and above Tim's roundup here.

                And the only moron is Ravi, who should have taken the deal from prosecutors that entailed no jail time and assistance from being deported.

                Ravi is a dumb criminal, but being dumb doesn't excuse the criminality.

    2. I think the not-quite-articulated view in there here parts is that the jury should have nullified the NJ bias intimidation law but acquitting Ravi on those counts even if they thought the crime was proven.

      But that's a lot to expect from any jury, even when the facts are less discomfort-producing than the ones here.

      1. It also isn't the role of the jury to do that. That's up to the legislature and courts of appeals.

  27. Oh noez, all you dipshit glibertarains are SO upset about something! OH noez! Where's my freedumb? Where is Freedumb Fonzi to save us now!

    God, you people are such a fucking joke.

    Remind me again why the glibertarian party holds no power in this country again?

    Glibertarians are just republicans who smoke pot.

    1. "Remind me again why the glibertarian party holds no power in this country again?"

      Sneering dickfucks like you.

      1. Oh, so it's my fault that you basement dwelling Randian pussies cannot get elected to any office in the US? Ha ha fucking ha!

        Just admit it, you're all republicans who are too chickenshit to call yourselves republicans.

        So you invent some fantasy that you're really not aligned with them and that really you are different from them.

        Uh huh.

        Silly glibertarians. No wonder no one takes you seriously on anything.

        1. What fucking bug crawled up your unoriginal ass?

        2. And if we aren't to be taken seriously, why the fuck are you here you chicken shit peckerwood?

        3. Yeah, I mean Freedom... LOL, who needs it?

        4. Scurry on back to Balloon Juice, ya twat.

          1. I use the word "glibertarian" to make up for my socialist childfucker tendencies.

  28. Can I express an unpopular idea by putting a camera in your bathroom Tim? Without your knowledge or consent? There's a difference between opinion and conduct, and not all conduct is acceptable in a free society. Was Charlie Manson victimized for expressing his opinion of SharonTate?

    1. Can I then charge you with 'bias intimidation'?

      I have no qualms with the invasion of privacy charge (after reading about the case, that was all Ravi merited), but a tenuous 'bias intimidation' charge and verdict smells of bullshit to me.

  29. Bad people go to jail or are deported. The system works.

    1. And rubes read Balloon Juice. What else is new?

  30. I feel sorry for everone involved. I don't believe it was a hate crime, I believe it was an 18yr old acting stupid. I'm sure he regrets all of it. Should have taken the plea deal, 18yrs old = arrogant

  31. And of course, the reason possessors of high school diplomas make more on average is that so many companies won't hire non-graduates.

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