HATE CRIME SENTENCE SURPRISES FAMILY AND GAY COMMUNITY
By DiMarkco Chandler
Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers University student that was found guilty of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and tampering with evidence was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 300 hours of community service, sensitivity courses and three years of probation along with a $10,000 fine that will go to a community organization to help victims of hate crimes. For some it is a terrible miscarriage for others it was an appalling misuse of a court system that is backed up with cases beyond practicality. Nevertheless, “whatever side of the camera you’re on,” as Judge Berman put it, this was a case that vehemently divided both sides.
The family of Tyler Clementi seemed to still be grieving the death of a son and brother, and it couldn’t be more evident as Clementi’s mother criticized Ravi’s actions as being “evil and malicious.” James Clementi said that Ravi saw Tyler as “someone that deserved to be laughed at, picked on and violated.”
Many advocates against bias crimes suggest that Ravi’s sentence was too light.
On the other side, Philip Nettle, a member of Ravi’s defense team offered his opinion, saying, “We believe a miscarriage of justice has occurred here.”
Many waiting on the verdict were mystified when Judge Berman delivered the light sentence, especially since Ravi was facing a maximum of 10 years.
Though this phase of the preceding are over, Ravi’s attorney’s insist they will fight to overturn the Jury’s decision, claiming that the 20 year old student did not get a fair trial.
Gay community has yet to provide a definitive response. I can only say stay tuned; this is not over yet.
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