Why the Ravi-Clementi Trial Has Aroused So Much Interest
After rejecting a plea bargain, Dharun Ravi has been found guilty of a hate crime involving invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, tampering with evidence and a witness, and hindering apprehension.
As is well known, Ravi, apparently unhappy with being assigned a gay roommate for his freshman year at Rutgers University, a private university in New Jersey, set up a webcam. He then invited others to watch as Tyler Clementi kissed the other, older man.
What would have been written off as a misguided prank went horribly wrong when Clementi, distraught at such a public humiliation, jumped off the George Washington Bridge, a huge structure that links New Jersey to Manhattan. Ravi left the university and was charged with multiple counts.
A noted immigration attorney told EDGE that Ravi likely faces deportation after serving at least a few years for his crimes. For an excellent quickie breakdown of what the sentence means, legal site Above the Law has a good analysis.
The suicide, perhaps because of the dramatic nature of it, perhaps because this was a college student, perhaps because it happened so near New York City, became a cause celebré. President Obama commented on it, and the New Jersey Legislature hurriedly passed a long-delayed anti-school bullying bill that is the toughest in the nation. It was notably signed into law by Chris Christie, the Republican governor who has his sites set on national office and recently vetoed a marriage-equality bill.