In a rather lenient sentencing, a New Jersey judge sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail also suggesting that he not be deported. This is a probationary sentence for Ravi, who earlier this year was convicted of bias intimidation and a handful of other hate crimes for bullying his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi. Why did they throw the book at him? Because shortly after Ravi had broadcast Clementi’s affairs online–Clementi committed suicide.
This case has been provocative and the outcome unsettling. Long sentences are rarely effective, deportation inhumane and we can pretty much guarantee that Dharun Ravi will never bully someone again. But we will also never know exactly why Tyler Clementi committed suicide, or what he went through. His family will never get to see him again and he won’t be graduating college or get another chance. And another young man lost his life most likely because of a culture of homophobia–where he didn’t feel safe. So unsafe that he took his own life.