Magazine article Reason

Hate-Free Hate Crime: Dharun Ravi Trial

Magazine article Reason

Hate-Free Hate Crime: Dharun Ravi Trial

Article excerpt

NEWSPAPER stories about Dharun Ravi's trial, which ended in March, frequently noted that prosecutors were not blaming him for the death of Tyler Clementi, his roommate at Rutgers University. But if Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, had not jumped off the George Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010, Ravi probably never would have been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one that could send him to prison for 10 years.

The crime, "bias intimidation," is usually fled to a violent offense motivated by bigotry. But in this case, it was based on a nonviolent offense: On September 19, 2010, after Clementi asked Ravi to leave him alone in their room with an older male visitor, Ravi used a webcam to spy on the two men. He caught a few seconds of them kissing, tweeted that he had seen Clementi "making out with a dude," and planned another viewing during the man's next visit two days later, daring his Twitter followers to watch. …

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