Patt Morrison

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Rutgers student Dharun Ravi sentenced to 30 days after roommate commits suicide

by Patt Morrison

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Students pay their respects on October 01, 2010 to first-year student Tyler Clementi, 18, who killed himself shortly after being filmed and broadcast over the Internet during a gay encounter, at Rutgers Univeristy in New Brunswick, New Jersey. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi will likely serve 30 days in jail for spying on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, who later committed suicide. Ravi, who is now 20, had faced up to 10 years in prison after being convicted by a jury last March of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, tampering of evidence, and the hate crime of bias intimidation. Clementi, 18, threw himself from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, shortly after learning that Ravi had secretly recorded him with a male companion in their room.

In addition to the 30-day jail sentence, Judge Glenn Berman also on Monday sentenced Ravi to serve 300 hours of community service. Ravi never was directly accused of causing Clementi’s death, but the incident sparked a national debate on bullying and other pressures faced by gay youths. During the trial, prosecutors sought to portray Ravi as a homophobic, self-satisfied college freshman who took pleasure in humiliating his shy, sensitive roommate; however, Ravi’s parents said that was not an accurate portrayal of their son.

WEIGH IN:

How appropriate is Ravi’s 30-day sentence?

Guests:

Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate, Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School

Eric Menhart, Washington D.C.-based attorney who concentrates in cyber privacy law and has handled clients in cyber bullying cases

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