Daily Archives: March 16, 2012

LH

Even The World’s Worst Newspaper can see that –

Defendant in Rutgers Spying Case Guilty of Hate Crimes
By KATE ZERNIKE
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A jury on Friday convicted a former Rutgers University student, Dharun Ravi, of hate crimes for using a webcam to spy on his roommate kissing another man in their dorm room.
The jury also found Mr. Ravi guilty of tampering with evidence and witnesses for trying to change Twitter and text messages in which he had encouraged others to watch the webcam.”

A hat tip to is in order to JoeMyGod poster Dick Zinya for keeping tally of the particulars. To whit –

“COUNT 1
4th Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY
4th Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to Clementi’s guest, M.B.: GUILTY
(Observed Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact without their consent on Sept. 19)

If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 2; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 2 and proceeds to count 3

COUNT 2
3rd Degree Bias Intimidation
(For 4th Degree Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 19)

• Invasion of Privacy with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 3
3rd Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY
3rd Degree Invasion of Privacy, related to M.B.: GUILTY
(Activated webcam so other people could view Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact on Sept 19.)

If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 4; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 4 and proceeds to count 5

COUNT 4
2nd Degree Bias Intimidation
(For 3rd Degree Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 19)
• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated, because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 5
4th Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY
4th Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to M.B.: GUILTY
(Tried to observe Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact without their consent on Sept. 21)

If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 6; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 6 and proceeds to count 7

COUNT 6
3rd Degree Bias Intimidation
(For 4th Degree Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 21)

• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: guilty

COUNT 7
3rd Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to Tyler Clementi: GUILTY
3rd Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy, related to M.B.: GUILTY
(Tried to show Clementi/M.B. in sexual contact to other people on Sept. 21)

If Guilty, jury proceeds to count 8; if Not Guilty, jury skips count 8 and proceeds to count 9

COUNT 8
2nd Degree Bias Intimidation
(For 3rd Degree Attempted Invasion of Privacy charge on Sept. 21)

• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

• Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate M.B. because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Tyler Clementi to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

• Invasion of Privacy, knowing that the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation: ACQUITTED
• Invasion of Privacy, under circumstances that caused Tyler Clementi to be intimidated, and considering the manner in which the offense was committed, Clementi reasonably believed that he was selected to be the target of the offense because of sexual orientation: GUILTY

COUNT 9
4th Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence: GUILTY
(Deleted tweets relevant to police investigation)

COUNT 10
4th Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence: GUILTY
(Wrote and posted a false tweet)

COUNT 11
3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution: GUILTY
(Destroyed evidence relevant to investigation)

COUNT 12
3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution: GUILTY
(Prevented a witness from providing testimony)
COUNT 13
3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution: GUILTY
(Lied to police)

COUNT 14
3rd Degree Witness Tampering: GUILTY
(Tried to influence what Molly Wei told police)

COUNT 15
4th Degree Tampering with Physical Evidence: GUILTY
(Deleted text messages sent to and received from witnesses)”

Emily Bazelon of Slate weighs in thusly –

“Dharun Ravi will surely go to prison for spying on his former Rutgers roommate, Tyler Clementi.”

I certainly hope so.

“Carefully making its way through a verdict sheet with more than a dozen multipart charges, a jury in New Jersey found Ravi guilty of multiple counts of invasion of privacy, guilty of some counts of intimidating Clementi because of his sexual orientation, and also guilty of tampering with evidence by changing and deleting tweets he posted about his plans to spy on his roommate with a webcam.
The jury found Ravi not guilty of some counts of bias intimidation. But the mixed verdict mostly went against him, and it repudiated the defense argument that Ravi was just a “stupid” and “immature” kid who turned on his webcam when he saw an older guest go into Clementi’s room because he was worried the man might steal his iPad.”

Thank goodness! This notion that Ravi was “just a kid” — promulgated by the defense and parroted by countless inane others on the ‘net was making me seriously ill.

“Instead, the jury found that Ravi criminally invaded Clementi’s privacy in a way that could have reasonably made Clementi feel that he was being targeted because he was gay. That seems right, in terms of the facts. A prison term still seems harsh to me for this 20-year-old who has never been in trouble with the law before. But Ravi and his family rejected a plea offer from the state that would have required no jail time, no bias conviction, and assurances that Ravi, who is not an American citizen, would not be deported. It was a big gamble to go to trial. As predicted, Ravi lost.”

He should have gone for an extremely genrous plea bargain. But because he’s an arrogant little prick he didn’t. And now he’s going to have to pay the price. Though his non-reaction ot the verdict in court suggests he still thinks he doesn’t have to.

“Because Tyler Clementi took his own life a few days after Ravi glimpsed him on the webcam”

“glimpsed”? That’s pretty weak, Emily. No one — save for flaming asshole Jay Michaelson — really believes that.

“—and the day after Ravi set up another “viewing party,” which led Clementi to ask for a new roommate—this story was initially misunderstood as a parable about the outing of a closeted gay freshman. In fact, Tyler Clementi had come out to his parents before starting at Rutgers in the fall of 2010, and we still don’t know why he killed himself. The suicide note he left behind, along with three Word documents with telltale names—“Gah.docx,” “sorry.docx,” and “Why is everything so painful.docx”—weren’t turned over to the defense or made public. (According to the judge, they weren’t directly relevant to the case against Ravi.)
And so this case isn’t really about establishing a direct link between Ravi’s spying and Clementi’s death.”

It was directenough, dear.

“But it is very much about the privacy that college students deserve in their dorm rooms. And it’s also about how laws sometimes enforce social norms even if they haven’t fully taken hold—in this case, by punishing homophobic behavior that some college students, alas, wouldn’t think twice about.”

I’m not so sure about that. Casual “That’s so GAY!” remarks — even outright “FAGGOT!” slurs are not uncommon. Setting up a webcam in order to film your hated gay roommate having sex is a very new and very different story.

“It’s clear that Ravi was freaked out by his gay roommate’s dates with another man.”

It’s clear that any number of straight commentators are freaked out by gay sex. Ravi clearly found the prospect of being a High-tech Peeping Tom delightful.

“And by expressing his agitation by turning on his webcam, and then going on Twitter to invite other people to watch, Ravi didn’t just behave badly—he broke the law. New Jersey has decided to up the punishment for crimes like invasion of privacy when they’re based on targeting someone for his sexual orientation just as the state punishes people who target others for reasons of race and religion.”

An excellent law. Though legal go-to meat puppet Jeffrey Toobin

JT

just remarked at CNN that calling what Ravi did a Hate Crime might be overturned on appeal

Apparently for Master Jeffrey it’s only a Hate Crime when you’re tied to a truck and dragged to your death like James Byrd.

JB

Mr. Byrd wasn’t gay, but that’s the example the Toobin jerk used.

“It’s safe to say that it never would have occurred to Ravi that he could go to prison when he was titillating his Twitter followers about Clementi’s upcoming date. (“Yes, it’s happening again,” Ravi tweeted, publicly daring his friends to video chat him at the appointed hour so they could watch the webcam feed.) And if Tyler hadn’t killed himself, the police wouldn’t have investigated, and Ravi probably would have walked away with a room change and a scolding. In this sense, you could argue that New Jersey’s laws are out ahead of what a student like him should have been expected to understand.”

No they’re not. All students, not just those “like him,” should understand that there are consequences for invading other people’s privacy in so flagrant and destructive a manner.

“But he should have known that it was wrong to expose his roommate in an intimate moment. That’s pretty basic, or at least, it should be. “

Like I was just saying!

“I wrote earlier this week that I had the sinking feeling that Ravi’s behavior was both stupid and criminal. He didn’t give the jury enough reason to spare him. Maybe there was no way to do that once he chose to go to trial, instead of taking some responsibility and admitting some wrongdoing. Now he will surely have more time than he’d like to contemplate all of this, in a prison cell. Sentencing is scheduled for May 21.”

Earlier this week I FaBlogged about a flaming asshole named Jay Michaelson. And wouldn’t you know it, He’s Back For More!

“Jury Did the Right Thing in Ravi Case
Dharun Ravi is a jerk, not a bigot, says Jay Michaelson. Now it is up to the judge to balance our need for symbolic justice with mercy for a 20-year-old kid. “

He’s a jerk and a bigot. You may not be a bigot (the jury is still out on that one) but you’re definitely a jerk to claim that justice in this case is “symbolic” rather than real and that the 20 year-old is a “kid.”

Yeah, he’s a regular Jackie Coogan

kid

“Today’s verdict in the Rutgers webcam case—which for lack of a better term I’ll call “mostly guilty”—was almost exactly right, and more than a little confusing.”

The “confusion” is all yours dear.

“In large part, the jury reached exactly the result I proposed last week: Dharun Ravi is guilty of invasion of privacy for using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, having a sexual encounter with another man, and for attempting to do so a second time. Ravi is also guilty of most – but not all – of the counts of “bias intimidation,” a hate crime. But as to whether Ravi did what he did intentionally to harass Clementi for being gay, the jury rendered a split decision. The first time, they said he didn’t. The second time, which Ravi preceded with a viewing invitation to his friends on Twitter, they said he did.”

A most elegant “splitting the baby.”

“Based on the evidence we have, the verdict seems like the right result. To have let Ravi off the hook would have been a disaster; it would send the message to bullies across the country that they can pick on gay people and get away with it. And yet, as I wrote earlier, the negative opinions Ravi has (or had) about gay people are not extreme, and no different from those held by millions of Americans, perhaps even most Americans. Dharun Ravi targeted Tyler Clementi not because he’s a bigot, but because he’s a jerk.”

“Unfortunately for Ravi, New Jersey has a very strict hate-crimes law. If Clementi felt targeted because he was gay, Ravi is guilty of a hate crime. (What Clementi actually felt, of course, can only be inferred now, since he jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge shortly after he discovered what Ravi had done.)”

No asshole, it wasn’t about “feelings.”

“New Jersey’s law is different from the federal law, and the laws in most states. So even for the first incident, Ravi is still guilty, and for the second one, he’s doubly so. That means that, despite the somewhat split verdict, Ravi’s fate is now up to the judge, who has the discretion to throw the book at him (ten years in prison, likely deportation) or give him a strong slap on the wrist.”

FIRST JAIL HIM THEN DEPORT HIM!

“Ravi is not just a symbol; he’s also a twenty-year-old kid”

“I’ve been a gay rights activist for a decade, and a lot of my work is devoted to uprooting the causes of homophobia, particularly within religion.”

Well mother pin a rose on you! I’m been a gay rights activist since Stonewall.

That’s 43 of my 65 years sonny.

“Still, I hope the judge chooses the second path.”

Edie told us all we need to know about paths

EB

“I am glad that Ravi has been found guilty, because the verdict sends a crucial symbolic message. But Ravi is not just a symbol; he’s also a twenty-year-old kid. It’s not fair to scapegoat him for holding views more mild than what, say, Rick Santorum says on a daily basis. True, Santorum doesn’t turn his webcam on unsuspecting roommates—but in terms of “bias intimidation,” he’s a lot more extreme, and a lot more harmful, than Dharun Ravi.”

BULLSHIT! Santorum — like so many other Republicans — says homophobic things. When he takes homophobic action as Ravi did then we’ll talk about “scapegoats.”

Ravi is not guilty of a “speech act,” but a literal, physical deed. He attacked his rommate because he was gay.
Never come across anything like that in you alleged “decade” of “activist” work?

“The good news is that the “mostly guilty” verdict means that the judge has latitude in considering a sentence. Here’s hoping he balances our collective need for justice with mercy for the individual whose life still hangs in the balance.”

Here’s hoping you GET A FUCKING CLUE!!!!!

And now for those of ou wondering whose picture graces the top of this FaBlog post, it’s Lorenz Hart, the subject of a teriffic new biography by Gary Marmostein

If you don’t know why I’m including him in a Fablog post then you’ve lost 5000 points on Gay Jeopardy

And here, to sing us out with a number that for me brings the aborted romance of Tyler and “M.B.” to mind, is Babs.