A judge here sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail Monday for using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers University roommate having sex with a man, in a case that galvanized concern about suicide among gay teenagers but also prompted debate about the use of laws against hate crimes. The case drew wide attention because his roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, a few days after learning of the spying. A jury convicted Mr. Ravi in March of all 15 counts against him, which included invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. The relatively light sentence—he faced up to 10 years in prison—surprised many who were watching the hearing, as it came after the judge spent several minutes criticizing Mr. Ravi’s behavior.
Ten years and deportation—which the judge could've ordered—seemed excessive to me, like overkill and blame-shifting. I was one of the "gay rights advocates" quoted in a NYT piece this morning who expressed misgivings about the severity of the sentence that Ravi faced. But a 30 day sentence is far, far too lenient—a slap on the wrist.