A former Rutgers University student accused of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate by use of a hidden webcam was found guilty Friday of all counts -- including invasion of privacy and the more severe charges of bias intimidation -- in a case that thrust cyberbullying into the national spotlight.I've never been comfortable with the "thought police" mentality that of necessity accompanies hate crimes. Look at his list of crimes--are they not enough? Why do we need to add an amorphous additional crime, the sole purpose of which is to add more time to this man's sentence? It's too subject to whim and abuse.
Dharun Ravi, 20, was also found guilty of witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence, and could now face up to 10 years in jail and deportation to his native India...
Though Ravi and Molly Wei -- a fellow student who admitted to joining Ravi to watch the surreptitious encounter that others were alerted to via social media -- were charged in the wake of Clementi's suicide, they were not charged directly with his death.
Facing two counts of invasion of privacy, Wei reached a plea deal in May that required her to testify against her friend and former high school classmate as well as to complete a three-year program on cyberbullying and do 300 hours of community service.
Update, 3/17/12: I hope that this case shines a disinfecting sunlight on the travesty of justice that is hate crimes legislation:
A longtime gay rights activist in New York, Bill Dobbs, also was troubled by the case.
"As hate crime prosecutions mount, the problems with these laws are becoming more obvious ... how they compromise cherished constitutional principles," Dobbs said. "Now a person gets tried not just for misdeeds, but for who they are, what they believe, what their character is."