I posted about what happened to Tyler Clementi here.
And this is what transpired today:
Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail as part of a probationary sentence today for spying on his college roommate with a webcam and writing about what he saw on Twitter.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman could have given the ex-Rutgers University student up to 10 years for the most serious charges related to the cyber-bullying of his gay roommate Tyler Clementi in September 2010. He was ordered to report to Middlesex County Jail on May 31.
What surprises me about Judge Berman’s sentence is the significance of this case in setting a precedent for future cases, especially with respect to online bullying. In other words, will the bullying continue now that the bullies know they won’t get a stiff sentence?
I can’t help thinking that Martha Stewart got a tougher sentence for doing far less.
And this surprises me the most:
“I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity,” Berman said.
There are plenty of other insensitive people out there. I hate to think about the message this sentence sends to them.
Do I believe he should have received the full 10 years? No.
But I do think the sentence should have been strong enough to deter others from doing what he did.
And, for the record, this isn’t just a gay issue. This kind of bullying is across the board on a much broader scale. I have seen people online bully others to the point of psychological melt downs, on twitter and other social media.
I can’t help but wonder if Judge Berman “gets” the magnitude of what happens online nowadays, and how social media like twitter can affect people.