Breaking Brown

May 24, 2012

Dharun Ravi’s 30 Day Sentence

Dharun Ravi’s 30 Day Sentence

Emily Bazelon agrees with his 30 day sentence:

 There was no violence at issue here, however unsavory the webcam spying was, and it’s an important distinction that’s worth preserving. Though I found myself more torn about the light sentence Ravi received today than I expected, I agree with the gay rights activists who have questioned what purpose a harsh prison sentence for Ravi would serve.

“Unsavory” webcam spying? That’s simply not an adequate or thoughtful emotional weighing of this case. What Ravi did was appraise Clementi long enough to pinpoint his most exposed and painful vulnerability, and then he reached in and twisted until he broke Clementi. That’s not just bland or disagreeable, it’s sociopathic behavior. It would be unsavory if Ravi had pulled some sort of Tosh.0 prank, like taping Clementi vomiting after a few too many .50 cent Bud Lights, but that’s not what happened here.

None of this is to say that I believe Ravi should’be been imprisoned for decades. Not at all. But since’s Ravi’s a little monster, it would’ve been nice if the judge had invoked a sentence which provided Ravi the opportunity to rediscover his empathy. Maybe a few years of community service with underprivileged kids or abandoned dogs would’ve been of some benefit. Since Ravi doesn’t know or understand human suffering, this could’ve been an opportunity to teach it. But judges often miss opportunities to transform lives and opt instead to adhere to the pattern of American justice: Lock ‘im up.

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