Chalk up one more round of fuel to the LGBTQ community’s fire when it comes to the oh-so-public Tyler Clementi case.
Judge Glen Berman on Monday sentenced Dharun Ravi to spend a probationary 30 days in prison after relaying convictions on all 15 charges. The result has LGBTQ youth rallying their pitchforks and torches even higher in emerging outrage of the trial’s outcome.
“I was outraged. I felt he definitely needed more than 30 days,” said Robert Romas, a student at Carver High School of Engineering. “Thirty days? That’s someone’s life!”
Ravi’s most significant conviction, the much sought-after hate crime charge of bias intimidation, allowed the judge to deliver anywhere between 30 days and 10 years in prison.
Judge Berman, who insists that Ravi’s actions were “insensitive” but not hateful, used the example of New Jersey’s broad legal definition of its bias intimidation laws as an additional reason for the controversial decision.
The New Jersey-based activist organization Garden State Equality issued this statement in response to the judge’s decision:
“Dharun Ravi wasn’t convicted of a bias crime unfairly. Dharun Ravi was convicted of a bias crime because his own words broadcast anti-gay animus to Tyler Clementi and the world.”
In addition to serving a likely-to-be-appealed 30 days in prison, Ravi will also be required to commit to community service involving the aid of those living what the judge called “alternative lifestyles.”
Upon reading the verdict, Ravi, whose lawyer claims he has been “demonized by the gay community,” refused to apologize to the Clementi family when prompted by the judge.
“When politicians give public apologies, to me, it always sounds so insincere and false,” he said. “No matter what I say, people will take it that way.”
You’ve got that right.