March 27, 2012

Dharun Ravi Sentence - Will 'Justice' be Served, or will he be the Sacrificial Lamb for a Society Unable to Deal with the Winds of Change?

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
What Dharun Ravi did was wrong, but will justice be done if this young man serves a ten year prison term for the wrong he did, is clearly debatable! If punishment accorded to the guilty in a court of justice aims to improve society, then the Dharun Ravi case does not appear to qualify.

By definition, society is a work in progress. With the passage of time social norms change, as does the social ethos, especially when new ideas and trends make their way into society; women’s suffrage was one such idea, cinema was another, and in recent times it is the advent of the internet that provides quick and easy dissemination of news and information. Our society is blanketed by this technology, and at times reels under its weight, especially that part of society housing the forty plus age group.  However, the same is not true about the younger generation; they have become adept users of trendy technology and at times use it with indiscretion, as did young Dharun Ravi. Youth by definition is foolhardy, and oftentimes falls prey to bravado and peer pressure; this may have been the case with the eighteen year old in question.

It isn’t just the fast changing technology, but also new ideas and new trends that frazzle us. One such trend being the need to acknowledge and recognize gay and lesbian rights unequivocally, and as a nation we are still grappling with this trend. I say grappling because until 2004, same-sex couples couldn’t wed anywhere in the country; however, now, gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine and most recently New Hampshire. Nonetheless, it is still 6 states out of 50 that have a clear resolution on gay and lesbian relationships!  In the light of this statistic, would it be fair to expect an eighteen year old Dharun Ravi to be nonchalant about what he witnessed in his dorm room?

Clearly, Dharun Ravi’s case illustrates the limitations of a justice system that along with a puritanical bias  often times selects juries with limited exposure to advanced technology; the Dharun Ravi case is an example.  The wrong of Dharun Ravi is ‘modern’ by definition; nevertheless, deserves punishment as it embeds a wrong, but it also showcases the ills and challenges of the 21st century which will not be recognized or/and addressed even after Dharun is sentenced because the justice system lacks the know how.  Unfortunately, it is still wearing blinders from the century before.  Our justice system, like our society, has some growing up to do, and expeditiously, so that offenders such as Dharun Ravi will receive punishment that is crime appropriate.

 Every now and again society is confronted with an idea or event that is avant-garde, and it is then that the flexibility and adaptability of a society is tested; the Dharun Ravi case is doing just that. The question here is not whether Dharun Ravi committed a crime with bias; maybe he did, but where did the bias stem from? Is this young man's proclivity unique to him, or do we all share in this prejudice which we often hide by feigning ambivalence? This, is the more significant question the jury and the justice system need to address: Do our fellow gays and lesbians enjoy equal status in society?  Until we, as a society, provide an unequivocal answer to that question, we cannot conclusively sentence a Dharun Ravi whose wrongdoing mirrors the predisposition of his family, his immediate community, and this society at large.  His biases, his thinking or his lack thereof, are a direct reflection of his environment, and yet he, an eigteen year old just out of high school, alone stands trial.  Dharun Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced in May this year, and the chances are he will be put behind bars, for a couple of years at least, with hardened criminals, and all this while a felonious society looks on. Dharun Ravi's wrong doing, a 'webcam case' of invading a dorm-mate's privacy, could well have been regarded as a teenage prank, were it not so closely associated with the larger issue of gay and lesbian relationships about which we as a society are still 'ambivalent'.


Anonymous said...

Personally, this case turned me from benign about homosexual issues (didn't care one way or the other) to 100% against them and I will vote against them if its on the ballot and against any politician who supports them.

This case was about hatred and spite for the rest of us. Don't be fooled that homosexuals care about this trifling "invasion of privacy" nonsense of seeing 2 seconds of kissing. Its a big canard. What they wanted with this case was to show how they have triumphed over the rest of us with their political power from bribing and intimidating the politicians.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing really against gays but why is it ok for the goverment to discriminate them with no legal repercusions and religious groups but this young man is facing 10 yrs for a tasteless joke. The kid is meeting people online and sleeping with them right away. I should not have to room with someone like that lets be honest thats how AIDS happens. So now he has to use a communal space with him. That is unfair and unsafe. You cant donat blood if you live with someone who has HIV or Hepatitis, which the behaviour contributes to. Duran was wrong for what he did but not 10 yrs wrong.

And to charge him for that old guy who was supposedly a closeted gay. He was prob a pediphile who didn want his face shown so the people he preyed on didnt go after him. TMZ will find out and we will hear all types of crap about him I bet. This case is just BS. Ravi doesnt deserve this. Neither does Clementi but that kid was obviously troubled.

Frank Czpla said...

so basically "this trial" is what made you turn totally against them (the gays)? right, i believe that.
Whatever, tell yourself whatever you want to think you are not a homophobe

The fact is the law is a bit harsh, but guess what? that's the law that was written by people YOU elected. Dont like the law? change it. Ask your representatives to change the law. He wasnt charged with the murder of the gay kid, he was charged with other crimes. Is the potential punishment harsh? (he hasnt even been sentenced yet) in your opinion yes, in mine no. but then again I would throw drunk drivers in jail for a year in their first offense. He broke the law, a law written by us, by our representatives. Was it unfortunate? yeah feel bad for the guy, buy dont do the crime if you cant do the crime. You know how many people are in jail for stupid things they have done? the great majority. People who's first offense landed them in jail for a long time. Stop justifying his actions. Yes young men (not kids, are sometimes immature) but a lot of them are not. Some are leading platoons in Iraq or other warzones, some are CEOs of their own companies...some are married and loving fathers...Sorry but that is truth. We just cant be giving away get out of jail cards because everything that happened was unfortunate. Trust me, this is not the case you wanna hang your hat on. He committed a grievous error not taking the plead, he committed the crime (Ignorance is not a defense) and he basically got two years of freedom which most people wouldnt get after committing such a crime. Stop making excuses... let him be a big boy and do his time in jail. He is not going to get ten years, if he gets 5, he will be out in less than 30 months.... and unlike you, i wont be all against Indians now...

Anonymous said...

wow you two are retarded. really that's how aids happens? You can have sex a million times with a condom and your chances of catching HIV (aids is the condition not the virus) are almost nothing. if you have sex 5 times without a condom gay or straight you chances shoot up astronomically. it's spelled pedophile not pediphile. bunch of freaking retards. pedophiles go for children not for 18 year olds. Need i correct you some more?

to the first comment.. trust me the gays dont control politicians if they did gay marriage would be legal. I could correct everything you both mongoloids said, but whatever. If you are just like Ravi, life will kick you in ass for being such dumbs dumbs... actually Ravi is gonna get more than kicks in his ass.. he might get other appendages. At least we can deport Ravi, some of you we might get stuck with

Frank Czapla said...

"The question here is not whether Dharun Ravi committed a crime with bias; maybe he did"

You see, that's where it stops. The Law is Blind. You did the crime, you do the time. That simple. If 90 percent of the people drive drunk because something in our genetic make-up, and there are laws in the books against that...we do the time. Who gives a shit what the mental predisposition is? If it was up to you nobody would be charged with murder since all murders show predisposition from when they are born. And you can make the same argument for everything Speeding Tickets, Parking violations, murders, we punish the crime itself. He was unlucky that all of this happened, but he was also stupid. A)For committing the crime B)For Not Taking the Plead C)Plenty of chances to get your citizenship in 15 years.

Anonymous said...

Dharun Ravi released after serving 20 days in prison.

Nandi23 said...

Upon first reading the story, I believe that a 10 year sentence is actually what Dharun Ravi deserves. The ruling that it was a hate crime though sends the wrong message, while this act is filled with malice it should really be seen as what it is , simple BULLYING and blatant invasion of privacy. I believe that the sentencing should've been more focused on invasion of privacy and defamation. It should be made clear that IT IS NOT OKAY to commit acts like these and I hope that the judicial system would consider all forms of bullying and not just just high profile cases like these that involve gay and lesbian matters.