Hate Crime Laws were Wrong from the Beginning, Now we have Proof!
By: Dr. Phil Taverna
So the issue is did Ravi actually commit a hate crime? Was Clementi so unstable that he would have committed suicide with or without the interactions of Ravi. By the way the defense was not allowed to go in that direction. So much for a fair trial in this country but it brings a lot to the table for a date with the US Supreme Court: Will it be struck down as unconstitutional. Let’s hope so.
For those that don’t know, both of these students were Rutger’s students. Ravi inadvertently filmed Clementi his roommate kissing another male. Ravi put it online and Clementi jumped off the GW Bridge.
I was surprised that the hate crime verdict came back guilty. This poor college kid was charged with 35 items all neatly packaged in 15 counts. Imagine if he actually did something criminal? I have always been against hate crime laws because if you can’t get the victim in this case for a real crime let’s make something up and convict him any way. It is a tragedy for both families. And it is always terrible when someone takes their life, but about 30,000 fill those statistics each and every year.
Clementi was about 18 at the time. And we need to look at a few statistics. First off the suicidal statistics may be a bit skewed. Many folks are being labeled as suicide victims when in fact they have over-dosed on usually prescription drugs. I believe there may be some effect of the mix of drugs where the victim loses count as to what they have taken and they end up not willingly, over-dosing. Hopefully these will be excluded in the future from the suicidal statistics.
But leaving the statistics unchanged 50 % of those who commit suicide are homosexual. And more males commit suicide then females by a large percentage. And probably the group from about 16 to 24 is a group with one of the largest percentages for suicide.
And since I have passed through that age group, when you are going through it, it seems like the most important part of your life. Your career is on the line. Who you think you want to spend the rest of your life with is on the line. Your education may be on the line. And you may be serving in the military. When you look back, you may have had to make some big decisions, but they really weren’t that big a deal. Unfortunately at the time, we don’t know that.
Imagine throwing in to that mix the choice to be homosexual? And unfortunately that was just where Clementi was. And granted Ravi should have known better, whose kidding who. He’s a kid in college having the time of his life, and he was just having fun. There was no sense of bullying, to do harm. The big boys call this malice. Basically you need a crime, and intent to do harm.
Life is tough enough as a heterosexual; imagine trying to cope with being a male homosexual. Homosexuals only make up about 10% of the population. So that means it really might be 7%. And it is almost 50% male to female. So in essence only one out of 10 might be homosexual. And one out of 20 would be a male homosexual. If this is all true, then maybe there should be a law that no one especially males should engage in homosexual lifestyle until they reach the age of 25. By then they are past the critical period in their life and they are more able to cope with the trials and tribulations of being gay.
As we look at the entertainment industry and government workers, it appears that the population of homosexuals is much higher then the general population. And this probably had something to do with the passing of these hate crime laws. But the bottom line is, without a hate crime, did Ravi actually commit any other crime besides lying to the authorities?
This is what Ravi was basically found guilty of: “Invasion of Privacy, with the purpose to intimidate Tyler Clementi because of sexual orientation: GUILTY”.
Invasion of privacy for a roommate is a tough one to swallow. Once you have a roommate, you for the most part have given up your right to privacy. It is not like he drilled a hole in the hotel room so he could see an ESPN person undressing.
Putting the pictures on the net gets closer. But it seems the court calls this freedom of speech in most cases. How do we get from freedom of speech to a hate crime? What if it was a video of the roommate kissing a female student? Would that be a hate crime?
Let’s take this a bit further and ask is the judge hearing this case a heterosexual. If not would he need to recuse himself from this case? What if the prosecutor’s office had individuals who were homosexuals working on the case, would they need to disclose this fact?
Well we can only hope that the judge will use reason when he sentences Ravi. He can actually overthrow the verdict after he looks at the record. What if Ravi was Obama’s son, would Obama want this student to go to jail for what he did?
Ravi may have done something insensitive and without good judgment but did he really commit a crime? And more importantly did he intend to commit a crime? And would the outcome have been the same for Clementi if there was no Ravi?
When the laws are allowed to enter the realm of hate crimes and unfair court procedures, they have just thrown our Constitution under the bus.
Hopefully the liberals will take this to the Supreme Court and hash it out. We can only hope that the hate crime laws will be deemed unconstitutional and stick to actual crimes, not imagined crimes.
Ruining Ravi’s life will not bring back Clementi. And just maybe instead of making suicidal homosexual behavior a common day practice, maybe it should be postponed until children are old enough to cope with it.
We have enough useless laws on the books. Hate crime laws were not well thought out, and should be deemed unconstitutional. If you can’t prove a real crime, how can a fair trial be guaranteed by prosecuting a fake crime! And in this case the judge prevented all the usual defenses that would have been allowed in a real crime. It’s hard to imagine a hate crime without any obvious malice. Murder in the first degree needs Mens Rea, the will to commit murder. Hate crime laws need only the vague objective assumption of hate. It doesn’t feel right to me, how about you?
Dr. Phil Taverna owns and operates his own website.