The growing injustice of hate crime jurisprudence.
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In Ravi’s case, his Twitter messages made clear that he thought something of his “roommate…making out with a dude.” That’s not the same as proving bias; indeed it is more likely, given that Ravi then said “Yay” rather than “Yuck,” that he thought he’d stumbled on one of life’s occasional bizarre happenstances, one that might make for a laugh with his college friends who seemed more interested in ethanol than education.
Ravi’s lawyer noted, “This case is contrived, is being treated and exists today as if it’s a murder case.” Prosecutions like Ravi’s smack of a civil rights movement, originally well-intended, now run amok in a fog of lost perspective and a fog machine of power-hungry special interest groups and political ladder-climbing prosecutors.
The judge did not recommend deportation for Ravi. But with a felony conviction on his record, what hope does he have at a future in the United States? Some will say that destroying Ravi’s future is just because he destroyed Clementi’s (something far from demonstrated), but justice must be about the rule of law, not the satisfaction of retribution.
Ravi was guilty of terrible judgment and of minor crimes, but this case only went to trial because the “victim” (and I use that term as loosely as with the idea of a “victim” of Romney’s barber practice in high school) was gay. Instead, he now has a felony record and his life, at least in America, is all but over.
Clementi’s suicide, although tragic, is not Ravi’s fault despite his juvenile spying and “tweeting.”
It may seem unfair, but curing such unfairness by penalizing thoughts is not the proper province of government. In terms of the justice system, the advent of “hate crimes” laws and politically-correct prosecutions make victims of people like Dharun Ravi, who was nothing more than a bone-headed college student and who never laid a finger on, or even insulted, Tyler Clementi.
This is not to downplay the anguish caused by a young man killing himself. The loss that Clementi’s parents feel is one that will be with them for the rest of their days; it is a loss that no parent should ever experience.
“Hate crime” — really thought crime — laws divide rather than unite our nation, causing justifiable fear among members of the “majority” from interacting with others for fear of being accused of holding an impermissible opinion. They cause some Americans to recognize that prosecution of crimes against them will be pursued less aggressively than of crimes against others, simply because we have the apparent misfortune to be some combination of heterosexual, white, straight, Christian, or male.
To be sure, American blacks, have historic grievances regarding their treatment by our legal system. But mistreating others as some sort of misplaced penance — or for political gain — does great harm to our nation.
As for Dharun Ravi, he may have made Tyler Clementi think about the bridge — and he may not have — but Clementi himself was responsible for jumping. Tragedy following stupidity must not be confused with injustice, and destroying a young man’s future as retribution for a life ended prematurely must not be confused with justice.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?