LIONEL AUDIO: This Wasn’t A Hate Crime. It Was Even Worse.

Without exception, everyone I’ve encountered when discussing the tragic and inconceivably horrible suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi (pictured) can’t contain their horror and anger. It was reported that his roommate Dharun Ravi and a friend Molly Wei, both fellow Rutgers students, are charged with invasion of privacy and transmitting the image over the internet of a sexual encounter allegedly involving Tyler and an undisclosed man. The story’s gone viral and seems to reinforce the idea that school bullying is frighteningly out of control.

Herein I discuss a number of derivative and tangential issues. First, is this a hate crime? Is this negligence and what are the elements of such? Is this a crime? What are the constitutional implications of charging someone with being a first class jerk? But more importantly, as a wise colleague of mine noted, this terrible event may be the confluence of technology, an invasion of privacy, adolescent suicide and societal attitudes towards homosexuality. The proverbial perfect storm.

Please enjoy this contribution. On the house.

  1. According to news reports, hate crime charges are proving to be something that works on paper but not necessarily with respect to the case.

    What about sex crime charges?

%d bloggers like this: