Earlier today a New Jersey judge sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail for spying and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi, who killed himself in September 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Clementi’s suicide came shortly after he found out Ravi spied on him using a webcam while he was intimate with a man in their dorm room. Ravi also faces three years probation, community service to assist victims of bias crimes, and he must pay $11,000 in restitution.
Reaction to Judge Glenn Berman's ruling has been varied with some calling for a harsher punishment, and others praising the decision. Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey has a different take on the case – he's speaking out against jail time for Ravi.
McGreevey, who resigned as governor in 2004 after announcing he’s “a gay American,” wrote in an op-ed article in The Star-Ledger, "The gay community, which has suffered for so long at the hands of the law, has historically been a strong voice for decency, compassion and civil rights. And perhaps the long trail of gay history inevitably leads to this call for punishment, but it need not."
McGreevey believes prisons don't work, and can't encourage Ravi's acceptance of homosexuality. "The notion of learning the evils of homophobia in prison is absurd," he writes. He also believes Ravi isn't the only one to blame for Clementi's tragic suicide. McGreevy writes, "Homophobia was replete in Clementi’s government, church and culture, not just Ravi’s stupidity."
Tonight McGreevey will elaborate on how he thinks the gay community should perceive justice for Clementi. Anderson will speak with him and former prosecutor Marcia Clark at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on AC360°.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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