Alarming News

September 30, 2010

The problem with hate-crime laws

A Rutgers university student jumps off a bridge to his death after his roommate posts a video of him engaging in, a presumably homosexual, sexual encounter. It’s a tragedy, and I hope the roommate is punished for his disgusting, evil actions. But this makes no sense: “A New Jersey gay-rights group, Garden State Equality, said it considers Mr. Clementi’s death a hate crime.” How can a suicide be a hate-crime? Should the roommate get life in prison, the way a hate-crime murderer would? The death penalty?

Posted by Karol at 04:38 PM |

He did a terrible thing. He might as well have pushed Clementi off the bridge. I don’t think he should be charged with any degree of murder, but he should do some jail time as an example that bullying people to death brings grave consequences. This is only one example of many I’ve seen in the news over the last few years.

Posted by: Dianne at September 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I agree that he should have jail time, but not for murder, and not under some hate crime charge.

Posted by: Karol at September 30, 2010 at 11:51 pm

People should treat each other better. However, outlawing bullying will not work. Kids are jerks at times. This particular jerk broke some laws. I’m not a NJ lawyer, but I’m sure there are statutes dealing with privacy, unlawful recording, etc. However, as much of a jerk as his roommate was he did not commit murder. The young man was obviously troubled. We have no way of knowing if he contemplated suicide before he was mistreated. He may have come out to his parents, friends, etc and gotten the wrong response. Regardless he exercised his free choice to jump. It is a shame that no one in his life saw he was depressed or suicidal. In the long run, what happens to the jerk doesn’t matter. It does matter that we all pay attention to the people in our life and reach out when they are troubled.

Posted by: Largebill at September 30, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Largebill, I love this: “It does matter that we all pay attention to the people in our life and reach out when they are troubled.”

Posted by: Karol at October 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

This is a touchy subject, proving those 2 kids acted with intent to harm that other kid will be very difficult in a court of law.

The other problem they will have is that they shared the room so even invasion of privacy will be tough to prove as he could have had the camera to monitor his possessions.

Regardless the roomate is a shithead, who probably won’t get jailtime, but will have to live knowing he precipitated his roomate’s death.

The only angle they could use is the invasion of privacy was done as a hate crime but that max penalty will be much less than say a physical attack.

Posted by: Dan at October 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm
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