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Tyler Clementi's Suicide Should Result in Murder Charges Against Rutgers Classmates


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Tyler Clementi was an 18-year-old Rutgers student who didn't hurt anyone. One day he was a college student enjoying the prime of his life. The next he announced on his Facebook page "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry" and he followed through and jumped off The George Washington Bridge.

He was an accomplished violinist and described as a brilliant young man. Tyler Clementi, who was the victim of invasion of his privacy and cyber-bullying decided to take his own life after discovering this vile act was perpetrated upon him by two Rutgers classmates-Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei.

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, like many teenagers felt the need to publicly humiliate someone for sheer enjoyment. They took great pride in secretly videotaping Mr. Clementi and broadcasting him having sex via a webcast so they could "out him."

Ravi first tweeted on his Twitter page on September 19th that, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”  A few days later Ravi tweeted to his 150 followers on September 21st, "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it's happening again."

This is what our nation has come to. We've reached a new low in our nation where it's "cool" to disgrace someone publicly because of their sexual orientation. And, hopefully the authorities exercise proper judgement and don't stop at charging these two depraved individuals with invasion of privacy. Considering what they did resulted in Tyler Clementi's suicide, they shouldn't just be charged with murder, but first degree murder. It may be a little extreme to suggest they deserve capital punishment for this horrific act, but that should be left for a jury to decide.

For anyone who disagrees with my logic, follow me here. Ravi and Wei premeditated their plot to videotape Clementi having sex with the intentions of humiliating him. This plot resulted in his death. Therefore, they have committed premeditated murder. Bleeding heart lawyers would argue that they were "just playing around" and didn't mean to harm him, but ultimately they didn't just harm him - they caused his suicide.

The authorities in New Jersey need to send a message to not just Ravi and Wei, but to the youth of America that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. It's vile, criminal, and a borderline hate crime.

The precedent for such a case involves the cyber-bullying of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince in Massachusetts earlier this year. Nine students in all were charged with her murder after bullying her online, which resulted in her committing suicide. So far none of the teens have been sentenced as they are set to go on trial later this fall.

Hopefully proper judgement prevails in New Jersey.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com