Rutgers Suicide Case

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daniel J. Solove, John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School, author of the forthcoming book, Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security, and founder of TeachPrivacy, discusses the legal implications of the indictment against the 19-year-old Rutger’s student who allegedly broadcasted online an intimate encounter involving his roommate, Tyler Clementi. Clementi later committed suicide.


Daniel Solove

Comments [12]

geTaylor from Bklyn.,NY


"I dare you to video chat me . . . "

How many persons accepted the dare?
How do we know that anyone did?

Apr. 26 2011 04:49 PM
geTaylor from Bklyn., NY

The "harshness" of the charges at present are a measure of how much the prosecutors need to have the defendants plead guilty, or turn on each other, in order to gain a conviction that will satisfy the public-political pressure aroused by the senseless death of Mr. Clementi.
The possibility that the public "image" of the crime does not match the actual facts of crime (e.g., was there a "broadcast" or merely a point-to-point transmission? did anyone other than the the defendants see the images captured by the web-cam? was there a file made of the images or not? why has the identity of Mr. Clementi's partner been so uncharacteristically ignored by the media-press-blog-twit locusts that seem to devour every other event that generates a crowd?) has the prosecutors pinned between the proverbial "rock and a hard place"..

Oh yeah there are definetly issues and evidence problems before a conviction on the top counts can be hoped for.

Hey Ravi - wanna play let's make a deal?

Apr. 26 2011 03:31 PM


"Dharun Ravi allegedly asked friends to watch a streamed video. “I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again,” the message said."
that's what is meant when one talks about broadcasting

Apr. 26 2011 03:18 PM

Your facts are wrong. There was no taping and "broadcast." It was streamed live over videochat, much more of a point-to-point communication than a broadcasting.

Apr. 26 2011 02:53 PM

i guess
then let them off. it's all Clementi fault

Apr. 26 2011 11:20 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ hjs11211

If there is one thing is not in dispute it is that Clementi committed suicide, his death was ruled a suicide, not a homicide. His death was his own doing by any legal, moral or even rhetorical standard there is absolutely no analogy between a drunk driving homicide and Clementi's suicide, obviously.

Apr. 26 2011 11:07 AM

i guess if i kill u while i was drunk driving i should be let free just because i " did not intend to cause physical harm. " i was just having fun in a bar with friends and u were in my way.

Apr. 26 2011 11:04 AM
uscdadnyc from NYC

What about the alleged sexual partner of Tyler Clementi's encounter? Has the partner ever come forward? Has the partner sought legal recourse?

Apr. 26 2011 10:57 AM
KT from NYC

These charges bother me. I have no sympathy for what these kids did; they acted cruelly and stupidly and, without intending such terrible harm, inadvertently caused the death of an innocent person. On the other hand, teenagers and young adults can be cruel and stupid; they did not intend to cause physical harm to the young man; and the results of their actions were not, I think (based on what I've read), either likely (recklessness) or foreseeable. The concealment of evidence charges, et al., are straw men; the "real", unspoken charge is causing the kid's death.

I think that these indictments are "a stretch" and pander to those who have political objectives. While I agree with such objectives -- I support gay and lesbian rights -- in this case, I don't support the means.

Apr. 26 2011 10:57 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich. The bias part of this case will not go anywhere, even if they find a jury stupid enough to convict on the hate crime charges it will be overturned on appeal. This whole case is very sad but Clementi was obviously troubled and I don't think it was so much the fault of one stupid college kid and his idiotic prank that our society is so deeply homophobic.

Apr. 26 2011 10:57 AM

The roommate, Dharun Ravi, seems to have some kind of interest in watching gay sex. I’m sure that little boy will l have fun in prison. Is that ironic or what?

Apr. 26 2011 10:52 AM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I feel like too much of the discussion around this case has focused on Tyler being gay, as if it were ONLY a crime because the victim had not chosen to come out. But the violation of privacy is horrendous regardless. Even if he were having sex with the hottest girl on campus, it's still incredibly wrong. And I would believe that even if the incident did not end in suicide.

It wasn't a harmless "prank" and the people who think so never learned how to empathize.

Apr. 26 2011 10:43 AM

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