Ethical Analysis of the Rutgers Suicide Case
In the Rutgers suicide case, the main conflict of interests is the privacy of Tyler Clementi and Ravi’s freedom of speech. As a homosexual, Tyler Clementi also had the interest of being treated fairly without discrimination, just as ordinary people. In today’s society, with homosexual becoming more common and accepted, gay rights keep growing. The public expect Ravi to be nice with his gay roommate instead of invasion his privacy and bias.
We all know that Ravi didn’t physically push Clementi to his death and there was no evidence to prove Ravi’s behavior causing his suicide. But it was so clear that his behavior was repugnant and hurt Clementi emotionally, especially in light of tweets he made. So I think Ravi was ethically responsible for Tyler Clementi’s death.
According to New York Post, before the tragedy happened, Ravi had discovered that Clementi was gay, because Clementi was posting on a gay Web site. If Ravi was an Anti-Homosexuality, he might request an roommate change at that time. So I don’t think he hated Clementi and his behavior was motivated by anti-gay hatred. On the other hand, there was no observed sex and the tweets Ravi posted were not very offensive. As mentioned before, Clementi was posting on a gay Web site, so everyone could realize he was a gay by browsing through the site. Therefore, Ravi’s tweets did not seriously invade Clementi’s privacy. For above reasons, Ravi was not legally responsible for Tyler Clementi’s death.
If taking the potential harms into consideration, I find the sentence was justified but too light. Homosexuals were not comfortable with the sentence because they could not feel they were being protected. This light sentence might also increase possibility of bias intimidation. What’s more, Ravi’s behavior set a bad example to teenagers. The judge's sentence would send a message to kids and their parents about the consequences of such behavior. A slightly severe sentence