Student who filmed gay roommate sentenced to 30 days

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by askabob, May 21, 2012.

  1. May 23, 2012

    rednev God Save My Gracious Queen

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    I'm not keen on the idea that sentencing should (heavily) take into account events that happen as an unintended consequence of a crime. I know this won't be a popular view, but I would also apply that to things like drink driving and the crime of manslaughter. Just as an example, if an individual punches someone in anger and victim falls, bangs his head and as a result dies in hospital 7 days later, he would probably be charged with manslaughter. But had the doctors done something differently and the victim had lived, the individual would be charged with a much lesser crime, even though the actual crime (both the action and the intent) is exactly the same. To punish someone for an unintended consequence of his or her crime is essentially punishing him/her for something beyond his/her control. The only logical reason I can think for it is to instil some sense of revenge-type justice into the minds of the victim's family, which is something that I don't think should have any place in the modern justice system anyway.
  2. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    But that is the point this young man was not charged with the death, and it had no bearing on the possible sentence. He as found guilty of over ten separate crimes.
  3. May 23, 2012

    Will Absolute Full Member

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    The boy committed a private act in a place where he had an justifiable expectation of privacy. The other kid didn't happen to record this behaviour as an accidental consequence of their shared accommodation. It was deliberate.

    It's not beyond the wit of the criminal law to recognise this.
  4. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    Another thing worth considering is suicides related to bullying are a hot topic in the US right now. Its often kids between the ages of 14-18 struggling coming to terms with being gay. We have had a couple of cases in our area in the last month or so.

    The fact the kid died and it was intimidation related to his sexuality brought the full attention of the media and prosecutors down on Ravi.
  5. May 23, 2012

    rednev God Save My Gracious Queen

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    I have no idea whether or not the death influenced the sentencing, I'm just making a general point because those who claim the sentence is too lenient are presumably doing so on the basis of the unintended consequence of the victim's death.

    I agree that Ravi acted wrongly in filming his room mate, but for me, the problem when deciding whether or not I think the act should be criminal is in the shared room. Had Ravi intruded in the victim's own, private room, I would say it should definitely be against the law, but in a shared room, I'm not so sure. It's definitely a bit of a grey area.

    I can't argue against the other charges (witness/evidence tampering etc.), though. In the UK I think 30 days would be considered light for that sort of thing.
  6. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    There's a big difference between this case and the examples you cite of drink driving and punching someone who falls and hits their head.

    In this case I don't think it could have been foreseen that the actions of the defendant would lead to the other kid killing himself, and the other kid took the decision to commit suicide, so the actions of the defendant didn't have direct causality.

    In the case of drink driving, if you get behind the wheel wasted its reasonably foreseeable that you are going to be impaired to the point where you hit something and if that something is a person you're going to feck them up. In this case it's your actions directly which have caused the death and it was reasonably foreseeable. The same is true of punching somebody. If you punch someone is there a chance they're going to end up seriously hurt? Yes. Is there a chance they could fall onto a table/chair/ledge etc and end up dead? Yes. Is this something a reasonable person would be aware of before throwing the punch? Yes.
  7. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    Why is that worth considering? Are you suggesting that it is right that media and/or public pressure due to a 'hot topic' lead to a harsher than normal punishment?
  8. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    We will never know how much this incident played in the suicide. The kid viewed Ravi's tweets a hell of a lot of times in the hours before his death. He may also have been very afraid of what else Ravi had videoed and the likelihood of that becoming public.

    Its a sad state of affairs with no real criminals and both of them have ended up victims. The charges were not related to the death though, and he should have received a longer sentence IMO. He is not a kid and is responsible for his actions. However the long term effect of all this is probably far worse on Ravi than a few months in prison.
  9. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    Not the punishment, just the amount of attention the case received.
  10. May 23, 2012

    rednev God Save My Gracious Queen

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    But all of those points apply when the victim does not die as a consequence of the original crime. Let's take the example of the assault - if the difference in the sentence between the two separate scenarios isn't solely about punishing someone for the unintended consequence of the original crime, then what it is for? Again, the points you made apply to both scenarios. The action and the intent are the same in both cases, yet the crime is judged differently on the basis of something that is beyond the control of the individual.
  11. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    Outcome will always affect these things though.

    Let's assume for a moment we lived in the land of the free and the home of the gun; if I shot you tomorrow do you think I should be charged with the same crime regardless of whether you live or die?
  12. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    Actually you would be charged exactly the same should your victim live or die. If found guilty the judge has to give you a life sentence when you shoot someone regardless of the outcome.


    Florida - 10-20-LIFE

    Mandates a minimum 10 year prison term for certain felonies, or attempted felonies in which the offender possesses a firearm or destructive device.

    Mandates a minimum 20 year prison term when the firearm is discharged

    Mandates a minimum 25 years to LIFE if someone is injured or killed

    Mandates a minimum 3 year prison term for possession of a firearm by a felon

    Mandates that the minimum prison term is to be served consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed
  13. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    So shooting someone in the foot carries the same prison sentence as shooting someone in the head who dies?
  14. May 23, 2012

    rednev God Save My Gracious Queen

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    I don't regard attempted murder to be any less morally reprehensible than murder, when I think rationally about it. Whether I die as a consequence or not, your action and your intent is exactly the same in both instances. But for the sake of legal formality, the two crimes should both exist. But personally, I don't believe that a person should be judged more harshly on the basis of something that is entirely beyond his control (that is, beyond his control from the point of the crime being committed).
  15. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    You would get at least 25 years for either. It may be land of the gun but the law doesn't feck around with those that use guns to commit crimes.
  16. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    What about something that is beyond his control but reasonably foreseeable?

    As in the example before, it may not have been within your control that I fell and hit my head after you punched me, but it isn't exactly a far fetched outcome. This is why, in England, if the intent exists for GBH and the victim dies then the mens rea is considered to be present for murder. I think I'm remembering that right anyway, been a long time since my law A level.
  17. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    Unless you claim to have been scared of course. Hopefully one day your country will wake up to the idea that prevention is better than punishment.
  18. May 23, 2012

    rednev God Save My Gracious Queen

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    But the point is that it is reasonably foreseeable in both instances, to the exact same extent. The outcome does not change the intent, and that's where I have a problem with the way charges and sentencing are currently implemented.
  19. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    You also have to prove you "were scared", ad have the evidence support that. Marissa Alexander failed in her attempt to use that defense and got 20 years with no parole for firing a warning shot.
  20. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    Fair enough, I can see your point. I don't necessarily agree but I can see where you're coming from.

    And on that bombshell I'm going to bed.
  21. May 23, 2012

    Dwazza Van Hernandez A Special Kind of Hipster

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    That's good. I was about to create a new sub-forum for you to continue crusading against mjs020294.

    Sweet dreams.
  22. May 23, 2012

    mjs020294 Banned

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    :lol:
  23. May 23, 2012

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    I almost wish I'd stayed up now!
  24. May 23, 2012

    Dwazza Van Hernandez A Special Kind of Hipster

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    foiled again! and I dangled my most tantalizing carrot :mad:

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