Tyler Clementi Case: What's in a Text?

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Tyler Clementi Case: What's in a Text?

Two weeks ago, new evidence was recovered from the Tyler Clementi case that indicated that perhaps Dharun Ravi – Clementi’s college roommate who allegedly recorded an imitate moment between Clementi and another male and streamed it over the Internet – actually had a shred of decency in his DNA. This week, I  am of the belief again that Ravi did not have one ounce of remorse for what he did.

According to the latest court documents released two weeks ago, Clementi used his cell phone at 8:42 p.m. on Sept. 22 to send a text message to Facebook and update his status to "Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry." This was after the Rutgers University freshman reportedly learned that his encounter with another male had been streamed by Ravi for others’ viewing pleasure.

Apparently, 14 minutes later, Ravi sent a text to Clementi that stated, "I don't want your freshman year to be ruined because of a petty misunderstanding, it's adding to my guilt. You have to right to move if you wish, but I don't want you to feel pressured to without fully understanding the situation.” This evidence, along with other evidence that has not yet become available, is being used as reason to dismiss the charges against Ravi, according to Ravi’s lawyer. 

This week, however, prosecutors contend that the text-message apology that Ravi sent Clementi on the night of Clementi's suicide last fall was actually a cynical attempt to avoid punishment from the school. Prosecutors in Middlesex County, N.J. stipulate that Ravi sent that text after learning that he would be disciplined by Rutgers for using a webcam to film Clementi's romantic encounter with a male friend.

"This was just one of many attempts by [the] defendant to dilute, cover up and explain, in other words to tamper with the facts and to fabricate evidence that could be looked on as favorable to him," Middlesex County first assistant prosecutor Julia McClure wrote in response to a motion filed by Ravi's attorney to dismiss the charges against him.

Ravi is currently facing 15 offense charges, including bias, intimidation and invasion of privacy.

As I wrote last week, this evidence truly speaks to the fact that one can never convey meaning through texts. How many of us can recall receiving a curt text message or email from a friend, boyfriend, co-worker, or even employer, that caused us to stop and try to figure out what the tone of the message was? Were they being sarcastic? Were they just rushed?

Texts and emails should rarely be used in place of conversation, especially when the subject of the message is as serious as apologizing to someone for victimizing them online. In Ravi’s case, an apology of that nature could have come in a multitude of forms before resorting to an impersonal text message.

People need to stop being lazy and reluctant to have tough conversations in person and put the phones away. We live in a world where more often than not people think that texts and emails are the first form of communication. Let’s go back to a world not rife with SMS, MMS, gchat, BBM and Skype.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related Articles to 'Tyler Clementi Case: What's in a Text?'
child at school.jpg
Secretary Duncan's Staff Visits Elementary School
jail pic.jpg
Feedback for Tyler Clementi Case: What's in a Text?

1 Comment

the us gov sould get of pri life and buss

Leave a comment