30 days

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

May 21, 2012 1:38:10 PM PDT
Lenny Bruce, the brilliant comedian, was the one who said it: In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls.

It was inevitable that, no matter the sentence today for Dharun Ravi, no one would be satisfied, and most would feel anger.

Can't imagine that Mr. Ravi is angry, of course. The former Rutgers student convicted of bias intimidation for webcasting Tyler Clementi's intimate encounter with another man in his dorm room, was sentenced to 30 days behind bars (he faced up to 10 years, although no one thought that would be in the cards), and 3 years of probation, plus 300 hours of community service.

Clementi famously committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. His death shot to the forefront the issue of gay bias crimes, bullying, and teasing. We can argue whether other gays, closeted or not, would have reacted similarly, but in so many ways that's irrelevant. Clementi's reaction was sparked by Ravi's action. Ravi didn't intend for that to happen, but it did. And so he's now partly responsible.

Gay and lesbian activists argued for a lenient sentence, but for them this is too lenient, and they are clearly not pleased with the 30 days incarceration.

Clementi's family - suffering from the death of their son - hasn't yet spoken, but they too didn't want 10 years in prison. They did, however, want some punishment.

More important, those involved in this case wanted Ravi to take responsibility - by turning this tragedy into a new calling for his life; specifically, becoming a poster child/spokesman against bias crimes.

Tonight at 11, we'll have reaction to the Ravi sentencing.

Also at 11, our Nina Pineda takes on the cause of a woman who brings a ring in for repair, only to find that the jewelry store later goes out of business. How to get the ring back? The woman rang up Nina, and got 7 On Your Side.

And for anyone who rides taxicabs, hang on to your wallets. The taxi industry - we're talking fleet owners and drivers - are arguing that their last fare hike was in 2006, so now they're looking for a 16-20 percent increase.

Riders, of course, won't like that, because for them there has been an increase, in the form of add-on taxes to help bail out the MTA. So the out of pocket rider costs have risen.

You can imagine the reaction to this news; a public hearing is set for May 31. We'll have the latest at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight at 11.


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