Letters: Sentencing In Rutgers Webcam Case

Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish read a comment from a listener about Monday's analysis of the trial of an ex-Rutgers student — and what sentence a cyberbully deserves. And on a lighter note, we correct two pop culture mistakes.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time for your comments and our corrections. First, some of you got mad listening to our analysis of the sentencing of Dharun Ravi. He's the Rutgers student who was convicted on charges including a hate crime for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate and he tweeted about it.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Yesterday, Ravi received a sentence of 30 days, far shorter than the maximum he could have gotten, 10 years. And I spoke about that with Slate magazine legal writer and editor, Emily Bazelon. She suggested the judge had chosen an appropriate sentence proportional with similar cases in the past.

EMILY BAZELON: In the other cases with long sentences that involve hate crimes in New Jersey, they've been about violence. They've been people picking up a crowbar and beating someone. And those are instances where you can see the hate crime as being tied to truly dangerous behavior.

SIEGEL: Nonsensical is what Susan Aranson(ph) of Salisbury, Vermont calls that. She writes, words carry their own brand of violence. Mr. Ravi used words and actions to humiliate and torment his roommate. While one can debate the extent to which Mr. Ravi's bullying led to Tyler Clementi's suicide, there is no denying that Ravi's actions were a kind of violence against Clementi.

CORNISH: Moving on to lighter topics and two corrections. It seems we were a bit pop culturally challenged on yesterday's program. First, in our interview with actor Peter Dinklage. In my introduction, I rattled off several projects you may have seen him in. "Game of Thrones," "The Station Agent," "30 Rock," but some of you also heard us include the film, "In Bruges." We shouldn't have. He wasn't in it. Instead, we could have added "Living in Oblivion" or maybe "Nip Tuck" or "Death at a Funeral."

Mr. Dinklage has played plenty of memorable parts. Our apologies to him for inventing one.

SIEGEL: Our second and last correction pertains to poetry and the verse written for us by our news poet, Carmen Gimenez Smith. It included this line.

CARMEN GIMENEZ SMITH, BYLINE: And I'm listening to "I Feel Love," the song Bryan Ferry said would change music for good.

SIEGEL: Well, it wasn't Bryan Ferry. It was Brian Eno who said that this Donna Summer song was the future of music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I FEEL LOVE")

DONNA SUMMER: (Singing) Ooh, it's so good. It's so good. It's so good. It's so good. It's so good.

SIEGEL: We did debate whether we could call that mistake poetic license. We might even say our news poet, Carmen Gimenez Smith, is in a class with the famous Russian writer, Vladimir Mayakovsky, who wrote this in a poem about the Brooklyn Bridge. (reading) From this spot, jobless men leapt headlong into the Hudson. Since the Brooklyn Bridge crosses the East River, that would be quite a leap.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I FEEL LOVE")

SUMMER: (Singing) Oh, I feel love. I feel love. I feel love. I feel love. I feel love.

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