Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi was released from custody Tuesday after serving 20 days on a 30-day sentence in the notorious "webcam" spying case, leading one prominent gay rights activists to label the release a "travesty of justice."
Ravi had been sentenced to 30 days in a New Jersey jail after he used a webcam to spy on his college roommate's tryst with another man. The roommate, Tyler Clementi, who had only recently come out as gay, killed himself in September 2010 after finding out about the webcam. He jumped off the George Washington Bridge.
Earlier this year, a jury convicted Ravi of more than a dozen charges, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.
"Dharun Ravi’s walk out of jail after only 20 days is practically a Monopoly game’s 'get out of jail free' card -- a travesty of justice," Steven Goldstein, chairman and chief executive of Garden State Equality, said in a statement. The organization is New Jersey's largest civil-rights organization for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
The executive director of another organization, Campus Pride, which is a national nonprofit working to make colleges and campuses safer for LGBT students, issued a statement saying he was "deeply disappointed and remains conflicted over the punishment in this case."
Shane Windmeyer said he hopes that schools nationwide have learned something from the tragic case: "Colleges and universities across the country need to take greater accountability for the safety of LGBT students and actively discourage the bystander behaviors that attributed to this tragedy."
In other developments in the case, the Associated Press reports that federal authorities will not try to deport Ravi back to India, where he is a citizen. Ravi came to the U.S. as a young child and is living here legally, but federal authorities can deport foreign citizens convicted of a crime.
Throughout the case, Ravi has been criticized as not showing sufficient remorse for his actions. Goldstein added to that criticism Tuesday, calling the relatively light sentence "a fleeting and repugnant non-lesson for a young man who passed up nearly every chance to show remorse."
The Associated Press says that Ravi still faces three years of probation, plus more than $11,000 in fines and assessments, 300 hours of community service and counseling.