Concerning the suicide and aftermath? I think it’s a waste of time and money to press any hate crime charges against the two. Kids, especially those in college, do stupid things without thinking ahead to the possible consequences. There doesn’t seem to be any real malice involved. They, or more likely Rutgers, will get sued by the parents. But, more than that, these two are going to have to carry with them for the rest of their lives that their unthinking actions cause another human being to take his own life. That is a pain that to me would be unbearable. That is a pain for which there is no relief.
Those who recorded him did indeed do stupid things. But, did they intend to hurt? Did they even know the harm they were caused? Sometimes people cause pain without meaning it. And Tyler Clementi’s pain was greater than any of us can fully imagine — at a particularly vulnerable time in his life. It’s never easy being a college freshman, starting in a new environment, concerned about fitting in, finding your place.
These two may not have intended to hurt the young man, merely sought to share in the sport of mockery, as if they were watching an actor portraying a human being rather than a human being himself. That said, as Sonic notes, they are going to have to live with his suicide on their consciences for their entire life. I believe it was Dostoyevsky who wrote about the real punishment they’re about to endure.
What really makes me wince is the amount of sympathy generated for the young man after his death. If only he had known how much good will there is out there for individuals in his situation, in a situation many of us once found ourselves.