Ravi, 20, was clearly relieved as the judge handed down the unexpectedly light sentence, which also included three years probation, 300 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine.
Both sides planned to appeal the sentencing.
“I have disenchanted both sides,"
Middlesex, N.J., Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman said.
Berman chided Ravi for his apparent lack of remorse.
“I haven’t heard you apologize once,” he said.
But he said Ravi acted not out of hate but “a colossal insensitivity” and said he would not recommend Ravi be deported to his native India.
Berman also made it clear he did not think that the authors of the bias law had this sort of case in mind.
"I do not believe they contemplated or envisioned this type of behavior, regardless of how offensive or unconscionable it was,” he said.
Some gay rights groups said they were disappointed with the sentence.
“We opposed throwing the book at Dharun Ravi,” said Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality. “But we have similarly rejected the other extreme that Ravi should have gotten no jail time at all, and today’s sentencing is closer to that extreme than the other.”
Ravi did not address the court, but he broke down as his sobbing mother pleaded with the judge for mercy, saying her son had been unfairly demonized.
“He has lost more than 25 pounds going through this ordeal,” Sabitha Ravi said through her tears.
“Dharun’s dreams are shattered and he has been living in hell for the past 20 months
As a mother I really feel that Dharun has suffered enough.”
Clementi’s mother, Jane, also wept as she recalled her son’s decision to throw himself off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, 2010.
“The devastation of the loss of my son was more than I could bear
I felt like a piece of me died,” she said.
“I do not know what Tyler was thinking or why he did what he did. Even I had no idea of the despair and torment Tyler must have been feeling.”
She recounted how Ravi gave her excited son the brush-off the first time he stepped into the dorm room with his parents.
“He judged Tyler.”
Her husband, Joseph Clementi, called Tyler “a kind and gentle soul.”
“It’s hard for me to imagine the humiliation he felt by having his most intimate moments violated.”
He said he had no doubt that Ravi targeted his son because he was gay but said he wanted justice, not revenge from the court.
“Mr. Ravi still does not get it,” he said, declining to recommend a specific sentence.
“He has no remorse.”
The victim’s brother, James Clementi, who is also gay, noted that Ravi had “only bothered to apologize to my brother once in a text message
hours after my brother had gone missing.”
He said that at one point, an apology from Ravi would have meant something to the Clementi family, but after seeing him defend his actions in a post-conviction TV interview, it would be empty now.
“I have wondered if Dharun Ravi is even capable of empathizing with another person,” James Clementi said. “Mr. Ravi appears untroubled in any way by what he did.”
Clementi’s dorm-room date, known publicly only as M.B., described in a statement read by his lawyer how his life was turned upside down by the suicide.
He blasted Ravi for “placing the blame on everybody but himself.”
“Though I bear no anger toward Mr. Ravi, I must say that Mr. Ravi deserves some confinement so he can reflect on the serious harm he has caused,” the statement said.
“I wonder if it has ever entered his mind that he has caused me a great deal of pain.”
He said that he did not want Ravi to be deported but asked for jail time.
“If the laws mean anything they must be respected,” M.B. wrote. “That is why Mr. Ravi must be held accountable for his conduct.”
Ravi was not charged with causing Clementi’s death but he was convicted of 15 counts by a jury that believed he targeted the freshman because he was gay.
His lawyer said the publicity and rhetoric around the case made is impossible for Ravi to get a fair shake.
like it’s a murder case,” defense lawyer Steven Altman complained.
Ravi had rejected a no-jail plea deal, saying he wasn’t anti-gay and wouldn’t cop to a crime he didn’t commit.