Bullying Defendants Receive Community Service in the Case of the Morristown Teen Who Committed Suicide – Was it Enough [POLL]
Not too dissimilar to the Dahrun Ravi case which culminated in the Tyler Clementi suicide…two defendants in the case that culminated in the suicide of a 15 year old Morristown teen received nothing more than 20 days in what’s called the PASS program, which has juveniles take part in community service projects at parks, churches, synagogues, schools and other local work sites.
First, let’s recount the story:
Fifteen year old Lennon Baldwin was being bullied by 2 other juveniles and a 19 year old senior.
One of the juveniles, M.J., admitted in court that on March 6, he approached Baldwin in the hallway of Morristown High School and kicked him in the groin, dropping the boy to the floor.
The kick was caught on the school’s video camera.
M.J. was later suspended over the incident after telling Lennon to tell administrators the whole thing was a joke.
Three days later, on March 9, M.J. J.B, Michael Conway and two others met Baldwin on the roof of a parking deck behind the Century 21 store in downtown Morristown to complete a drug deal, M.J’s attorney said.
Conway, 19, a Morristown High School graduate, is not charged with the robbery but is charged with lying to police about it. He is being tried as an adult in Superior Court in Morristown, where his next court date is scheduled for July 31.
The other two have not been charged.
J.B. admitted taking $60 from Baldwin with no intention of ever providing him drugs or returning the money. This was to get even for the suspension, the defendants admitted.
J.B said he told Baldwin not to snitch or tell police what had happened. The two allegedly told Baldwin there would be repercussions if he ratted them out, according to Baldwin’s parents, though neither of the two admitted to saying that.
Judge Michael Paul Wright appeared moved by the parents’ emotional words and was initially hesitant to impose so light a sentence on the defendants.
Only after Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, who was not officially handling the case and had been sitting with the Baldwins, stepped forward and explained it would be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt there was a causal relationship between the bullying and the suicide did Wright agree to the sentence.
Did the judge really think there was no relationship between the suicide and the bullying?
And then you wonder why we call them “clowns clad in robes!”
Here’s how I make the distinction between this case and the Dahrun Ravi case.
In this case, there was direct interaction between the defendants and the victim…i.e…repercussions if the victim were to rat them out. There was no such threat, nor personal interaction between Ravi and Clementi before the latter committed suicide.
But, again, to even think there was no link between the bullying and the subsequent suicide is having one's head up one's ass!