Tyler Clementi: The crime of Psychological Manslaughter
In reviewing the death of Tyler Clementi with friends and family, everyone had an opinion on what should be done to the two students who caused his sexual encounter to be publically broadcast and his resulting suicide. Some felt his death would be punishment enough for the two young people believing their lives would never be the same. The majority, however, felt there should be some type of retribution for this death paid by the two students who intentionally bullied Tyler.
A friend of mine, Joanne, invented a new term which seems apt to me. “Psychological manslaughter”.
We have Vehicular manslaughter, why not psychological manslaughter? I can think of many crimes this term might be attributed to. People who have been cruel to other people , abused others verbally, played tricks on them, manipulated and ignored others….the list goes on and on. The net result was the suicide of the tormented person. The crime of causing the suicide of Tyler deserves a conviction. If these two individuals had not been students at Rutgers, Tyler would still be alive.
Psychological manslaughter would be an accurate description of what happened in this case. I hope the courts consider the facts and consider a punishment that fits the crime. Bullying seems to be escalating in all age groups but particularly the young. Setting a boundary of acceptable behavior would be a good thing.