This morning, Dharun Ravi appeared in court, in advance of turning himself to authorities and starting his 30-day jail sentence for spying on his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi. According to the Star-Ledger, he was silent and only answered yes/no questions, like "whether he understands the consequences of heading to jail before he is required to."

Prosecutors are appealing the sentence, with Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure saying, "I believed then and I believe now that a custodial term had to be imposed." But Judge Glen Berman defended his controversial sentence in court today, calling it "anything but spontaneous" and adding, "I can’t find it in me to remand him to state prison that houses people convicted of offenses such as murder, armed robbery and rape. I don’t believe that that fits this case. I believe that he has to be punished, and he will be."

In September 2010, Ravi had set up a webcam in the dorm room he shared with Clementi and viewed Clementi and Clementi's guest during intimate encounters, and shared a link (unsuccessfully) to view the livestream via Twitter. Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge the day after the second time he was filmed. While prosecutors have portrayed Ravi as homophobic, his lawyer and the witnesses speaking on his behalf said he was not homophobic, instead claiming he was simply acting immaturely. But jurors agreed with prosecutors, finding that Ravi invaded Clementi's and his guest's privacy twice and meant to intimidate Clementi when he spied a second time.

Berman also noted that Ravi's 300 hours of community service are far greater than what was required and pointed out that the prosecution gave Ravi's friend, Molly Wei, who also watched Clementi and his guest, a deal with probation and community service in exchange for testifying against Ravi. From the Times:

Believing that “consistency breeds fairness,” the judge said he gave Mr. Ravi community service and probation. “It wasn’t my deal; it was the state’s,” he said.

But because Mr. Ravi’s “involvement was more extensive,” he said, he had added to the sentence, ordering Mr. Ravi to undergo counseling in “alternate lifestyles.” That phrase had angered gay rights advocates who believe it is derogatory; the judge said he took the language from the plea bargains the prosecution offered Mr. Ravi before he went to trial.

Berman said, "I'll stand on my belief that his conduct was wrong. But I don't believe it was hate-motivated."

Yesterday, Ravi apologized for the incident for the first time.