People are furious over the extremely light sentence handed down to Brock Turner, otherwise known as the Stanford rapist. Brock Turner was convicted in March on multiple counts related to the rape of an unconscious woman in January of 2015, and sentenced days ago to only six months in jail for his crimes. Prosecutors in the case had been asking for six years in prison.
Officially, 20-year-old Brock Turner was convicted of intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person.
At his sentencing, the judge was addressed by two separate and very differing letters. One was penned by the Stanford rapist’s father, who called his son’s unconscionable crimes “20 minutes of action” and pleaded with the judge for leniency. The other letter was written and read to the court by the victim herself. It was a 12-page summary of the horrors she’d endured at the hands of the Stanford rapist, as well as the impact the rape has had on her life.
Ultimately, as CNN reports, the Stanford rapist Brock Turner got off very lightly. In fact, some say he got off way too lightly for his horrific crimes. The judge in the case, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, shocked and enraged the world when he sentenced the Stanford rapist to a meager six months in jail followed by probation. Turner will also have to register as a sex offender.
The judge in the case showed incredible compassion to the convicted rapist, saying that he would have been “severely impacted” by prison.
“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.”
Based on the victim’s letter to the court, being raped certainly had a severe impact on her, but apparently Judge Persky didn’t give that aspect of the crime much consideration when he decided upon a slap-on-the-wrist sentence for the Stanford rapist.
@RawStory Once you've raped someone you no longer have good character...just sayin'— Rachelle Carter (@Love3I) June 7, 2016
@thinkprogress this is such a disgrace this judge should be fired the sentence should be overturned and the fathers letter is a joke— Mike Carter (@mikecarter996) June 7, 2016
Many members of the general public agreed that Brock Turner’s sentence was way too light for the crimes he was convicted of committing. By early Tuesday morning, a Change.org petition calling for the Stanford rapist’s judge to be recalled had taken off on the website and gathered more than 191,000 signatures. As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of signatures on the online petition had swelled to over 413,000.
The creator of the petition had a few words for the judge in the case of Stanford rapist Brock Turner, and for the world as well.
“Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency. He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice.”
In California, judges are elected rather than appointed, so there’s a real chance that the judge in the Stanford rapist case could be facing a recall as a result of his light sentencing of Brock Turner.
The judge who sentenced the Stanford rapist to 6 months in jail can be recalled. Here’s how. https://t.co/UTL2zJssvQ— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) June 7, 2016
Stanford University has also been under fire for the institution’s role in how the case was handled. Stanford University has been criticized since the rape case was made public, with critics saying that not enough was done to punish the guilty party in the case. The university issued a statement Monday addressing critic’s perception of the handling of the Stanford rapist case.
“Once Stanford learned the identity of the young woman involved, the university reached out confidentially to offer her support and to tell her the steps we were taking. In less than two weeks after the incident, Stanford had conducted an investigation and banned Turner from setting foot on campus — as a student or otherwise. This is the harshest sanction that a university can impose on a student.”
In case you missed it, the only reason the Stanford rapist ever went to trial is that he was literally CAUGHT IN THE ACT BY STRANGERS.— Eva (@evacide) June 7, 2016
The school also reportedly praised the bystanders who saw the rape in progress and tackled and held Brock Turner for the police.
According to the New York Times, the judge who presided over the trial of the Stanford rapist is an alumnus of the university himself. Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist, was a champion swimmer at the school before his expulsion. According to the judge, Turner had been adversely affected by the “intense media coverage” of his crimes, and that “there is less moral culpability attached to the defendant, who is…intoxicated.”
The judge also noted the Stanford rapist’s lack of significant prior offenses.
Stanford law professor and sociologist Michele Dauber said Monday that she is part of the committee working to have Judge Persky recalled. Dauber said that the judge “misapplied” the law by sentencing the Stanford rapist so lightly as well as by “taking his age, academic achievement and alcohol consumption into consideration.”
“If you’re going to declare that a high-achieving perpetrator is an unusual case, then you’re saying to women on college campuses that they don’t deserve the full protection of the law in the state of California.”
Brock Turner was facing a maximum sentence of 14 years for his crimes.
Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen has also spoken out against the ridiculously light sentencing of the convicted Stanford rapist, saying that the sentence “did not fit the crime.” According to the DA, Brock Turner is a “predatory offender” who has utterly refused to show remorse or take responsibility for his crimes.
“Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape.”
The victim in the case, who has not been publicly identified by the media, said that Brock Turner admitted to drinking that night, but to this day has not acknowledged any fault for his crimes. The Stanford rapist still contends that the sex was consensual.
Under California’s “Yes Is Yes” law, which was adopted in 2014, you cannot legally consent to sex if you are drunk, reports The Guardian. The Stanford rapist’s victim was so intoxicated that she was literally unconscious at the time of her rape.
What are your thoughts on this case? Was the judge’s sentencing fair? Was justice served in the case of Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist.
[Photo by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Via AP Photo]