An anonymous juror involved in the Brock Turner rape case — one of 12 to convict Turner on all three counts of sexual assault — has spoken out recently, saying he was “shocked and appalled” at Judge Persky’s lenient sentence in a letter sent to the Judge.
The juror, who has chosen to remain anonymous following the case, wrote a letter to Judge Persky, and gave permission to Palo Alto Weekly to publish it online. In his letter, the juror tells Judge Persky that initially, he was annoyed at having to serve jury duty, but once in the box, he took his “civic responsibility seriously.” The shocked juror also mentioned that he has just recently become a naturalized citizen after living in the country for over 30 years and that he is disappointed with his first experience on a jury.
The letter details that the jury– made up of eight men and four women — only deliberated for two days before reaching a unanimous guilty verdict on three felony counts of sexual assault. He also pointed out in his letter that though the Judge said he believed Turner to be genuine in his remorse, the juror felt otherwise, saying that he found it “impossible to understand” how Judge Persky could disregard not only the jury’s findings but also those that came to light later — namely that Turner had lied about being new to the college drinking culture when he arrived at Stanford — and instead chose to base his “ridiculously lenient” sentence on ” irrelevant character witness testimony.”
The shocked juror went on to say that the “unusual circumstances” Judge Persky had to justify in order to give Turner such a reduced sentence — as opposed to the typical minimum of two years in prison, were not so unusual at all.
“You had to justify that there were ‘unusual circumstances’ to give Mr. Turner less than the two year minimum sentence for his crime. But the unfortunate fact is, these circumstances are not unusual. Women like Ms. Doe suffer daily from similar crimes and I fear your sentence will make these victims less willing to report their attacks.”
The main point of the letter from the anonymous juror seems to be the same point people across the nation, and even the world, have been getting at since the six-month sentence for Turner was handed down: What about the victim? While Judge Persky was worrying about the “severe impact” a prison sentence would have on the 20-year-old former All-American swimmer, who was worrying about the impact the sexual assault had on the victim? This particular juror was, and it shocked him immensely that Persky wasn’t.
“Justice has not been served in this case. The jury’s verdict of guilt on all three felony counts of sexual assault was completely disregarded in an effort to spare the perpetrator a ‘hardship’. What message does this send to Emily Doe, and indeed all victims of sexual assault and rape, especially those on college campuses? Your concern was for the impact on the assailant. I vehemently disagree, our concern should be for the victim.”
According to CTV News, the two piece of evidence in particular that helped sway the vote of the shocked juror, he said in an interview, were the testimonies of the two Standford graduate students who happened upon Brock Turner mid-assault. The juror recounted how they heard that the students had asked Turner “what the f**k are you doing?” and chased him down as Turner ran away from the unconscious girl; as well as the victim’s own letter to Judge Persky, in which she recounted the impact the assault and subsequent trial had on her.
The shocked Turner trial juror ended his scathing letter to Judge Persky with a terse “shame on you.” The letter can be read in its entirety on the Palo Alto Weekly website.
[AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron]