Brock Turner is officially an American enemy – streets and online forums alike are on fire with outrage over the Stanford University rape case in which Turner raped a unconcious woman and only getting 6 months in prison. This call to arms has become a wake up call to feminists, college students, and humanists alike. The rage over the injustice has resulted in non-stop protests outside of Turner’s house. An ironic turn of events because the judge didn’t want to ruin the young man’s life because of this one mistake – and now his life is truly ruined (for now).
It becomes truly hard to imagine a fitting punishment for this pitiful miserable man when our justice system fails us – and especially fails the victim. But the rage really must be aimed appropriately – the incredibly horrendous and unforgivable act Turner committed is done, but the actions by the one who we trusted to punish him is not. Judge Aaron Persky is the one who had power to bring justice to Turner and for his victim. And yet, so much work is being done to protest and humiliate Turner – not that he doesn’t deserve it, but more so that Judge Persky deserves it more. Judge Persky had what Turner probably didn’t: time to think his actions over in a rational and unbiased setting – and he still fails to carry out justice.
First started by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, more appropriate and useful actions have been taken against the ridiculous judge. The movement’s objective is to recall Persky from office, or at least get the California Commission on Judicial Performance to begin investigations for misconduct. There are even more splinter organizations rallying to hold Persky accountable such as recallaaronpersky.com.
The case must be looked at in its entirty to fully form a conclusion about the judge. In California, the maximum for “sexual penetration and assault with the intent to commit rape” is 14 years in jail whereas to minimum is 2 years and is reserved for unusual circumstances. Due to the seemingly unclear and strange situation in which the crime was committed, the prosecution demanded Turner be jailed for 6 years. Judge Persky ruled that Turner serve 6 months in jail followed by 3 years of probation. Turner is also ordered to register with California as a sexual offender.
The biggest defense Turner gave was that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Apparently, the young swimmer has a record of drug use and under-age drinking in high school as well as a history og making “aggressive and unwanted sexual advances” on women. It was the drug use and the party scene that drove Turner to commit the irreversible and life changing crime of rape – but is the situation an excuse for his crime? Can anyone listen to the victim’s testimony and still sympathize with Turner? Apparently Judge Persky can.
When it comes down to it: no, Judge Persky probably didn’t commit misconduct while Judge – but, the people he presides over can no longer expect rational rulings from him. His community that elected him can not know whether justice can be carried out by Persky. Which is why any rage must be aimed toward the Judge. He dropped the ball, he was the only obstacle standing in the way of justice and he unashamed failed. And that point alone is a fearful thought for victims everywhere.