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California

Campaign to recall judge in Brock Turner sex assault case can resume

[San Jose Mercury News]

In a victory for the campaign to oust Judge Aaron Persky, a retired San Francisco judge Monday ruled that proponents could immediately resume collecting signatures on petitions aimed at putting the recall on the June ballot.

Retired San Francisco Judge Kay Tsenin is expected to make a final ruling Thursday in favor of the recall campaign on the underlying legal issues.

But after recall advocates Monday burst into applause at the end of the hearing in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Tsenin made it clear that just because she defied the so-called “code of the robe” by tentatively ruling against Persky doesn’t mean she supports the recall.

“It’s not about that, ladies and gentlemen,” she said. “It’s about the law.”

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  1. Eric

    I never touched anyone and spent 5 years and 28 days in a concentration camp where people were beaten and killed. This judge allows this guy to walk because his family had clout. United States injustice system

    • Gwen

      Eric –
      I’m so sorry about the unfairness in your case.
      I hope that you and many like you will be able to come to Sacramento on September 1st because it is cases such as yours that need to be heard in order to stop CDCR’s emergency amendment to classify all SOs as Violent and exclude them from the benefits under PROP 57 that they are entitled to.

    • julia

      Eric, I’m really sorry for what you’ve been through. It’s really important in this case to know the nuance, because the devil is in the details here. Persky had a history of lenient sentencing, regardless of the defendants income level. In fact, he is known among public defenders for fair sentencing among their homeless and racial minority clients. Quite the opposite of what you say, Persky has a reputation for NOT favoring wealthy clients in sentencing decisions. This is important because we need more judges like Persky, not fewer. The outcome of the witch hunt against Persky is that all judges will fear being lenient on sex offenses in all cases, which will impact poor and minority defendants far more than it will impact affluent defendants. What the SO community needs is judges like Persky who are willing to advocate from the bench. The laws are awful, sentencing out of control, and its all politically motivated. Judges like Persky are the few who are in a position to stand up against draconian laws and sentencing mandates.

  2. AlexO

    I did 65 days in county for my non-contact upskirt picture of a minor. No priors and otherwise have lived above what most would be considered a good and law abiding life.

    Turner did 3 months for assaulting an unconscious woman, including penetration with a foreign object. And I’m more than willing to bet that all things being equal, his Static-99 actually places him as a lower risk than me because I got a point bump for NOT touching my victim (even lower if he knew his victim).

    It’s hard not to be angry at this case because not only did he get preferential treatment above what most would get in such a case, but that this has greatly turned the public against every RC whom now have yet another outlier to lump all of us in with on how much stronger sentencing and registration should be.

  3. Nimrods they all are!!

    While they are following the allowance within the CA Constitution, I call this a frivolous use of it due to the hysteria they are using to get petition signatures. The are going to spend state money to put this on a ballot, vote and count them all because they don’t like the outcome. Shouldn’t everyone have a petition for issues that fall within the law and department recommendation, but is generally disliked because it does not sit well with them????!!! I hope the counterargument gets spun up quickly and blasts this on all media outlets, etc for the entire time before it is voted upon (if they get the required petition signatures and the appellate court does not squash it). You did your job Judge as recommended and within the law, but not well enough for the people, which is stupid to think.

    Call this what it really is: a modern day witch hunt to placate feelings of hysteria and fear drummed up because they can express them in this country and think they know better. Go back to Berkeley and Palo Alto you nimrods!

  4. Q

    Oh man!!!! Not another lynch mob!!!! I wonder how many people in said lynch mob have never had a impure thought; have seen someone attractive to them and never thought…………..

  5. Chris F

    This entire mess is actually great for our cause, if a lawyer will only take advantage of it.

    This is one of many cases, though the most famous, where a judge outright says that he adjusted the punishment, rehabilitation, and protecting the public part of his decisions downward due to the legislatures additional and mandated Sex Offender registration and all that goes along with that now, and likely increases in the future legislative acts.

    It shows how much the entire registration scheme is a clear violation of Separation of Powers as it both interferes with, and over-rides the Constitutionally mandated and sole job of the Judiciary to decide punishment, rehabilitation, and protecting the public. It is clearly in the realm of the Judiciary to decide the type and duration of punishment, the methods needed for rehabilitation, and any extra precautions to protect the public based on the individual and circumstances during the fair sentencing portion of the trial. That power was NEVER given to the legislature, and certainly not with a wide brush and no concern for the individual and circumstances. I’m not sure why this battle is never fought. You would think judges wouldn’t like being walked all over by the legislature when it doesn’t even have the power to do that.

    • Timmr

      I assume the judges are not going to make enemies with the people who elect them or the legislators who approve them.

  6. Timmr

    I think all judges should be appointed by a non partisan commitee of citizens, including some lawyers. In my limited view, I see this as a flaw in our system. The legislature and the executive should be of the people, and the courts should be of the Constitution, acting like umpires of democracy not lawmakers in robes.
    I remember the last ballot in my district, all the judicial candidate who put in a statement to a drum beat said they were going to be tough on crime and sex offenders in particular. You would think they were running for DA. I guess we really have several de facto DA’s in my county.

    • Q

      I think the judicial candidates were saying what they believed they needed to say to get elected, but it’s still disturbing when the opinions of experts are not considered by anyone besides the experts themselves and people forced to register as sex offenders.

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