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Monthly Meetings: Mar 7 – Berkeley, April 18 – Phone,
May 29/30 – Conference (Los Angeles),  June 13 – Sacramento details

Emotional Support Group Meetings 2020 (Los Angeles, Sacramento, Phone)

2020 ACSOL Conference – May 29/30 in Los Angeles


CA: The pressure for tough sentences

[ 6/8/18]

A story that sparked outrage over sexism, privilege and lenient treatment of sexual violence two years ago resulted in what many consider a victory for justice and for women.

California Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who was excoriated for giving a six-month jail sentence to Brock Turner, a former Stanford University athlete convicted of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape an unconscious, severely intoxicated woman, was stripped of his office by a recall vote on Tuesday as a result of a campaign led by Stanford law Professor Michelle Dauber. But is this a good outcome? Some surprising voices are saying no.

Turner became a poster boy for American “rape culture” in 2016 after the media publicized the powerful impact statement by the victim. The outrage was exacerbated because Turner — who had been caught by two passers-by on top of a passed-out young woman outside a house where a party was taking place — seemed more self-pitying than remorseful, while his father infamously dismissed the crime as “20 minutes of action.”

Judge Persky was denounced for giving a privileged white male rapist a slap on the wrist. Yet the reality was rather more complicated. Persky had simply followed the recommendation of the probation officer, who felt that a light sentence was appropriate in this case given Turner’s youth, lack of criminal record and his own intoxicated state — as well as the victim’s apparent desire for leniency. That probation officer was a woman. When the story broke, Santa Clara public defender Molly O’Neal, an outspoken feminist and mother of a college-bound daughter, also defended the sentence as fair.

Read more

Related links:

Recalling the judge from Brock Turner’s case will likely bring about less justice in California, not more [ – 6/8/18]

Recalling Aaron Persky, the Judge Who Showed Brock Turner Leniency, Is a Mistake That Will Haunt Progressives [ – 6/6/18]


Join the discussion

  1. Joe123

    “… especially in conjunction with a new California law mandating a minimum three-year sentence for sexual assault cases involving intoxication”

    What sane person is pushing for more Mandatory Minimums while we already have a serious prison problem in this country?

    • Edie

      Be fortunate that you are in Calif. In Oregon, where my son was wrongly convicted, he was subject to Measure 11, which their uninformed citizens voted on in late 1994. It attaches automatic mandatory minimums to over a dozen crimes, with no chance of early release, no time for good behavior. Look it up. Since passing this, Oregon’s prison population has more than doubled. They’ve had to build MORE prisons. In my son’s case, the judge’s hands were tied at sentencing and forced to issue a sentence far beyond what we know would have been much less had it not been for Measure 11. Additionally, since this measure gave D.A.’s the power, they impose harsher post-supervision sentences. For my son, it was 20 years, minus time served (100 months thanks to Measure 11). After successfully getting him transferred to Calif. via the Interstate Compact in order to be with his family and face acceptance and success, he is now in the CA system. They are literally baffled by the amount of time ordered, as felonies in CA normally carry a 3-5 year post-prison term of supervision…..not 11+ years!! Again, be glad you’re in CA in this regard….

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