Brock Turner, a former student and swimmer at Stanford University, was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault and sentenced to just six months behind bars last week for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. The judge’s ruling has sparked outrage across the nation, moving many to sign a petition on Change.org to remove Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky from the bench. (www.usmagazine.com)
I will be the first to say that I am usually very light-hearted when it comes to legal matters. I think that there are far too many people locked up in jail for way too long considering their crimes and how the changing times have people taking a leaner approach to many things (i.e. marijuana). However, in this case six months in jail is disgusting! Now, I get it the kid is only twenty years old and he made a mistake and he will regret it for the rest of his life. But, this is a case where there really are no winners in it. Certainly the defense in this case should not have any sort of victory considering the crime he committed. But, to me this is a huge victory for Turner and his defense.
There is a complexity when it comes to rape cases because nobody really wins and in a way that is sort of a good thing. There is no way that the unidentified victim in this case is going to ever be the same as she was before this event happened. I think it would be difficult for her to trust men ever again. According to a letter she wrote to Turner, she said she wanted to rip her skin off and leave that at the hospital (by the way, way to take initiative Stanford in letting her know what happened. She learned about what happened from a news network reporting it before Stanford ever told her what happened….smh).
I think she will live in agony for the rest of her life because of this event. Now, I am not really sure what “rape culture” is about. I really do not take any particular interest in those kind of things, but I am pretty sure that giving a slap on the wrist like this one to Turner is exactly what “rape culture” is speaking about. Because there is no strict discipline for this incident for the young man, there is a lack of precedent set. As far as a sentencing goes (again I am usually not too hard on most people when they commit crimes), but I would say any where from six to eight years in jail for this incident. And of course he is and should be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life. I guess the law book says fourteen years is a common standard for this act and this was far too short compared to that.
But, I would say six to eight because considering how young he is, that way he can get out of jail in his late twenties and still have a whole lot of life ahead of him where he could move on and change who he is without being shackled to a wall forever.
Now, another thing that this reminds me of is the “affluenza syndrome” that has been very present in a lot of crimes committed by young people in modern society. Now, I grew up very affluent and my friends grew up very affluent, too. However, I have never considered raping or sexually assaulting a woman under any circumstances! It does not matter how you grew up or how wealthy you were as a kid whether it was a conservative or liberal upbringing. Nobody should be a part of a group that would tolerate this act that Turner committed! But, now you wonder if the judge was thinking well he is a young kid who made a mistake and he will learn from it. I don’t know. But, it is a sad outcome because justice was not met.