Brock Turner is leaving jail on Friday. Shall we continue to punish him?

posted at 9:21 pm on August 30, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

If you’re following the non-election news at all you probably already know that Brock Turner will be getting out of the crowbar motel at the end of the week and this has a lot of people very upset. For those of you who haven’t been following the story, Brock is the young man from Stanford who was convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman when she was unconscious behind a dumpster. As of Friday he will have served three months in jail. The big debate now seems to be whether we should be more angry at Turner or at Judge Aaron Perksy, the one who gave him the sentence. (NY Daily News)

On Friday, as Turner is released, the “Recall Judge Aaron Perksy” campaign will hold a rally at 10 a.m. in front of the Santa Clara Hall of Justice, which is next door to the jail where Turner is held. At the rally, several rape victims along with Democratic California Reps. Jerry McNerney and Eric Swalwell along with other politicians will speak alongside Dauber.

Their goal, according to Dauber: “bringing forth the judge’s records and publicizing it to voters” in preparation to gather signatures.

Dauber said Perksy’s biased sentencing has a long history that she hopes voters will learn about.

But Turner won’t be getting off all that easily either. He will no doubt be tracked and people will want to know what becomes of him and what he makes of his life after this. But should he be pursued? I understand I’ll be hit with the rape apologist label for even asking the question, but who is it that we’re really upset with at this point? I’m willing to accept the court’s decision that Turner is guilty and, as such, he deserved far more punishment than that. But when his lawyer was clever enough to work the system and found the judge a willing accomplice in landing Turner what was essentially a slap on the wrist, did we expect him to stand up and tearfully argue that another ten years should be added to his stay behind bars?

I was searching for some other opinions on the subject, either positive or negative in terms of Brock’s future, but most of the commentariat seems to be stunned into silence on this one. Even the Washington Post had little to say beyond the relatively sterile facts of the case. Being left to answer my own question, I think that case of young Mr. Turner is pretty much over. I’m not saying he should be put up for some sort of humanitarian award, but continuing to punish him through some sort of social media campaign isn’t going to accomplish much.

The fact is that the system spoke. In this case it stumbled, mumbled and made a fool of itself like a drunk who stays too long at your housewarming party, but the steps were all followed. Turner has been found guilty in our legal system and paid his price to society for it, no matter how pitifully meager that price was. If we’re going to be mad at anyone, let’s be upset with the system itself and try to determine what, if anything, could be changed to prevent a repeat of this.

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