News


Turner-trial judge criticized for bias in assault case

But supporters of Judge Aaron Persky argue that comparison is 'inflammatory'

Another local sexual-assault case has become the latest battleground in the continued debate over whether the judge who presided over the sentencing of former Stanford University student-athlete Brock Turner should be removed from the bench, with critics of the judge arguing it shows further evidence of judicial bias and his supporters warning it is misleading to compare the two cases.

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Editor's note: This story inaccurately stated that final plea conditions were handled by Judge Gilbert Brown on June 30. It was on March 29.

Comments

17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2016 at 10:50 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Drunkenness is not a mitigating factor in the sentencing of a convicted felon. It is something that Persky had pulled out of thin air in order to get Brock Turner off the hook. This alone should get him removed from his post. If a drunk driver runs a red light and kills a pedestrian, does he get his sentence reduced because he was drunk? Aaron Persky should not be a judge, period.


24 people like this
Posted by very similar
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2016 at 10:58 am

2 differences: alcohol and ethnicity/social class of the accused. My guess is that it's the 2nd that was the mitigating factor in Persky's sentencing of Turner, but it's impossible to prove.


10 people like this
Posted by very similar
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

Also, I would guess that Turner could afford a much better attorney than Ramirez and, as a consequence, did not plead guilty.


17 people like this
Posted by Thankfull to Dauber
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 8, 2016 at 11:06 am

Again in the name of all rape victims I thank this extraordinary woman who is using her knowledge of the law to help and validate the victim in this case. I know there are many Emily's Doe out there who are still suffering the consequences of rape and I am one of them. Unlike Emily, I kept it quiet, and there have been times when I hate myself for not reporting it to the authorities, but now that I see the light sentence turner got, I know that keeping it quiet was the best. At that time no Michelle Dauber was around to help, and I am sure that probably my rapist would have been out with zero consequences for his wrong twenty minutes actions, or a a light sentence like the one Turner got. I know the victim will never be the same again, and she will have trouble when she has intimacy with other person. Hopefully she gets the right therapy to heal. Michelle Dauber for President after Clinton!!!


15 people like this
Posted by Judgmental
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Judgmental is a registered user.

Persky has a poor sense of judgment, which he continues to demonstrate. He appears to have a limited sense of impartiality, and may be biased [portion removed.] None of these are character traits a judge should have!


9 people like this
Posted by Caitlin
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Cid Young
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

I suppose Ramirez could have received a lighter sentencing had he, like Judge Persky and Brock Turner, been a Stanford athlete .... and white.


2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm

I've followed the story and read all the online articles and most of the post comments about it, but I've never spoken up before.

Thank you LaDoris Cordell for speaking out on this issue and signing the letter. I've had some online run-ins with you in the past on other issues, but not on this one. You made it very clear about the differences in those two separate cases involving sexual assaults. Laws sometimes tie judges hands. And I agree with your comment about plea bargaining bias, anecdotal as it is. We all have our own biases...I do...you do! And that comes into play. Also, Public Defender, Sajid Khan, didn't disagree that privilege played a part in this. It does and it did. Rich folks can afford the best lawyers...no surprise on that one. And any of us who have served on jury panels know that those people around us are not really our peers, in the dictionary sense. Such a wide spread of educational levels, values (most importantly family), work and social involvement in our community, etc. I guess that's the mix they're looking for jurists, but I often thought "I wouldn't want him/her to be my neighbor/friend/co-worker"! Should I have told the judge that so I could be excused? Probably!

So here we are, what do we do? I'll just pose a question about how we select our judges? One poster said they are appointed first and then elected after that. I doubt if that's the case, except for the rare cases when judges are appointed to fill a midterm vacancy...then have to be elected to keep that position. But a more important question...how many of us voters really know anything, I mean anything, about the judgeship candidates that we see on the ballots. Some do I'm sure, but I put myself into that class (let's keep the wealth argument going on this), of 1% ers vs the other 99% of us. I see their names and sometimes vote for one but sometimes don't vote at all. I'd be in the 99% that didn't know anything about them. There must be a better way of selection and accountability. It can't be left up to public opinion wanting to hang the judge. That's old west vigilante style justice. I hope we've moved forward and way beyond that.

And even though these are not political offices...wink,wink...judges have their own party affiliations and that too plays a part in their rulings. Now I'll put Ladoris to the test. Since you are a very liberal minded person, (I'm not sure if you're as far left as Bernie's left, but a Democrat nonetheless, and that's not a bad party to be in these days), but do you think your party affiliation ever played a part in your role in making decisions/rulings? Of course it did!


16 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Any fair minded person can see the clear difference between the two cases. In the Ramirez case he chose to plead guilty to a count that carries a mandatory sentence of three years. There was no mandatory three year sentence in the Turner case. The suggestion by Dauber that the two outcomes represent some sort of racial bias is absurd [portion removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by standforthetruth
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm

I agree. Additionally, the Turner case is a case of wrong place wrong time. Clearly a fopaux if you will. It was never rape, attempted or otherwise. All of the many details in the Turner case clear the 20 year old young man. It is so obvious what this case was. The details of the Ramirez case are clearly more disturbing and far more punishable. Secondly, I find it disheartening to hear that Dauber's helpers are fundraising for a Rally in September for when Brock is released.
How can this group be fighting for doing the right thing while planning to terrorize and further traumatize a 20 year old young man? He did not do anything to intentionally harm and he is being crucified yet this group is practically planning his demise and everyone is perfectly fine with it? I think it is time that each and every one take a long hard look at what is really going on here. What is the ulterior motive here and at what cost? The plaintiff had a letter written on her behalf for what reason and who's benefit? When is it going to be enough that this misconstrued case has already ruined two lives? What kind of people/group would rally outside of an already traumatized young man on his day of release? To further harass and shame him is very aggressive behavior. Let the young man get past this hell and rebuild his life. Karma is real. Think twice about who would really think this is right.


14 people like this
Posted by Fopaux?
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2016 at 8:08 am

Fopaux? Fantastic, thank you for a chuckle to cut the bile of the rest of your post. Definition of a fopaux: "an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation." Thanks for clarifying, I thought it was attempted rape but it's more like a fly in your soup or not covering your mouth while yawning.

I'm off to have a nice bowl of fo.


4 people like this
Posted by baszia
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2016 at 6:40 pm

@ standforthetruth: 'the Turner case is a case of wrong place wrong time' - yeah, BT chose the wrong dumpster and those annoying Swedes just happened to arrive at the WRONG damn time!

'Clearly a fopaux if you will'... No, actually I won't and nor will all the women who are raped on a weekly basis on university campuses - BTW faux pas = false step in French and it was indeed a false step for BT; but it was quite a lot more than that.

You state: 'It was never rape, attempted or otherwise. All of the many details in the Turner case clear the 20 year old young man. It is so obvious what this case was.' So twelve jurors got it wrong? You have some inside knowledge on this? You should take it to the police in that case.

You opine: Secondly, I find it disheartening to hear that Dauber's helpers are fundraising for a Rally in September for when Brock is released.
How can this group be fighting for doing the right thing while planning to terrorize and further traumatize a 20 year old young man?' Yet nowhere in your post is the victim of this crime mentioned. It may be that BT's decision to protract the trauma of the (also) young victim of his crime by taking it to court and his intention to dispute his sentence are the aspects of the situation which are inflaming people.

'He did not do anything to intentionally harm' - look again at what he was convicted of - yes, he intentionally harmed his victim by sexually assaulting her, by lying, by taking the case to court, by blaming his behaviour on the demon alcohol rather than accepting responsibility himself for his actions.


'The plaintiff had a letter written on her behalf for what reason and who's benefit?' No, she wrote the letter herself, it was her right and in it she described her experiences, her trauma, her family's trauma, the destruction of her life and selfhood. By BT's actions. BTW WHOSE.

Oh, wait a minute, you DO mention the victim here, in passing: 'When is it going to be enough that this misconstrued case has already ruined two lives?' But hang on, it wasn't the misconstrued case that ruined two lives, it was BT's decision to sexually assault a drunken, subsequently unconscious, woman that ruined two lives.

'To further harass and shame him is very aggressive behavior.' - BT's behaviour and that of his defense team was very aggressive - sexual assault is by definition aggressive.

A movement has sprung up after this case; its impetus was the ludicrously light sentence handed down to BT.

Campus rape and sexual assault of young women (and of young men where that occurs), the acceptance of this phenomenon, the refusal of college authorities to take it seriously - the situation has reached a tipping point and a large number of people are no longer prepared to go along with the status quo. This case, unusual in that the perpetrator was caught in the act, was prosecuted (by his own choice, it should be said) and found 100% guilty of the charges. That the defendant was then given a very lenient sentence has provoked outrage. Since the trial, BT's case has become the symbol of, the exemplar, of the endemic refusal on the part of those in authority to take the assault and rape crisis seriously.

Perhaps campaigns to change minds and laws should focus on those in authority as much as on those who commit the crimes of assault and rape.

Clearly, institutions of education could be ideal launching pads for a new respectful sexual education. jUDGING From posts on this and other threads, it's WELL OVERDUE


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