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Editorial: A miscarriage of justice

Judge ignites firestorm with sentence that will allow Brock Turner out in just three months

After hearing graphic and emotional testimony for three weeks and then deliberating for two days in March, a 12-person jury of eight men and four women unanimously agreed that former 19-year old Stanford University freshman Brock Turner was guilty of three sexual assault felonies committed on campus against an unconscious 22-year old Gunn High School alumna.

The verdict gave some solace to the victim and was heralded by prosecutors as a powerful message that sexual assault on college campuses is not excused by alcohol and such cases can and will be vigorously and successfully prosecuted.

Sexual-assault cases and convictions are exceedingly difficult because there are rarely witnesses, and victims often choose not to be re-traumatized in a trial that, as happened in this case, includes aggressive defense questioning on past sexual, drug and alcohol behavior of the victim.

But in this unusual case, the assault was interrupted by two Stanford graduate students who were bicycling across campus at 1 a.m. and saw Turner on top of the partially naked unconscious victim on the ground next to a Dumpster. They yelled at Turner to stop, then tackled and detained him as he tried to run away.

The actions and testimony of these two student witnesses, as well as police and paramedic responders, gave jurors the evidence they needed to convict the recruited All-American swimmer, rejecting his testimony that the victim was awake and had given her consent. As important, the jury rejected the attempt by the defense to suggest that Turner's and the victim's intoxication mitigated his actions or criminal intent.

But last week, to the horror of the victim, her family and prosecutors, and now millions across the nation, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky used his sentencing powers to impose his own view of the case, overrule statutory sentencing guidelines and all but undo the work of the jury.

Citing Turner's lack of a prior criminal record, his upstanding family, his success as a competitive swimmer and his character, Persky sentenced Turner to just six months in county jail, which means he will be released in three months under a practice that gives one day of credit for every day served.

The light sentence and the victim's vivid and wrenching 12-page pre-sentencing statement have propelled the case, the issue of campus sexual assault and Persky's actions to a national stage, bringing intense criticism and organizing efforts to remove Persky from office, either through recall or defeating him using a write-in campaign in his uncontested bid for re-election this November.

More than a million people have signed online petitions supporting the victim and condemning the sentence since the victim's statement and judge's ruling went viral last Friday.

Persky, who himself graduated from Stanford in 1984 and was captain of the lacrosse team, made clear in announcing the sentence that he was influenced by what he found was Turner's "genuine feeling of remorse," the impairment of Turner's judgment caused by being intoxicated, the many letters of support from friends and teachers in Turner's Ohio hometown and his lack of prior criminal behavior.

Persky said he didn't believe Turner would be a danger to others nor that prison would be an "antidote" to the "poison" that the case has brought to all involved, due in significant part to the media attention.

Persky's conclusions, which followed a probation report that failed to consider evidence that Turner had previously engaged in drinking and drug use that he had denied earlier in court, sadly point to the powerful impact of privilege in our judicial system. It is not hard to imagine how differently an African American 19-year old East Palo Alto youth attending community college and committing the exact same acts as Turner would have been treated by the court system.

While Judge Persky is regarded as fair and thoughtful in county legal circles and should not be vilified for his bad judgment in this case, he is accountable to the voters for betraying the values of our community. We support efforts to remove him from office. He wrongly showed greater mercy for Turner than for the victim of the serious felonies the jury found Turner committed, and in doing so sent a terrible message about the legal consequences of sexual assault committed by a privileged young person attending an elite school, even when caught in the act.

And Stanford University, which has stubbornly declined to seize on this case as a teaching opportunity, badly needs to pivot from talking points on its "national leadership" on the prevention of sexual assault to an examination of why its training failed to prevent this 19-old freshman from Ohio from prowling for a vulnerable victim at a frat party last Jan. 18. A good start would be to make the victim's personal statement mandatory reading for all freshmen and asking parents to read and discuss it with their sons and daughters.

If there is any good news of the last week, it is that people across the country are rallying to support the victim and bringing about a needed national discussion over this miscarriage of justice and the problem of campus sexual assault.

The Palo Alto Weekly has created a Storify page to capture ongoing coverage of the Brock Turner case. To view it, go to storify.com/paloaltoweekly.

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Comments

86 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 1:58 am

"While Judge Persky is regarded as fair and thoughtful in county legal circles and should not be vilified for his bad judgment in this case . . .."

Then Palo Alto Weekly proceeds to vilify him anyway. Or perhaps Palo Alto Weekly doesn't consider saying that Judge Persky "betrayed the values of our community" to be vilification? PAW impugns Judge Persky's impartiality by referring to the fact that he attended Stanford and played a sport there, but I guess that doesn't count as vilification either. Nor apparently does accusing him of having more sympathy for Brock Turner than for Emily Doe (a subjective conclusion at best).

Tell us, Editor, what is the average sentence in California for a conviction under Penal Code Sections 288(d) and 288(e) for a defendant who has no prior criminal record? If you are so sure that Judge Persky's sentence demonstrates bad judgment, you must already know what the typical sentence is, right?

While many people have vilified Judge Persky for his decision, the comments on this website and others indicate that most of those people do not have Judge Persky's knowledge of all the facts of this case. If is Judge Persky's job to know the facts of the case, including materials submitted for the sentencing hearing, and decide on the appropriate sentence based on his experience and judgment, and not let that decision be swayed by a less informed mob. By all accounts he is very, very good at his job.

So let's put away the pitchforks and stop this witchhunt.

Let me be clear, before I myself am set upon by those who want to read into this comment their own biases, that I am not defending Brock Turner; I am not criticizing the verdict of the jury; I am not arguing that the sentence was appropriate. What I am saying is that Judge Persky was better positioned to determine the appropriate sentence than any of his critics, and calls for his removal based on one decision (which was more or less in line with the probation department's report) do more damage than good to the judicial system.


79 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:05 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Aaron Persky allowed defendants accused of gang-raping a 17-year-old high school student to show the jury photographs of her wearing a revealing outfit when he presided over another controversial case involving college athletes back in 2011. The gang rape occurred at De Anza college, and according to legal experts who followed that trial, the impact was very definitely prejudicial for the rape survivor and had a positive impact for the defendants on the jury.

This is another case in which the judge seemed to have bend over backward to help out athletes accuse
male college accused of sexual assault and showed no sympathy for the survivor.


40 people like this
Posted by Shameful attack
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:08 am

In his zeal to attack judge pesky, [the Palo Alto Weekly] forgets that pesky did not impose his own view of the case. He followed the recommendations of the probation department. While I disagree with the sentence and feel that turner should be in prison for years, this rush to lynch the judge is unsalted for. As usual. [the Weekly] wait to gage community sentiment and then right an "impartial" editorial meant to please the vocal minority. The attack on pesky. Full of innuendo and bogus claims is a disgrace, but not surprising given the weekly and their staff.


34 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:17 am

This smear job is just another effort to play to the desires of lynch mob mentality - Palo Alto deserves better.


94 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:18 am

Great editorial. Persky is an elected official accountable to the community. The probation department is not the judge. Persky bent over backwards to give this man a sentence far below the minimum. That was his decision and the people have every right to remove him and replace him with a judge who won't do that.

My question is for Joe Simitian. Who's watching the probation department?


98 people like this
Posted by Ben Rumson
a resident of University South
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:46 am

Great editorial.
The Probation Department is NOT the judge and jury. They only make recommendations which are based on hearing one side of the story and they hear/consider information that is not admissible in court. Persky should not be hiding behind the probation department ("following their recommendation").
Persky should be held responsible for HIS decisions.

Turner should be removed from society. He is a threat and has shown no remorse for the victim.

A normal human being would not have taken advantage of a drunk and (per testimony) incoherent girl. A normal human being would have called the drunk and incoherent girl a cab and tried to be sure she got home safely. Turner is not a normal human being. Turner is a predator and he is demonstrating sociopathic behaviors. Turner went to the party looking for the weak and compromised in order to take advantage of them. He shows no remorse and blames the situation. He should be removed from society for the maximum time allowed by law.


7 people like this
Posted by AdmittedlyOutOfStep
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 7:04 am

[Post removed.]


88 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

Can anyone explain to me? The judge seems to be saying that if you are white, young, go to a good college/have a promising future, no criminal history - and in the very, very rare case where you are caught red-handed committing sexual assault, with witnesses and physical evidence (not he said, she said) - the penalty should be 3 months in county lock-up, with good behavior, since prison would just be to harsh for you. If that's right, doesn't that mean every similar young white man at a good college is being told that the penalty for rape, in the rare event (<5%?) he is actually caught, prosecuted, and convicted, is 3 months in lock-up?

That seems like a greenlight to campus sexual predators, who already can feel pretty sure the won't get caught or prosecuted. We KNOW from the survey data that campus sexual assault is very widespread. Is the judge's logic tenable to anyone?


86 people like this
Posted by Michael
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2016 at 8:15 am

Exercising your civil rights by holding elected officials accountable for their decisions in office, including through a recall, does not construe a "lynch mob".


86 people like this
Posted by Mick
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2016 at 8:34 am

I too agree that this is not a "lynch mob". The De Anza case and now the Stanford case shows that this judge is bias when it comes to athletes. More problems for this judge today, as jurors are refusing to serve on cases that this judge is presiding over.


39 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

Ben Rumson's comment illustrates my point that many of those who are so offended by Judge Persky's sentence are not fully aware of the facts of this case.

As one example, he writes that Turner has "shown no remorse for his victim." That is simply not correct. According to Palo Alto Weekly itself, Turner apologized to Ms. Doe in open court at the sentencing hearing. If you read the entire statement that Turner submitted to the court, rather than just excerpts chosen by a reporter, you will see that he clearly expresses remorse, acknowledges that his actions were wrong, and accepts sole responsibility for his actions. People are entitled to their opinion as to the sincerity of Turner's statements -- although I don't know how you can judge his sincerity without personally speaking to him -- but the fact is that he has expressed remorse. Again, Judge Persky, who presided over the trial and the sentencing hearing and has read probably hundreds of statements from defendants over the course of his career, is better qualified that anyone else to evaluate the sincerity of Turner's remorse. That doesn't necessarily mean that Judge Persky's decision was correct in this case, but to call for his removal based on an incorrect understanding of the facts or without full knowledge of the facts is inappropriate.


48 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

Parent of Two also illustrates my point. Turner was not convicted or even tried for rape, so the suggestion that his sentence sets a sentencing benchmark for anyone convicted of rape is incorrect and inflammatory.

Moreover, the suggestion that this sentence is a green light to campus sexual predators is ludicrous. Turner has been convicted of three felonies, was kicked out of school, been fired from jobs, must live with the restrictions of being a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, and will spend time in jail. Some people think he should spend a longer time incarcerated (I'm neutral on that point because I don't know all of the facts!), but no college kid is going to look at Turner's punishment as a green light to do anything.


50 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

Here is the huge problem in this Brock Turner case: the media, online petition forums (MoveOn, etc.), newspapers (NYT, etc.), webpages, bloggers, social media, everybody sharing on their Facebook page, etc, ARE NOT reporting this case accurately. Everybody keeps calling this the Stanford Rape case, calls Judge Persky the rape judge, and labels Brock Turner a "rapist."

Well, here is the inconvenient truth: Brock Turner did not rape his victim, and he was not charged, tried, or convicted of rape.

His crime was digital penetration of an intoxicated and unconscious woman, and, as disgusting and criminal as that was here, it isn’t rape. Rape is defined by California Penal Code (and the penal code of a lot of other states) as sexual intercourse. It is certainly lacking in sensationalism, and seems too boring or tedious for everybody to accurately type "sexual assault" or "sexual assailant."

Once you remove “rape” from the equation (and dispel the popular notion that Brock Turner was fornicating with the unconscious body of his victim for a period of twenty minutes), the sentencing decision of Judge Persky is seen in a whole different light. Facts do matter, don't they?

If you can accept that this wasn't rape, that the viral vigilante venom is based on falsehoods, and Judge Persky just may have made an appropriate sentencing decision, the judicial interference is suddenly an alarming proposition.

I think that the Stanford law professors leading this recall movement against Judge Persky might want to stroll over to the Stanford Journalism Program for a frank conversation on journalistic accuracy and integrity, Then, they really should wander over to Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.


64 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:24 am

@Chris - in many jurisdictions, though not ours, there is no distinction made between rape and sexual assault. That includes the FBI definition for statistical purposes. I believe even in our jurisdiction, the penalties are the same for both crimes.

You may find the term "inflammatory" but I do not see a meaningful distinction between what Brock Turner did and the definition of "rape" (genital penetration). In addition, Turner was convicted of "sexual assault with intent to commit rape;" if not for the witnesses who came by, the jury found that he intended to finish the act.

So your logic is "he's suffered enough" in terms of losing things he valued? That sounds like a rationalization for light sentencing for any higher-status person of any crime - they have so much to lose, isn't that enough? That seems like the definition of "privilege" to me - prison for marginalized people, light jail time or probation for privileged people. Is that what you think is right?


19 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:41 am

Mauricio's post about the De Anza College case is either intentionally or ignorantly misleading. That case was a civil trial seeking compensation (not a criminal trial) and part of the woman in question's claim was that the defendants actions had left her socially withdrawn. The photos in question, which were taken after the events that led to the plaintiff's lawsuit, did not simply show that the plaintiff was wearing revealing clothes, they showed her engaging in activity that was arguably inconsistent with her claims.

Mauricio would have us believe that the Judge Persky allowed photos into evidence for the purpose of showing that a sexual assault victim's attire contributed to the assault. That assertion, like so much else floating around the Turner case, is blatantly false.


52 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:50 am

mauricio is a registered user.

It wasn't rape only on a technicality, because he didn't insert his penies into her:he was going to, but was stopped by the two graduate students. In many other jurisdictions, what he did-inserting a foreign object and his finger into her vagina, would be considered rape. In any event, what he has done is one of the worst violent felonies in the book, and getting 6 months, which will amount to 3 months in protective custody in a county jail, and not even one day in state prison is a gross miscarriage of justice. This judge, when taking into consideration his conduct in the De Anza trial, is extremely biased in favor of college athletes, and goes out of his way to get them off with a slap on the wrist, at most, even for extremely violent crimes.


48 people like this
Posted by Restore Justice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

Just a thought problem:

What if (a hypothetical situation) Emily Doe's distraught boyfriend had gotten stinking drunk and in a fit, broken into the courtroom and shot Turner? Would he have gotten a similarly light sentence because of the lack of priors and the alcohol?

I am thinking of that distraught mother who shot the molester of her son in the courtroom. The judge gave her 5 years and destroyed the family (she became a drug addict in prison where she had breast cancer, and the son's life took a nosedive, having been repeatedly molested and then growing up with his only parent in prison) because the judge wanted to send a message. What never came out in that case was the way the "justice" system itself re-victimizes victims, sometimes amplifying the original crime, becoming its own victimization, and how that played into the mother's state of mind. The judge in that case never even acknowledged the role of a system that is often itself a vehicle of considerable harm to victims and their families. Let me not leave the perpetrators off the hook: the lawyers themselves become psychological rapists in order to get clients off the hook even when they know they are guilty. (Making a mockery of "innocent until proven guilty" by making it equal to "get away with anything possible for your client even if it involves becoming perpetrators of psychological violence themselves".)

Judges are the worst perpetrators of violence by the system. I hope in the course of this recall drive, that this issue comes front and center and is finally dealt with by our society. It doesn't just happen in criminal cases, it has become a professional badge of honor to use the system to abuse victims. Thank you to the Weekly for calling that behavior in this editorial. The judge didn't just breakdown in sentencing, he allowed the unnecessary and ongoing mental rape of the victim and her family in his courtroom. Unfortunately, he is far from alone.


38 people like this
Posted by Salvia
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:58 am

Salvia is a registered user.

To "Facts":

I strongly disagree that the sentencing decision is NOT seen in a "whole different light" because of which body part he used to penetrate the victim WITHOUT her consent.

Sentencing ranges were two, four or six years in prison for count one; and three, six or eight years in prison for each of the other two counts.

The Santa Clara County inmate database lists his release date as 09/02/2016.

3 months in jail. What an injustice! The collective outrage is completely warranted.



44 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:08 am

[Portion removed.] Brock says he wants to appeal his conviction. What does he think the sentence will be the next time around???


33 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:15 am

@parent of two - First, you are wrong; the penalties for rape are more severe than the penalties for the crimes that Turner was convicted of. You could have looked that up, but why concern yourself with facts?

Second, I have made very clear in my posts that I do not have an opinion on whether the length of time that Turner will spend in jail is appropriate. I did not attend the trial. I have never met Brock Turner, so I can't judge whether he is remorseful. I don't know what the typical sentence is for a first time offender convicted of the crimes that Turner has been convicted of (which do not include rape). I am not defending the sentence in this case, I am defending Judge Persky from an attack by those who only think they understand all of the relevant facts of this case.

So, to answer your question (rhetorical as it may have been), it is not my logic that Brock Turner has suffered enough. That is not even a reasonable inference from my response to your earlier post. You asserted that Judge Persky's sentence was a green light to college students to commit sexual assaults; I was merely pointing out the absurdity of that assertion.


18 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:26 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


14 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:27 am

James Thurber is a registered user.

Although at first glance this seems like a grave miscarriage of justice I noted that not a single one of the commentators are a judge. My uncle, a retired federal judge, said that one of the perils of his job was being criticized by people who didn't have ALL the facts. The judge in this case did and based on his experience elected to award the sentence that he did.

Social media seems to have gone over the top on this one. Shakespeare had another word for this: Mod Behavior.

Sorry to be blunt.

Now, it appears that the defendant was not honest when describing his past. I have a sneaking suspicion that he will get in a lot more trouble for this. Wait . . . and see.


24 people like this
Posted by Sad case
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:43 am

Here's a quote from the trial by Judge Persky that was reported in the Mercury News:

"The trial is a search for the truth," Persky said. "It's an imperfect process." But after the trial, all sides should accept the jury's findings, he added.

That comment appears to indicate that Persky disagreed with the jury's verdict. But putting speculation aside, the facts of the case, as are now shown in released documents, show that Turner's alcohol and drug use went far beyond his small-town-boy that he portrayed in his letter. He was proven in black and white to be a liar, but did the judge take notice?

The Weekly's editorial is spot on and its staff should be commended for carefully reporting on the trial. Most other media outlets, including the New York Times, hopped on the bandwagon of calling him a rapist. Although some may say that Turner did is the equivalent, he was not charged with or convicted of that crime specifically. His actions are not any less reprehensible.


6 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

@Chris - thank you for clarifying. Can you provide a reference to that discussion of the CA penalties for the crimes Turner was convicted of vs "rape"? Since your conclusion is different from what I have read elsewhere, it is great that you can share your knowledge.

Sorry that my greenlight metaphor challenged your understanding. I did not mean literally that they were given permission to proceed. But when a convicted felon in a high profile case receives a very light judicial punishment, way below the sentencing standard due to "unusual circumstances" that in fact would apply to many of those who commit campus sexual assault and rape, that sends a message - for you, this crime is not as big a deal from the judicial system's point of view. [Portion removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by Why the BS?
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Facts:

It is hard to justify why you are trying so hard to validate the justice is not only technicalities. I presume you do not have a daughter. If you do ... God forbid something like "digital penetration" ever happens to her beyond her consent. But if it does, I hope it will soothe your pain that it was only "digital", not the actual rape.

There is also Chris there ...
Look, we many people here do not see it as vilifying or calling for lynching the judge. All we are calling for is a civilized and legal procedure of his recall based on this and prior similar cases and the biases he demonstrated.

Do we not know the facts? We know the felonies the jury agreed upon, the standard ranges of sentences for those, and that he went out of his way to reduce the sentence. Do we know why? Because the kid seemed to be nice from his previous history?

This article never mentions his father's letter - the infamous now "twenty minutes of action". May seem not be relevant to the case but THAT is where all that started. That is that kid's upbringing. So much for an "upstanding family".


44 people like this
Posted by Professor Villian
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:16 pm

"It is not hard to imagine how differently an African American 19-year old East Palo Alto youth attending community college and committing the exact same acts as Turner would have been treated by the court system."

Todd Burpee, a Paly grad from EPA was sentenced to 43 years to life for the sexual assault of a Gunn high school student in 2009. Web Link

His family and friends wrote letters in support also, but Todd is black.




34 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

I find it abhorrent the the spokes person for Stanford condoned Assault because the victim 'engaged in risky behavior'
Really!

That they were not surprised that it ended badly would be one thing. One should always take precautions to avoid potential hazards.
But to imply that poor judgment on your part, absolves the perpetrator of all legal behavior? WHAT ARE THEY THINKING.


11 people like this
Posted by Why the BS
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Sorry,

"It is hard to justify why you are trying so hard to validate the judge's decision basing on technicalities; justice is not only technicalities. "


16 people like this
Posted by 9 Months
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Even Professor Dauber said on T.V. yesterday a reasonable sentence would have been 2 years prison and 3 years probation. I commend her for being honest when she could have fallen for the temptation to exaggerate like so many others around here.

With the half time rule, that means Turner would serve one year versus the three months everybody is upset about. Thus, the net difference realistically is 9 months.

So a nine month difference on one case is justification for a recall of a sitting judge?


8 people like this
Posted by Questions to think!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm

I am sympathetic to the people who think that sexual assault is just as offensive as rape, but the fact remains that the majority of people in California, as evidenced by the crimes and definitions that their elected representatives have chosen to codify into law, view "sexual assault" as a less heinous crime than "rape." Sorry.

To those who think Brock Turner evaded rape charges on a technicality, well, no, it wasn't a technicality: it was the fact his sex organ wasn't exposed and he did not fornicate.


43 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:58 pm

The editorial makes a great point at the end where it says: "...Stanford University, which has stubbornly declined to seize on this case as a teaching opportunity, badly needs to pivot from talking points..." Amen.

How can a university blessed with $22.2 BILLION in its endowment, a global brand, vast tracts of valuable property that would make a robber baron green with envy, and the ability to field huge sports franchises, can't seem to muster the resources or will to effectively police its campus and curb under-age and binge alcohol drinking?


34 people like this
Posted by Hopeful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I hope that Stanford's mis- handling of this whole case and the event that caused it, cost Stanford some future endowments,

Victims should never report sexual attacks to Stanford....call the local police instead! Stanford will just try to sweep it under the carpet.


20 people like this
Posted by Animal House
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


19 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm

This situation would never have happened without the abuse of alcohol!

We need to teach the children about the things that happen to people who drink too much. Graphic examples are necessary to show physical degeneration of people who look terrible from drinking too much, people who have been killed in auto accidents where alcohol may have been the cause. Shocking? Yes, it is, but it is reality, the blood and guts are real. Showing this to young people before they begin drinking alcohol just might prevent your own children for dying or being responsible for someone else dying.

These young people put the judge and jury in the position to decide what was to happen as a result of their lack of a sense of responsibility!

Simply put, THINK before YOU DRINK! Then it is best to not drink at a party of any kind!


16 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2016 at 1:56 pm

So how exactly is rape less "heinous" or a lesser offense than sexual penetration of an unconscious person? The punishments are IDENTICAL. Per CA penal code:

Sec. 264 - "Rape, as defined in Section 261 or 262, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years."

Sec. 289 - " Any person who commits an act of sexual penetration, and the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this is known to the person committing the act or causing the act to be committed, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years."

(k) As used in this section:
(1) "Sexual penetration" is the act of causing the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of any person or causing another person to so penetrate the defendant's or another person's genital or anal opening for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, or by any unknown object.
(2) "Foreign object, substance, instrument, or device" shall include any part of the body, except a sexual organ.


29 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 10, 2016 at 2:10 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The irresponsibility of a victim by no means decreases the culpability of the perpetrator of a violent crime and serves as no excuse for the crime. It is outrageous to even read the cruel comments of those blaming the victim. This is the excuse many sexual offenders and predetors use:"She was asking for it". By that sick logic, if a woman is sunbating topless on a beach full of horny men, she is "asking for it", and if she is sexually attacked, the rapists should be exonerated or receive a light sentence, similar to the one Brock turner received.

Additionally, it was only a technicality that saved Turner from full rape charges. He was in all likelihood seconds away from penetrating the survivor with his penies, and was stopped by those two graduate students. I would like to ask the male posters who support this ridiculous verdict if they would support a similar verdict if they had passed out, for whatever reason, and an assailant removed their underwear and penetrated their rectum with a foreign object and a finger.


21 people like this
Posted by Will C.
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm

I'd bet if someone asked Judge Persky how he feels about rapists, that he would say that they need to have firm consequences that make them accountable.
California state prisons have a sexual offender treatment program. Allowing Brock Turner to merely serve county time allows him to return to the community without treatment or a proper sex offender assessment. Judge Persky has failed to provide for the public safety. Judge Persky's amateur assessment is based on Brock's lack of a previous record. So, maybe this was his first rape (and maybe not).

But consider this, Brock Turner demonstrated a desire to defile an unconscious woman. He demonstrated a desire for the defilement and degradation of a woman. He was aroused by a woman who was unable to speak or move or participate in the sexual activity. These are signs of a disturbed sexual offender. Yet there was no mention of a mandate for treatment in Judge Persky's sentence. Without a proper sex offender assessment and treatment program, this is just pitiful slap on the wrist.


11 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 2:12 pm

@Parent of Two. [Portion removed.]

The crime of rape of is defined in California Penal Code Section 261 (Section 261(a)(4)(A) covers rape of an unconscious person), the penalty for rape (absent certain circumstances) is set out in Section 264, the penalties for assault with intent to commit rape are set out in Section 220(a)(1), and Section 289(d) covers sexual penetration of an unconscious person, and Section 289(e) covers sexual penetration of an intoxicated person.

You will no doubt be delighted to know that, upon re-reading these provisions, I must admit that you were correct and I was wrong -- the penalties for sexual penetration in general are the same as the penalties for rape. The statutes contain varied penalties depending on various circumstances, and I initially misread Section 261. I apologize to all who read my incorrect comment and to you personally for wrongly challenging your statement.


23 people like this
Posted by no bearing on the case
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

@Questions to think!

what do the questions you list have anything to do with the outcome of this case?
what difference does it make if the victim was promiscuous (which is what you do not directly say, but seem to imply with your questions), if the victim's family did not care where she was when she did not show up for the night?
Does it mean they are lesser of a family and not good enough people to have justice served properly?
Do you mean to imply the victim deserves the violation?
Do you mean to say the shockingly lenient sentence is appropriate when the victim or her family are not up to your standards?

You seem to be one of those people with the mentality "if it happened, she must have asked for it."


32 people like this
Posted by Digit???
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 2:58 pm

How could turned have violated his victim with JUST a digit, when the testimony of the Swedish grad students stated that Turner was " aggressively thrusting his hips into her"? They also stated that Turner's victim was not moving, obviously unconscious, and still did not move when Turner got off of her to run away!

One of the major issues with this case is that the judge, and many male members of the public, ignored the eyewitness testimony!


10 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

@Professor Villain Todd Burpee assaulted his victim on the street, beat her unconscious, choked her, kidnapped her, and sexually assaulted her with a foreign object. She played dead until she was able to escape. I hope that you aren't seriously trying to argue that he and Brock Turner should receive the same punishment.

But you have helped illustrate my basic point; not all sexual assaults are equally heinous. The judge is the person who is charged with distilling all of the relevant facts and determining the appropriate punishment in a particular case. They may not always get it right, but they are certainly more qualified to make those decisions than is the general public.

9 Months nailed it in his/her comment above -- trying to recall Judge Persky because you think Turner's sentence is too short by 9 months is an overreaction and undermines the independence and impartiality of the courts.


10 people like this
Posted by Emmanuel
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm

What about the judge's mandating that Turner be a lifetime registered sex offender? Do folks have any idea of the stigma – public stigma, not one that Turner can ever hide – that this has in modern-day America? That an editorial characterizing a ruling as lenient could entirely leave this fact out does not inspire confidence in the spirit that analysis comes from.

The view of hundreds of thousands of casual web-surfers in this click-bait culture we live in and the view of activist types (by activist I mean, here, "not interested in nuanced discussion or inconvenient facts") should NOT affect a judge's ruling. He should be tried exactly according to the judicial system, which very much requires presence of alcohol, the character of the accused, and other factors to be taken into consideration.

"It is not hard to imagine how differently an African American 19-year old East Palo Alto youth..." Hold on. Is the editorial board saying that since racism COULD play a role in some hypothetical judge's sentences, non-legally-allowed-preferentialism DID play a role with this particular judge?

Please let's not lose sight of critical thinking when responding to this very unfortunate situation.


20 people like this
Posted by Tecsi
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm

I would like to stand back from the specifics of Brock's sentence, which is upsetting so many people, and suggest that in spite of the light sentence, Brock is incurring substantial penalties. Losing a Stanford scholarship, being expelled from Stanford, having three felonies on his record and having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life are no small consequences.

And hopefully, this case will make college students, both males and females, to carefully consider their sexual and drinking behaviors. I cannot imagine any male or female wanting to experience what these two have just gone through.

Which then brings me to my worrisome quandary. This case is quite an outlier in that the event was closely witnesed by two independent students. If reports are accurate that 1 in 5 college women will be assaulted during their college years, perhaps with 95%+ of these assaults without witnesses, how can we address this much larger issue? I don't have an answer.

However, if Brock's depiction of the Stanford sports culture is accurate, I would suggest Stanford and its athletic department need to come up with a plan and tell us what that is.

Finally, and I know this will elicit a firestorm, I want to bring up the responsibility of the victim. She willingly put herself in a very dangerous situation, certainly not expecting this terrible outcome. But in a way, I compare this to two plastered people getting into car and getting into a terrible crash. Brock was the driver, and is ultimately responsible. However, the girl choose to get into the car, putting herself in harms way. So despite her tragedy, I do not find her blameless.


3 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:16 pm

@Digit?? -- Another example, as if we needed more, of someone complaining about Judge Persky's sentencing decision while being ignorant of the basic facts of the case. The evidence indicates that while Turner was thrusting his hips, his pants were completely on. (Count me among those who think that itself is pretty darn bizarre behavior and would constitute a crime even if that's all he was doing.)


15 people like this
Posted by Caroline V.
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Thank you to the Palo Weekly Editorial and its writers, Stanford Professor Dauber, Stanford Alumni and faculty, and citizens taking a stand in an attempt to stop sexual assaults and restore civility and justice in the Bay Area.
Thanks to the victim for speaking out. I highly regard your courage. Your testimony will help other victims because you described to others how sexual assault affects another human being. Your message has impacted many people and hopefully will bring change.Thank you.
For any victim out there: speaking out is a huge step in the healing process. It will take time, but with the proper help and proper attitude you will move on and lead a successful and happy life.
I also thank Vice President Biden for addressing this issue.I had hoped our elected representatives would speak out as they have promised during media reports. I sure hope his message will make an impact. Sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are prohibited under Title IX and Stanford has mandated requirements to prevent, investigate, and report these violent acts.
I would like to take this opportunity to report other abusive conduct that is prohibited under Title IV, but just like sexual assault under title IX, the laws and protection are advertised not enforced. Our government agencies, our education and healthcare settings have the mandatory requirements to prevent discrimination based on the protected class of race, nationality, age, religion -- and have to report abusive and illegal conduct, but they don't. I graduated with honors, received a Masters in Occupational Therapy and had a job offer in Pediatric OT, but I cannot exercise the profession because I was retaliated against. It was my duty to protect patients and disclose a pattern of abusive and illegal conduct by SJSU faculty and staff in collaboration with licensed OT's (many SJSU alumni) working at Alum Rock, Valley Medical Center, and St. Francis Heights promoting Medicare fraud, Elder abuse and Neglect, and misuse of funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). SJSU/CSU subjected me to academic and workplace mobbing: Web Link. My case is now at the US Justice Department, US Attorney Brian Stretch (2016), US Attorney Jocelyn Samuels # TW:DF DJ:144-11-0 (2015), and US district Judge Mueller ( California Concerned Parents Association v. CDE), but there is no guarantee that a transparent and thorough investigation will follow, because unless the media helps us, our allegations are being covered up. SJSU professors and student coalition have requested an independent investigation after incidents at the Department of JusticeWeb Link, published hate crimes and published suicides, but no investigation has taken place.
I have survived the mobbing, but my professional reputation has been ruined by false, unsubstantiated defamatory statements. I will be able to move on, but many healthcare providers, educators, and students do not have that liberty and will continue to be oppressed by an administration that acts above the laws and promotes abusive and illegal conduct.
I have reported the hate crimes, discriminatory labor practices, the fraud and crimes against elder, the mobbing, the discrimination and retaliation to Santa Clara District Attorney Rosen 2013, 2014), San Mateo District Attorney Wagstaff (2013, 2014, 2015), Daly City Police(2013), and SJSU campus police # SG 1301140 (2013), CA Justice # #PIU464922 (2012, 2014), CDPH ## CA 00333172 (2012-2016), California Labor department - retaliation # 30556-SACRI: Vertongen v SJSU -07 Dept. (2013), CBOT # UL2011-349 (2012-2015), California Department of Consumer Affairs # OT 2013-220 (2013-2016), CA Auditor Howle #12012-1020 (2012, 2015) etc… I even dealt with the SCCBA Arbitration and SC Superior Court to find out that attorneys violated SCCBA and court rules and violated ethical and professional conduct. Unfortunately the Justice Review Board has a backlog of complaints. Like all other state agencies they will find someone to write a letter stating “ an investigation took place, but there is not enough evidence to substantiate your allegations, so we close your case”. I never had the proper administrative hearing, none of my witnesses testified, the evidence I provided is being overlooked, and other evidence like billing and medical records was never subpoenaed. SJSU/CSU violated the SJSU catalogue, SJSU student Manual, SJSU fieldwork Manual, Policy S90-5, S99-8, S99-11, Executive Order 928, 929, 1045, 1058, and 1063., violated many education laws, government laws, labor laws, civil rights laws, and our Constitution. The last Whistleblower/Retaliation case won in court Runyon v. CSU Board of Trustees S168950 cost over 1.5 million dollars. Governor Brown has since close the Postsecondary Education Commission overseeing our higher education system.
Sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment are prohibited and so are discrimination, hate crimes, bullying, harassment, intimidation and retaliation. California has the laws in place, but there is a double standard as to whom these laws apply. Our education system advertises due process, student rights, and the laws to protect us, but fails to abide by them. In the last 5 years I have repeatedly requested the help of Governor Brown (also President of CSU Board of Trustees) , Lt. Governor Newsom, Superintendent Torlaksen, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Eshoo, Assembly member Gordon, Congresswoman Boxer, Congresswoman Lofgren, Congressman Honda, Senator Hill, Feinstein, Supervisor Simitian, Supervisor Tissier, Supervisor Slocum, Supervisor Horsley. Many requests remain unanswered and certified mail is being returned as undeliverable. As of last week some are blocking my email addresses.

Sexual assault, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, retaliation, bullying, lying, cheating and violating the law are learned behaviors. We have the laws in place to prevent abusive and illegal conduct. Our taxes were intended to prevent and stop abusive and illegal conduct; instead they are being used to cover up abusive and illegal conduct. Thank you to all you stand behind Professor Dauber and her initiative.
Thank you,


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:54 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Questions to contemplate
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:54 pm

[Post removed.]


25 people like this
Posted by Recall Persky
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Chris M says, "9 Months nailed it in his/her comment above -- trying to recall Judge Persky because you think Turner's sentence is too short by 9 months is an overreaction and undermines the independence and impartiality of the courts."

I believe this is wrong, and that in the prison system violent felonies, including attempted rape, are eligible only for a 15% reduction for good time, not 50%. So Turner would have had to serve something like 20 months in prison, not 12 months (or the 6 months that he's serving in county jail).

But it doesn't really matter. The Legislature has set a minimum sentence for attempted rape of 24 months in prison. That's the minimum sentence judges can give, unless the judge specifically finds on the record that justice demands a downward deviation. It's not in his ordinary discretion. Persky made that finding, based on the fact that Turner had been drinking and that prison would have a severe affect on him. The question for voters is whether we want him to continue to serve, given that he holds that view of justice.

Here's a question for Chris M: If Persky had made this decision before the filing deadline for the primary, he probably would have drawn an opponent. Are voters not entitled to consider this case in deciding whether to vote for Persky in his election? The mistake Chris is making is assuming that Superior Court judges in California are "independent" meaning beyond the judgement of voters. Unlike Federal judges, they are not, they are elected officials. And just like any other elected official, the voters are entitled to assess their performance at any time and decide to remove them if they disagree with how they are exercising the powers of the office.

I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to vote for Persky's recall, and for a judge who will not decide that justice demands a deviation from the will of the Legislature (and the people of California) in a case like this.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


11 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Okay, if you all will allow me this one last illustration of my point that people are supporting a recall of Judge Persky without knowing all of the relevant facts that went into his decision, I promise this one will be the last.

Why-the-BS wrote: "Do we not know the facts? We know the felonies the jury agreed upon, the standard ranges of sentences for those, and that he went out of his way to reduce the sentence." Why-the-BS, along with many others, thinks that is all he/she needs to know to decide whether Judge Persky should be removed from office. But that view is not consistent with how the criminal justice system does or should work. We have discovered over the past 20-30 years that mandatory sentencing guidelines are counterproductive. Not all crimes that fall under the same code section are equally heinous, and not all defendants who commit those crimes are equally culpable. Arguably the most important role that judges play in the criminal justice system is determining the appropriate sentence for a particular defendant who has committed a particular crime. And that requires knowing more than just the jury's verdict and the statutorily proscribed punishment.

Why-the-BS also raises the pre-sentencing statement of Brock Turner's father, which I would bet he hasn't read in its entirety. If he had, he would know that the two clauses that he cites -- which are without doubt mind-bogglingly tone deaf -- have been taken out of context and by no means reflect the overall tone of that letter. A reporter for no less than the NY Times described that letter as the senior Mr. Turner complaining about his son's treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth, yet many, many people are villfying Mr. Turner based on partial reporting rather than a complete understanding of the facts.


8 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Thank you for this thoughtful editorial. I liked it because it avoided all the sensationalism of the (other) media (including those in the comments to this editorial). Again--thank you!!


9 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm

@Chris, I actually like your focus on the facts and willingness to buck the trend. And I appreciate your acknowledging your earlier misstatement. I do think in this case the punishment does not fit the crime. I doubt very much that the judge deserves censure or removal by his superiors, but it seems reasonable that the voters, many outraged, get to express their views. By a quirk of timing, they can't do this in November, so a recall seems like an appropriate course.


8 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 4:56 pm

@recall Persky You may be correct about the time off; I repeated 9 Months thought without verifying whether his/her calculation is correct. So if you are correct, we are talking about a difference of about 18 months served rather than 3. That clearly is a more significant difference but still not enough in my view to justify a recall. Moreover, the focus on the statutory sentencing guidelines is off target; the question should be how this sentence compares to actual sentences meted out to other defendants who are convicted of similar crimes. If you told me, for example, that the average sentence on a sexual penetration conviction for a defendant with a previously clean record was 5 years, then I likely would agree that Turner's sentence was inappropriate. Even then, however, I would not support a recall based on Judge Persky's sentencing decision in this or any other single case. Especially given his reputation as a very competent and very fair judge on both sides of the criminal law bar.

And don't twist my viewpoint or make assumptions about what I am assuming. Of course anyone who meets the qualifications for office can choose to run against Judge Persky, and under California law the public has the right to try to recall him. But having the right to do something does not make it the right thing to do. Have you forgotten Rose Bird?

Vote against Judge Persky is you like. I will not only vote in his favor, I will donate to his campaign and continue to speak out in his support.


3 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm

@Parent of Two. Ahhh! Give me a big hug now! :)


14 people like this
Posted by Questions to contemplate
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2016 at 5:08 pm

To those who view my opinions as disrespectful to the victim: I believe that in our day and age, women do have the right to do what they want including having casual hook-ups, drink alcohol and do what their heart desires!

I did attend the court proceedings and I did listen to all the testimonies given in this case. So yes , I do have the knowledge of ALL the facts that were presented in the court and I do completely agree with judge's decision in this dreadful case. Note: I do not personally know Turner or the victim ... I am just relying on the facts presented in court of law . The jury indeed convicted Turner as per dry interpretation of the law ( person drinks= no consent ).. The judge's job is to apply the law in each particular case.
For the mobs out there who want his head : the recall you propose is based on mob sentiment and NOT on actual facts! The actual facts do show that the judge made the just decision!


34 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The only mob I'm aware of in this case is the mob of misogynists who will always blame a woman for being raped, and will always try to justify a sexual assault by a male. There are many colleges where athletes habitually assault women, with the college administration and local police protecting them. Stanford had no choice but to expel this particular student, which has traditionally not been the Stanford way with sexual assaults, but the usual suspects still blame the victim-"she was asking for it".

It's interesting, I have read thousands of comments in foreign newspapers and blogs, and not even one justified the outrageously light sentence by the judge, the sentiment of outrage and disbelief is truly universal. Only in this area do I get to read comments supporting the sentence and the judge. Something to think about.


19 people like this
Posted by Grrrrrr
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:37 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Race Colored Glasses
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


10 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

> his upstanding family

WOW ... how is virtue or innocence by association any more valid than guilt by association, in fact probably a lot less valid or completely invalid? The upper class's rights of entitlement to special treatment in the courts?

I think the location of on the ground next to a dumpster sort of undercuts any claim that assent was given. I have not been following this, but now I can see why this has become a national issue [portion removed.] I am sick of this kind of corruption that permeates our country, culture and legal system.


21 people like this
Posted by Stewart
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Most sexual assaults and/or rape on college campuses are related to alcohol. The drinking age in CA has been 21 for as long as I can remember. Stanford, and most college campuses it seems, turns a blind eye with respect to the availability of alcohol and illegal underage drinking on campus. Sure, Stanford takes the high road with their policies and words, but action, or the lack there of, is what matters. Had alcohol not been available on campus, this, and quite possibly many similar incidents, would likely never have happened. Add alcohol to the frat scene mentality and college sports populated by a lot of kids who really can not yet handle alcohol responsibly, and what could possibly go wrong?!

My guess is that Stanford has closed the hatches and is waiting for some legal bombs to drop. The only way Stanford would, or could conceivably be moved, to take positive action with respect to the problems of alcohol on campus is the threat or actual defeat in court with a steep financial price tag. Stanford is the very deep pockets here and they know it.

Consider Stanford as a dry campus, and then imagine rates of alcohol related problems and violence plummet.


10 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 7:18 pm

>> I know this will elicit a firestorm, I want to bring up the responsibility of the victim. She willingly put herself in a very dangerous situation

Oh, are we really using this as a criterion that gets 9 likes of approval?

So, all a rapist has to do is to go around looking for women who for whatever
reason can be described as "putting themselves in a very dangerous situation"
and they become the recipients of the sympathy? We hear this kind of familiar
story in some other backwards countries describing women who are covered
in black from head to toe, and still they were asking for it.

Does this criteria only work for rape, or is it a defense of other crimes. If I
walk in the park with a lot of money in my wallet does that have some bearing
on the crime if I am mugged? What is the real logic and precedent of this
legal theory, or is it only really an excuse to make exceptions for people who
do not have to play by the rules everyone else does?

Ah, extenuating circumstance ... the devil made him do it, your honor ???

And we hear in every other case the evils of an entitled attitude or how
important personal responsibility is ... I think it's just time to shut our ears
completely to any of the hogwash rationalizations we hear almost on a
daily basis that exonerate malicious, incompetent of abusive behavior for
people in a special position in our society.


4 people like this
Posted by Know your rights
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


14 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@ 9 months who said:"Even Professor Dauber said on T.V. yesterday a reasonable sentence would have been 2 years prison and 3 years probation." FYI, Professor Michele Dauber is not licensed to practice law in CA. She has zero CA. criminal court case experience . Her criticisms of a respected Judge with many years of CA. criminal court case experience as a prosecutor, a CA. licensed attorney in good standing, has as much value as a pedestrian on the the street. Professor Dauber is a friend of Emily Doe, so there's personal bias as well. But admire who you will.


19 people like this
Posted by Person
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:49 pm

@skinny - well, a lot of 'pedestrians off the street' also think the judge really blew it, plus the Vice President, the state Attorney General, and the prosecuting District Attorney. So I guess Prof Dauber is in good company.


11 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Facts:
>> His crime was digital penetration of an intoxicated and unconscious woman,

Do you agree that he was seen and caught midway through his act?
An act that seems to me to be sexual assault.
An act that if not interrupted probably would have gone further.
AND and act that I think we can be pretty sure he lied about.

The lie sort of is the clincher for me, and the failure to be contrite and shamed.

I am sure his lawyer said ... though in not so many words ... the idea was most
likely conveyed that if it is his word against her word and she has a failure to
remember because she was passed out that he is free to lie basically and say
that the girl was a willing participant.

Does that seem logical? Not to mention that someone who is under the influence
cannot give consent, and when they pass out that consent is at the very least problematic.

Just my own opinion, but if I had been a juror I would be more impressed with
an admission and sincere apology which at least would show that he has some
kind of morals that failed ... instead of hearing the family stand on this from the
father. Who says something like that?

I think we have to remember that people who participate and graduate from
our higher institutions and who get to join in the "supposedly" high and lofty
group of leaders of this country should not be giving the keys to the kingdom
so to speak because they can purchase them.

Someone's comment said that the convicted lost all of this and that should be
enough, but that assumes that he had all of that, or deserved it, and circumstances
seem to show that this is a unfiltered out person, and perhaps family that is
undeserving of all the great stuff they have gotten from America.

Making everything all about money after a while shifts these unconscious choices
and rules out of sight and mind ... and we drift to an amoral society based on
power and money only.

We need desperately to have a filter that allows only deserving people to ascend
to the 0.01% or whatever we want to call it or signify this group. We used to be
serious about how we felt about cheaters, now we seem to admire them? Why is
that?


16 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2016 at 11:53 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Person Santa Clara DA Rosen, who is a licensed CA. attorney, said he will not appeal the case a d he also said he does not believe Judge Persky should be removed from his position. So the rhetoric of the unlicensed sociology ph.d academic is not supported by the SC DA's Office that prosecuted the case. The others you name are politicians posturing. I'm not a Dem Party voter - probably the only one in NorCal but I respect this Dem Governor appointed Judge's ruling because he has tons of criminal case case experience as a prosecutor. In fact as a prosecutor Persky was known to be a very tough prosecutor for sexual crimes in particular. Judge Persky has seen it all, and frankly he didn't believe there was conclusive evidence that non-consensual sexual actions were committed. That's why unlicensed SJW blowhards are incensed. It's not because of the Judge's sentence. It's because what the sentence says about a former experienced prosecutor's disbelief in the jury's guilty verdict.

.


17 people like this
Posted by Person
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:52 am

@skinny - the DA said he "strongly disagreed with the judge's sentence." So did the others.

As for whether he should remain in place, the judge is an elected official, so that will be up to the voters to decide - unlicensed sociology PhDs, fast food workers, students, homemakers, seniors, you name it, they will render the verdict on whether the judge should stay or go. They can decide if they think his judgement reflect community values or not.

If you are right and the judge essentially nullified the jury's verdict with his sentence, well, that seems like a great reason to vote him out.


17 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:51 am

We have a tragic event here.

1. The victim is impacted forever. My prayers for recovery.
2. Brad Turner need to be given a sentence much tougher; one strike you are out sentence. He needs a shock how he got to be in this situation. He needs mental help.
3. Alcohol and drugs play a significant part here. Stanford and other college campuses should be put on notice that it is not acceptable for having parties that ruin lives of young adults.
4. Work needs to be done not to have similar incidents.
5. The judge needs to be recalled.

Respectfully


13 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

mauricio is a registered user.

In countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, women who get raped are accused of being immodest, therefore guilty of causing the rapist to raped them. They are severely punished for getting raped, and if they are not put to death, they are stigmatized for life as loose women, in other words, "they were asking for it". Essentially, there is no significant different between the those poor women are viewed in those backwater societies and how many of the Presky sentence supporters view women and rape survivors.


21 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Judge Persky said he took Brock Turner "at his word" last week when he handed out his shockingly light sentence.

Turner said he thought he was having consensual sex with the victim, even though she was unconscious when he was caught on top of her behind a dumpster.

Judge Persky also seemed to believe the larger narrative Turner put forward during that trial: A 19-year-old freshman from small-town Ohio, naive about drinking and partying, looked to his swim teammates for guidance in a wild new social realm and made one quick bad decision.

But 471 pages of documents released by the Santa Clara County Superior Court show Turner lied about never using drugs and not drinking before college. And they depict Turner as not simply making a bad choice, but having a penchant of making aggressive, unwanted advances on women; at the frat party where he met the victim, he kept forcing kisses on the victim's younger sister as she "wiggled out of his hold." At a party a week before, he "creeped out" a woman he tried to grab.

Does anyone believe this slight slap on the wrist will deter Turner from attacking women in the future? Does anyone believe he is not a sexual predator who will always be a danger to women anywhere he goes?


27 people like this
Posted by Lynne Henderson
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2016 at 11:17 am

I am writing s a rape survivor and someone who cares about all rape survivors, I wan to correct one major error in the correspondence--at least as far as I have followed it.
Prof. Michele Dauber is a trained law graduate--JD Northwestern, 1998--so stop saying she knows nothing about law.
She may not be a member of the CA bar, but that doesn't mean she doesn't know the law. She's a professor at Stanford Law School and does know the law. she has led a brave fight against minimizing rapes on campus.
My only disagreement with her and all her efforts is the recall of J Persky. He made a bad mistake--but so has every other judges in so many cases, and the last thing I want is to politicize the judiciary. After fighting the (losing) battle to retain CJ ROse Bird, J. Cruz Reynoso, and J. Joseph Grodin, I know how awful politics can be in judicial retention, much less recalls. I can think of many judge before whom I appeared who were impaired, biased, etc., and J. Persky does not even begin to approach that level.
J. Persky made a huge mistake, but it was in one case out of many. Unless and until someone proves to me he has been "arbitrary and capricious" in rulings, then I oppose recall.
Respectfully,
Lynne Henderson


2 people like this
Posted by Understand Recall
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Before anyone starts a recall of Judge Persky, realize that he is near the end of his current 6-year term [portion removed due to factual inaccuracy.] He will start a new 6-year term in December or January. Then, a recall can be commenced. And unlike other ways of ousting incumbents, recall is not limited to officeholders who have engaged in any misconduct. It is simply the power given to voters to oust officeholders for any reason or reasons they like. Reasons for recall are stated by proponents but voters who sign petitions or vote on recall may have their own reasons. Having stated all of that, persons thinking about recall should start by looking at records given to the Judge -including the probation officer's recommendation the judge reportedly followed.


15 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Lynne writes "[Michele Landis Dauber] may not be a member of the CA bar, but that doesn't mean she doesn't know the law. She's a professor at Stanford Law School and does know the law."

True, she is on the faculty of Stanford Law School. But the state bar of California AND Illinois have no record of a Michele Dauber (or Michele Landis) ever being admitted to practice law in that state. Admittedly, I did not search the attorney registration pages for the other forty-eight states, but absent any new information, it appears that Professor Dauber has never practiced criminal law. That does not mean she doesn't know "the law." However, don't assume that she knows the law that applies to this situation. Go look at her CV information, available online at law.stanford.edu, and form your own opinion.

I do commend Professor Dauber for her work in putting pressure on Stanford University to focus on sexual assault and the "rape culture" that persists on university campuses across the country.


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm

[Post removed due to inaccuracy; Turner has been expelled from Stanford.]


3 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Curmudgeon, Turner is banned from Stanford campus, and is never eligible to be readmitted. He has also been given a lifetime ban by USA swimming, the organization that governs competitive swimmers in America. His swimming and Stanford career is ended. So no, Turner is absolutely not be eligible to be on the Stanford swim team.


8 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 1:12 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Lynne Henderson "so stop saying she knows nothing about law." Please stop lying about what I said. I did not say what you allege. I said that Professor Dauber is not a licensed CA. attorney, which means she has zero personal professional legal experience in CA. criminal court case work or any CA. court case work for that matter, because Professor Dauber is an unlicensed attorney in the state of CA. Those are all true facts that I stated. FYI state laws differ from state to state. That's why people are required to pass the state bar exam before they can be licensed to practice law in CA. "Knowing about the law" is not a special talent or skill that the CA. state bar association recognizes for licensing. Otherwise all of us keyboard commandos with our self-professed knowledge of the law who are posting our legal opinions on this forum would qualify to get a license to practice law in CA.


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Posted by Analysis needed
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 11, 2016 at 1:37 pm

There are number of legitimate cases mentioned here where there seems disparate treatment in the courtroom and in sentencing. I wish the Palo Alto Weekly could do a more thorough analysis not just of this judge, but for all similar cases for the same crimes, in this county, and other California counties. Break it won by age, race, gender, gender identity of both the perp and the victim. Tell the real story behind the numbers; the average, median, mean, and range of sentencing. And what are the various cucymstances.

I do think this judge carried inherent bias, given his Stanford background and captain of lacrosse team in his day. It is a shame that this was not called out as a conflict before the trial.


16 people like this
Posted by Person
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm

@skinny, you wrote: "[Dauber's] criticisms of a respected Judge ... has as much value as a pedestrian on the the street." That implies she does not have knowledge of the legal system appropriate to make an informed critique. @Lynne Henderson said otherwise, and I agree. Prof. Dauber is not an expert in CA law, but she knows a lot about the law generally, and the law and regulations dealing with sexual assault, esp. campus sexual assault, in particular. That seems to me like pretty relevant expertise, more than "a pedestrian on the street."


10 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@ Anon "I do commend Professor Dauber for her work in putting pressure on Stanford University to focus on sexual assault and the "rape culture" that persists on university campuses across the country." I respectfully disagree. The pressure on Stanford and other US universities as a result of ex-AG Holder twisting the intent of Title IX is having very grave consequences on innocent males. Eric Holder's notorious "dear Colleague" letter to US colleges, threatening them with DOJ legal action and withdrawal of federal grants and other funding without compliance represent serious violations of Constitutional rights, including equality before the law. Challenges have not made their way to the USSC yet because these DOJ policies have been implemented only about 4 years ago. As a result of these DOJ edicts and threats, US universities have fallen into line by instituting misguided, witch hunt, Title IX related sexual assault programs with kangaroo court tribunals where the accused male can have his life destroyed due to a very low bar for a finding of "guilt" wherein the accuser's word is given 51% weighting versus 49% to the defendant, no matter what evidence he may provide, and often the defendant is not even allowed to provide evidentiary materials. Professor Dauber was instrumental in developing in Stanford's ARP ( Alternate Review Process) i.e. a kangaroo court tribunal. While serving as co-chair of SU's Board of Judicial Affairs from 2011-2013 the BJA was not without controversy. A critical review of how the BJA/OSA handled 24 student cases was published in the Stanford Daily in 2013 - the editor claimed he was intimidated by un-named SU staff on the morning of the release of the report. With great power, comes great responsibility. Based on my readings, the responsibility part of the equation seems to be MIA re: many of the sexual assault advocates now occupying newly created positions of power at US universities. Lives of young men are being ruined due to a twisted interpretation of Title !X. Young women are being manipulated by agenda driven zealots and careerists to embrace victimhood, so young women are sadly being wronged the newly re-invented Title IX process as well. SU now faces a lawsuit filed in federal court in 04/2016 by a former male student for violation of his due process rights. Rumor has it that this plaintiff is a very successful business man, so he can afford to dig deep to hire the very best attorneys to take on SU attorneys to clear his name. Not all Title IX wronged males are so financially well heeled to afford quality legal defense.All it takes is one successful lawsuit to reveal the dangers and patent unfairness of these ridiculous college tribunals. We are all equal before the law in the US regardless of our chromosomal make up. I think some people have forgotten this important fact and I suspect that biased tribunals that are based on the presumption of guilt of an accused just don't cut the mustard according to the US Constitution no matter what a former AG may have implied in previous "Dear Colleague" letters. Time will tell.


13 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Analysis There is no evidence whatsoever of bias on the part of Judge Persky. Inflammatory allegations by SJW on the internet are flat out stupid. If DA Rosen believed there was a hint of bias, he would have filed an appeal like yesterday and he would also have filed a formal complaint with the state about Judicial irregularities. Rosen has taken neither action. Instead of reading internet garbage, you should educate yourself with the facts of the case by reading all the documents kindly provided by the Editor of this newspaper. BTW, Judge Persky cannot rebut any of the false accusations made about him or the false information about the trial promoted by reckless individuals. Judge Persky is legally prohibited from saying anything because the case has gone to appeal. Unprincipled people are knowingly taking advantage of Judge Persky's legally mandated silence and it's shameful frankly.


12 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Person Actually I know a lot about the law, too, likely way more than the average pedestrian on the street. Okay, so I'll give you that - on further reflection, I admit to giving too much credit to the law knowledgeability quotient of the average pedestrian on any street in the Bay Area. Thanks for the heads up.


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm

"[Post removed due to inaccuracy; Turner has been expelled from Stanford.]"

Point of information: expulsions from a private institution are reversible at will. Turner's expulsion could have been quietly reversed this fall when he gets out of the slammer, but the extreme public revulsion over his lenient sentence has probably scotched that possibility.

So I still wonder if the six month sentence that could nicely expire this fall was a coincidence.


25 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

"There is no evidence whatsoever of bias on the part of Judge Persky."

Really? Court document released yesterday reveal that Persky took Turner at his word on everything, never bothering to check their veracity., but a cursory investigation would have revealed that Turner had blatantly lied about several things, including past drug and alcohol abuse, as well as predatory sexual behavior toward women, including during the frat party where he met his victim, as well as a previous party. This judge was either determined to believe the defendant at all cost, or perhaps was so biased in his favor that no evidence was going to change his verdict..


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Posted by Person
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

@skinny - we can all tell you have a pretty high opinion of your own knowledge, usually a watch-out in my experience. I guess your comment above is your way of admitting you dissed Prof. Dauber unfairly.


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Person "If you are right and the judge essentially nullified the jury's verdict with his sentence, well, that seems like a great reason to vote him out." I did not say or imply anything of the kind. Judges not juries have sole responsibility to make decisions about sentencing. The 2 legal processes - determining guilt or innocence in a jury trial vs determining sentencing are separate. A judge cannot nullify a guilty verdict. But a Judge is empowered to use his discretion in determining appropriate sentencing for any defendant found guilty in a jury trial. The sentencing Judge Persky gave Brock Turner was actually quite harsh especially the requirement for lifetime sexual assault registration. But very harsh was not sufficient for the SJW mob and misinformed internet dupes. The mob wanted Brock Turner to be crucified on the cross. Short of that, they suspected Judge Persky had doubts about sufficient evidence proving without a shadow of a doubt showing Brock Turner was guilty of sexual assault with his finger with no consent. Brock Turner had become a symbolic figure for SJW. Actually if you had read the court documents, Governor Brown signed off on legislation in 2015 specifically directing Judges to take into consideration a number of factors for defendants under the age of 23 because executive decision making brain functions are not fully developed until over the age of 23. Judge Persky followed guidelines given to judges by the state to the T precisely for cases like Brock Turner's who was age 19 at the time he transgressed the law. But maybe vocal SJW's shrieking for Turner's blood and Persky's recall, being unlicensed CA. attorneys, are not malicious, but simply out of their depth being unfamiliar with CA state laws and administrative rules. On page 65 of Judge Persky's instructions to the jurors, I was struck by one statement in particular as follows: "Conviction of a sexual assault crime may be based on the testimony of a complaining witness alone." I think that's a terrifying legal standard for determining guilt or innocence. I'm a mother to both a son and a daughter. I'm fearful for all young people should such a nonsensical law be abused to violate their civil rights in the future.


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Person I think you may have misinterpreted my thank you comment. I did not admit to dissing Professor Dauber unfairly. FYI, I'm an informed Bay Area resident. In terms of raw intellectual abilities, I'm as smart as most on this forum. The main differences between me and the majority of posters imho are: 1. that I have read the court documents and 2. I have researched the back stories of the major players directly and indirectly involved in the case and 3. I am not easily swayed by emotion or swept up by au courant social agendas. I don't think those are worrisome qualities, but if you feel the need to "watch out", it's your choice. Cheers!


6 people like this
Posted by @notsoskinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Thank you Lynne:

I admit I'm not in a position to make a judgment on the judge's sentencing decision, but, I am also sure most of the other posters aren't either. I only know what I know from the media and that is a sad commentary. I wasn't at the trial to hear all the testimony and facts presented. I support a prison sentence of 20 months, not just county jail time, to let the whole impact of his irresponsible actions soak in. Maybe 3 months in jail will be enough. I hope so, but again, I don't know. And I'm not sure this will affect his income making ability in the future, his career, and status in whatever community he settles into. He could probably get a high paying job working for the family business and not have to worry about interviews and having to reveal this bad experience to any other potential employer. The sexual stigma tag will still be with him forever.

But, from what I've read and heard about the judge's record I think a call for a recall is unwarranted. It's only based on emotions about the results of the case. I think it's a stretch to say the judge is more lenient with athletes...okay so he ruled in cases where athletes were involved...but the cases were totally different. Do you folks all get it?

And to all those posters comparing the Todd Burysee case and the De Anza case to this one, just stop it. Each case is a separate stand alone entity. Different jury panels, different attorneys, DA's, and judges.

Did he get special treatment because of his upbringing, family, and supportive community? Only from the standpoint that the judge heard and considered all those. I'm not sure anyone stood up for Todd, and that's unfortunate.

Why do bad things happen to good people...why do good people do bad things?

It's just the way this crazy world we live in works. And what the hell is Joe Biden doing, getting involved and speaking out, without knowing anything about the case, but only from what he sees and hears in the media just like me. Bad Joe...Bad Joe. Calm down! Keep doing that great job you're doing in Washington. We can handle our own affairs here in CA.


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Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 11, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Spelling correction, should have read Todd Burpee.


7 people like this
Posted by Oscar
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Getting sick and tired of the comments from misinformed people. Kudos to Skinny, a female BTW, for forming opinions based on the facts. Not wishing to support BT either way, I can say that having been to the sentencing hearing that Judge Persky spent a lot of time thoroughly weighing the mitigating vs. aggravating factors in order to support the justification as well as the lawfulness of his decision. Unfortunately, the reporters who were there left that detail out of their stories.


7 people like this
Posted by Person
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 11, 2016 at 5:20 pm

@skinny - I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt of backing off your absurd comment about Prof. Dauber. Oh well. You are a good example how very smart people can still be very wrong. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm

skinny is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 6:02 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Person "You are a good example how very smart people can still be very wrong." To be fair, you should also consider mentioning Professor Dauber as another example who fits your aforementioned definition.


64 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 11, 2016 at 6:26 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

This judge, for no reason anyone could discern, allowed a picture of a gang rape victim in which she was wearing a sexy tank top to be shown to the jury in the De Anza gang rape civil trial. This was by all accounts what persuaded the jury to rule against the victim. So, no, Judge Persky is definitely not biased favor of college athletes behaving badly and against their victims. After all, if she was wearing a sexy tank top she was at fault and the athletes just couldn't control themselves. Boys will be boys.


3 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 7:11 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@mauricio You have provided misinformation as well as omission of facts regarding the De Anza case to create a faux negative image of Judge Persky. Here are the facts per the SJ Merc News and Wash Post which clearly demonstrate Judge Persky's even handed, fair handling of controversial aspects of that civil lawsuit case:

"Critics of Persky have pointed to his decision in an earlier case, from 2011, the Mercury News noted. In that case, De Anza College baseball players were accused of raping a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party. After the local prosecutor declined to bring criminal charges -- a decision that in part led to her defeat in an election -- the girl sought $7.5 million in damages via a civil lawsuit.

During the trial, Persky allowed the defense to show the jury photos of the young woman, arguing the pictures were a "direct contradiction" to the notion that the woman was socially isolated. Persky rejected the defense's request to enter another, potentially incriminating photo after trial testimony ended."


18 people like this
Posted by dennis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 11, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Alcohol is a poison that effected both parties. If it indeed was not rape then the punishment was just. And no, she will not be scared for life. Back in the seventies binge drinking and excessive partying was everywhere, all the time, and I knew at least a dozen women that had this happen to to them without the extreme trauma described. The lawyers are embedded in this case.


7 people like this
Posted by Lies and more lies
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Jun 11, 2016 at 7:32 pm

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2016 at 10:17 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@dennis "The lawyers are embedded in this case." You got it and on multiple levels. Stanford is being positioned for at least 1 lawsuit, probably 2. Rape culture, drinking culture - one leads to the other and someone with deep pockets is going to have to pay. This is the United States of Litigation after all. Ha! What I don't get is why Stanford seems so passive, doing nothing to defend itself. A few limp wrist press releases, yawn. Stanford is even allowing one employee to trade on its name to get face time in media for promoting a personal agenda, while sticking a shiv into Stanford's neck. Perhaps universities have become so big and bureaucratic they are like government, $ is plentiful, there's an easy come/ easy go mindset that has set in, since no one in the bureaucracy gets $ taken out of their personal wallets if things go sideways for the organization. On a related subject of embedded lawyers, I wonder who will replace Kamala Harris as AG and who will be promoted to the vacant position left by the new AG appointee. We live in interesting times.


3 people like this
Posted by Suki
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Tecsi
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

@Plane Speaker.
Your reaction to my comments about the victims participation in this event suggest I am proposing sympathy for the defendant because of the victim's extreme intoxitication (3x the legal level). Absolutely not. I do not propose sympathy for the defendant or reducing his sentence based on her condition.

What I AM saying is the pain and tragedy she incurred was in part her doing. Being plastered at a sexually charged party is risky behavior which she chose to participate in. Had she been sober, I would suggest this likihood of this outcome would drop dramatically. Do you you agree?

So does this mean that girls cannot not get plastered, but it is okay for boys to? No, but it means that if two drunk kids go driving off in a car, bad things are much more likely to happen to both of them, even if only one is driving. Or, to use your example about getting mugged in a park, yes, I think if I walk in a dangerous area with a visible iPhone, I am greatly increasing my likihood of being mugged. This does NOT exonerate my mugger, but DOES recognize that my behavior significantly contributed to the outcome.

So, towards the goal of reducing sexual assaults, I would suggest both males and females must learn what they each can do to reduce their likihood.


2 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:59 am

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Wanna Know
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2016 at 11:23 am

Wanna Know is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Tecsi
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 12, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Tecsi is a registered user.

I understand that my comments that follow here might come across and callous or insincere, but please hear me out.

The more I read about this mob uprising to remove Judge Persky, the more I am disappointed by our knee-jerk reaction to focus on relatively minor issues. How could I ever make such an outrageous claim?

I don't believe the focus on removing Judge Persky addresses the fundamental issue here, which I see to be reducing sexual assault on college campuses. The assumption in the recall effort suggests that if Judge Persky have give a stiffer 1/3/6/12 year prison sentence, THEN the message would be sent to college males. Apparently that assumes that Brock losing a Stanford scholarship, being expelled from Stanford, being convicted of three feloneis which will stay on his record, and having to register as a sex offender for life is simply a hand slap, and thus sends very little message. Really? Do you not think this outcome will speak very strongly to college males across the country? Do you actually think male students are now thinking "see, we can continue get away with this without consequences, just like Brock". Challenge: find just one college male that now thinks that.

I fully accept that a stiffer sentence might have be appropriate, but I do not think would have substantially changed the "message". In fact, in a ironic turn of events, Persky's light sentence seems to have created a firestorm that has amplified this case by easily 10-100x. So perhaps we should be grateful to Persky for this more useful outcome.

But let's return to the central issue: reducing sexual assault on campuses. What are we going to do—specifically—to address this? Recall that this case was a substantial outlier in that there were two independent witnesses. Most, probably 98% (my guesstimate) of sexual assaults do not have witnesses and likely would be hard to adjudicate consent. So let's engage what we can do here.

Wouldn't our efforts be better invested in addressing this much harder issue head-on, rather than get carried away by a relatively inconsequential outcome like a Persky recall?


11 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"What I don't get is why Stanford seems so passive, doing nothing to defend itself."

Stanford is used to getting its way. It casually mauls any city or county government that annoys it.

Lawsuits? Forget 'em. There are lots more Judge Perskys out there.


7 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I just want to thank Lynne Henderson again for posting, not only as a victim of rape, but also as a supporter of our judicial system, even with all its flaws and occasional, seemingly, bad rulings and sentences.

Other thoughts: From what I've read, the victim was a Gunn High School alumna, but it was never mentioned or made clear if she was a Stanford student, currently or previously. I think that is important to know and maybe that was all brought up during the trial. If she never had any affiliation with Stanford before, other than going to frat parties, that concerns me, and should concern many others, including the lynch mob.

I was a frat rat (Kappa Sigma) at Montana State University, when it only had College status back in the 50's. I got exposed to the full experience as a fraternity brother, with all the good and the bad that can happen along the way. Fortunately, I survived some big time keggers, Toga parties, and all the rest, but I know what can happen and get out of hand at those parties. I can envision the same thing that happened at Stanford happening at my frat house. Fortunately, it never did as far as I know when I was there, and yes, we had a dumpster out back. [Portion removed.]

And to all you recall advocates. [Portion removed due to inaccurate information.] Don't carry on with this recall effort. And if it happens and he's out, then who will you offer up as a perfect replacement? Duh, "Well we don't have anyone in mind right now but we'll find one I'm sure, there must be someone better than him". Yeah, right, I rest my case and await your new choice to replace him.


4 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Please Weekly online, tell me what was inaccurate. I'm willing to listen.

Moderator's comment: Judge Persky was appointed to the office in 2003 by Gov. Gray Davis after he was narrowly defeated in a 2002 election. He has not appeared on an election ballot since then. This year, when his term is up, no one filed to run against him.


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Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@ Weekly online Moderator,
Thanks for the clarification.


5 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Gale Johnson To answer your 2 questions:
1. Emily Doe was not a Stanford alum. Her younger sister got an invite to the frat party from a girlfriend [portion removed] who was a freshman at SU. Emily Doe is a [portion removed] graduate. She noted in her testimony that at age 22 she was several years than most of the frat party attendees who were a freshmen age group.

2. Who do the activists want to replace Judge Persky? I've not heard any names mentioned yet, just gender: "We need judges who understand violence against women. Judge Persky does not. He should be replaced. Hopefully a qualified woman will replace him," said Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber in an email to NPR."


8 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:36 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Tecsi " Recall that this case was a substantial outlier in that there were two independent witnesses. Most, probably 98% (my guesstimate) of sexual assaults do not have witnesses and likely would be hard to adjudicate consent." 1. The 2 witnesses did not "see" anything except dry humping which is not a crime. [Portion removed.] They were not in any position to know the exact moment when Emily Doe had passed out, negating consent. It could have been a second before they came on the scene. This was a case won on innuendo, pc mindset, press manipulation, jurors anxious to get back to their jobs in a high living cost area, and one powerful SJW pushing hard and pulling out all the stops because she was a personal friend of Emily Doe's family. The defense attorney and defendant's family made a very bad choice going for jury trial in the Bay Area. The case was doomed from the get go. Also add in the mix of ambition/career advancement what with the AG position opening in the near future - a perfect storm for conviction. Under a common sense scenario, Brock Turner and Emily Doe should have been charged for drunk and disorderly conduct and sent to an alcohol rehab living facility for 30 days minimum, community service with ALNon families. End of story. [Portion removed.] 2. as for "real non-consensual sexual assaults" in colleges, I'm guessing the % might be minuscule. The big problem at colleges is alcohol. Make campuses dry, make dorms gender specific, you cut 99% of promiscuous regret sex. But then feminist SJW's would be out of a job. Gender study classes wouldn't be able to recruit any students. Sociology departments would perish - nothing to publish. And there you go - the solutions are obvious but there are too many people whose jobs depend on students' alcohol fueled promiscuous problematic behavior.


4 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2016 at 11:30 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Tecsi And another thing "yes means yes" is the most asinine legislation ever passed. It needs to be thrown out. If aliens are watching us, as some brilliant minds suggest, they must be shrieking with laughter anytime they hear the yes means yes schtick referenced in California. It's like the buckle up, stupids,freeway signs.. What's the point of invading us? We provide too much comic relief to aliens. And for the feminist crowd, ponder on what this hokum law implies - that women are not equal to men because their weak frail selves need Big Brother 's protection every step of the way in sexual interactions with men. How insulting. How unliberated.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@skinny,
Thanks for answering my questions. You have been thoughtful and given rational responses in your posts unlike many others.
You make reference to SJW but what does that stand for?

@9 Months,
Good point. It's not justification for a recall. And notice all the politicians speaking out on this issue, one sided of course. Hmmm!
Why do you think that is? It's their chance to take a stand, only for the political posturing, and they too have been sucked in by the media mania without studying the case in detail. Shame on them, and obviously they don't fully appreciate the difference between what they do and their role compared to the separate role of the judiciary system.


8 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Chris M is a registered user.

@skinny Although we may be political opposites, I agree with most of what you have written on this thread. However, I must point out an error and a pont of disagreement in your first response above to Tesci. First, I think "dry-humping" an unconscious person is a criminal battery, a misdemeanor. It should be a sexual battery (which can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor), but it does not fall within the specific definition of a sexual battery. I suspect that the prosecution did not charge Turner with Battery because they did not want to give the jury the option to convict him for that lesser offense as sort of a compromise verdict. If so, that turned out to be a smart tactical decision from the prosecution's standpoint.

Second, even if you take the facts in a light most favorable to Turner, his behavior crossed both legal and moral boundaries, while the victim's behavior did not. I don't know whether the sentence imposed on Turner was appropriate or not; in my view that depends on how it compares to the sentences given to others who have been convicted of similar crimes. But I vehemently disagree with the positions that his only crime was being drunk and disorderly or that the victim is guilty of any crime whatsoever.


22 people like this
Posted by Not for My Daughter!
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Not for My Daughter! is a registered user.

In light of the now-common knowledge that Stanford has the highest rate, of all colleges in the US, of sexual assaults and rapes on-campus, WHY would any girl even want to go to school there? Why would any parent(s) allow their daughter to attend?


3 people like this
Posted by reader
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2016 at 8:50 pm

reader is a registered user.

@Not, same reason kids attend allegedly problematic Palo Alto high schools.


1 person likes this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2016 at 10:44 pm

Chris M is a registered user.

@Not my daughter That Stanford has the highest rate of sexual assaults and rape of all colleges in the US is neither common knowledge nor true. According to the US Dep't of Education figures for 2014, Stanford is 10th in the total number of sexual assaults and rapes reported, and not even in the top 50 in the rate of assaults and rapes reported. But please don't let facts get in the way of inflaming hysteria.


21 people like this
Posted by Not for My Daughter!
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Not for My Daughter! is a registered user.

Au contraire: there have been some reports that state outright that Stanford has the highest rate of rapes and sexual assaults in the US among all colleges of a similar size. One report stated that Stanford has had 1,6 times the NATIONAL average, another stated three times the average rate for all US colleges.

Do you read the papers, listen to NPR? Whatever the actual figures, the Chronicle, NYT, WSJ, The Merc, and NPR all agree that Stanford's rate of on-campus rapes/sexual assaults, at one in three women, is higher than the whole national average of one in four.


1 person likes this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Chris M is a registered user.

@not for my daughter. Again (because I gave the source in my earlier post), my stats are from the US Dep't of Education as reported by the Washington Post on June 7. According to the Dep't of Education's statistics, 120 colleges had a higher rate of sexual assault in 2014 than did Stanford. What is your source of those "some reports" which state that Stanford has the highest rate of sexual assaults (including rape) in the country? Having a rate "higher than the whole national average" is not the same as having the highest rate of any country. Also keep in mind that we are talking about REPORTED sexual assaults; it is very possible that there is a difference in the rates of reported assaults versus the rate of actual assaults on a college campus. I find it counter-intuitive that 3 Ivy League schools, U Va, UNC, and Stanford are among the 10 schools with the highest number of reported rapes. Two possible explanations are (1) those schools have a higher percentage of students living in campus housing, and (2) women at those schools are more comfortable (for lack of a better word) reporting sexual assaults. To the extent that the latter may be a significant factor, schools with a higher number of reported rates may, in some cases, actually be doing a better job dealing with sexual assaults than schools with lower numbers.


1 person likes this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Chris M is a registered user.

I just noticed something that is very illustrative of what is going on with a large segment of those who have decided that Judge Persky should be recalled. I posted a comment about 23 hours ago citing specific statistics and the source of those statistics (the US Dep't of Education) refuting Not For My Daughter's assertion that Stanford has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country. (In fact, it is not even in the top 100.) One person liked that comment.

Not For My Daughter responded 7 hours ago, claiming I am wrong. But NFMD provided only vague statistics -- which did not support her original claim about Stanford -- and provided no source for the statistics that he/she did provide. And to this point 9 people have liked her comment. So clearly many of the people following this discussion have already made up their minds and are not about to let actual facts affect their opinions. [Portion removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Tecsi
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Tecsi is a registered user.

If one in five college girls are assaulted during college, and the potential lifetime damages are so great, maybe we need to consider a much more explicit consent mechanism to raise the stakes for potential assaulters. The he said/she said dilemma seems too problematic as is.

If we really want to shut down sexual assault by friends/acquaintances (the typical college scenario), we could have the boy obtain a signed, dated checklist of what the girl consents to, and for what time period. Then, if an assault happens, and evidence confirms this, the guy can no longer argue consent without the agreement. And if consent is given in written form, then the girl cannot later regret her decision and allege assault.

Mechanical. yes. But propose a more effective alternative that will greatly reduce sexual assault, as well as false accusations of sexual assault.


2 people like this
Posted by lookbeyondwhatUC
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2016 at 8:20 pm

lookbeyondwhatUC is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by lookbeyondwhatUC
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:28 pm

lookbeyondwhatUC is a registered user.

Admin: With all due respect, What part of that was against the terms of use?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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