News

Brock Turner juror to judge: 'Shame on you'

Juror sends letter saying, 'Justice has not been served'

"Absolutely shocked and appalled" -- that's the reaction of a juror in the Brock Turner sexual-assault case to the sentence handed down by Judge Aaron Persky on June 2. The male juror, speaking publicly for the first time, delivered a cutting letter to Persky on Saturday stating, "This punishment does not fit the crime."

This juror in the case of the former Stanford University student-athlete, who was found guilty on March 30 of three felony sexual-assault charges, provided the letter to the Palo Alto Weekly. He has requested to remain anonymous to protect his privacy. The Weekly met with the juror on Sunday to confirm his identity as a juror on the case by inspecting his court-issued attendance certificate. He is the only one of the 12 jurors to make a public statement about the case.

"After the guilty verdict I expected that this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults, but with the ridiculously lenient sentence that Brock Turner received, I am afraid that it makes a mockery of the whole trial and the ability of the justice system to protect victims of assault and rape," the juror wrote to Persky. "Clearly there are few to no consequences for a rapist even if they are caught in the act of assaulting a defenseless, unconscious person."

"It seems to me that you really did not accept the jury's findings. We were unanimous in our finding of the defendant's guilt and our verdicts were marginalized based on your own personal opinion," the letter said.

The juror told the Weekly in an interview that he was surprised by Persky's sentence — six months in county jail (which could be reduced to three under normal county practices) and three years' probation — and considered it an affront to the jury.

"To be honest, I felt that the judge had just ignored much of what the jurors said," he told the Weekly.

Turner, now 20, was a freshman at Stanford and All-American swimmer on Jan. 18, 2015, when two graduate students found him on top of an unresponsive, partly dressed young woman lying behind a Dumpster outside a fraternity house on campus. Turner testified during the trial that the woman had verbally, willingly consented to the sexual activity, while witnesses -- the graduate students, law enforcement officers and emergency responders -- said that she was unresponsive.

Persky explained at the sentencing that his decision to impose a lighter sentence than the prosecution had asked for stemmed from positive character letters written on behalf of Turner from his family members and friends, Turner's lack of a prior record and the fact that he was intoxicated at the time of the assault.

The juror, however, said he did not find Turner credible because his story "seemed to change quite a bit."

Evidence that was not introduced during the trial but that was released by the county last week — such as text messages and photos indicating repeated drug use, in contrast to Turner's claims that he was new to the college drinking culture when he arrived at Stanford — further underscored Turner's lack of credibility, the juror said.

"I think it raises into question his testimony," he said.

One of the most compelling pieces of evidence presented during the trial, in this juror's eyes, was the fact that Turner ran away after two Stanford graduate students noticed him on top of an unmoving woman and asked loudly, "What the f— are you doing?" Both of those students testified during the trial that they chased Turner, one tackling him to the ground and holding him until the police arrived.

Another was an incoherent voicemail the woman in the case, Emily Doe (whose name has been changed to protect her privacy), left her boyfriend just minutes before meeting Turner at the campus fraternity party. The prosecution played the voicemail in court to illustrate her state of intoxication at the time and to argue that Turner should have reasonably known she was not able to give consent. In it, Doe is almost entirely incomprehensible, her words slow and slurred.

"We looked at the whole weight of the evidence, but I think those (pieces of evidence) were particularly impactful," he said.

He also commented on the 12-page letter Doe wrote to Persky, which she read in part at the June 2 sentencing and which has since drawn international attention.

"I think it was very powerful. It exemplified the impact it had on her," he said, referring to both the assault and criminal proceedings.

Persky, who has served on the bench since former Gov. Gray Davis appointed him in 2003, is now facing a recall campaign and a national debate among legal experts on whether removal of a judge is an appropriate response.

The juror, who said he had recently become an American citizen after living in the country for more than 30 years, said he does not know enough about the recall process to say whether he supports it but noted he's seen in news reports that Persky is already facing backlash in the courtroom. Last week, during jury selection for a misdemeanor stolen property case, several prospective jurors refused to serve with Persky as the judge.

"This was my first experience as a juror, and frankly I am disappointed," the juror wrote Persky.

The juror declined to answer any questions about jury deliberations. (After a trial ends, jurors are free under California law to discuss the case and deliberations with anyone, including the media, if they choose to do so.)

Like others across the country, the juror worried that Persky's "lenient sentence" will not act as a deterrent for other perpetrators of sexual violence and "will make these victims less willing to report their attacks."

"The jury's verdict of guilt on all three felony counts of sexual assault was completely disregarded in an effort to spare the perpetrator a 'hardship,'" he wrote to Persky. "What message does this send to Emily Doe, and indeed all victims of sexual assault and rape, especially those on college campuses?"

Read his letter in full below.

———

To Judge Aaron Persky:

I was a juror in the Brock Turner trial. I have to be honest and say that I was not happy that I was selected for the jury given my work responsibilities, but once I was in the box, I took my civic responsibility very seriously.

Personally I have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Turner is guilty as charged and as convicted on all three counts. The predominantly male jury reached consensus of guilt on all three counts within two days of deliberation. In light of that quick and decisive finding, I was absolutely shocked and appalled when I heard on June 2 about the minimal sentence you announced that Mr. Turner would serve for this crime. After the guilty verdict I expected that this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults but with the ridiculously lenient sentence that Brock Turner received, I am afraid that it makes a mockery of the whole trial and the ability of the justice system to protect victims of assault and rape. Clearly there are few to no consequences for a rapist even if they are caught in the act of assaulting a defenseless, unconscious person.

I recently became an American citizen after being in the country for over 30 years. This was my first experience as a juror and frankly I am disappointed.

Although I wasn't in the court for the sentencing, you were reported as having said:

"A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him ... I think he will not be a danger to others."

Isn't that the point ... a sentence should have a severe impact on Mr. Turner just as the event for which he has never expressed sorrow or regret has had on Ms. Doe. Also, given Mr. Turner's complete lack of credibility, I certainly would not assume that he will not be of danger to others. Witnesses describe his predatory behavior both the evening of the assault and on at least one other previous occasion, which is evidence of a pattern of dangerous behavior.

It was also reported that you acknowledged the difficulty of trying to balance the jury's guilty verdict with your belief in the events as Mr. Turner described them. A jury of 12 people found Mr. Turner guilty of three charges, but you, despite the information that came to light during the trial and the subsequent sentencing memos filed by both sides, chose to disregard the jury's findings and other evidence and believe the defendant's self-serving version of events. And you disregarded the findings that he had lied about prior alcohol and drug use in high school. You chose to find the defendant credible on the basis of irrelevant character witness testimony; I find that impossible to understand.

During the sentencing, you said, "The trial is a search for the truth. It's an imperfect process. But after the trial all sides should accept the jury's findings." It seems to me that you really did not accept the jury's findings. We were unanimous in our finding of the defendant's guilt and our verdicts were marginalized based on your own personal opinion.

You had to justify that there were "unusual circumstances" to give Mr. Turner less than the two year minimum sentence for his crime. But the unfortunate fact is, these circumstances are not unusual. Women like Ms. Doe suffer daily from similar crimes and I fear your sentence will make these victims less willing to report their attacks.

This punishment does not fit the crime. Mr. Turner, convicted of 3 felony counts of sexual assault, will serve 3 months in county jail since he is scheduled to be released on September 2. And Mr. Turner is going to appeal the verdict, which not only is a complete waste of tax payers' money but could mean, if he gets off, that he will not even have to register as a sex offender. How unjust would that outcome be, the slate wiped clean for a 3-count convicted sex offender?!

Justice has not been served in this case. The jury's verdict of guilt on all three felony counts of sexual assault was completely disregarded in an effort to spare the perpetrator a 'hardship'. What message does this send to Emily Doe, and indeed all victims of sexual assault and rape, especially those on college campuses? Your concern was for the impact on the assailant. I vehemently disagree, our concern should be for the victim.

Shame on you.

A Concerned Juror

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.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

138 people like this
Posted by Amen
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 13, 2016 at 3:55 pm

So well written. Thank you Concerned juror, for providing such an articulate account from a juror's perspective. I found this point most profound,

"During the sentencing, you said, "The trial is a search for the truth. It's an imperfect process. But after the trial all sides should accept the jury's findings." It seems to me that you really did not accept the jury's findings. We were unanimous in our finding of the defendant's guilt and our verdicts were marginalized based on your own personal opinion."


112 people like this
Posted by Recall Aaaron Persky
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

That does it for me. Persky doesn't belong on the bench. He does not understand rape and he is harming the justice system by destroying trust in the system. No one will report being raped at Stanford now with Aaron Persky as their judge. He must go. Sign up here and donate to the campaign: www.recallaaronpersky.com

Let's recall him and put someone in that seat who understands sexual assault and violence against women.


75 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Jurors are now refusing to serve in a Persky trial. Perks hasn't been able to fill up any jury since his sentence. He negated a verdict, using the most absurd and unbelievable rational, and made a mockery of justice and our jury system. He absolutely must be recalled.


47 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 13, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

Jail 'im, judge. Six years and thirty years probation for contempt of a contemptible court. He's not some star athlete so no mitigating circumstances.


19 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Amen "So well written. Thank you Concerned juror, for providing such an articulate account from a juror's perspective." I agree that it was well written and articulate. But there's an odd echo effect throughout the letter. It's as though I've read some of the same phrases and ideas expressed by another person recently. Dennis Riordan might find this juror's letter and observations quite interesting. "I was not happy that I was selected for the jury given my work responsibilities." "After the guilty verdict I expected that this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults."Clearly there are few to no consequences for a rapist even if they are caught in the act.""the event for which he has never expressed sorrow or regret has had on Ms. Doe.""given Mr. Turner's complete lack of credibility.""Witnesses describe his predatory behavior...which is evidence of a pattern of dangerous behavior.""he did not find Turner credible because his story "seemed to change quite a bit.""One of the most compelling pieces of evidence presented during the trial, in this juror's eyes, was the fact that Turner ran away after two Stanford graduate students" "...asked loudly, "What the f— are you doing?"And Mr. Turner is going to appeal the verdict, which not only is a complete waste of tax payers' money..."


69 people like this
Posted by Ben Rumson
a resident of University South
on Jun 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Thanks to this courageous Juror for speaking out on this important issue, and one that affects our legal system here in Palo Alto most directly.

I see some posters from "another community" are already trying to discredit your message since they cannot challenge your facts or first hand knowledge of the details of the case. [Portion removed.]


72 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

He didn't find Turner's story credible because the evidence suggested it wasn't credible. We now know from the trial records that Turner lied to the court regarding past drug and alcohol abuse, trying to pass himself off as a naive midwestern boy who was corrupted by Stanford's culture of alcohol and parties, which he was anything but. We now know that Turner made aggressive sexual advances to the survivor's younger sister shortly before the attack. We now know that in a party a week before the party that led to the attack on, he was extremely aggressive toward another young women who testified how "creeped out" she was by his behavior. Unlike the judge, this juror actually paid attention to evidence and facts.


15 people like this
Posted by Pants on fire
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Maurucio-- sorry to burst your bubble but....
Web Link

"KPIX 5 was in Persky’s courtroom on Thursday when the judge asked 17 potential jurors if they could be impartial in the case, and they all said yes. A short time later, Persky empaneled 12 of them, plus two alternates."
[Portion removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by to be expected
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2016 at 9:00 pm

Skinny,

Seems like there are lots of written statements in this case that do not, or do not completely, match the facts.

Yours implying that this juror's statement is too similar to what others have said so may have had some help writing it.

Brock Turner's claim that he lacked experience with drinking which does not appear to match his prior history.

Emily Doe, in the letter she submitted to the court that has gone viral, saying that she was wearing a beige cardigan "like a librarian," which doesn't match the police report describing a grey sweatshirt and a black, skin tight dress. Web Link

Even that from the professor who is mounting the campaign to recall the judge. She said she knows the family. It is more than that. She was involved in the sentencing, joining Emily Doe's sister, boy friend and other close friends, each who wrote long letters to the judge urging a long sentence. In hers she says that she's known Emily Doe extremely well for more than 10 years. Web Link
[Portion removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

Shame indeed.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2016 at 11:42 pm

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by ucb
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:15 am

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Don't be distracted
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:41 am

[Post removed.]


92 people like this
Posted by Richard Alexander
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:00 am

Richard Alexander is a registered user.

Having represented scores of survivors of sexual battery in decades of personal injury advocacy and appreciating the lifelong pain that is inflicted on survivors, predators like Brock Turner make my blood boil.

Universities downplay state prison crimes by the brightest and the best because it tarnishes the patina of exclusivity, brilliant students, and the national championships that generate the reputation for amassing commanding wealth. Understandably so. A defenseless woman was targeted prey. Turner pushed her dress over her head and assaulted her. When passersby rescued the victim, Turner ran off.

That he was another drunk college student doesn't change the fact that she will never recover.

Turner comes from "the right side of the tracks" as a Stanford scholar athlete with a promising future.

He trashed a life by acting out violent fantasies in an alcohol haze supported by a powerful subculture that snickers at liquoring coeds, ignores the brutality of forced oral copulation and rape, and fills the void of trivialized adolescent sexual education by parents, schools and religious institutions with a paradigm of violent male pornography.

Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Mr. Turner to three months in the county jail, a slap on the wrist for having inserted his fingers into the vagina of an unconscious woman whom he treated a prey and attempted to rape. When the police arrived Turner had an erection. Not that drunk. Only 0.13. Shockingly, this elite and privileged white boy -- Turner is not a man by any stretch of the imagination -- from the Stanford booze crowd got special treatment. Would not happen to an unemployed black or brown high school dropout with a gang tattoo from the other side of the tracks.

Prison is a consequence he should not escape. Nationally 40% of graduating college women report being victimized. That includes Stanford as well.

I don't know the victim, but she is my daughter.

Yours too.


35 people like this
Posted by Robert Riversong
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:35 am

What this newly-naturalized citizen juror doesn't understand is that the appeals process is designed to protect citizens from improper verdicts, and that the sentence was NOT the judge's "personal opinion" but rather the recommendation of a highly-experienced female Probation Department Director.

And, though the prosecutor tried to turn Brock Turner into the "face of campus sexual assault", this case is unique and Turner is an individual who deserves to be punished only for his actions - NOT the future actions of others.


26 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 14, 2016 at 5:50 am

mauricio is a registered user.

From the San Jose Mercury-
At least 10 prospective jurors are now refusing to serve the judge who sentenced Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer sentenced to six months in jail last week for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus.

Turner was sentenced last week for assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person with a foreign object. Prosecutors recommended that Turner be sentenced to six years in prison, but Judge Aaron Persky handed down a sentence of six months, saying a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on the 20-year-old. Supporters of the victim have harshly criticized the sentence as too lenient, and a Stanford law professor is leading a recall campaign against Persky.

While lawyers were selecting jury members for Persky’s new case, which is unrelated to Turner, prospective jurors told Persky, “I can’t believe what you did,” and “I can’t be here, I’m so upset,” according to the San Jose Mercury News. In each case, Persky replied with “I understand” and excused the upset juror.

If jurors continue to protest being assigned to Persky’s cases, it could cause problems by prolonging the jury-selection process, the Mercury News reports.


3 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:12 am

"I see some posters from "another community" are already trying to discredit your message since they cannot challenge your facts or first hand knowledge of the details of the case."

So being from another community invalidates one's arguments? If so, your statement is illogical. Surely a better retort than that could have been made.


8 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:30 am

"Brock Turner's claim that he lacked experience with drinking which does not appear to match his prior history."

And that is an excuse? [Portion removed.]

Perhaps the Weekly could anonymously interview some Stanford students with knowledge of what went on? Then again, that might be missing the point. The ultimate goal is often to tell a good story so as to engage the readers.


51 people like this
Posted by Anne FRA- Attorney
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:48 am

I want to thank the juror who wrote the letter as well as his/her colleagues on the jury for their service to the community. Jury duty is a tough civic duty and this letter attests to how seriously this juror took the charge.


33 people like this
Posted by John Myles
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 14, 2016 at 8:50 am

Fact is, it really doesn't matter what this juror (or any other juror for something like this) thinks should or should not be the punishment for a crime like this. He states in his letter: "The Judge didn't listen to us" How didn't he listen? You found him guilty and the verdict stood. The juries job is guilty or innocent, End of Story.

I'd be VERY VERY frightened to live in a society where a bunch of uninformed people get to unilaterally dole out punishments with little to no accountability, which is how juries operate.

What this Turner kid did was horrible, but that isn't the point of this article is it? This article implies this juror should have some kind of say in a sentence/punishment, which is not how our legal system works (Thank God).




6 people like this
Posted by Mike Littlefield
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 9:22 am

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by impoundguy
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

Well said and "very clear"...unfortunately the judge in this case was totally deaf i


14 people like this
Posted by Emmanuel
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:20 am

@John Myles: totally agreed. I'd very much be afraid if untrained citizen jurists were the ones to unilaterally mete out specific terms of punishment.

The juror does not mention when describing the terms of the "ridiculously lenient" sentence, that Persky requiring Turner be registered as a sex offender. He lost me there. That's part's worst of it, not the jail time, folks. If you think lifetime sex offender registration in the US is lenient, we're very much on different planets.


20 people like this
Posted by Tecsi
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:32 am

Tecsi is a registered user.

Can we try to not hyperbolize.

To say Brock did not incur consequences is simply not accurate. Should he had served a longer sentence? Probably, but we don't know Persky's full reasoning. Although I do worry about the character references and alcohol factors.

On the alcohol issue, I am troubled by how we say one person cannot possibly give consent when drunk (unconscious is clearly another case), but the other person can be drunk and is fully responsible. Perhaps someone can clear this up for me.


21 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:40 am

I'm curious why all the focus seems to be on Judge Persky...all he did was to take the recommendation of the Deputy Probation Officer Monica Lassettre.

Lassettre, who recommended a sentence of four to six months in county jail, also wrote that Turner would “likely be highly impacted as a result of his convictions, and he surrendered a hard earned swimming scholarship.”
Web Link

This recommendation of Lassettre's was also signed off by Laura Garnette-Chief Probation officer.


51 people like this
Posted by Freeman
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:44 am

I've read the trial documents. I'm absolutely convinced of the defendant's guilt. He was in no way credible.

What gets me is that Judge Persky sat there at the sentencing hearing and accepted the word of a defendant claiming that he stood ready to accept whatever sentence he was given, while standing RIGHT NEXT TO Dennis Riordan, HIS FAMOUSLY HIGH-PRICED APPELLATE ATTORNEY (not the same guy as the attorney of record during his trial). Huh? How does that happen? Corruption if you ask me. I'd follow the money, starting with Laura Garnette, the probation officer who made the recommendation to the judge. And I wouldn't stop there.

And the idiotic plan for this disgusting rapist to "atone" by lecturing other students about the dangers of alcohol abuse and promiscuity? How is that supposed to work? Does he plan to go on tour with Bill Cosby?

This whole case stinks to high heaven.


26 people like this
Posted by been there
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:45 am

@Emmanuel: It may be rough trying to navigate through life being a registered sex offender, but, most offenders will offer up some lame reason for the entire thing - putting the blame yet again on the victim. Poor Brock, he must be the real victim. Enough of defending the guilty!


22 people like this
Posted by Freeman
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:54 am

@Tecsi:
How can we say that drunkenness on the part of the victim makes them more responsible for the crime against them, while simultaneously insisting that drunkenness on the part of the perpetrator makes them less responsible for the crime? Maybe you can clear that up for me.

Let's put this another way. Suppose you go to a party, get drunk, and temporarily lose the ability to care for yourself. In your drunken stupor, another party-goer takes your wallet, leaves the party, and maxes out all your credit cards. Does your drunkenness relieve the thief of any responsibility for the crime whatsoever?


9 people like this
Posted by SU08
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:06 am

A lifetime sex offender registration in the US for a 20 year old is already a 58 year sentence on average male lifespan.


10 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:11 am

Freeman...I too read the trial documents. The victim is quoted as saying:

I want him to be punished but as a human, I just want him to get better. I don't want him to feel like his life is over and I don't want him to rot away in jail; he doesn't need to be behind bars.

The victim further stated she would like the defendant be ordered to participate in counseling to ensure something like this never happens again.
Page 5 Brock Turner Sentencing Packet.


41 people like this
Posted by Freeman
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:28 am

You're leaving a lot out, Carlos. Those things she wanted for Turner were contingent upon his acceptance of full responsibility for his actions. As long as he continues to blame his actions on a culture of "alcohol and promiscuity" instead of owning his behavior, it is not possible for him to "get better" -- he will only continue on the lifelong path of privileged avoidance of responsibility that his parents have so thoroughly instilled in him. The victim understands this. I hope someday you, Judge Persky, and others will get it too.


62 people like this
Posted by "making mistakes vs. Breaking the law
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:51 am

"making mistakes vs. Breaking the law is a registered user.

She was foolish to get so drunk as to make herself vulnerable, but she didn't harm anyone while she was under the influence. HE raped someone someone. If you get drunk and do harm to another person, like mowing down a person with your car, you will be charged. She didn't harm anyone. HE did, and so he was tried for the crime of rape. If he had committed some other crime under the influence, he would have been charged with that and punished. That's the difference between "making a mistake" and "breaking the law." Teach your sons and daughters well.

She was a VICTIM who made the mistake of getting drunk. He made the mistake of getting drunk, but he committed a CRIME while under the influence. As an adult, he is RESPONSIBLE for that crime. There is a very important difference. Stop blaming the victim. HE is responsible for his crime under the law.


11 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:57 am

It took a concerted effort by many people and groups, perhaps MADD being the most visible, to make drunk driving punishment severe enough to make a dent in how often it happened.

If both Brock and the victim were involved in a hit and run resulting in severe injuries would that be okay because he worked so hard to get a swimming scholarship?

I don't know how credible Brock is that he would never commit the same mistake again. Does that mean he will be careful not to be caught or that he respects other people enough not to assault them?


24 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Turner's action was criminal & terrible. [Portion removed.]

I am female. I was violently raped on a downtown Palo Alto sidewalk when I was 26. Since I was fully conscious & had consumed no alcohol, I do remember my experience. I was walking from a movie theater to my car, a couple of blocks away at 10pm. [Portion removed.]

I do not blame the victim. I do caution women to consider honestly why they choose to go to fraternity parties. It is unlikely to be because they want to enjoy conversation with & company of other women. I caution adult women to avoid the company of drunk teenagers. I caution women not to walk alone at night even if it's pretty early & only a couple of blocks to the car.

I recovered. My scrapes, bruises & torn fingernails healed. My attacker was never caught, although since he also took my wallet & got my driving license, he did phone me later to tell me how much he "enjoyed meeting me" and wanted "to do it again." I feel no guilt or shame, as I did nothing wrong.

Rape is a terrible crime. Perpetrators should be punished & victims should be supported. I'd have more respect for Emily Doe if she'd indicated positive steps she's taking to heal [portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Meg
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:11 pm

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears


7 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Freeman: I don't think I left out a lot. This is what Deputy Probation Officer Monica Lassettre wrote:

"During the presentence interview, the defendant expressed sincere remorse and empathy. He stated: having imposed suffering on someone else and causing someone else pain-I mean I can barely live with myself...Her (the victim) having to go through the justice system because of my actions just...its unforgivable" Page 11 Brock Turner Sentencing Package

DPO Lassettre also wrote: This officer was struck by the victim's ability to digest the gravity and ramifications of the defendant's behavior and while she was understandably traumatized by the experience, her focus and concern was TREATMENT (my capitalization) rather than incarceration. Page 11

Freeman, clearly the professionals involved (Laura Garnette, Monica Lassettre and Frank Nesci-Supervising Probation Officer) believed that Turner was genuinely remorseful. In addition, it appears that the victim's desire for Turner to get treatment rather than incarceration played a part in their recommended sentence (which Judge Persky imposed).




4 people like this
Posted by like minds
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Wonder whether this juror read the statements of the Stanford professor leading the campaign to unseat the judge before penning this. Lots of the same points are made by the two:

Juror: "this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults"
Michele Dauber, leading the campaign to unseat Judge Persky: "it makes women less safe at Stanford and other colleges"

Juror: "ridiculously lenient sentence"
Dauber: "he imposed such a light and lenient sentence"

Juror: " he has never expressed sorrow or regret"
Dauber: "neither apologized, expressed regret"

Juror: "will make these victims less willing to report their attacks"
Dauber: " Women are going to be deterred from coming forward and reporting their crimes"

Juror: "Shame on you."
Dauber: "agree ...'Shame on you.'"

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


19 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Good for the juror. Good for Dauber. There are only so many ways to express outrage at the absurdly light sentence.


22 people like this
Posted by A Parent
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

@Carlos,

A couple points:

- the DPO clearly mis-interpreted the victim's intent, since the victim has expressed outrage at the sentence and said probation report did not reflect her views. So either her comments were out of context or misconstrued - she is outraged.

- I wonder if the DPO was duped by Turner. My guess is that a PO does not deal with many doe-eyed midwestern Stanford students, who like many high-functioning kids are extremely good at putting on the perfect child appearance for the adults in their lives, while in the meantime doing whatever. I'm sure he told her exactly what she wanted to hear, being well-coached by excellent counsel. Clearly she believed it; I and many others do not.


4 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Alcohol abuse is the reason for this particular problem. I stated that before and will continue to say that. I am NOT a teatotaller, as I do have a drink with dinner, and sometimes on a hot day.

I have not seen anything in the reported conversations about what took place in the court, regarding the elimination of drinking for the individuals involved. [Portion removed due to inaccuracies.]

We need to learn from this! Drinking is restricted by law to persons of the age of 21, this assumes that by the age of 21 you are mature enough to avoid abusing alcohol! I know, when I was young, and under age, at 14, I too drank alcohol, but I had already seen far too many people who were drunk and I couldn't believe how stupid they were being, and there was no way I ever wanted to copy them! To this day I cannot understand why people will voluntarily subject themselves to, at best, a hangover, or at worst harming or killing themselves, or someone else.

This is about alcohol abuse. If abuse of alcohol and/or drugs is allowed to continue due to the absolute stupidity of people, then these events will continue to reccur. Do I believe alcohol abuse will ever come to a stop? In a word, NO!


2 people like this
Posted by Helena
a resident of Ohlone School
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:03 pm

I suppose this point has already been made - To the Editor of Palo Alto Online: To properly protect the privacy of the person (juror), they must be referred to using the gender neutral pronoun "They". Using "He" and "Him" already dilutes their privacy significantly.

Editor's Note: The juror did not object to identifying him as male.


8 people like this
Posted by Green mom
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

So, being drunk excuses people from commiting crimes? Alexander wrote: "Universities downplay state prison crimes by the brightest and the best because it tarnishes the patina of exclusivity, brilliant students, and the national championships that generate the reputation for amassing commanding wealth". What bothers me the most, is that "athleete stars" are also excused from criminal behavior convictions, just because they are "stars"? What does it have to do with justice? isnt this society sick? Money rules! over everything!
I just cannot help it but to think of some types of national wannabe leaders some people follow.... This society is sick.


13 people like this
Posted by Mary Comparetto
a resident of Woodside
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:41 pm

It's a known fact that rapists can't be rehabilitated and will commit the same crime again and again. Therefore, this juror is right to be appalled. The only fair sentence is death or life in prison.


2 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Athletes not always smart
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Hardly a day goes by that we don't read about some athlete getting into a fight in a bar, or beating up his wife, sometimes shooting or stabbing her, or in a drunken auto accident.
Maybe it is also time to stop treating athletes with so much admiration and recognizing that so many of them are violent, and not very smart.

In the Turner case, I wonder whether he is actually smart, and how he got admitted to the University. Was it his sports credentials, and not brains?


21 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:04 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The proper sentence would have been 14 years in state prison and a lifetime wearing of a tracking anklet. [Portion removed.] If I were in that jury I would be mad as hell too. Personally, I would never serve on a jury in trial that has Aaron Persky as the judge.


1 person likes this
Posted by Annette
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I didn't think this sordid tragedy could get any worse, but this forum has proven me wrong.


10 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Nice well written letter, but is it helpful? I say not. He is entitled to his opinion like we all are. Maybe going forward, judges should make it very clear to the jurists what their responsibilities are and where that ends. They should know that their job is done when they reach a verdict and will not be involved in the sentencing.

And to those chiming in...Jackie, just keep doing your job in Washington, and Ladoris, did you ever have a case like this one and how did it happen that you didn't stay on as a judge? I guess running for council in PA was a better deal?

So, let mob mentality, the ousters, prevail. Go for the recall which I don't support and let's see what happens. I'll vote 'no'. If enough rational people vote, he'll keep his job and people, on both sides, will be happy to have him as their judge.


6 people like this
Posted by Sue
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 5:01 pm

I'm in another community, but I used to live in Nor Cal, and I miss it.

Anyway, re:

@Tecsi:
How can we say that drunkenness on the part of the victim makes them more responsible for the crime against them, while simultaneously insisting that drunkenness on the part of the perpetrator makes them less responsible for the crime? Maybe you can clear that up for me.

Let's put this another way. Suppose you go to a party, get drunk, and temporarily lose the ability to care for yourself. In your drunken stupor, another party-goer takes your wallet, leaves the party, and maxes out all your credit cards. Does your drunkenness relieve the thief of any responsibility for the crime whatsoever?
____

A better analogy is two people get drunk at a party. One passes out on the sidewalk. The other drunk person gets in his car, drives onto the sidewalk, and runs the unconscious person over, killing him/her. That drunk driver is 100% responsible for vehicular manslaughter, and will serve some prison time (very rarely a year in jail). If drunk drivers, thieves, murderers, etc., can't argue diminished capacity because of the booze, it's no different for sex assault.


13 people like this
Posted by A Parent
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jun 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm

@Sue, I'm not an expert at criminal law, but perhaps you are. In your example, if the driver is not drunk, but drives on the sidewalk due to inattention (fiddling with the radio say), is the crime or punishment different? A defendant can argue diminished mental capacity due to intoxication, but in a situation like Turner's, I'm not sure whether or why it is a mitigating factor. "Don't worry, Your Honor, I only rape women when I'm drunk" defense?


9 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 5:57 pm

@Tecsi:
How can we say that drunkenness on the part of the victim makes them more responsible for the crime against them, while simultaneously insisting that drunkenness on the part of the perpetrator makes them less responsible for the crime? Maybe you can clear that up for me.

Let's put this another way. Suppose you go to a party, get drunk, and temporarily lose the ability to care for yourself. In your drunken stupor, another party-goer takes your wallet, leaves the party, and maxes out all your credit cards. Does your drunkenness relieve the thief of any responsibility for the crime whatsoever?
==========================================================

Bad analogy. If while drunk you tell someone he can use your credit cards and max them out then how responsible is he for doing what you gave him permission to do? Contracts signed when a person is drunk are valid in most cases. From what I have read courts are usually not very sympathetic to people who claim they were intoxicated when they signed a contract.


4 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Posted by Athletes not always smart
a resident of another community
2 hours ago
"Hardly a day goes by that we don't read about some athlete getting into a fight in a bar, or beating up his wife, sometimes shooting or stabbing her, or in a drunken auto accident.
Maybe it is also time to stop treating athletes with so much admiration and recognizing that so many of them are violent, and not very smart.

In the Turner case, I wonder whether he is actually smart, and how he got admitted to the University. Was it his sports credentials, and not brains?"

I'll second that!

Add in misogynistic rappers and various Hollywood idiots who offend multiple time with very little consequence (violence-related, car crash related, drug/alcohol abuse related arrests). I'm often astonished how they skate free.


5 people like this
Posted by Steve21
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 14, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Steve21 is a registered user.

I suspect that Judge Persky having been a Stanford lacrosse player and assistant coach played a role in the sentencing but not in the way that is being generally assumed. Lacrosse is known as the fastest game on two feet. Speed is a great asset for a lacrosse player.
As a lacrosse player and coach, Persky has a much better appreciation of the distance covered in a certain period of time by a guy with a certain physique and level of athleticism than the average person. Said knowledge probably led him to conclude that the account of Brock Turner fleeing by running away offered by the Swedish graduate students, Jonsson and Arndt, was not reliable.

The juror stated that Brock Turner running away was instrumental in the juries guilty verdict.

"One of the most compelling pieces of evidence presented during the trial, in this juror's eyes, was the fact that Turner ran away after two Stanford graduate students noticed him on top of an unmoving woman and asked loudly, "What the f— are you doing?" Both of those students testified during the trial that they chased Turner, one tackling him to the ground and holding him until the police arrived."

"We looked at the whole weight of the evidence, but I think those (pieces of evidence) were particularly impactful," he said."

Have not read the trial transcript but have read the Police Report and all other documents available online as well as watched interviews with the Swedish graduate students.
According to the Police Report, Brock Turner was pinned down 25 yards from where Emily Doe was lying unconscious. According to Brock Turner's account in the Police Report, it was ten yards. It is unclear which figure is closer to being accurate or if 10 yards is the distance he actually stated during the Interview the morning of the incident.
Jonsson and Arndt have described Brock Turner running away rapidly. Arndt stated that Turner's running did not signal that he was drunk. So, even if we assume that Turner and Jonsson have the same running speed and unless we assume that Turner's speed was significantly affected by his having consumed alcohol, there is no way that Jonsson could have caught up to Turner and tackled him 25 yards away let alone 10 yards away, if Jonsson stopped to check on Emily Doe for even a few seconds before taking off after Turner.
Jonsson and Arndt state that Jonsson caught up with Turner after running 35 yards. Upon catching up Jonsson told Turner to stop many times. Turner continued to run so Jonsson tripped Turner. Look at the second hand on your watch and say stop about five times; it takes about five seconds.
Assuming they were running at 7 second 50 yard dash pace, they would have covered another 107 feet before Jonsson tackled Turner, that is added on to the 105 feet(35 yards) that they had covered when Jonsson says he caught up with Turner. So, Jonsson and Arndt should have had Turner pinned over 200 feet from where Emily Doe was lying unconscious. Yet, she was lying only 75 feet according to the Police Report and 30 feet according to Turner.
As stated above, I have not read the trial transcript and do not know if this was brought up during the trial but if either location of Turner is accurate and if Turner was running all out to flee, then it just is not possible for Jonsson to have caught up to Turner in that distance if he first stopped to check on Emily Doe and in any event Turner was pinned down 10 yards closer to Emily Doe, 75 feet, than the distance he states he caught up with Turner and started telling him to stop, 35 yards.
Judge Persky having been a lacrosse player and coach and being familiar with the time it takes to cover a certain distance probably realized that Turner could not have been running away.
Judge Persky having familiarity with the Stanford campus and how dark certain areas can be on nights such as January 17, 2015, when there is only a crescent moon, might also have questioned how much Jonsson and Arndt could have noted of the movements of a couple in the bushes/trees while riding bicycles at maybe a 10 mph pace.
At the time Jonsson and Armdt dismounted their bicycles, they were still 30 feet away from where Emily Doe was lying. My understanding is she was not lying on the path side of the dumpsters but on the fence side in the trees/bushes.
Web Link
Jerry House is at the top of the screen; Kappa Alpha is at the bottom:
Web Link
If that is the case, depending on where she was lying, it is unclear how unobstructed of a view Jonsson and Arndt would have had as they approached at let's say 10mph pace (15 feet/second) on the path from the NE. In other words, traveling along the path from Jerry House to Kappa Alpha.
Did the Defense present maps/photos of the area for the jurors to see or did the jurors go out there and see the terrain and where Emily Doe was lying and Brock was pinned, to what extent was this witness testimony examined. We do not know because the trial transcript is not yet available.


33 people like this
Posted by Jumping the shark
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 14, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Amazing how the idea that a man should go to prison for two years for assaulting an unconscious woman brings out the lunatic fringe, conspiracy theorists, former "frat rats" and other undesirables.

Persky has the misfortune of being on the wrong side of a moral awakening. He may be beloved of the court bureaucracy and the defense bar, but his chance of holding on to his office is about zero. If I were him, I would return to private practice before this gets worse. But one thing Judge Persky seems to lack is good judgment.


22 people like this
Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

@Jumping - I think you have a good point re: "a moral awakening." This will be a watershed case in how people think about campus rape. The idea that you get one free sexual assault if you are in college, but the next one counts! Or, Your Honor, I only rape when I'm drunk (and only rape drunk girls)! People will shake their heads in disbelief that we ever thought this way.


6 people like this
Posted by Ben Rumson
a resident of University South
on Jun 14, 2016 at 7:16 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by vkmo
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm

At Stanford there is a rape every 2 weeks, which never goes to court. Why should this rape be punished? The frat booze party organizers know that many ladies who get drunk within the frat property - and behind drapes and behind walls- frequently get raped. Nevertheless they distribute large quantities of liquor and don't help ladies (and guys) who have over-consumed. Those who were sober within the party - should have offered to drive the lady and Brock to safe destinations (or offered to call their friends/relatives to get them home). All the Stanford raped people and rapists (other than Brock) are safe. Why give Brock Turner such a punishment???? His participation in the Olympics is now doubtful, his participation in Stanford sports has been quashed.


23 people like this
Posted by You are kidding
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm

I have been a counselor for almost 40 years and have worked with victims of sexual assault. One notable case of a woman who is a very successful lawyer in her 40's. She was raped freshman year of college and is STILL haunted by the violence, the disregard for her and the fact that her assailant got off. This is what I hear in my office every day. Turner will go on to live I'm sure a fine life. He's going to appeal having to register as a sex offender and with our biased rape culture legal system he'll be able to get that taken off his sentence. After all---oh right he's WHITE! I would love to know the statistics on young men from East Palo Alto and young men from just 3 miles away in Palo Alto being sentenced for rape. Let me guess.....I don't need to. The ONLY reason this came to trial anyway was that two men caught Turner in the act. Any of you above who believe the judge did a fine thing has never been raped and I assume any of your daughters, friends, sisters or nieces have never told you about their rapes or you would have a different opinion of this. The parole officer's recommendation is also tainted by classism and sexism. How do you all not see this? Just because she's woman doesn't make her (or any of the women above) less subject to sexism inherent in the system. The victim is yesterday's trash. No one clearly cares about her. Just him. As usual the boy who is drunk gets off because he couldn't know what he was doing. The girl who was drunk is just a loser. She will be lost with this the rest of her life. What shall she register as life long? A survivor? A victim? A devastated daughter of all of us.....one more left by the dumpster to fend for herself. God bless this juror for speaking out and god bless the young men who attacked him. How can you help? Here's the link to help with the recall: Web Link. Make a donation if you can. We owe it to all our daughters and our sons. My son I'm sure was drunk many times in college. He never raped a girl. He's as disgusted as am I.


16 people like this
Posted by Anna
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 9:17 pm

@Tesci:

Thank you for this comment. I am so happy to hear someone else call out the hyperbolization in this case.

Irrespective of sentence length and registered-offender status or not, the assailant most definitely has already been affected. The seriousness and swiftness with which his attack was treated by Stanford has affected him and I am confident will serve as a deterrent to many others. We should recognize and thank Stanford for this (even if we feel that this type of response should be expected.) The assailant will be affected by the country- and world-wide condemnation and conversation sparked by this case -- hopefully. Hopefully he and his parents, and his hometown, have heard loud-and-clear that their vile, self-absorbed excuses for his acts are unconscionable to the community at large. Let's also be clear: his mother and his father have failed him. If his mother and father did not want her son to be brutalized in prison, she should have made sure she raised a son who understood the difference between right and wrong. Hopefully the national outcry has reminded affluent parents everywhere that they have a job to do, and that that job is to protect their children from decision-making that will send them to prison.

The outcry and national attention this case has received is exactly what our country needed. Without this attention, the assailant may have walked out of three months in jail without having to face and grapple with the nature of his crimes. But in this specific case, because of the energy and contribution of everyone who has raised their voice, we as a nation have found a way to redress the wrong inherent in the slap-on-the-wrist sentence.





2 people like this
Posted by Joan
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Let's not say "athletes not always smart". Also, let's not equate "frat boys" with "rapists". I am a woman who has lived with many frat boys as neighbors in college, even living in the fraternities over the summer (with several other women) and guys. Most men in fraternities are NOT rapists. Many men in fraternities and many athletes are 100% not going to rape a woman who isn't interested. Moreover, when you say "frat boys" are "rapists" you're on a slippery slope to blaming the victims for attending social events at the fraternities in the first place. And that's just NOT the case. There are many activities and social groups that young people partake in. Fraternities, parties, sports -- none of these are inherently bad. Let's focus the conversation on condemning vile acts.



16 people like this
Posted by Pancho
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I posted this a day ago and it never showed up. The more I read of trial documents, the more I realized that my guesses were quite accurate.
I've read the documents available here, plus the victims statement, as well as a good deal of information available regarding Judge Persky's behavior in the DeAnza college baseball team gang rape case. I have not read the trial transcripts but hope they will become available. I am extremely familiar with the criminal justice system via having been involved in many roles for the last 60 years, including as an advocate for victims, defendants and prisoners, a service provider, the vice chair of a grand jury, as a pro se litigant, expert witness, court appointed Guardian ad litem and correctional expert. Perhaps the most striking thing in this case, besides Persky's sentencing, is the "phoned in," flaky, boiler plate probation report which was signed off on by the officer's supervisor. I can't imagine that more than an hour was spent compiling it. The latter two women are at least as responsible for this tragic miscarriage of justice as was Persky himself. All three should be required to read Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow," and write a report on it. This sorry and poisonous affair reeks of the social, gender, economic and racial injustice that continues unabated to permeate our entire system of jurisprudence.


12 people like this
Posted by Lotus
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Dave - unconscious people can't sign contracts, and sex is one "contract" where a party can change his/her mind, drunk or not. Not to respect the change of mind, or state of consciousness of the other party and proceed anyway is rape.


5 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:42 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@mauricio "He didn't find Turner's story credible because the evidence suggested it wasn't credible. We now know "
Evidence? suggested? now "we" "know" what?

Until official full text transcripts of the trial are released to the public, all "we know" is that 471 pages of documents were released rather speedily post sentencing by the Superior Court a few days ago - some of which were post trial, pre-sentencing material. Don't confuse pre-sentencing materials submitted by the ADA as fact. If the material was admissible evidence, the ADA would have used that information during the trial period to bolster her case. The DA's Office had BT's cell phone in its possession since 01/18/2015. Imho, the ADA included inflammatory cell phone information pre-sentencing not because she thought it would have an impact on an experienced jurist like Judge Persky - Persky wasn't born yesterday. Rather I suspect the incendiary information was submitted to Judge Persky post trial because it would become part of the 471 pages of court documents released to the public.

As for the comments made by the jurist, what you and others see as courageous, I perceive as potential grounds for a mistrial, together with the actions and outrageous remarks made by the ADA, which she admitted to telling the jury, in her summation. This ADA is employed by Santa Clara County taxpayers to prosecute each individual for specific alleged crimes committed in Santa Clara County by the individual. It's not her job to prosecute what an individual looks like or stereotypes or symbols.

If the ADA wants to hitch herself to the hip of an outspoken SJW activist with a personal axe to grind, the ADA can pursue those ventures on her own time, on her own time. It is not within her prosecutorial authority or job description to use individual court cases to promote personal or social agendas. Dropping the 2 bogus rape charges a week before trial was start even though she knew there was no evidence for rape charges 9 months before the trial started is ethically questionable, if not grounds for appeal. By her actions, the ADA consciously poisoned the Santa Clara County potential jury pool with falsehoods. Even the juror post trial referenced in this article used the term "rapist" which begs the question how open minded all the jurors were if one of them demonstrates a total confusion about the actual charges BT was accused of committing. And the ADA's boss, DA Rosen, was also an ethically challenged county employee or outright muddled (which doesn't befit the position he holds) with his post sentencing patently false comment of "Rape is rape." BT was not charged with rape in the trial. The guilty verdict was not about rape. Judge Persky's sentencing was not about rape. I'm a SCC resident and taxpayer and frankly right now in my mind at least, it's not Judge Persky, who should be reported for professional misconduct.

I don't know if BT is truly guilty of the charges or not. If juries were 100% infallible in their guilty verdicts, there wouldn't be any acquittals on appeal. What I feel and it's a sad realization that has grown more strongly with each passing day is that BT did not receive a fair trial. Trial by innuendo and close minds is why there is an Appeal process. Whether BT can receive a fair hearing on Appeal anywhere in this state is another question.


2 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:07 am

skinny is a registered user.

@Lotus "Not to respect the change of mind, or state of consciousness of the other party and proceed anyway is rape." You must be referring to another court case than the one under discussion. None of the 3 charges that BT was found guilty of committing was rape.


3 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:52 am

The judge did what he had to do because he was protecting his Alma Mater in his own mind. There was no doubt tireless behind the scenes phone calling, lunches, golf games, etc. that were all about protecting the judges Alma Mater and fraternities on the campus. Is that correct Judge?

Judge Persky said: Mr. Turner had "less moral culpability" for his actions because he was intoxicated, and he had "no significant record of prior criminal offenses." Are you really saying White class, well to do family has privileges. Not to mention AFFLUENCE. Alcohol and Intoxication are terrible excuses.

The judge no doubt fondly recalls his days at Stanford and his own privileged life. [Portion removed.]

At long last there is no moral decency with this judge and he should be ousted. There was no honor here. Sex Offenders are said to be some of the highest recidivists. Only time will tell about Mr. Turner and what we have since learned. Please do the correct thing make an apology [portion removed.]


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:55 am

skinny is a registered user.

@Ben Rumson "I see some posters from "another community" are already trying to discredit your message since they cannot challenge your facts or first hand knowledge of the details of the case." Believe it or not, Palo Alto is not the only city in Santa Clara County. I hate to be the one to disabuse you of the false notion that the Santa Clara County DA's Office does not work exclusively for Palo Alto residents. Consider yourself to be in good company because a Stanford employee is also seemingly confused. Shocking as it may seem, as a US citizen and Santa Clara resident, I could have been called to serve on this jury. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:59 am

skinny is a registered user.

@ Ben Rumson reponse - typo about false notion - should read "...DA's Office does work..."


13 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:14 am

skinny is a registered user.

@Anna "Let's also be clear: his mother and his father have failed him. If his mother and father did not want her son to be brutalized in prison, she should have made sure she raised a son who understood the difference between right and wrong. Hopefully the national outcry has reminded affluent parents everywhere that they have a job to do, and that that job is to protect their children from decision-making that will send them to prison. The outcry and national attention this case has received is exactly what our country needed. " Wait...so now BT's parents are on trial and SJW's are the jurors? Btw if you had read trial documents, you would know that BT and his parents are not "affluent." It's an inconvenient fact that doesn't work well with the SJW script. And as for what our country needed - the framers - you know, the men ( cover your eyes) who wrote the Constitution upon which this country is founded, anyways - those guys - did not envision a role for mob rule and agenda driven lawless activists. Sorry, but that's the way it is.


1 person likes this
Posted by Ben Rumson
a resident of University South
on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:06 am

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by isitpossible
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

is it possible that the judge connects with Turner as a student athlete and is somehow forgiving him?


4 people like this
Posted by @notsoskinny
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

Given how you have been trolling every story on the Brock Turner case on this website, I have to ask: are you being paid by the post?


15 people like this
Posted by ModernDemagogue
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

This will be unpopular, but this type of letter from a juror indicates *exactly* why the sentence was so light.

The juror is relying not on conclusive evidence or fact, but clearly came to conclusions about Turner's intent and state of mind based on circumstantial evidence which does not necessarily support any specific conclusion. He calls Turner untrustworthy and questions his credibility, despite there being no alternative version of events from the victim, and no contradiction from the witnesses.

I'm frankly surprised the Judge didn't set aside the verdict based on the evidence.

It's ironic that this juror would make this statement, because it appears to give Turner's attorney's all the grounds necessary for an appeal.

Coming to a verdict so that it will serve as a strong deterrent to others on campuses? Please. This juror never should have been on the panel and clearly cannot separate fact from presumption.


27 people like this
Posted by Richard Alexander
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:24 am

Richard Alexander is a registered user.

"Moral awakening" is exactly right. Wish I had said that. Women also need to talk to men about the seriousness of these offenses. Most men don't ever consider being so grossly violated until they are sentenced to state prison. Then the reality sets in.

The sea change in understanding the long-term impact of sexual assault has not reached the Adult Probation Department. APD is an arm of the Court that prepares sentencing reports and the department is heavily relied upon by all judges because it is accepted for its expertise.

One serious aspect of this debacle is the law itself. My explanation of the legal changes that are needed are in today's Mercury.

Web Link


13 people like this
Posted by cid
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

cid is a registered user.

Judge Persky has proven himself to be a loyal Former Stanford Male Athlete Alum. (LaCrosse Captain) who wishes to protect the status of BOTH his own Alma Mater and a disgraced athlete who is now a convicted felon-sex offender, albeit with a VERY light sentence. Persky sends the wrong message to victims, jurors and white male athletes everywhere. "It's No big deal - Over rulled!"

HE SHOULD HAVE RECUSED HIMSELF AS JUDGE.


6 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm

skinny is a registered user.

Saul Alinsky is dead, but his ideas for "pragmatic radicals" endure to this day. There are elements about the BT case and the angry mob outrage it has fueled remind me of the verbal warfare tactics outlined by Alinsky in his book "Rules for Radicals." The book is available in pdf format on the web for perusal, all 196 pages of unethical, deceitful ways to mobilize the masses to win a self-serving goal, ostensibly for the greater good, for those who don't or can't have a voice yada, yada. It was published in 1971 and directed at middle class college students, "closet revolutionaries, as it were, who are Boomer progressive leading voices of change today. Sections entitled "Of Means and Ends" ( p. 25 on) and "Tactics" ( p. 137 on) are my favorites and what I see in play regarding the BT case.

BT has been fashioned into a symbol of young white male entitled privilege and Judge Persky has been drawn to represent older existing white male privilege that supports the former by using laws to oppress and perpetuate injustices to women everywhere.

Rule 13 "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."BT and Judge Persky are the targets. Alinsky said the targets must be portrayed as 100% wrong, not all good, because without absolute wrong, there's no win.

Rule 8: "Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose." Obvious examples: biased media, posturing politicians, ambitious useful tools in the DA's office, leaked selective quotations from documents taken out of context, half-truths, omissions of fact about what Judicial guidelines for sentencing are in force in CA, and as an extra bonus, Judge Persky's mandated silence makes him unavailable for comment, so why not promote oneself as the Guru expert for prevailing laws and rules and Justice for Women in his mandated "absence."

Rule 7: " A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. " So mix it up a little. Direct character assassination of BT gets boring after a while, so move on to threatening, ostracizing a few of BT's character references - they're rapist apologists after all, and then as the final piece de resistance shame and ridicule BT's parents and encourage militant dupes to picket their home.

Rule 12: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying "You're right — we don't know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us." So the alternative proposed is replacing Judge Persky with a female jurist because only a female can understand female issues and concerns. Only a female judge will bring Justice for females victimized daily, if not hourly, not only by individual males ( like BT) but also by institutionalized misogeny ( like Judge Persky).


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

skinny is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by deborah Sichel
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Although this jail sentence is far too lenient, the real punishment is that he has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. This is truly a severe punishment. This will never go away. He is punished for the rest of his life. He will have no happiness, and his ability to work and earn a living is in doubt. .His victim had alcohol poisoning to the extent that she was unconscious and the correct response should have been to call 911 and have her immediately transported to a hospital.. She could have died while he was [portion removed] her. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

skinny is a registered user.

Re: Alinsky - typo in Rule 13 - instead of "not all good" - it should read "not anything at all good".


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Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

skinny is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] There might have been a hypothetical risk for alcohol poisoning for some of the attendees at the frat party as a result of their alcohol over-indulgence. However the risk for accidental fatal alcohol poisoning is the elephant in the room that no parent or college administrator wants to talk about much. Getting pie-faced drunk and engaging in incidental hookups at weekend campus parties seems to have evolved into a beloved American tradition.


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Posted by Janet
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm

@John Myles & Emmanuel: Actually with laws that govern how long a sentence can last, a jury recommendation on sentencing could be helpful. They're already allowed in most states (all but 3) to determine punishment in death penalty cases. If people can be charged with sentencing a fellow citizen to die, why not let them weigh in on lesser punishments. You could still allow for judicial overrides, but it would allow the jury to express their belief on how they feel the convicted person should be punished.

Part of why the six-months-in-county is viewed as ridiculously lenient, aside from the time & location, is that it is so far under the minimum for the crime that it could lead to Turner winning an appeal. The registered sex offender status could then be removed. He could not only get a light sentence in lockup, but have his conviction erased completely. That's pretty jarring.


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Posted by parents' letters
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Read between the lines of Brock's parents' letters: it seems to me that they indicated that Brock was suffering from major depressive disorder and that incarceration could put him at high risk for suicide. IMO this does NOT justify a short sentence, but should elicit some more empathy for the accused.


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Posted by @parents' letters
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

"Read between the lines of Brock's parents' letters: it seems to me that they indicated that Brock was suffering from major depressive disorder and that incarceration could put him at high risk for suicide. IMO this does NOT justify a short sentence, but should elicit some more empathy for the accused."

BULL.

Brock Turner didn't have to sexually assault a woman. He should have suffered the full consequences of his crime.

End. Of. Story.


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Posted by Lourdes
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2016 at 9:22 am

Tecsi is "troubled" because "how can we say one person cannot possibly give consent when drunk (unconscious is clearly another case), but the other person can be drunk and is fully responsible" and would like "someone to clear this [issue] for [him]." Tecsi is being disingenuous at best. No one can clear up this issue for Tecsi because Tecsi is seeking reassurance that Brock Turner was not guilty because he was drunk. [Portion removed.]
It reaffirms my faith in humanity to see that the majority of the commenters have the moral character to know that what Brock Turner did was vile, despicable, reprehensible, disgusting, uncivilized, and evidence of a complete lack of moral fiber and of respect for other human beings. I celebrate the public condemnation of Judge Persky's decision to give Brock Turner a light sentence because Brock Turner's vile sexual assault of the victim is completely and absolutely inexcusable and unpardonable.
The premise of Tecsi's and Judge Persky's thinking is that Brock Turner, being a young man from a well to do family and a star athlete at Stanford, could not commit such a vicious and brutal sexual assault. This dissonance (and also identification with Brock Turner) makes them think that Brock Turner must have been deranged by alcohol. Wrong! Brock Turner sexually assaulted the victim because Brock Turner wanted to sexually assault the victim and did not have the strong moral fiber that would have overridden such desire. Alcohol may affect the physical reactions when driving a car or when trying to walk a straight line in a sobriety test, but alcohol does not change the basic moral character of a person. Brock Turner has no moral compass. He was aware that his decision to sexually assault a drunk and/or unconscious woman would be considered wrong by other persons and, thus, would adversely affect HIS reputation and future, if found out. That is evident by the facts that Brock Turner assaulted the victim behind a dumpster, and upon being challenged by the question "what are you doing" immediately stood up and ran away. Brock Turner did not care about the victim when he sexually assaulted her, and if indeed, as Brock Turner claims, he thought that the questioner was a criminal, Brock Turner did not care if the victim would be victimized a second time by the criminal, since he left the victim behind when allegedly escaping a purported criminal. Even under Turner Brock's account,"knight in shining armor" Brock Turner is not. Brock Turner only cared about himself, fulfilling his desires, and making sure that no one would know his deeds.
Brock Turner committed serious crimes and he should have been sentenced to substantial jail time. But, the apologists for criminals who come from privileged backgrounds think that the disgrace of being found out is sufficient punishment. Wrong again! There is nothing in the sentencing guidelines that says that persons from privileged backgrounds is a "circumstance" that merits reduction of the sentence, or that renunciation of a swimming scholarship (which would have been taken away anyway), should be used to reduce the sentence. If anything, it should be the other way around. "To those who much is given, much is expected." Brock Turner, having had a good education and having been raised in what appears to be a loving family should have known better. However, just because a person is from a well-to-do family does not mean that one is raised in a home that inculcates good moral values. Sometimes (if not many times) the message learned by the children is that appearances and social standing are the paramount values, and should shield them from responsibility for wrong and immoral actions. Brock Turner feels that way. Brock Turner blames alcohol for having caused the [portion removed], as if he has been just a bystander who saw a replica of him shamelessly assaulting the victim. Only if Brock Turner recognizes and admits that it was him, not the liquor, who viciously assaulted the victim and further recognized that it was cowardly to claim that alcohol was the cause of his vile assault of another human being, could there be any hope of redemption for him. I doubt that Brock Turner will ever recognize, much less admit, that it was him--Brock Turner--who assaulted the victim.
I applaud the two young men who stopped to investigate the sexual assault and helped the victim. Had it not been for them, Brock Turner would not have been even indicted and he would spend the rest of his life thinking that his personal gratification is paramount and that with a little bit of liquor imposing his will is acceptable. Kudos for the two heroes who came to the rescue, and have made it possible for the victim to at least have the satisfaction that twelve jurors, although not the Judge, agreed that she was the victim of a vile inexcusable assault.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victim. I hope and pray that she will be able to recover sufficiently to live a happy and productive life.


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Posted by Roytincup
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

Steve21 and Skinny, thank you for your insightful posts past the obvious and ever present "rape is bad". I read everything online (including these comments) and had a few Qs:

-Bolton saw a male taking a picture of her, goes over and the male disappears. Was she clothed at this point? How long after did the Swedish guys find them? Did he just leave?
-Found it hard to believe the Swedish guy would be able to run down an all american who had a head start (while he checked on the victim). I just feel like he would've gotten away had he known he did something wrong.
-I assume SUPD took at least 10 minutes to get there, an erection after this long? What?
-Differences b/w "skinny tight black dress" vs. "librarian" account
-To my understanding she called sister 20 minutes before they were found, where is Bolton in this timeline? Could give a better understanding of when she passed out.

It seems as if the media has played a great part in this case, even the victim saying this is how she learned of it. No doubt this formed her account and view of it (and that it enhanced some of the emotions she laid out in her letter..).
I am doing my best to not make excuses for a terrible act but am trying to fully grasp it and get inside the head of BT.
Being fresh out of school I found myself saying, yeah this type of thing happens all the time: two people drunk and tired, darkness, hooking up, one passes out. Some people are weird they can go from being in drunk zombie mode speaking/hooking up and such to OUT like that. They then wake up in the morning a little shameful and do it again next weekend. It's really possible to be humping and neck kissing someone for more than a minute before you realize they are out. We don't know when the fingers went in. If she's out and you're trying to creep why do the dry hump or finger thing, why not just penetrate? I can't help but think if stars aligned this could've happened to me. "Yeah man I was fingering her she was into it, so naturally we start dry humping to work into sex, then these dudes charged me I thought I was being jumped or it was her BF so I got outta there..turns out she passed out mid dry hump" not THAT crazy

I'm trying to look past the headlines and media hype train and think about the facts, details, and events that led to BT becoming a sex offender, for life!


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Posted by JordanVaughn
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 18, 2016 at 1:04 am

For those of you whining about poor Brock having to take responsibility for his drunken actions, do you also believe drunk drivers should never be arrested or convicted?


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Posted by Jones
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 18, 2016 at 1:50 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by baszia
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Roytincup: Please take a long hard look again at what you have written here. Your mass of presumptions and speculations; your excuse-making; your statement that this could be you.. heaven help you at your age to have such attitudes.

So a drunk 'all-American' can for sure run faster than a mere Swede?

'Drunk zombie mode speaking/ hooking up' is an acceptable state for a woman to give consent, in your mind?

I could go on...

But don't you think the defense team would have analysed every single point you bring up and have brought it into question if there had been a smidgen of doubt from which they could have gained advantage for their client?

There were police on the scene who saw exactly where BT was being held by the two Swedes - there was no question he ran and they chased and caught him. Why even bother thinking about Skinny's post on running times and how the judge was a lacrosse player blah blah...

The police were on the scene, they gave evidence.

Your post simply points to your belief that what BT did was 'normal' and that it could happen to any drunk guy and girl.

It isn't and it couldn't.

Please don't grow up thinking that there is anything normal about BT's behaviour or that this behaviour is an inevitable result of alcohol excess. Be better than this.


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

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