Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer, has been released from jail after serving three months of a six-month sentence for sexual assault.
The testimonies, facts, and outcome have been reported multiples times over in the past few months. There is a general hate for the defendant’s sentencing pointed towards the judge, and a general hate for the defendant himself.
What people talk comparatively less about, is the law that governs these kinds of cases, and its shortcomings in this particular case. Had the law truly covered the victim’s case, there would not have been any loophole for Turner, and any light sentencing could have been appealed.
Similarly so, Judge Persky would have had, under those circumstances, faced a significantly more valid ethical dilemma: give the defendant the probation even though he clearly committed multiple felonies for which the law required harsher punishment, or follow the law directly. (These conditions were present at the time of sentencing, but would be more emphasized under harsher conditions). The only reason he could opt for the the former option was because there really was no literal law protecting unconscious victims. The defense itself even structured most of their case around the victim’s inability to recall what truly happened because of this. It was Turner’s word against her’s, and to be blunt, she was the one who cried wolf.
She had no true protection in the courtroom. Even though Turner never truly showed any remorse, and the judge was wrong to sentence him lightly, the law was the source of loss.
This is evident in the fact that after that case
Also this week, state lawmakers passed a bill written by the Santa Clara district attorney’s office, calling for mandatory prison time for those convicted of committing sexual assaults upon intoxicated or unconscious victims.