Wednesday morning, June 8, 2016, a petition to remove California Judge Aaron Persky was garnering at least 500 signatures every 60 seconds, with 630,000 total signatures. At this rate, the petition will likely hit 1 million signatures by tonight.
Persky is under fire for sentencing Brock Turner, a Stanford University student convicted of raping an unconscious woman, to only 6 months in jail (he won’t go to state prison). Turner has the opportunity, also, to reduce his sentence by months with decent behavior.
While prosecutors pushed for 6 years in prison, the defense asked for 4 months. Persky, a Stanford graduate, said the fact that Turner was intoxicated meant he had “less moral culpability” and that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”
The New York Times writes that Persky seemed “to accept the defendant’s account (Mr. Turner said the victim consented)…. The judge said: ‘I take him at his word that subjectively that’s his version of his events…. I’m not convinced that his lack of complete acquiescence to the verdict should count against him.’”
The petition creator, Maria Ruiz of Miami, writes:
Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency. He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice.