Unless you’ve managed to stay away from the internet in the past few days, you’ve probably heard that former Stanford University student Brock Turner got a six month jail sentence for raping a woman behind a dumpster while she was unconscious. The victim’s letter to Turner at his sentencing poignantly shows how six months is too lenient, while Turner’s father said that this sentence was much too harsh for “20 minutes of action.” Now Nancy Grace, cable legal expert extraordinaire, has weighed in, and is strongly condemning Turner and his short sentence.
When asked by Good Morning America‘s George Stephanopoulos for an explanation as to why Turner only got six months, Grace places the blame squarely on the presiding judge.
“There is no logical explanation for what he did. This judge, Aaron Persky, I believe should be removed because not only did he ignore the state and their request for six years behind bars… But this is the law in that jurisdiction; the California Assembly said these felonies are punishable up to 10 years each… This guy’s going to probably do three months in county jail! Really? It’s absurd!”
Grace often gets a lot of flack for her over-the-top commentating style, but given the light sentence, and the infuriating “20 minutes of action” commentary surrounding this case, the impassioned Nancy Grace treatment seems fitting in this instance. In fact, Grace seems to be holding back tears when she accuses Judge Persky of “ignoring” not only the law and the will of the people, but the victim and her suffering: “I’ve dealt with so many rape victims, and I can’t tell you what it takes to go through what they go through.”
Many others agree with Grace. According to NBC News, there is now a Change.org petition calling on Persky’s removal from the bench because of this ruling. The petition accuses Persky of being lenient with Turner because he was a “white male star athlete at a prestigious university.” During sentencing, Persky said he had decided on six months due to Turner’s “lack of criminal history, his apparent remorse, and the fact that the victim and victimizer were both intoxicated.” All of this is apparently enough to knock a recommended six year sentence down to six months, a notion that definitely deserves scrutiny.
(via NBC News)