On Friday [September 2, 2016], Stanford swimmer-turned convicted rapist Brock Turner will be going home after serving a mere 3 months of prison time, only one-half of an already publically-infuriating six-month sentence.
It was in March that Turner was convicted of inexcusably raping an unconscious woman on Stanford University’s campus behind a dumpster after a night of partying and heavy drinking.
The lenient sentencing was produced by Judge Aaron Persky, a former prosecutor who now faces a petitioned recall for sentencing Turner to only six months because he feared anything greater would have a “severe impact” on the former student-athlete’s future.
At the time of his sentencing, Brock Turner faced a term of up to 14 years of prison time.
His release after three months is a common sight to see in the Santa Clara County Jail where inmates are often released at the midpoint of their original sentence for good behavior.
The Brock Turner case became one making national headlines since its inception, bringing to light the lack of severity attached to rape culture in America and sparking more conversation surrounding privilege among white males in the nation as well.
After Turner’s sentencing, the victim penned a twelve-page letter that was later released through the media and went viral.
“The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error,” the unidentified victim wrote.
Since Turner’s sentencing, California lawmakers have passed a new bill to eliminate the loophole of lenient sentencing in cases of sexual assault.
Passed with a vote of 66-0 on Monday [August 29, 2016], the new bill will require that all those convicted of rape serve a mandatory sentence rather than allow for a judge to grant sentences and probation at their discretion.
“Sexually assaulting an unconscious or intoxicated victim is a terrible crime and our laws need to reflect that,” said Assemblyman Timothy Dodd (D-Napa) said in a statement. “Letting felons convicted of such crimes get off with probation discourages other survivors from coming forward and sends the message that raping incapacitated victims is no big deal.”
Thr bill now awaits th signature of Governor Jerry Brown.