Confessions of a She-Geek

June 11, 2016

An Open Letter to Judge Aaron Persky

Filed under: Life and Stuff,Mental Health — Teresa @ 5:42 pm
Tags: , ,

Mr. Persky,

In light of the ridiculously lenient sentence that you just handed down to a convicted rapist, part of me is tempted to say that I hope one day you’ll be in the victim’s shoes, or that someone you love will be in the victim’s shoes, and you’ll know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the travesty of justice that gave Brock Turner a laughable six months for being caught in the act of RAPING AN UNCONSCIOUS WOMAN.

Part of me wishes that you would find yourself knowing first-hand what it’s like to see a person who’s caused so much harm to you or to someone you love, stroll off with a slap on the wrist. But truth be told, I don’t hope that, because it would mean that another person was raped, and that she (or he) now has to endure a lifetime of emotional, psychological, and possibly physical repercussions – and I wouldn’t wish that on ANYONE.

Not even you.

What I do wish is that you take to heart the anger and outrage your decision has caused, and understand that in putting the well-being of a convicted rapist above the well-being of his victim, you have reinforced the very rape culture that makes it so hard for rape victims to come forward in the first place.

  • That in making this decision, you’re sending the message that as long as someone has enough money and influence, they won’t have to suffer the same consequences that people who don’t have money and influence do.
  • That forcing yourself on someone who’s incapable of giving consent isn’t REALLY rape as long you’re drunk and don’t mean any harm by it.
  • That even in cases where there isn’t a shadow of a doubt of guilt, a rape victim cannot be assured of achieving justice when facing her (or his) attacker in court.
  • That following some ridiculous collegiate bro-code is somehow more important than ensuring that victims don’t suffer in vain.

As furious as I am with you, I am more saddened that Brock Turner’s victim sat in court and watched as you essentially said that as long as Brock feels bad about his actions, 6 months of prison, probation, and being added to the list of convicted sex offenders is punishment enough.

It’s NOT.

And given the amount of anger and outrage directed toward you over the past few days, I am not alone in this belief. When even a law professor from your own law school starts a campaign to recall you from the bench, I think it’s safe to say that you will also be dealing with the long-term consequences of a bad decision.

And it will be well-deserved.

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