Why defense attorneys aren't cheering Brock Allan Turner's wrist-slap


#1

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#2

Look, I think we can all agree that, with the trial and the wall-to-wall media coverage, we should let this go, as the victim has been through enough already. Besides, all this time spent in court and jail is really cutting in to his raping.


#3

I find it amazing but not surprising that her victim impact statement is the most thoughtful and adult commentary on this entire incident that I’ve seen. She admits she did her self wrong in consuming too much, and rightfully points out we have all had those nights in our lives. We have. All of us. She admits that how much she is scarred and damaged from this, if he had only taken responsibility for his actions, then both of them could begin to heal because (and she this shows her incredible strength and maturity) BOTH of them are damaged from this. She says so eloquently that both of them are hurt, he for his actions (the cause) and her for her victimization (the effect).

She shows she is an incredibly strong young woman who will not only survive and overcome but thrive as her life moves forward.

I’ll never meet her. She will never read this. But thank you nonetheless for showing every human being exactly what humanity is.


#4

Is this thing over?
Can the victim appeal the sentence or something?

Sorry if it is a dumb question but i am not a law expert in my country, let alone in the US…


#5

Well I sure hope you are right. But if the judge was so interested in healing he could have done a lot more to move that along with creative sentencing. Given that retribution never equates to justice, the concept of restorative justice needs a lot more attention. Real justice addresses healing the injury.


#6

I will never hold it against a defense attorney that they represented someone, regardless of the crime. That’s the system we have and that’s the role they play. We can argue if other systems are better, but in the meantime, I don’t think it reflects poorly on an attorney that they represent someone- even if they know the person is guilty. But this sentence from the OP crystallizes why this is okay, and how this is supposed to work. The judge and jury serve as neutral arbiters and the prosecution gets to presume guilt. The defense is supposed to take the accused’s side in the knowledge that the system is designed this way. It’s not designed to have a judge tip scales because the defense OR the prosecution tugged at their personal prejudices.


#7

Considering it’s a criminal case, I suspect it’s the prosecutor who should appeal it. I have no idea how likely that is. The victim is mostly just a witness, as far as I understand the system (which is not a lot).


#8

She can file a seperate civil suit and a guilty verdict goes a long way to helping her win one.


#9

My Spidey-sense is telling me that we should be looking into Persky’s past for sexual abuse victims who never came forward for various reasons. His level of “empathy” here is just a little too on-the-nose. This guy is really not helping the already sketchy reputation of lacrosse captains…


#10

One and done, the principle of what we call “double jeopardy” prevails in the US. So it’s unlikely. Appeals must be based on some error in procedure, and I don’t think appeals can be heard on the basis of inadequate sentence. Though if other jurisdictions can find cause to file new charges, as is common when Federal civil rights charges follow when local prosecutions fail or are poorly done, then perhaps this is not over.


#11

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I’m just a caveman….


#12

So – not disputing that Turner bad, judge bad, attorneys bad, bad badness all around very terribad – but wasn’t there some quaint notion once about prison being intended for separating dangerous criminal elements from society so that they may be rehabilitated, rather than being purely punitive?

Again – everything is terrible, not disputing that everything is terrible, this terrible person should be separated from society, etc.


#13

The problem isn’t the sentence, per se.

The problem is when someone is sentenced less harshly because he’s someone that a judge can relate to better.

The judge seemed to be basing his reasoning for lowering the sentence on the facts that the defendant was a college student and an athlete, which implies that someone less advantaged might have gotten a higher sentence for the same crime, committed under the same circumstances, because that person couldn’t afford things like university and team sports.


#14

Various news outlets are reporting that Brock’s attorneys notified the court that he intends to appeal his conviction. I get the impression that this was a preliminary notification so I don’t know how likely he is to actually go ahead and appeal. But still. The mind boggles!

Someone who sounds like they know what they’re talking about has answered the question of whether the prosecutor can appeal the sentence:

The only time the sentence can be questioned is if it is illegal.
[…]
The prospects of giving Mr. Turner prison time at this point are bleak. I’m sure motions will be filed, but unless the sentence itself violates a minimum sentencing statute nothing will likely come of it.


#15

“…20 minutes of action…” with an unconscious victim? FFS.


#16

When was this?


#17

Leaving aside the US’s schizophrenic philosophy towards prisons (where, frankly, rehabilitation is losing out), and leaving aside the question of whether rapists can even be rehabilitated (most rapes are committed by serial rapists, it turns out), and even leaving aside the disparity in sentencing that @nimelennar mentions (where the judge is explicitly acknowledging the privilege of the perpetrator and handing out a hugely lenient sentence precisely to avoid impinging upon that privilege) - there’s still a big, glaring issue. That is: that rape is a serious crime that continues to not be taken seriously by the criminal justice system. When only 1-3% of those accused actually see any jail time, only getting a couple months in jail even in that rare circumstance sends a strong message to would-be rapists that they can rape with impunity. This is why serial rape is such an issue - there’s no one to stop them. Knowing that the legal system will treat it like a misdemeanor just makes things worse.


#22

Indeed. That’s why he is still guilty of assault. However the circumstance affects the sentence that should be given.


#23

Maybe I’m misunderstanding you. Say more.


#27

It’s not always easy to tell. I once dropped off a friend at an airport who drank half a mickey of whiskey on the way. They were coherent enough to make it through check-in and security before passing out in the departure lounge. They remembered none of it the next day.