Judge Compares His Brock Turner Decision To The Unpopularity Of School Desegregation

Photo: Greene County Sheriff's Office/AP Photo.
Remember the judge who sentenced Brock Turner to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman? Well, Aaron Persky is back in the news because he is comparing the backlash to his absurdly lenient decision to how unpopular — wait for it — school desegregation was.
The Santa Clara County Superior Court judge justified the sentencing during a press conference and talked about the efforts to recall him, BuzzFeed reports. Perksy also said that judges should be given "the courage" to make "hard decisions."
"Brown v. Board of Education was unpopular in many states," he said, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court 1954 decision determining that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. "Imagine for a moment if those federal judges had been faced with judicial recall in the face of that unpopularity."
He added: "We ask judges to follow the rule of law, not the rule of public opinion."
When Persky handed out the six-month sentence, he said that he feared more time in prison would have a "severe impact" on Turner, then 20. He didn't seem to consider the impact the sexual assault had on the 23-year-old woman Turner assaulted, though she described the horror she lived in a heartwrenching, viral letter. Turner was released after serving only three months in jail and is now trying to appeal his conviction.
In the wake of Turner's conviction in 2016, California amended the loophole that allowed Persky to hand out such a lax sentence.
Stanford Law School Professor Michele Dauber, who one of the leaders of the recall effort, pushed back against Perksy's comments.
She tweeted: "Sentencing a privileged elite recruited athlete sex offender to probation is not a 'courageous' decision. It is business as usual. The fact that he would say that just shows how tone-deaf and clueless he is about what he did and the impact it had on women. #ThisIsRapeCulture."
Persky's recall vote will take place on June 5.
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