The Change.org petition to remove Judge Aaron Persky from his judicial position because of his ruling in the Brock Turner rape case has reached over one million signatures.
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The nation has been up in arms for days over the sentencing of Brock Turner, the 20-year-old former star athlete at Stanford University who was found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault. On Thursday, the former college swimmer was sentenced to only six months of prison time, sparking massive outrage. Now, a change.org petition that has garnered over 360,000 signatures is calling for the judge in Turner's case, judge Aaron Persky, be removed from his position.
Persky handed down a six-month sentence to Turner, citing that more time in prison would have a "severe impact" on Turner's life. It turns out, there are more than 360,000 people who feel that only six months in prison for raping an unconscious woman, whose life has already been "severely impacted", was too mild.
The petition reads:
We the people would like to petition that Judge Aaron Persky be removed from his Judicial position for the lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case. Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to " a predator searching for prey" Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department. Turner has shown no remorse and plans to attempt to overturn his conviction. Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency. He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice.
The petition also directs those who wish to sign it to file a complaint with the State of California's Commission on Judicial Performance regarding judge Persky's sentence.
Turner's father, Dan Turner, wrote a letter Monday saying that the six months in prison his son was sentenced to was "a steep price" for "20 minutes of action," i.e. the rape for which he has been found guilty.
Stanford University released a statement on Monday claiming that the school had done "everything it could" regarding the case, and that there was a lot of "misinformation" being spread about the role of the school:
There has been a significant amount of misinformation circulating about Stanford’s role. In this case, Stanford University, its students, its police and its staff members did everything they could. Stanford University takes the issue of sexual assault extremely seriously and has been a national leader in taking concrete steps to implement prevention programs, to train students on the importance of bystander intervention, to provide support to students who may experience sexual assault and to assure that cases are handled fairly and justly.
Aaron Persky's courtroom did not immediately reply to Complex's request for comment.