The trial against the Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman may be over, but anger over its outcome lingers.
On Thursday, Brock Allen Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation—a punishment far less severe than the minimum prison time of two years prescribed by California state law, according to The Guardian. The reasoning behind the light sentence was that longer jail time would have a “severe impact” on Turner, a former member of the prestigious school’s swim team, said Aaron Persky, the Santa Clara County superior court judge who presided over the case.
The judge’s ruling has caused outrage on social networks, particularly after the victim’s 12-page impact statement, which she read directly to the defendant, went viral.
Now, Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber, who is a family friend of the victim, is leading a recall campaign against Persky. Dauber argues that the judge “bent over backwards in order to make an exception” in the sentencing, she told The Guardian. She noted that Persky is a Stanford alumnus and was a lacrosse captain during his time there as an undergraduate.
Dauber told the publication that she would be launching a formal campaign to remove Persky from the bench this week. In the meantime, a Change.org petition to do the same has already garnered more than 100,000 signatures.
According to the petition, there are three ways a California judge can be recalled from office: (1) By impeachment and a two-thirds vote by the Senate (2) Through a recall election (3) Through an investigation and subsequent removal of the offending judge by the Commission on Judicial Performance.