Former Stanford University student and convicted sex offender Brock Turner, 21, was released early on good behavior from Santa Clara County Jail on Friday, Sept. 2, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 30.
On Jan. 18, 2015, Turner was arrested outside of a fraternity house after two students found him attacking an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Just three months into his six-month sentence Turner was released, reigniting outrage from those who were following the trial, and rooting for the victim from her overwhelmingly supportive corner.
Let’s talk about what “good behavior” means. According to Judge Aaron Persky, who imposed Turner’s very lenient six-month sentence on June 2, good behavior means sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, pleading not guilty, and eventually putting forth a half-hearted apology and blaming your awful crime on impaired judgement from alcohol.
The fact that Turner only had to serve half of his minuscule sentence has infuriated people, who have taken to social media objecting the release of a sex offender into the public after only three months time served. The backlash even manifested into a petition to remove Judge Aaron Persky from his judicial position. Students at El Camino also gave their opinions on the matter.
“It affects me not just as a student, but as a woman too.” Stephany Barrios, 20, biology major, said.
Turner’s short sentence and early release only serves to lighten the severity of sexual assault, sending the message that sexual offenders won’t be harshly reprimanded for their acts, especially if they are a star-athlete at a prestigious University. Student Cori Fredriksz, 20, shared a similar sentiment: “People need to know that you aren’t going to get off with only three months, that is ridiculous!”
The silver lining here is that the Brock Turner case has challenged the Criminal Justice laws on sexual assault, thereby opening the door for measure AB-2888, a measure heading to Gov. Jerry Brown that would land convicted sex offenders of an unconscious woman a mandated and unalterable prison sentence, according to a CNN article.
Unfortunately for the victim in this particular case, I have to agree with my fellow student, Darren Asari, 24, nursing major, who said that “the judicial system failed.”