Brock Turner Judge Was Harsher in Similar Case

Latino man's sentence was 6 times longer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2016 1:14 AM CDT
Brock Turner Judge Was Harsher in Similar Case
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky   (Jason Doiy/The Recorder via AP, File)

The Brock Turner controversy rumbles on: A defendant from a very different background than the former Stanford student received a much harsher sentence from the same judge in a similar case, the Guardian reports. According to court records, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky oversaw a plea deal earlier this year involving Raul Ramirez, a 32-year-old man from El Salvador who sexually assaulted his female roommate. Ramirez, who needed an interpreter in court, agreed to plead guilty in a deal that will see him spend three years in state prison, while Turner will spend just six months in county jail. Critics say that if Persky had treated Ramirez as leniently as he treated Turner, a white 20-year-old, the Latino man would have ended up with a much lighter sentence or even have avoided prison.

The deal "shows that Turner got consideration not available to other defendants who aren’t as privileged," says Michele Landis Dauber, a Stanford professor leading a campaign to recall Persky, who's a former Stanford student. Persky's days on the bench may be numbered—a recent poll found that 66% of people in Santa Clara County would vote for his recall, Palo Alto Online reports—but a group of Stanford law grads is urging Dauber to reconsider the recall campaign, the Stanford Daily reports. In an open letter, they argue that it will be more effective to fight for "educating future judges and jurors about the realities of sexual assault, or pressing for systemic changes in how these cases are handled." (Persky was removed from another sexual assault case earlier this month.)

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