The Stanford Sexual-Assault Judge Is Getting Called Out by Would-Be Jurors

“I can’t believe what you did,” said one prospective juror Thursday.

Judge Aaron PerskyJason Doiy/The Recorder/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Last Friday, Judge Aaron Persky sparked outrage when he sentenced Brock Turner, the former Stanford student convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, to just six months in a county jail. The short sentence angered supporters of the anonymous victim, many of whom were galvanized by a moving letter to Turner that the victim read out loud during his sentencing hearing.

Now, prospective jurors for another trial in California’s Santa Clara County Superior Court are refusing to serve in Persky’s courtroom on an unrelated case, reports the East Bay Times. During jury selection Thursday, at least 10 jurors called out Persky for his sentencing decision.

“I can’t believe what you did,” one prospective juror told the judge. “I can’t be here, I’m so upset,” said another. Persky reportedly thanked the objectors for their service and excused them from jury duty.

Persky, a former sex crimes prosecutor appointed to the bench in 2003, is now facing a recall effort spearheaded by Michele Landis Dauber, a Stanford law professor who has long been an advocate for sexual-assault survivors. While Persky has his supporters—mainly public defenders in his county—a Change.org petition to impeach Persky is quickly approaching a million signatures. (On Tuesday, Persky ran unopposed in his primary election.)

In handing down the controversial sentence last week, Persky cited Turner’s age (20) and clean record as “unusual circumstances” that led him to decide against the mandatory sentence of two years in state prison. Persky was following the recommendation of a probation report, which determined that he should serve six months in county jail, plus probation. Turner is expected to serve three months and be released on good behavior.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate