Brock Turner’s Too Good Friend (Update)

Contrary to the simplistic belief of many, criminal defense lawyers don’t argue for the best possible sentence because they believe that horrendous crimes deserve as little punishment as possible, but because that’s our duty to our client. Ken White explains why at Fault Lines. We expect, hope, to get the lowest possible sentence under the circumstances.

Sometimes it exceeds our wildest imagination. The six month sentence imposed by Judge Aaron Persky on rapist Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer, was shocking. That his father wrote a tone deaf letter to the judge about his “steep price for 20 minutes of action” is outrageous, but unsurprising. After all, it’s a parent’s job to support his child. That the victim wrote an eloquent impact statement that moved everyone except the judge is beyond comprehension.

That the judge imposed such an absurdly insignificant sentence is hard to explain. The prosecution asked for six years. Paul Cassell would have given him 97 to 121 months. Bill Otis wants to give the judge life plus cancer for such an “unserious” sentence and argues that this proves the need for mandatory minimums.

There are a great many agendas wrapped up in Turner’s sentence, from the contention that men don’t take rape seriously to white privilege, and the need to remove overly lenient judges, putting the fear of recall into them lest they not match popular cries for harshness. The sentence in this case may not prove anything beyond one case, but it surely feeds every one of these arguments, and more.

But the tentacles of this case are extending in extreme ways. This isn’t surprising, given that it’s an extreme case with a terrible crime and an extremely lenient sentence, but still.  One emanation is the cancellation of the Brooklyn tour of a three-sister band.

This weekend, four Brooklyn venues were set to host The Good English, a trio of sisters from Oakwood, Ohio who’ve been described as “the lovechild of Nancy Sinatra and Black Sabbath” and were going to play several shows affiliated with the Northside music festival. But after it was revealed that drummer Leslie Rasmussen wrote a letter to Judge Aaron Persky defending convicted rapist and former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, those venues were besieged by requests from New Yorkers asking them to cancel the band’s appearances, and as of this afternoon, the band’s Brooklyn tour has been completely scrapped.

Leslie Rasmussen was a school friend of Turner’s, apparently from elementary school through Oakwood High, where they graduated in 2014.  She wrote a letter in support of Turner for sentence.  Whether the letter had any impact on Judge Persky isn’t known, but it surely had an impact on other readers when it was revealed.

I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.

Yes, she wrote that. This too.

This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.

Some lawyers, me for instance, would never have offered such a letter to the court. We would have explained that it was not merely absurdly inappropriate, but counterproductive. It’s the sort of letter more likely to outrage a judge than anything else. The same, by the way, is true of Turner’s father’s letter, with its “20 minutes of action” statement.

Rasmussen chalks it up to political correctness, to drunken boys will be boys, to this being the victim’s fault, to this not being a “real rape.” She’s absolutely wrong on every assertion. If there is any explanation for her letter, it’s a friend trying to help a friend. At a time when mindless labels and shallow thought is as much as most people can muster, she rationalized away what her friend did. Turner raped an unconscious woman, and there is nothing that can justify that.

When the letter was made public, the reaction was strong and severe.

Rasmussen’s letter, originally posted to Twitter, got a fair amount of press yesterday, at which point some people began to realize Rasmussen’s connection to The Good English, and her intentions to perform across Brooklyn this weekend. Last night, Northside Festival’s Facebook page received an onslaught of angry posts, as did Bar Matchless, which is hosting the festival on Thursday and Friday; The Rock Shop, which is hosting an unofficial showcase that would have featured The Good English on Friday; Industry City Distillery, which was also hosting an unofficial showcase on Saturday; and Gold Sounds, which is hosting a separate showcase of women in music on Sunday that would have featured the band.

As one person wrote on twitter, “rape has no place in local venues.”  Of course, Leslie Rasmussen didn’t rape anyone, though she was a apologist for it and did blame the victim. And she was the drummer in her three-sister band.

There is no First Amendment right to play at a venue, and the venues that cancelled the band because of Rasmussen’s letter, and the reaction to the letter, are fully entitled to do so, subject to whatever contractual issues may exist.  And one of the foundational aspects of free speech is that as free as someone is to speak their mind, others are free to react to it as they deem appropriate, and impose consequences. Public shaming is such a consequence.

A serious concern is that letters in support of a defendant, particularly for a heinous crime, are often hard to obtain. People are understandably reluctant to connect themselves to criminals, fearing that any support will come back to bite them in the ass. That Leslie Rasmussen’s letter not only brought a shitstorm down on her, but on her sisters, their band, is the sort of thing that will deter people from getting involved, from putting their lives and reputations on the line to help a defendant facing sentence.

But then, few people would have written the letter Rasmussen wrote. And few lawyers would have allowed that letter to see the light of day. This case is an outlier in every respect, and none of it good or right.

Update: In a rather surprising article from CBS This Morning (surprising, in that this hasn’t come out earlier), it appears that is greater nuance to the sentence than suggested by earlier articles, the internet mob or, for that matter, me.

In a probation report obtained by CBS News, Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault, apologized to his victim in a statement to the court and expressed remorse for his actions, saying: “I would give anything to change what happened that night… I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decisions hurt someone.”

In an interview for the probation report last month, the victim herself said: “I want him to be punished, but as a human I just want him to get better… He doesn’t need to be behind bars.”

While the victim impact statement has been widely reported, that the victim didn’t want Turner incarcerated has not. This explains a lot, but coming well after the outrage of the six month sentence, will likely change little.

72 comments on “Brock Turner’s Too Good Friend (Update)

  1. Ryan

    Are the facts of the case as clear cut as have been reported? When I saw the light sentence I thought maybe there was more ambiguity over what the defendant had done that the judge saw during trial.

    It’s a very very odd sentence otherwise, 10 years would be a safe bet in Va under similar facts as have been reported.

    1. SHG Post author

      On the one hand, I wasn’t there, so like you, I’m constrained to rely on what’s been reported and Turner’s plea. On the other hand, I’ve seen no serious question about the fact that the woman was totally incapacitated. There isn’t much of an issue of rape with a person who is unconscious.

      And to add to the point, Judge Persky (who is otherwise reputed to be a good judge) said some monumentally moronic stuff when sentencing, about how his life will be devastated. Well, yeah. And you don’t get your first murder for free either.

      1. Anonymous

        In the statement provided in full to Buzzfeed she states “I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars.” Also, “When I read the probation officer’s report, I was in disbelief, consumed by anger which eventually quieted down to profound sadness. My statements have been slimmed down to distortion and taken out of context. I fought hard during this trial and will not have the outcome minimized by a probation officer who attempted to evaluate my current state and my wishes in a fifteen minute conversation, the majority of which was spent answering questions I had about the legal system.”

        https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra?utm_term=.wb8dN5W4b#.hgWamW93z

        1. B. McLeod

          I suspect her “impact statement” and her “Buzzfeed” pieces are all being ghosted by her “friend” Michele Dauber.

    2. Patrick Geisler

      I’ve been wondering the same thing since this story started bouncing around over the weekend. I don’t want to speculate, and it’s entirely possible that this is as bad as it looks. I’m hoping we get some more in depth reporting on whether or not there were mitigating facts or circumstances other than those reported (i.e. star athlete) that might have impacted the sentence.

    3. Chris Halkides

      From what I can gather Mr. Turner was convicted of sexual assault with intent to rape, not rape itself. He penetrated the victim digitally, but the assault did not go further. He claims that she left the party with him willingly. Given that her sister had temporarily left the party but returned later, I do not see any reason that the victim would have left, other than that she wished to leave with Mr. Turner. At what point she passed out is unclear. I think if Mr. Turner had happened upon an unconscious woman and assaulted her, his penalty should be greater than if she consented to some form of activity and then passed out.

      1. SHG Post author

        I do not see any reason that the victim would have left, other than that she wished to leave with Mr. Turner.

        Be careful. You just took a blind leap off a dangerous ledge.

        1. Chris Halkides

          Perhaps I should have said that there is no testimony that contradicts Mr. Turner’s on this question to the best of my knowledge. Would you please explain your comment a bit further? I may be missing your point.

          1. SHG Post author

            If she was shitface drunk to the point where she was about to pass out, it’s baseless to impute a motive to her leaving the party. Shitfaced people aren’t known for their deliberative process.

            1. B. McLeod

              The evidence was mixed on that. Some witnesses said she appeared fine at the party. Her boyfriend said she was “incoherent” when he spoke to her on the phone. At least from the time the paramedic checked her at the scene, she was largely unresponsive (she opened her eyes as a pain response when he pressed on her nail-bed, but did not react at all to “shaking and shouting”). Turner testified she was conscious when he fingered her, but acknowledged she had “slipped and fallen.”

      2. Brian

        Intoxicated persons cannot give consent. I was a student EMT in college and treated many drunk students. Leaving a party with someone does not mean consent to sexual conduct. Even if that was the assumption from both parties, it is still not consent. It’s not like they made it back to his room before she passed out (still, 100% rape), she was violently assaulted behind a dumpster. As we are in an absence of facts here, which sounds more reasonable. That she, while conscious, consented to sexual intimacy behind a frat house dumpster (still btw, not consent because she’s drunk), then passed out and he continued, or that she was black out drunk and he took full advantage of her.

        I don’t understand why you think it makes a difference if he found her passed out or if he lead her stumbling outside before raping her. Rape is rape. If she was in bed with him and they were both naked, and she passed out it would still be rape. We cannot make excuses or attempt to justify what he did. If a person does not give, revokes, or becomes unable to provide consent, then you may not continue sexual advances. It’s that simple.

        1. SHG Post author

          Most of this is social justice bullshit. None of it is “that simple.” Please don’t soil my comment with this idiotic horseshit again.

        2. B. McLeod

          The “rape” counts never even made it to trial. All the media accounts stating that Turner is a rapist or was convicted of rape are quite carelessly written (or simply disregard what actually happened in the case).

  2. bmaz

    You touched on my question: How in the world did Turner’s defense atty let these letters get submitted without some serious reframing and editing? Obviously it worked here, and maybe he or she knew something about the judge we all don’t, but holy cow submission of statements like that would happen over my dead body.

    1. SHG Post author

      It’s hard to be critical of his lawyer’s tactics based on outcome, but it’s similarly hard to believe any lawyer would have allowed those letters to go in as written.

      1. Rick Horowitz

        We don’t know that the letters went in with the lawyer’s knowledge. I’ve gone to court for sentencing once or twice in ten years where the judge gave copies to myself, and the DA of letters sent directly to him. I’ve also had probation officers surprise me with letters.

        This is despite the fact that, to avoid letters like these reaching the court, and blowing up in our faces, I’ve told the client, and client families, that they need to run all letters by me.

        1. SHG Post author

          In my 35 years, only once has a letter gone straight to a judge without my knowledge. It happens, but certainly not from a defendant’s father, so I would be discinlined to speculate that Rasmussen sent her letter directly to the court. Also, good lawyers provide instructions on writing letters, and include the point that under no circumstance does a letter go directly to the judge. Just sayin’.

          1. bmaz

            Right. Which the client would know before soliciting the friend for her letter. Above and beyond the obvious as to the father.

          2. Rick Horowitz

            Regarding what good lawyers do, I can only say, “Yep.” And even I do it. 😉

            Yet I’ve still had it happen.

            Maybe you just have smarter clients than I do. Usually, when it has happened to me, it is someone connected with the family, whom the family has asked to write a letter, or who just decided for some reason that they wanted to (I’m guessing on that).

            But it has happened.

            1. SHG Post author

              I lean hard on clients, their family and friends. I work too hard to save them to let them fuck it up.

              That’s why this one never reached the judge.
              null

            2. bmaz

              Oh, yes, it has happened to me, but not very often. And I am aware of it through reviewing completely all letters in the court produced version of the pre sentence report. At least on the state level, which this was.

    2. Jim Majkowski

      In my own experience, sometimes people write the judge without informing the defense lawyer.

  3. Chris Halkides

    At least a portion of Dan Turner’s letter was released by Professor Michele Daubert, who teaches law at Stanford. I would like to know why she did so. Her own letter is open to serious question on factual and logical grounds.

    Former Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu also received a six month sentence for a more violent sexual assault. Both Mr. Turner and Mr. Ukwauchu must register as sex offenders for life IIUC. One Slate commentator, Christiana Cauterucci (who was very critical of Dan Turner’s letter) wrote, “The more severe impact will come later, when Turner leaves jail and becomes a lifetime member of the sex offender registry.” Everything I have read about these registries suggests that she is correct. IMO six months was a little short, but perhaps with a limit on the time spent on the offender registry.

    1. SHG Post author

      The backend issue of the improper and punitive sex registries is a real one, though it’s not entirely clear that the answer isn’t to get rid of sex registries or cut the defendant a break. The question is whether this was a “message” by the judge that sex registries are wrong (and that he would sentence anyone convicted of rape to a similar sentence) or that this defendant is special. From his comments at sentence, it appears the latter is more likely the case.

    2. B. McLeod

      Dauber is just awful. She’s the one leading the attack on the judge too. She seems to be an extremely hateful and twisted person, and her conduct seems highly prejudicial to the administration of justice. I really think that if she were a licensed practitioner instead of a pie-in-the-sky, wingnut law professor, she would be looking at possible discipline for some of her conduct in relation to this case.

  4. ShelbyC

    This was the sentence the probation officer recommended. Do they typically recommend light sentences?

  5. Jim Ryan

    Outlier, it is a statistical outlier. And while any lawyer argues for the best possible sentence for his convicted client, indigestion, a fight with his wife or other may affect the Judge on that day of sentencing. Likewise if the judge had any one of a number of “good” events (Great dinner, good bowel movement, …) this might have an effect. Whether a “good” event or a “bad” event results in a better sentence is unknown. Meanwhile, the lawyer can take the good result and claim it was his skills that got the light sentence.

    If we could implement a rating system similar to what we have in diving or gymnastic, where the attorney has a panel each presenting a score on a 10 point system at the end of the trial then we would have an absolute number to rate a lawyer with. Additionally this could be modified by “degree of difficulty” depending on the charges and circumstances of the particular case.

    Case Murder, Degree of Difficulty: 10.0
    Independent Ratings: 7.0, 9.9, 8.5, 3.0, 7.9
    (throw out low and high): 9.9+8.5+8.6 = 27.0
    27.0 / 3 = 9.0
    Total Points: 9.0 * 10.0 = 90

      1. John Barleycorn

        Reddit?

        But what about the muffin?

        Reddit’s baking threads suck these days. So who the is going to tell the kids about the joy enjoying the muffins before muffins become their last hope?

        Granted in today’s hightned puritan climate kids should refrain from drinking all together or keep it to a single bottle of wine while baking muffins with their conscious baking partners or better yet only “bake” together and not drink at all while baking muffins.

        But still….sometines enclosing a half a dozen  cupcakes with your friends and loved ones letters to the judge just won’t do…even if your muffin partner and you went back and forth for twenty minutes to select the perfect paper muffin cups.

        Good luck and regardless of what the esteemed one might say or insinuate the roadies at the reddit circus are not overpaid.

        https://youtu.be/HGV3yV9q4Q4

  6. Dave Hill

    Regarding the victim’s wish for incarceration, in her victim’s impact statement, she strongly disagreed with the summary of her statement made by the probation officer.

    “I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars. The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, and of the consequences of the pain I have been forced to endure. I also told the probation officer that what I truly wanted was for Brock to get it, to understand and admit to his wrongdoing.”

    1. SHG Post author

      What it does explain is the probation report recommendation, and the judge’s frame of reference going into sentencing.

    2. B. McLeod

      I suspect she went to her interview with the probation staff in person, whereas anybody may have ghosted the “impact statement.”

  7. Eric

    I know California has a complicated sentencing scheme, and that there’s a push to put more people in probation. I get that the probation officer’s recommendation was unusually light, but do you know if judges usually accept those recommendations?

  8. Dennis Murphy

    Yes, the sentence was lenient, but I’ve seen little about the draconian “collateral consequences” of the sentence. He’s going to live a life in purgatory as a sex offender. Registration with the county sheriff, Internet posting of his picture and home address, strict limits on his access to children, and much more. For all we know, this all-American may be living in a homeless encampment or offender ghetto next to a state prison. That’s what we do these days.

  9. Chris Halkides

    Of Mr. Turner’s advantages in life, Professor Dauber wrote, “If anything, they suggest that he is entitled to less latitude than someone who was born into poverty, gangs, and drugs and had little choice but to participate in crime in order to survive. Turner had every advantage in life and he squandered it, which only adds insult to society’s injury and the injury of his victim.” I can understand arguing for equality before the law, but I cannot buy into the idea espoused here.

    1. SHG Post author

      Dauber has an agenda and makes her pitch. That’s how arguments work. Same with the counter argument, which is the basis upon which the judge imposed sentence.

  10. bmaz

    Speaking of things I haven’t seen mentioned, if I recall, “six months” in California jail may really be 3 months or less actually served due to their overcrowding. Not sure how Santa Clara county jail system is doing, but that would likely be the case in LA County.

  11. Jay

    Congrats! Apparently, HH (His Holiness) SHG represents the defense bar. See C&C, Bill O, “The Viciousness of Brock Turner’s Defense Lawyer.”

      1. David MeyerLindenberg

        To say “that’s how the system works” is to say absolutely nothing — and is instead to avoid — the question whether it’s how the system should work.

        I have argued many times, not that the client should be abandoned, but that an attorney’s ethical obligations should be adjusted away from solely client-orientation and more in the direction of truth-orientation.

        Hey look, Bill agrees with Tom Lininger. Funny how extremes converge.

        1. SHG Post author

          I assume Lininger isn’t being disingenuous in calling for lawyers to put cause ahead of client. Bill, on the other hand, will argue anything that serves his purpose at the moment. So for now, they both look alike, but Lininger smells better.

        2. Sacho

          “but that an attorney’s ethical obligations should be adjusted away from solely client-orientation and more in the direction of truth-orientation.”

          Are prosecutors getting a similar adjustment too or does Captain Planet not care about the people being ground to dust by Brady violations?

  12. MonitorsMost

    The father’s letter wasn’t that bad except for the last paragraph which was horrendous. This might be why the defense attorney didn’t catch it and send it back to the father for revisions. Of course, the last paragraph is the one Professor Dauber posted online and is the part everyone has read.

    Then again, that doesn’t explain Ms. Rasmussen’s letter and how it got past the defense attorney.

  13. B. McLeod

    I apologize for being really busy, but something is vastly wrong here. At least 90% of what is in the media about this case is wrong. The state initially charged “rape” based on the accounts of the Swedish graduate students. When the forensic evidence came back, it was clear there was no intercourse. Digital penetration only. What the Swedish students claim to have seen does not fit the forensic evidence. Defendant testified victim left party with him, to go to his dorm room for sex. He said the victim then slipped and fell, they began kissing on the ground, and he asked if he could digitally stimulate her, to which she consented. This testimony was uncontroverted and is consistent with the forensic evidence. The defendant testified the victim was conscious (absent which, digital stimulation would really be pointless, as it is for the benefit of the recipient). The Swedish students did not testify to seeing digital stimulation. Ergo, they did not establish the victim’s state of consciousness vel non during the only sexual penetration that occurred. The paramedic who examined the victim post-conduct also could not establish her condition at the time of the digital penetration. I do not think there is evidence in the record to sustain the conviction on that count.

    On the intoxication count, the defense expert was a train wreck. Not objective, and the jury openly disregarded her testimony. The conviction on this count will likely survive appeal, but this was not the open and shut case it is being cast in some quarters. Look into the facts actually developed in court. Of course, the judge was there for it all, and what is being said about him and about the sentencing is particularly unfair and reprehensible.

    1. bmaz

      Heh, this is lovely. Heck, I might even argue this if I were representing Turner. So, are you arguing the jury verdict is bad? On, no, you are not; in fact, you admit it will stand up. Then this is garbage as to sentencing a rapist (sexual assault digital penetration, whatever semantics you want to use). And that is what we are talking about here. so, your “thoughts” about what the evidence may “sustain” are garbage to the discussion.

      1. B. McLeod

        The jury verdict looks bad as to at least one count, maybe two. I thought I articulated that clearly enough, but evidently not. It appears to me from the judge’s remarks that the divided evidence (and the defendant’s continuing dispute as to the victim’s consciousness and the charge of attempted rape) were factors in the sentencing. As part of the context on the sentencing, they, and the probation office recommendation the judge followed, support the reasonableness of the sentence the judge entered. I see no evidence supporting the accusations slung at the judge by Dauber.

        1. DaveL

          While it is beyond dispute that an unconscious person cannot consent to sexual activity, the converse is not true. It is admitted by the defendant that the victim, prior to the penetration, could not hold her feet. It is not disputed that, immediately after the act of penetration, the victim was unconscious. It is inconsistent with the known facts of physiology to claim that in between the two points, the victim somehow regained enough sobriety so as to be capable of consent.

          1. B. McLeod

            “It is admitted by the defendant that the victim, prior to the penetration, could not hold her feet.”

            If you mean he said she had slipped and fallen, I don’t think that is the same thing.

            “It is not disputed that, immediately after the act of penetration, the victim was unconscious.” Meaning minutes? Sceonds? What? Where was this in the testimony?

            1. DaveL

              If you mean he said she had slipped and fallen, I don’t think that is the same thing.

              “Slipped and fell” and could not get up again.

              Meaning minutes? Sceonds?

              Meaning anything up to the better part of an hour.

            2. B. McLeod

              Seems irrelevant to me if someone established that the victim lost consciousness “the better part of an hour” after the penetration.

  14. Meaghan

    I don’t like the sentence at all but unless there is proof of corruption or a clear pattern of obvious bias I see no reason to fire the judge over it. Judges are allowed to make unpopular decisions. This sentence was light but it was within legal limits.

    1. B. McLeod

      Indeed. Demagogues and political McCarthyists like Michele Dauber threaten the very concepts of judicial independence and free and fair courts. Their misguided campaigns of targeted intimidation erode due process and undermine our entire system of justice. If organized bar associations still have a purpose, that purpose should extend to defending the courts against these types of attacks, and educating the public as to why efforts to punish specific judges for doing their jobs are not a good idea.

      1. Joseph

        The only thing you want the public “educated” on is the idea that this was not a real rape, and Aaron Persky is the pitiful victim of a conspiracy by rabble-rousers. No doubt you would prefer that he be given a medal for showing the courage to override the poor judgment of the jury (who no doubt made an incorrect determination of the facts) and ignore the victim (who had been coached and whose viewpoint was therefore of no value.)

        1. B. McLeod

          No, this kind of intimidation of courts is far more serious than you suggest. This is one (1) case of probably hundreds handled by this judge. Sentencing was done by the judge, so I don’t know why you seem to think he changed something that was done by the jury. (Of course, one point in education would be to help people who don’t know their basic civics to sort out the roles of the judge and jury). As some of the other commenters suggest above, if a decision made by the court was within the law and there is (as here) no indication of corruption, trying to punish the judge for the decision is fundamentally at odds with the function of courts and the rule of law. If such things go on, we will come to a point where no defendant in any case will have the benefit of free and independent judges. That will defeat the basic point of due process, and the basic point of having courts at all.

          1. Joseph

            Of course he didn’t overturn the verdict. He can’t do that, legally. He can, though, impose an extremely light sentence because he thinks the evidence doesn’t stand up to scrutiny – which is what you suggested above – thereby overriding the fact-finding judgment of the jury to the maximum degree legally allowed.

            As for one out of hundreds of cases – people aren’t, and shouldn’t, be judged by their average work. A popular guy like our swimmer must have hundreds of acquaintances. Why does nobody ever talk about the 99 people he didn’t rape? Because they’re not relevant, that’s why. (Incidentally, unless Dauber has issued a threat of actual harm on Persky, she hasn’t “intimidated” anyone. Not legally, anyway.)

            And what here, exactly, is going to lead to the end of due process in America? The excoriation of the decision by the public? Other than whatever anonymous threats he may be receiving over the internet, making angry speeches is merely the exercise of a right, not the denial of one. Whether subjecting judges to voter approval fatally cripples judicial independence may be a better question. But if all we’re looking for is the preservation of constitutionality, there’s an easy out: just dump a draconian mandatory minimum sentence on the problem. Due process rights neatly preserved and no reason to review a judge’s discretionary decision making ever again.

        2. B. McLeod

          PS – The “rape” counts didn’t even make it to trial, so indeed, under California law, this was not a “rape.”

  15. N O

    I have few concerns regarding this case :
    1) Regarding victim’s letter . Why is this letter is considered an example of how rape victims feel . She was unconscious when was penetrated by fingers. If I’m operated on while being under the anesthesia . How would I describe the feeling of pain which was suppressed by mentioned above anesthesia and how would I able to describe the surgery itself ? I give a credit to the victim for her writing skills . Fiction also brings tears to readers’ eyes. But I would never be able to describe my feelings if I was unconscious , just because someone told me I was raped .
    2) How come victim vomited while being unconscious and content wasn’t aspirated
    3) If she was unconscious , why she writes this -“You were wrong for doing what nobody else was doing, which was pushing your erect dick in your pants against my naked, defenseless body concealed in a dark area, where partygoers could no longer see or protect me, and my own sister could not find me. ” This is an assumption. Sounds like the fictional description of rape .
    4) “First she had long distance boyfriend “, then he became a “live in” boyfriend and sees how she can’t sleep at night and goes out to walk alone . I’m sorry, but I don’t understand if she doesn’t remember what happened to her , how she knows what rape feels like and has the same emotional response as someone who experienced it ( feels like plagiarism) ?Why her boyfriend never called her back, 40 minutes later to make sure that she is ok since her speech was incoherent ?
    5) How seeing on the top of someone can be called rape ? Maybe he was doing CPR ? How come they are called “witnesses of rape ” ?

      1. B. McLeod

        I also found it interesting that the victim’s letter is greatly based on what other people have told her, given that she has no idea what happened in the world from midnight to 4:15 am on the date of the assault. But I don’t think this disables her from having trauma over the fact that half the country is talking about it. She truly was unfortunate here in that she basically went to a frat party, drank to the point of blackout, and woke up half naked in the hospital, somewhat pawed over, to find staff conducting rape forensics on her. Then, she was a pawn in the whole, politicized cluster this has become. This was going down the national media frenzy rail no mater what she thought or wanted, because it was an “inability to consent” case, and the forensics and other witnesses made the case. The prosecutors (and SJWs of the world) didn’t need the victim’s cooperation or consent (or even testimony) to support the charges and make the case a huge, national media cause. The victim never had a say, and was simply off on a Nantucket sleigh ride where the best she could do was try to scrape up whatever “heroism” might be available from getting caught in the middle of it all. So, not a good experience, and she probably deserves a measure of sympathy, and it is the defendant’s fault, because none of it could have happened absent his misconduct.

    1. Patrick Maupin

      When I was 19, my stereo was stolen. It wasn’t great, and I could afford a better one, and, of course, I wasn’t there when it was stolen.

      By your “logic”, since I didn’t really need or miss the stereo that much, I have no idea what it feels like to be a victim of theft.

      1. SHG Post author

        N O had no logic. That may have been the worst attempt at raising factual issue ever. It’s not that there aren’t arguments to be made, but N O just sucked at making them.

    2. B. McLeod

      The “rape” thing here comes from the politicized dedication of the (increasingly unprofessional) media outlets who feel they have to call this what they think it should have been. I see this opening the door for the follow-up travesty in Act II. Imagine Brock Turner, post-custody, teaming up with skilled plaintiff’s attorneys to play his own “victim card.” All the well-heeled media outlets that insisted on publishing stories about “rape” convictions when the “rape” charges were actually dismissed are simply hanging out for whatever “trauma” the kid can gin up in his probable string of high-dollar defamation cases. The kid may never have to work a day in his life, because of the extent to which he, too, has been heroically “victimized” here. This is simply how our idiot society works today.

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