Voters will go to the polls in Santa Clara County today and vote on whether or not to recall Judge Aaron Persky. While most here aren’t from California and won’t get the chance to have their say, this vote reflects a cancer of lies that’s metastasized to make a bad system untenable.
This has nothing to do with the sentence Judge Persky imposed on Brock Turner, whether you think it was right, wrong or otherwise. I thought it too lenient, and said so, but so what? It was one sentence. That a judge doesn’t impose the sentence that I would have doesn’t make him a bad judge. Judges aren’t perfect, which is why we have appeals courts, but more to the point, a bad ruling doesn’t make a bad judge. And if one had to have a bad ruling, being too lenient is hardly the worst thing that could happen.
And indeed, Santa Clara prosecutors, defense lawyers, public defenders and fellow judges have all come out in support of Judge Persky as a smart, fair, honest judge. These are the people who know him, work with him, and have to live with his decisions. If they had a problem, this was the time to make it known. Instead, to a person, they backed him.
This has to do with a jihad by a law professor, who isn’t a lawyer, against Judge Persky. Michele Dauber, through a combination of dedicated hate, manipulation of ignorance and lies, some potential backroom shenanigans and playing to the emotions of race and pseudo-feminism, has managed to play upon the open wounds of the useful idiots to “get” this judge on behalf of her close friend, the victim in the Turner case.
I’ve written quite a bit about the case, and about Dauber, as this goes to one of the most disgraceful and dangerous things that have arisen over the past year. This vote pits the irrational mob against the system.
When I listened to co-founder of Black Lives Matter Alicia Garza speak at CEMEX Auditorium two weeks ago, mass incarceration was one of the core issues discussed. “We need to treat convicts as people, not problems,” she declared. Garza is one of many modern liberals to criticize the effects of “tough on crime” policies, especially mandatory minimum sentencing.
But does the left actually promote these policies? Just three months after Judge Aaron Persky ‘84 ruled on the Brock Turner case in June of 2016, the California legislature passed a mandatory minimums bill (without a dissenting vote!) for sexual assault cases.
The mob has no principles. The mob knows only that this person is bad and this person is good, based on whatever lies it’s fed by whoever is leading it at the moment, until they’re devoured by the mob. It’s not a question of being against mass incarceration, but merely changing who gets treated harshly. For Dauber, it’s nothing more than a personal war against Judge Persky and her calls for harshness are shams to conceal her personal hatred.
Michele Dauber, Stanford Law Professor and chief architect of the Recall Persky campaign, alleges that Persky has demonstrated systematic bias against women in multiple cases. However, the Associated Press, not exactly a bastion of conservatism, carefully reviewed each case involving sexual assault on which Persky has ruled. It found no evidence of bias. Moreover Persky, in People v. Turner, followed the sentencing recommendation from the Santa Clara County Probation Department, advice he has consistently adhered to in previous decisions.
Or to put it bluntly, Dauber is, and always has been, completely full of shit in her shameless lies about Judge Persky. Not that she cares. Nor, apparently, does Stanford Law School, which still employs her despite her flagrant intellectual dishonesty.
The gravamen of this recall election isn’t so much whether Judge Persky wins or loses, but that any judge who fails to make decisions that please the mob will be put through this wringer, will become the target of the angry and ignorant mob. It’s to manipulate the system to appease the mob or become its next target. There is only one message here: do as the mob demands or suffer.
This recall effort, however, takes place in a hyper-polarized political climate and poses a far greater threat to an independent judiciary than California retention elections or even past recalls. It has been presented as a dangerous binary based upon one decision, forcing voters to virtue-signal whether they “support rape culture” and belying the nuance of the issue. A recent message to one of my email lists asked, “Do you trust the privileged lawyers and judges that support Persky or do you side with the victims, activists, [and] feminists?”
This is the lie, tying an independent judiciary to “privilege” and the mob to “victims, activists, [and] feminists,” meaning harshness for whomever they despise. And there’s little question whom they despise. It’s not that they want to empty the prison cells, but rather fill them with their most hated defendants.
It’s not that the system is good, or that judges are the most wonderful players in the system. It’s that the system, twisted as it may be, remains better than mob rule. This is the question on the ballot in Santa Clara County today: do you want a legal system ruled by an angry and ignorant mob?
The mob knows no principles. It can’t be reformed or controlled. It will decide who it hates and who it loves and will demand that its lust for blood be sated or else. The mob must be crushed. Vote “no” on the recall. As bad as the system may be now, this is far, far worse.