The process to remove California judge Aaron Persky for lightly sentencing sexual assault perpetrator formally began Monday.
Center Of Controversy
Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky became the center of a growing controversy after sentencing Brock Turner (20) to six months in jail after Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on his college campus last year. Turner served only three months of his sentence.
Following Turner’s light sentence, Persky was successfully removed from another sexual assault case and eventually requested to be transferred to civil court, a request that was granted.
Despite the California Commission on Judicial Performance was flooded with thousands of outraged complaints about the Turner sentence, it responded in December stating that there was “no clear or convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority or other basis to conclude that Judge Persky engaged in judicial misconduct warranting discipline.”
However, the California Commissin’s statement did not deter critics of Judge Persky’s sentencing decision. A petition to recall him was organized, with organizers saying: “Santa Clara County residents deserve a judge who will protect victims – not rapists”.
Petition garnering significant support from community members
San Jose Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco was among 50 other prestigious members of the Santa Clara County community to submit notice of intention to actively collect signatures for the petition to put the recall of Judge Persky on the June 2018 ballot.
The petition organizers must gain 58,634 signatures for the petition to have a chance at success. Former mayor of Milpitas Bob Livengood said the signature collection should pose “no problem”.
Judge Persky responded by setting up a website against the recall petition, stating: “I believe strongly in judicial independence. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to appease politicians or ideologues. When your own rights and property are at stake, you want the judge to make a fair and lawful decision, free from political influence”.