Recall campaign: State ruling that cleared judge is 'error-ridden'

Recall Persky chair raises concerns about agency's transparency

The campaign working to unseat Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, sparked by his sentencing of former Stanford University student Brock Turner to six months in county jail, released this weekend a detailed statement criticizing a state judicial commission that recently cleared him of any misconduct.

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6 people like this
Posted by Wondering??
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2017 at 10:33 am

> The complaint considered by the commission was submitted by national women's
> advocacy organization UltraViolet, which delivered a petition with close
> to 1 million signatures calling for Persky's removal in June.

Got to wonder how many of the 1M people who signed this petition are Santa Clara County residents? Just how much influence in this matter should non-SCC residents bring to bear?

17 people like this
Posted by OfNationalInterest
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 9, 2017 at 11:31 am

Well, this is generally an issue all across the country: (1) whether rape cases are treated with the seriousness they deserve, and (2) whether there is bias (intended or not, explicit or not) affecting the verdict and the sentencing. I believe that this case should be examined and discussed across the country so that, regardless of its specific outcome, we get better at dealing with the issues above.

18 people like this
Posted by revdreileen
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

revdreileen is a registered user.

An often cited explanation/excuse for the sentencing decisions that judges make is that they are following the recommendations of the Probation Department. However, there is evidence that the predictive formulas that probation departments use is biased against low income defendants, which means that there is more likely to be a racial bias -- Web Link.

The Santa Clara County Probation Department based its sentencing recommendation for Brock Turner on variables like no prior criminal activity, family support, education level, etc. While this seems unbiased on the face of it, these variables are also more likely for white middle-/upper class people. A judge should not mindlessly follow the recommendations of the probation department without considering the possible biases inherent in their formulas.

17 people like this
Posted by citizen
a resident of Southgate
on Jan 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I was interested in this: "The recall campaign also said the commission erred in stating that Persky followed the sentencing recommendation of the probation department in cases in which the referral to probation was waived and there was no full probation report."

I looked at the campaign's very detailed and researched report. Web Link

It includes links to all the evidence supporting it -- unlike the Commission, which relied on secret evidence that the public can't see. That is a very significant mistake -- saying that Persky was just following the probation report when there was no probation report. How can we rely on anything the agency says when it makes mistakes like that? Did they even check to see if there was a report or were they so focused on protecting their judge that they didn't bother.

I am also bothered by the lack of transparency and secrecy. This is a taxpayer funded government agency. Explain to me why they can "exonerate" Persky based on secret evidence that the public can never access? That seems like it deserves a story all on its own.

6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Just recall Persky and be done with it. Ignore distractions.

7 people like this
Posted by caroline V
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Thank you for this excellent reporting. This is another piece of evidence that demonstrates our California justice system is broken.

5 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 10, 2017 at 5:17 am

People like Persky can Make Rape Great Again! Another day in the USA.

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