News

DA disqualifies Judge Persky from new sex-assault case

Backlash over Turner sentencing continues for Aaron Persky

The embattled judge who presided over the trial and sentencing of former Stanford University student-athlete Brock Turner was disqualified Tuesday from hearing an unrelated sexual-assault case.

In a "a rare and carefully considered step," Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen filed a peremptory challenge against Judge Aaron Persky, preventing him from presiding over a preliminary hearing for a male Kaiser Permanente surgical nurse accused of sexually assaulting a sedated woman, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.

Rosen filed the challenge after Persky dismissed a misdemeanor stolen property case in the middle of a trial before the jury deliberated, ruling in response to a defense motion that the state had not proven its case. Persky reportedly faced backlash over the Turner sentencing during jury selection for this case, in which some prospective jurors refused to serve, according to several media reports.

Although rarely used, in California attorneys on either side of a case may unilaterally remove a judge if they believe the judge is prejudiced against the attorney or the defendant and that a fair and impartial trial is not possible. The disqualification is automatic and requires no showing of cause.

"We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky's unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate," Rosen said in a statement. "After this and the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient."

In the case, surgical nurse Cecil Webb, 54, has been charged with one felony count of sexual battery of a hospitalized person for allegedly touching the genitals and breasts of a woman who was under light sedation in 2014 at Kaiser Permanente's Santa Clara Medical Center.

Rosen said that in future cases, his office "will evaluate each case on its own merits and decide if we should use our legal right to ask for another judge in order to protect public safety and pursue justice."

Since sentencing Turner to six months in jail and three year's probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a campus fraternity party last January, Persky now faces a mounting recall effort and intense criticism from advocates against sexual violence, state lawmakers and others across the country. A juror in the case spoke publicly for the first time this week in an open letter to Persky, telling him he was "absolutely shocked and appalled" by the "ridiculously lenient" sentence.

Rosen, however, quickly spoke out against the recall effort soon after the sentencing.

"While I strongly disagree with the sentence that Judge Persky issued in the Brock Turner case I do not believe he should be removed from his judgeship," he said in a statement.

In a statement Friday, the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) expressed its opposition to the recall effort, noting "the importance of judicial independence."

"Judges have a duty to apply the law to the facts and evidence before them, regardless of public opinion or political pressure," the statement reads. "If judges had to fear direct, personal repercussions as a result of their decisions in individual cases, the rule of law would suffer."

The bar association said it "has seen no credible assertions that in issuing the sentence, Judge Persky violated the law or his ethical obligations or acted in bad faith."

The Palo Alto Weekly has created a Storify page to capture ongoing coverage of the Brock Turner case. To view it, go to storify.com/paloaltoweekly.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

24 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm

"Puzzled and disappointed" by Persky's unusual and unilateral move to dismiss a case before it could go to the jury.... Is that a polite way of suggesting Judge Persky is under some emotional strain and/or health problems that prevent him from acting professionally?


28 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:02 am

mauricio is a registered user.

In the Brock Turner trial, Judge Persky ignored a statutory minimum of two years and handed out a light sentence of six months in a county jail and three years probation. Whether he is under emotional strain and/or has health issues, something is very wrong with this judge. His decisions are puzzeling and make no sense. The DA has done the right thing. Just imagine him presiding over the new sexual assault case, and handing out another light sentence if the defendant is found guilty. I believe that his judicial career is drawing rapidly to an undignified end.


32 people like this
Posted by Strom
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

What I find amazing is that the media and activists groups are absolutely convinced on the fact the judge is wrong and showed bias in this case and call for his job. But when the tables are turned politically and someone like Donald Trump says his judge is bias, the same group of people call Trump a racist. People you have to wake up and stop feeding into your own self-interests [portion removed.] We are being manipulated as a whole.


27 people like this
Posted by Brady
a resident of Egan Middle School (Los Altos)
on Jun 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

Storm, Well said. The tables keep turning and turning....the media is the lap dog of fools.


Posted by SelfServing
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Jun 15, 2016 at 9:13 am


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13 people like this
Posted by @Strom
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:11 am

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by TrumpFan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:48 am

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by @TrumpFan
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:50 am

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by No name calling, please.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:00 am

No name calling, please. is a registered user.

Please exercise a adult self-discipline and maturity. No name calling, please. It's offensive and does nothing to promote thoughtful discourse about issues.




16 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:29 am

@ Storm. Seriously? Drawing that comparison is insulting to any person who can draw a breath.


25 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:35 am

Its sad that so many people pass Judgement on Judge Persky without hearing the facts of the case. Sexual Assault is a broad brush use in the criminal justice system that can have nothing to do with Rape. Too many times prosecutors are less concern about justice and more about political advancement. If you think that is not true just ask yourself why America has the most imprisoned public than any advanced nation. An impartial judiciary is the publics last stand against an out of control prosecution. I support Judge's Persky's decision and shame on those hypocrites that purport to believe in the justice except when a decision is handed down that they don't like.


15 people like this
Posted by @Rick
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:37 am

"Sexual Assault is a broad brush use in the criminal justice system that can have nothing to do with Rape."

So I guess that makes what Brock Turner did all right, then?


17 people like this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:52 am

I find it interesting that the commenters who feel that poor Judge Persky is being persecuted are male, at least the ones who post with names instead of cyber handles.


13 people like this
Posted by @Sylvia
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm

"I find it interesting that the commenters who feel that poor Judge Persky is being persecuted are male, at least the ones who post with names instead of cyber handles."

Boys will be boys, after all. Or so the Brock Turner defenders will have you believe...


20 people like this
Posted by Scottie Zimmerman
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Scottie Zimmerman is a registered user.

In a report this morning, I learned that a man who sent spam to 500,000 Facebook subscribers was sentenced to 2.5 YEARS in prison. Does that seem harsh compared to Judge Persky's sentence of 6 MONTHS [portion removed]? Or does it call into question a judicial system more interested in protecting me from spam [portion removed]? How does this make sense?


19 people like this
Posted by cid
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

cid is a registered user.

THE JUDGE SHOULD HAVE RECUSED HIMSELF FROM RESIDING OVER THE BROCK TURNER CASE.

.... As a former Stanford Alum and as a former Stanford Athlete (Captain of the Lacrosse Team.)

Rosen is just trying to head off trouble at the pass.


24 people like this
Posted by nat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm

This is a news clip about another case where Persky was the judge.


Right before sentencing Stanford rapist Brock Allen Turner to six months in county jail, Judge Aaron Persky presided over a domestic violence case, where the abuser was also dealt a light sentence. Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber watched as the victim in that case made a powerful statement to the court and showed photos of her abuse. "She had been beaten so badly that she was completely unrecognizable. ... the photos were almost impossible to look at," recalls Dauber, who is leading an effort to recall Persky. "[Her abuser] got like a weekend or two in jail." Even then, Dauber says, Judge Persky was concerned the man might not be able to make it to work on Monday after his jail term. "We all had to sit there while they tried to communicate with the county jail to make sure that he wouldn't be super-inconvenienced by having to go to jail for having basically almost beaten this woman to death," Dauber says.


This is unbelievable!


19 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Where will the piling on by non-experts and sideliners stop? What puzzles me is why those who are calling for the ouster of Judge Persky are not instead (or also) going after the prosecutor. Turner was originally charged with two counts of rape. Those charges were dropped. I presume this would not have happened if the prosecutor had cause to believe that Turner had committed rape. How is it that the court of public opinion can condemn someone for a crime that the prosecutor chose to not prosecute? The facts are bad enough; what's to gain, really, by asserting that they are even worse? Better, I think, that all this anger energy be directed at the root cause of the problem.


16 people like this
Posted by @Annette
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:20 pm

@Annette - the criminal penalties are the same for rape and the crimes Turner was convicted of (sexual assault of an intoxicated / unconscious person). In California, the definition of "rape" requires penetration with sexual organs, which did not happen here. But the penalty standards would be no different if it had.

In short, the prosecutor and the jury did their jobs. The prosecutor recommended a six year sentence. The judge and the probation office found exceptional mitigating circumstances that evaded the minimum sentence set by the legislature. That's the nub of the issue here.


3 people like this
Posted by Shameful attack
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:28 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by A Parent
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Absent a finding of special circumstances, the penalty for sexual penetration of an unconscious person is " imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, six, or eight years." (CA Penal Code 289). The judge found that this was "unusual case where the interests of justice would best be served" by a sentence below the minimum set by the legislature. The judge found that the convicted's young age, lack of priors, stable home environment, and that he was under the influence of alcohol made it "substantially less serious" than similar crimes. He was within his rights to do so - but the voters are within their rights to recall him for it. I hope we do!


24 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 15, 2016 at 1:52 pm

I can not feel sorry for this judge and still only feel sorry for the girl that was raped and sorry something was taken from her that she can not get back. I think this judge's credibility has been taken from him, but he gave it up freely he was not passed out when it was taken and it was his choice. I have no sympathy for him.


22 people like this
Posted by Erica
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Of course he acted w/bias/bad faith. He went soft on the defendant and didn't place himself in the young woman's/victim's shoes! THAT is bias!

The bar association goes to the same country club together, that's what that means. *eye roll*


5 people like this
Posted by TTSF
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm

TTSF is a registered user.

I would suggest to everyone who comments that they read the 470 pages of the court documents that have been released as I have...many questions are answered..one can make ones own conclusions reading the probation department and the evidence in the case and to compare the statements made by the [portion removed] with the evidence. Incidentally,CA has different definitions of rape and sexual assault as of now (theres a pending bill to change this) there were originally 5 felony charges against Mr Turner..2 were dropped because of the CA laws at present. I do believe Judge Persky has shown a clear bias toward male sexual perpetrators which is puzzling considering he used to be a prosecutor who aggressively prosecuted sex crimes...For those who talk about our incarcerated citizens..lets look at the racial makeup of that large amount ..the reasons for their incarceration and in my opinion how our Educational system has failed far too often young people before they graduate High school and the sad pipeline from school to prison that has been so eloquently discussed and performed by Anna Devere Smith


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Annette accuses others of being "no-experts", while showing a great deal of ignorance of California sexual assault laws and of this case herself. The rape charges were dropped on a technicality, because Turner didn't have time to penetrate the victim using his penies, having been stopped by the two graduate students. However, the penalties for rape and unlawful penetration of an unconscious person by other means are the same. The judge ignored the minimum sentence guidelines, for reasons that become less and less plausible by the day, and gave him a ridiculously light sentence that doesn't include any prison time. It amounts to three months in a county jail. [Portion removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by Richard Boulanger
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

I am disappointed that the State Bar Association, and district attorney both feel that a recall is a bad idea. I feel that the judiciary branch lives in an ivory tower of their own creation and they need to realize that the recall mechanism is on of the people's tool for regulation of their branch of government. Yes, this may be a knee-jerk response, but it is fitting. For a judge to toss out the juror's times and personal investment in the act of sitting on a juror is reason alone to have a recall. A strong message does need to be sent, simply to send the message that, no, as a society, we do not condone intercourse with anyone that is not in a position to agree. I suspect every parent would agree, and I suspect that may have been a driving force with the father's letters in this case, envisioning what might have happened to his precious son in prison. He seems to have written off the victim's same opinion. Recalls are a valuable and necessary mechanism in our system's checks and balances. Let the recall begin forthwith.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm

"...at least the ones who post with names instead of cyber handles."

The only difference is the cyber handles are totally honest. Names can be deceptively made up, even (gasp) with a different gender. For example, I can easily prove online that I am a curmudgeon. Can you likewise prove your name is Sylvia?


22 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2016 at 4:48 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Right before sentencing Stanford rapist Brock Allen Turner to six months in county jail, Judge Aaron Persky presided over a domestic violence case, where the abuser was also dealt a light sentence. The victim in that case made a powerful statement to the court and showed photos of her abuse. She had been beaten so badly that she was completely unrecognizable. Her abuser received a weekend or two in jail. Even then, Judge Persky was concerned the man might not be able to make it to work on Monday after his jail term. The judge ordered his people to communicate with the county jail to make sure that he wouldn't be super-inconvenienced by having to go to jail for having basically almost beaten a woman to death.

The Brock Turner case is not a one off as far as this judge is concerned when it comes to violence against women. There is obviously a pattern here. That is exactly why the DA disqualified him from another sex assault case, and why the chances he would ever preside over another violence against women case are zero.


20 people like this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Sheesh, Curmudgeon! Do I have to meet you for coffee, birth certificate in hand? Yes, my name is Sylvia and will have been that for 73 years this July.


22 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Where to begin?

First, I am far more impressed with the unbiased, judicial, balanced approach of the judges I've encountered in my 53 years in Santa Clara County, than I am with the mercurial approaches of the District Attorney's office, which appears to be based on the desire to pander to whatever hot-button issue inflames the public.

Which is not to say that sexual crimes should not be vigorously prosecuted. But vigorous prosecution should not include vicious exploitation of media coverage, distortion of the facts of the case, and unprincipled attacks on a jurist who follows the recommendations of the county's own probation department.

Second, this vigilante movement to remove a distinguished sitting judge uses the basest possible attacks. The notion that Judge Persky is prejudiced because a) he attended Stanford and b) he was an athlete and c) he is Caucasian is a travesty of logic. Judges go though a thorough judicial training process here in California, and my experience suggests that that process is very effective.

I wish District Attorneys went through a similar process. But they don't. Maybe they should.

What I fear is that this attack, which is spearheaded by a Stanford law professor who was not granted a seat on the commission that decided on Stanford's sexual assault policy, is an attempt to remove the check and balances that give every defendant in the State of California a right to a fair trial.

The national furor on this case exemplifies how far this great country has and continues to move away from the concept of justice on which America was founded.


13 people like this
Posted by amembername
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Judge Persky made the the right call. An emotional victim impact statement is not sworn testimony that's cross-examined, but the angry, ignorant mob takes it at face value and runs with it. What's also shameful is how the mob is now running around persecuting his friends who simply did what they were asked to do--describe Brock from personal experience.


9 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm

PS

The District Attorney can issue a peremptory challenge of a sitting judge? With no reason given? Where is the fairness in that statute?


13 people like this
Posted by @amembername
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm

And if it were your sister/cousin/other female relative that had been sexually assaulted, would you be as dispassionate and dismissive as your post suggests you are?


14 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Fairness is a Virtue is a registered user.

Person who uses @amembername:

I don't know amembername, but I agree with his or her comment. I'm sure that if a female relative of mine had been sexually assaulted, I would be tempted to call out for vengeance, regardless of any notion of due process. But I hope that I would be able to overcome that temptation and avoid joining a mob trying to lay waste to anyone they didn't agree with.

Also, there is a distinction between being dispassionate, and being dismissive. It is true that the statement of the victim in this case is not sworn testimony, and cannot be cross-examined. I don't hear amembername being dismissive of the statement; rather he or she is placing that statement in a judicial context.

And clearly, the judge did consider all the statements, with fairness, thoroughness, and judicial balance.

Good for Judge Persky!


5 people like this
Posted by TTSF
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:32 am

TTSF is a registered user.

@Fairness is a Virtue

Did you perchance read the court documents? I was initially very moved by the victims powerful statement however after reading the court documents which showed all the evidence. They clearly show that the defendant was a complete liar. His lies and inconsistencies were amazing. That the Probation department and the Judge felt excusing all those lies was right is very troubling. In my mind,those facts impeached any credibility Me Turner had. Having read all 38 character statements addressed to the Judge for Mr Turner,Not a one mentions the victim..her struggle and the essential life sentence she gets as a result of this convicted felon. The friend who has been roundly criticized actually stated that why should her friends Brock life be messed up for the next 10+ years by a person who doesnt remember anything but accused him...and she further stated that she felt political correctness played a part in Brock being charged ....Ironically,I do support the Judges recall but I was pondering today his being removed from a case and then hearing he was beginning a vacation 3 days early...How could a Judge about to be given a case on a Wednesday and start a vacation the following Monday? In the end,these cases eventually destroy lives...the Victim first and foremost...The Turners and the Judge . Theres no winners...Responsibility has to be taken for actions and that left a young Lady hurt a young man destroyed and a Judge's career probably over


17 people like this
Posted by Questions
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

Questions is a registered user.

Do the court documents explain what in the world Brock Turner did to his victim that caused bodily bruises and bleeding? She said that when she awoke in the hospital she found herself bruised and bloody! Why wasn't Turner charged with injuring her?


30 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

Fairness is a Virtue is a registered user.

Yes, TTSF, I did "perchance" read the court documents. The probation report in particular was very thorough, balanced, and well-thought out, as was Judge Persky's rationale for the sentence he gave. The probation officer interviewed both parties, and assessed all the evidence very carefully. She, and Judge Persky, who was a prosecutor of sexual crimes for years, are both experienced and knowledgable in dealing with people convicted of crimes.

I trust their assessments far more than yours, which seems influenced by the vigilante approach to this entire tragic case.

As for the character statements, their only purpose was to present a picture of Brock Turner's character. They're not invalidated because they didn't focus on the victim. And people who support friends or acquaintances should not be persecuted for giving that support, any more than the judge should be vilified for being fair, careful, and judicial.

There is a difference between having sympathy for Jane Doe, who certainly has suffered and deserves support, and engaging in a vendetta against everyone who doesn't agree with the District Attorney's position.

Finally, Judge Persky's vacation plans: Please note that he was scheduled to do a preliminary hearing, not a full case. There's no time problem with such an assignment; preliminary hearings are quite brief. It's always a good idea to check on these things before one makes an uninformed accusation.

I hope that if there is a recall effort, some sense of perspective will emerge, regardless of the national furor and thoughtless statements of many people weighing in on this case.


8 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:59 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Fairness is a Virtue: thank you for setting a different tone.


14 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Character statements from family and friends are singularity worthless, because the people who give them are singularly subjective, they are trying to save the person from spending years in prison, and will say anything. The judge had no way of verifying the character statements, which we now know were untrue and deceiving. The judge was looking for any excuse not to send this rapist to prison, and "character statements" were among his excuses. He was tried for rape because of California's antiquated definition of rape, which must, and will be amended, but penetrating another person without her consent is rape, end of story. Turner should have been imprisoned for many years anna got away with it. We know why. Fairness is indeed a virtue, and the one who didn't receive it was the victim.


14 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

I'm glad to announce that a community event in San Francisco Thursday night will gather complaint forms to unseat Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky.

"Remove Judge Aaron Persky from the Bench" takes place at 1014 Folsom Street from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m tonight. I am going with a large group of friends, and I know of many other Palo Alto and Stanford residents who will attend.


9 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Fairness is a Virtue is a registered user.

Mauricio, you have a right to your opinion that character statements from family and friends are worthless. But the fact that courts use them, along with input from many other sources in sentencing procedures, indicates from a broader perspective that they are worth considering. As are the recommendations from the Probation Department.

And no, "we" do not "KNOW" that these statements were deceiving. You THINK they were deceiving. That's a different matter.

Furthermore, someone who has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life did NOT "get away with it." Thoughtful people can disagree on the length of the sentence, but suggesting that someone who has three felony convictions on his record, plus jail time and probation time, plus the sex offender label for the rest of his life "got away with it" is unreasonable on its face.

What I hope is that the victim receives a lot of support, that the perpetrator makes every effort to atone for his crimes, and that these unfair and unreasonable attacks on an excellent judge and excellent probation department cease, and no further harm is done to the legal system in our county and state by these unwarranted and unfair statements from people who, frankly, should know better.

Oh, yes, and while we're at it, we could try to correct this alcohol-fueled party scene, which is not just Stanford's responsibility, but a society-wide problem!






4 people like this
Posted by TTSF
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:44 pm

TTSF is a registered user.

a question for Fairness is.... you read all the court documents and did NOT find that the defendant lied? It seemed clear to me looking at his statements and the evidence in the court documents that his contentions especially of not having used alcohol or drugs before he arrived at Stanford were not true. You contend the probation Department and the Judge were thoughtful and fair...I would respectfully disagree.. A defendant who is not truthful cannot be believed in my opinion

I find it interesting that if one feels the probation Department or the Judge were in error..your characterized as being unfair and unreasonable to the Judge and Probation Department and doing harm to the Legal system in our country based on unfair and unwarranted statements. In YOUR opinion that is..I have read a myriad of articles about this case by former Judges and criminal defense attorneys practicing who disagree as well We live in a democracy . In the State of California citizens have advise and consent of ALL the Judges. You may have an opinion that is different than others ..I get the feeling you feel yours is superior to others..thats your right..I dont happen to agree when your asked to vote in the recall..you can vote against it..your right in America ... as many others have their right to vote for the recall.. Wierdly,I have the feeling you know the Judge or are part of the Judicial system


11 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 17, 2016 at 6:10 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The harm to our legal system is done mostly by bad judges, like Aaron Persky. Remember judge Ito from the Simpson trial? The public is the ultimate judge of bad judges, and that's why I have no doubt he will be, justifiably, removed from his position. Family and friends character statement from family and friends are probably the most subjective and untrustworthy input possible, and taking it at face value like this judge did was outrageous. We now know that the input was embellished and frankly, untruthful. Turner arrived to Stanford with already existing drug and alcohol problems, while his friends and family claimed he acquired them at Stanford.


6 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Fairness is a Virtue is a registered user.

TTSF, you misread my post. I referred only to the character statements, not to the defendant's statements to police and in court, when I suggested that Mauricio was going too far in saying all the character statements were deceiving.

Now, what about the defendant's statements? Did he try to appear better than he was? Sounds like it. But the judge and probation officer knew about those statements, even though the jury didn't. They clearly did not think those inconsistent statements should be grounds for sending the defendant to state prison. Maybe they thought that most people have a tendency to present themselves as better than they are, particularly when being grilled by police. Maybe you've never done that--I have to admit that I have. So I trust what seems to be their assessment, rather than yours and Mauricio's.

As for your questions about me--no, I don't know the judge. No, I'm not part of the legal system. I'm interested in legal matters, certainly.

As for the question of superiority--well, I think that reasoned discourse and careful distinctions ARE superior to broad, unsupported generalizations, distortions, and personal attacks on people who are carrying out their duties with scrupulous care and fairness. These nationwide calls for vengeance and recall are not reasoned, and seem to be based on superficial and inflammatory press reports and hysteria rather than careful, thoughtful consideration of the available information. And the courts are supposed to be a safeguard against exactly this kind of mob mentality and desire for vengeance without regard to mitigating circumstances.

Not all opinions are equally valid, and the number of people agreeing with an unreasonable or even dangerous opinion do not make that bad opinion any more valid.

Mauricio, like your statement that the defendant with three felony convictions, jail time, probation, and a lifetime spent as a registered sex offender "got away with it," your statement that "the harm to our legal system is done mostly by bad judges" is unsupported by any kind of reasonable evidence. Judge Ito? There were dozens of reasons why that trial was so bizarre, only one of which was his loss of control of the courtroom. Prosecutorial misconduct, underfunding of public defenders, overly harsh laws, a broken prison system, there are any number of problems.

Judge Persky, on the other hand, clearly ran the trial fairly, accepted the verdict, and then carefully considered and carried out his responsibility to sentence the defendant, working in concert with the probation department. He disagreed with the assertions of the District Attorney and his lawyers that the defendant represented a continuing danger to society. I'd trust him before I'd trust the prosecutors and the defense attorneys, who are doing their job as advocates for their side, not as judges.

And I'm sorry to say that I don't find that the actions of this District Attorney particularly reassuring in this and some other cases in the past.

We live in an imperfect world. Maybe we should try to do what we can to support fairness, reason, and justice rather than looking for scapegoats to sacrifice in response to calls for vengeance from people who throw fairness aside and let their negative emotions rule.








7 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@mauricio "We now know that the input was embellished and frankly, untruthful. Turner arrived to Stanford with already existing drug and alcohol problems."

Count me out of your "we know" group and biased judgements about "untruthful, embellished" input. What I know from the court documents is that the ADA included unverifiable, inflammatory materials in her post-trial, pre-sentencing statements to Judge Persky. Keep in mind that the police and DA's office had possession of BT's cell phone as of 01/18/2015 but no admissible evidence was found on it or it would have been used by the ADA during the trial phase. Text messages in themselves do not "prove" anything about BT's character or that input from friends and family were lies or exaggerations. Friends and family provided character references about BT as they knew him from years of personal interactions. You disagree with what they said but that doesn't mean their statements were falsehoods. As for BT's text messages, please don't confuse projected image with Truth. My husband suffered from very bad allergies that seemed to get worse in high school in part due to his family moving to a different state. That was in the day when the choices for allergy control meds were limited. Other high school students assumed he was a stoner because of his blood shot eyes. Being a shy nerdish new kid on the block, my husband played along so the cool kids wouldn't pick on him. He got a rep for being a tight lipped stoner rumored to use pot and no doubt lots of other illegal drugs at home. That was in the day before smart phones and texting were available. When the court docs were released that included the ADA's pre-sentencing cell phone materials, I was reminded of my husband trying to appear cool in high school. Appearances can be deceiving.


6 people like this
Posted by BalancedCarefulConsideration
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

BalancedCarefulConsideration is a registered user.

Dear @Fairness @Skinny @Annette and some others who have also posted from similar perspectives on one or more of the threads about this all-around sad and tragic situation:

Amen.

So reassuring IMHO to hear some voices that are balanced, broad, considered, grounded, non-inflammatory and sane. I will feel a little safer at the Farmer's Market(s) this weekend knowing that folks like you are in the 'hood.


3 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@Questions "Do the court documents explain what in the world Brock Turner did to his victim that caused bodily bruises and bleeding?"

The injuries you describe did not appear in any police or first responder fire /emt reports. There was a "victim statement" included in a report submitted by Officer C. DeVlugt, dated Sunday, 01/18/2015. This female officer met with the victim at approx. 2025 hours ( 8:30 PM) when the victim came to pick up her cell phone from SUDPS custody. The victim's remarks were audio recorded by the officer. On page 5 of Officer C. DeVlugt's report: "She does not have any noticeable injuries. She also did not feel any pain from the incident. She only had a small bruise from the intravenous needle, which was used on her while she was at the hospital."


3 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 4:38 pm

skinny is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@ amembername "An emotional victim impact statement is not sworn testimony that's cross-examined, but the angry, ignorant mob takes it at face value and runs with it."

You are 100% correct about the difference between an emotional victim impact statement at a pre-sentencing hearing as opposed to sworn testimony heard by the jury in the trial phase. Twenty five years ago the public at large was better educated in the 3 R's and would not be confused like the tweeting hashtag mob are today. You seem to possess a discerning sensibility. I think you might enjoy reading the following article by Andrea Dworkin. Cheers!

Web Link




7 people like this
Posted by Fairness is a Virtue
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Fairness is a Virtue is a registered user.

As skinny points out, Michelle Dauber's statement about Judge Persky's seeming leniency, which she calls "unbelievable," is a biased and distorted version of what actually happened. Here's a quote from a reasonably balanced article from the San Jose Mercury News about Persky's record:

"During her interview with Goodman, Dauber claimed that the judge seemed overly concerned with the defendant's ability to leave jail on time Monday morning to go to work.
But it was prosecutors from Rosen's office and a private defense attorney who negotiated the plea bargain. The judge merely approved it, though he could have rejected the deal."

In other words, the very prosecutor who tried the Stanford case approved of this sentence, and Judge Persky gave due deference to what the prosecutor and defense attorney worked out. But Michelle Dauber didn't bother to mention this salient and important fact.

Dauber is not actually licensed to practice law in California, I understand, although she is a Professor of Law at Stanford. [Portion removed.]

The complete article is by Tracey Kaplan, dated June 11, 2016. It's worth reading.

If this vigilante effort to recall a judge based on partial and incorrect information and national hysteria actually comes to a vote, I hope we as citizens of Santa Clara County will look at all the relevant information, not just the biased reporting and distortions we have seen too much of to date.




7 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm

skinny is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 8:32 pm

skinny is a registered user.

@ Richard Boulanger "For a judge to toss out the juror's times and personal investment in the act of sitting on a juror is reason alone to have a recall. A strong message does need to be sent, simply to send the message that, no, as a society, we do not condone intercourse with anyone that is not in a position to agree."

1. Millions of people around the globe desire US citizenship. US citizenship is not a one way street of rights and privileges. Serving on a jury is a civic duty. It's not a sacrifice or an investment. Jurors are "owed" nothing from the presiding Judge for performing their civic duty, which ends with the verdict. The Judge is a licensed CA attorney with years of criminal court experience whose responsibility is to apply law and administrative judicial guidelines to the jury's verdict.

2. I agree with you when you say that society "should not condone intercourse with anyone that is not in a position to agree." But there was no evidence of intercourse in the BT case. [Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by TTSF
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 17, 2016 at 10:16 pm

TTSF is a registered user.

I have started to believe some of the people posting PRO Perskey are really worried the recall will succeed.

I am awaiting the entire transcript of the trial however the excerpts that I have read of Judge Perskeys sentencing grow more and more troubling..It seems to me the Judge had a narrative and found what parts of the court records to support it. One very troubling statement by the Judge was using the defendants friend,Ms Rasmussen character missive. He cited one line from it but it went on to say that her friend shouldnt have his life ruined for 10+ years because of a victim who cant remember anything but they charged her friend with serious crimes. Let me point out,this [portion removed] was witnessed by 2 individuals which in itself is unique for a [portion removed] case. The jury convicted the defendant on all 3 counts. I have still not heard anyone explain how the Probation Department and the Judge did not see the clear evidence of Mr Turners past where he used drugs like LSD and Dabs..and clearly used a great deal of alcohol. I cant quite figure how text messages and pictures in HIS phone could be discounted. I am also sadly disappointed that some of the previous comments seem to suggest the victim was not [portion removed]/violated. Actually quite shocking.

I am not interested in vengeance... Judge Persky has a conscious and it seems inconceivable that unless he has been hiding under a rock,that he hasnt seen how his actions and statements have/are being reviewed by people in the Legal profession..Judges..Lawyers ect. Most that I have seen are not agreeing with his sentencing or logic in arriving at it ALTHOUGH Judge Persky had the legal right to sentence this 3 time convicted felon to any sentence he wanted. I seek Justice...Do I feel Justice was served in this case..absolutely not. Justice is not defined by a long prison sentence its fairness to primarily the victim,the law and then the defendant

This case has so interested me that I am seeing a Criminal defense attorney who is considered one of the best in the United States. I have procedural questions regarding the evidence . I want to understand all the procedural aspects of a criminal case.

Last I checked,the District Attorney has to face voters. If citizens feel he isnt doing a good job...they should vote against him

I am not one who feels a recall of a Judge is going to do irreparable harm to our judicial system. Recalls in CA over the last 40 years have not been very successful. The most celebrated was when 3 Supreme Court justices were recalled in the late 70s. In hindsight,many have cited this as bad...Did Justice in CA really suffer after that? I would have opposed that recall based on the issues. So,if the recall movement succeeds..everyone will have their right to vote...The more I see and read,the more convinced I am that Judge Persky has issues in [portion removed] cases against women and deserves to be recalled.

I read today that Judge Persky has only been hearing criminal cases since 2015. If so,he doesnt have the long track record like some have cited since he got on the bench in 2003


9 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 18, 2016 at 6:35 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Skinny, for the thousandth time, BT wasn't charged with rape because in California, rape is defined as the forceful insertion of the male sexual organ into a vagina or rectum. BT didn't have time to do it, since he was interrupted, but he inserted his finger into the victim's vagina, a very serious felony, and received an astonishingly light sentence for it. In many other jurisdictions and countries, this would be considered a rape. The fact you keep downgrading his offense to the point where it seems like you have a vested interest in portraying it as a non crime which happened mostly because the victim was drunk, makes me wonder who you really are and whether you have a connection to this convicted felon and his family.


10 people like this
Posted by BalancedCarefulConsideration
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 18, 2016 at 9:16 am

BalancedCarefulConsideration is a registered user.

Dear Witch Hunters... Please please...

A Quote From today's Palo Alto Daily Post (Sat 6/18) front page article "Judge's record scrutinized" about Judge Persky:

"The Persky supporters describe him as a smart jurist who listens to all parties, including the probation department, and who is open to sparing first-time offenders lengthy prison sentences when he's convinced counseling and court monitoring can help them get back on track".

There are far worse traits than e.g. "listening to all parties" and etc. to be found in a judge or in any individual in a position of power! I can honestly say that (in the event of a terrible and unintended human wrongdoing on my part) I wouldn't want any other kind of judge judging me!


2 people like this
Posted by TTSF
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

TTSF is a registered user.

Dear Balanced With all due respect,,,,These were supporters who stated that about the Judge...Others who maybe are not supporters have cited a number of decisions by the Judge which are not considered quite so balanced and thoughtful. There has been a great deal of criticism of the Probation Department and the manner that the officer arrived at the conclusions in her report. Frankly,when one examines the evidence in this case,very different conclusions can easily be drawn as to the defendants truthfulness. How the Probation officer,Monica Lassetre,and Judge Persky seemed to miss this is very puzzling. The statements made at sentencing by this Judge defy the moniker of smart. I offer a question that was posed by a Judge in the East... If this 19 year old man was drunk and murdered an individual or was driving a car and killed people...would alcohol be grounds for a light sentence in County jail as opposed to prison? Would that crime be eligible for Judge Perskys leniency as a first time offender.. I think not...The Judge was clearly taken by Mr Turner and seemingly believed his "tale'completely. Mr Turner never did admit to the crime...and that was ok with Judge Persky clearly. Mr Turner is a 3 time convicted felon of sex crimes,as such,he is required to register as a sex offender. That incidentally was meant to protect the public as much as a punishment for Mr Turner. For all those who continue to say the Judge was balanced and fair in this case.. I ask them where? In this case,what are the distortions that keep being mentioned? I grow increasing troubled by the logic and facts the Judge cited at sentencing....and his actions were hardly balanced and fair and please dont mention "he was just following the Probation report"....a balanced and fair Judge would read the report and have the Judgement to deliver justice based on the facts...I am fairly certain,the Probation officer was not in the courtroom for 3 weeks but the Judge was and heard the entire case...


3 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2016 at 12:16 am

skinny is a registered user.

@TTSF "I read today that Judge Persky has only been hearing criminal cases since 2015. If so,he doesnt have the long track record like some have cited since he got on the bench in 2003."

1. The "long track record" that's been referenced regarding Judge Persky has been in regard to his extensive criminal court case experience as a SCC prosecutor. In particular he was known for his expertise in successfully prosecuting sex crime cases. If what you read is true - I haven't seen the article - I'm not sure what relevance it has. Judge Persky's competence, fairness, fine legal mind, knowledge of the law has been praised by other licensed attorneys, even a judge who recalled how impressed he was with Judge Persky when he was a prosecutor presenting cases over which he presided. Judge Persky's critics by and large are either media hairdos or posturing politicians who haven't sniffed a court room in ages, or a local unlicensed attorney with no CA. criminal court case experience. You should use the measuring stick of competence and experience for Judge Persky's critics as you do for Judge Persky. If you do that, Judge Persky wins hands down, imho.

2. If you want to consult with a criminal attorney you think is one of the best in the US, it's your choice. Just be aware that some attorneys bill for consultations. .

If you want get a free law lesson on this particular case from arguably one of the most storied, if not one of the best, criminal defense attorneys in the US, I suggest you listen to a podcast interview of Mark Geragos @ Reasonable Doubt. Geragos is a liberal, LA based criminal defense attorney who feels so strongly about the questionable quality of the outrage against Judge Persky, he says he will donate $ to Judge Persky's defense fund against recall or whatever, even though Judge Persky is a former prosecutor (an adversarial position to Geragos).

A few things Geragos emphasizes about the BT case:

1. the Head of SCC public defenders came forward and praised Judge Persky and his sentencing fairness - Geragos says this is highly unusual - he cannot remember the last time a public defender in that highly respected position has come out and publicly praised a Judge under fire.

2. Geragos says SJW's who claim BT is a rapist are uninformed. The ADA brought 5 charges against BT - 2 of which included rape charges - at a preliminary hearing presided over by a different judge, which Geragos says involves a low bar for showing probable cause [portion removed due to inaccurate information.]

3. Regarding the Probation report known as the PSIR ( pre-sentencing investigation report), Geragos says the probation department is known as the "hand maiden" of the prosecutor. The PSIR was shown to the prosecution BEFORE the sentencing hearing. The probation report WAS NOT objected to or subjected to motion to strike by the DA's office at that time. It was only AFTER Judge Persky announced sentencing that the ADA and DA held pressers about their disappointment ( over a PSIR sentencing rec to which they did not object earlier).

4. [Portion removed.]

5. Judge Persky followed the PSIR recommendation, done by an experienced female official, which had been previewed by the ADA with no objection. Judges are given discretion by the Law and he followed the PSIR recommendation which fell within the Judicial guidelines mandated by legislation signed by Governor Brown October 2015 for defendants who are under age 23 when they transgressed laws. The state legislation was a result of research showing executive functions of the brain were not fully developed until age 23. BT was age 19 at the time of the incident.

6. Geragos says there are 3 informally understood levels of crime and punishment for this type of case - low, mid, aggravated. Because the ADA only asked for 6 years, in effect she was already conceding presumptive level.

7. Geragos said there was a recent sexual assault case in SoCal that is an interesting contrast to the the BT case. In the SoCal case, the non-Caucasian immigrant male worked in a restaurant bar - he did not drink alcohol himself but he focused on women who drank too much and then sexually assaulted them. The DA decided not to prosecute. Why the disparity in applying the sexual assault laws on the books? What about equality before the law? Why did the press and SJW's not express outrage about the SoCal arguably more egregious case?

8. Geragos tals about the "life sentence" conferred by the sexual assault registry. Geragos has a 20 something son and if his son was involved, found guilty of sexual assault, he'd want him to take a deal of 2 years in state prison if it would avoid sexual assault registry. Geragos said the general public does not fully understand the sexual assault registry's impact on person found guilty of a sex crime. There's graduations of sex crimes but the registry does not give information about the individual's crime. Pedophiles are lumped together with low level technical violations of what is considered a sex crime.

Below is the link to the Geragos interview podcast. The BT case discussion doesn't start until about 3 minutes in. It's a free consult! Enjoy.

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2016 at 1:14 am

skinny is a registered user.

@ mauricio "makes me wonder who you really are and whether you have a connection to this convicted felon and his family."

I have no connection to BT or his family whatsoever. I am a female, a wife, a parent who believes in the US Constitution which is the Rule of Law foundation of this Republic. And if you are a thoughtful US citizen, you should not have any questions about my "connection to BT or his family."You should share my connection to this Republic and be as concerned as I am about due process and the rights and privileges of every citizen that's being threatened by mob frenzy, who want to subvert all the protections granted to every one of us by the Constitution. I cringe with embarassment when I hear Ms. Dauber talk about Judge Persky needing to be replaced by female who can understand women's issues. Yikes! That's dated sexual stereotype thinking. And when the ADA said BT had the face ( i.e. white blonde blue eyed) of a predator, I cringed as well. That's dated racist thinking. Ms. Dauber's and the ADA's type of archetype mindsets should alarm every American including yourself. Those narrow unconstitutional outlooks are throw backs. Frankly I don't want those types of individuals having any unbridled influence whatsoever on our legal system. Alinsky said realistic activists needed to have ego, self-interest, and no ethics. I'm seeing Alinsky disciples leading the mob parade in this case. It's no longer an individual's crime. It's about the war on women, rape culture, sexual assaults on campus. Say what? I'm worried that an ethical jurist like Judge Persky will be removed because the mob doesn't like his decision today and if that happens we're all at risk tomorrow. Blonde blue eyed young male may be out today, but who will the mob think is bad next week? Maybe it will be me or maybe it will be you.The mob redefines crimes on whim. Who's going to stop them if we have no independent neutral judiciary but gender identification judiciary whose expertise is defined by chromosomal makeup? BT is a young man, a real person - he is not the symbolic face of a predator. And BT is a US citizen who is entitled to a fair Appeal hearing and other US citizens should respect, not decry, this legal avenue which he has chosen. The legal process is what makes the US different from Third Word thugocracies.


5 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 19, 2016 at 6:36 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Skinny, actually, it's American nativists like you who alarm me to no end. In your world, victims have no rights. Persky is anything but an ethical jurist. This judge let BT and his friends and family deceive him. BT received a fair trial, unlike his victim, but the judge, for his own reasons, decided to let him off, and criticized the victim for being drunk, while stating that being drunk was a mitigating factor for BT. Yes, even Hollywood couldn't come up with more farfetched fiction and idiocy. If BT was not a Stanford athlete and white, he would be serving hard time right now in a state prison. This judge ignored testimony that indicated he was a sexual predator. This judge is completely unfit to be a judge.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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