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As recall vote nears, judge defends his record

Original post made on May 8, 2018

With less than a month left until election day, embattled Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky is venturing back into the public eye to make a final plea to voters.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 9:51 AM

Comments (11)

Posted by Carol
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 8, 2018 at 11:09 am

I am glad that the media is starting to give a more balanced perspective on this misguided recall effort. The recall campaign has painted a caricature of Judge Persky that is almost cartoon-like and not at all compatible with his record on the bench over the last 14 years. He has near-universal support throughout the legal community. His detractors, on the other hand, have garnered support from a number of political opportunists hoping to capitalize on the #MeToo movement. Recall supporters say that his is an elected position, but politics really needs to stay out of the courtroom.

Posted by zirbawtnv
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Well said, Carol. The recall campaign against Perksy is absurd, but it is difficult for rational people to comment on the campaign, given our toxic political culture. Putting your name out there attached to any kind of opposition to the recall campaign will make you a target for the Internet rage-mob, who will immediately claim that you are condoning sexual violence if you don't think Persky should be recalled.

Posted by No recall
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by listen Carol and zirbawtnv
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm

he let a rapist walk free! and you call that what, a stellar record? the question is: what happened so he would come up with such extremely lenient veredict? if anything, recalling this idiot, will show the community is not willing to put up anymore with this type of behavior, always letting the rich walk away free. and even with rape!

Posted by PerskyOK
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Persky jailed the guy, ruined his career, ruined his education. The kid got thrown out of Stanford University. The kid got kicked out of California. Persky followed his advisers. Keep Persky. DON'T recall him.

Posted by I'm Voting NO on Recall
a resident of North Whisman
on May 8, 2018 at 4:11 pm

I'm Voting NO on Recall is a registered user.

It's worth the time to read the full Probation Report before voting. In addition to the Probation Officer's assessment, it also includes a summary of the police report.
Web Link

There are a few things that I found very surprising/interesting, as they conflict with what I had originally heard in social media.

1) Brock Turner was found NOT GUILTY of the 2 rape charges. This is not a rape case, it's a sexual assault case with intent to rape. The 3 out of 5 charges that he was found guilty of are listed in the report. Without going into the details in this comment, the penetration that he is guilty of is different from what I had originally thought. This is not to minimize the gravity of sexual assault because this is also serious...I'm just trying to weigh the actual crime against the punishment.

2) While Brock Turner claims that the victim consented, the victim does not explicitly say that she did not consent.
Rather, she does not remember being alone with him, inferring that she does not remember consenting or not consenting at the time. Again, this does not give Brock Turner or any man free reign on another's body and he should be punished, as he was. I bring this up because it does not seem to be the typical "no means no" case that we are used to.

3) The victim is quoted as saying, "I don't want him to feel like his life is over and I don't want him to rot away in jail; he doesn't need to be behind bars" and the officer offers more color to this effect in her assessment as well. This makes me wonder if the recall is based on the wishes of Emily Doe, or if it is actually based on a misguided effort by Michelle Dauber to recall Persky for other reasons. Even if the reason is a noble one (e.g. to raise awareness of rape & sexual assault), I don't agree with using this particular case as the poster child.

I'm voting NO on the recall not only because I believe in judicial independence, but also because I believe the punishment fits the official crime.

Posted by mstofoles
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm

mstofoles is a registered user.

I'm going to vote to recall Persky. I am a rational person and not part of an Internet rage mob and have no intention of "targeting" anyone. But I think the rape culture in this country needs to change and sending a strong message to a judge (who feels that a hand-slap is a good enough punishment for a rapist) is a positive thing. What has become apparent through the Me Too movement is that there are multitudes of men who don't value women as human beings - they think they can do whatever they want with them, that it's no big deal (I believe Turner's dad referred to it as "20 minutes of action") and have been getting away with it for eons. We need to help all these guys understand that the behavior is completely unacceptable, that it impacts their victims in a huge way, and is in fact, criminal. I believe that Persky's lenient sentence indicated that he's one of those people that felt that the assault on that woman wasn't a particularly big deal and that the perp shouldn't be treated too harshly. How can we expect men to change their attitudes if they're being told by the legal system that their behavior is "not that bad"?

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

To the previous poster, why not read the victim's statement at trial? It's right here: Web Link

I'll post some excerpts:
"Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.

I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation."

"So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so."

"On top of all this, he claimed that I orgasmed after one minute of digital penetration. The nurse said there had been abrasions, lacerations, and dirt in my genitalia. Was that before or after I came?"

Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

I'm voting against recall. None of the arguments from people arguing for the recall make sense to me. I don't believe in voting symbolically just to send a message. That's how Trump got elected. Trump's comments and attitude toward women seem worse than that kid does. The kid was drunk, and the whole party was a big bacchanal celebration. I don't think the judge had anything to do with that. Persky's comments in the article are something I highly support. If I could recall Dauber I would though, because she continually misleads the public on the recall issues.

Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

Another thing I notice is that a lot of the case against Turner came from his own statements at the scene. Those who claim he lied overlook that he incriminated himself! And yet they blame the judge for the way the case turned out.

Posted by mstofoles
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 8, 2018 at 4:47 pm

mstofoles is a registered user.

@I'm Voting NO on Recall -
1) Did you read the victim's statement? She felt COMPLETELY violated. Why are you mincing about whether she was penetrated by his fingers or his penis? She was unconscious, he removed her clothing, fondled her body and penetrated her vagina. You just want to make sure the punishment fits the crime - as if this wasn't much of a crime if he "only" used his hands? This is EXACTLY the problem - a culture that sees this assault as "not such a big deal- 3 months in jail is enough punishment." And that is why these crimes are committed- because society blows them off as minor infractions. That's why Persky needs to be recalled- to send a message that assault is a VERY big deal.

2) She didn't actually say she didn't consent - Seriously? She was unconscious as evidenced by two eyewitnesses - how could she have consented?

3) "The victim is quoted as saying, "I don't want him to feel like his life is over... - Did you read the victim's entire statement? You've taken one line out of context. Her entire statement, describing the impact that his "20 minutes of action" had on her life is not only moving but informative as to victim impact.

A year ago a poignant statement was written by one of the jurists in the trial. I's worth reading as a reminder of what actually occurred in the courtroom.
Web Link

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