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Crime and Punishment
The Brock Turner Dilemma
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  • Andrew Allison

    An obvious case of Stanfordluenza. As dear daddy said: six months for a mere twenty minutes!

  • http://winterings.net/ Alex K.

    The judge may have been too lenient but he was applying the law, which allows sentences below the lower limit in “unusual” cases where the interests of justice would be best served by such departure. The law includes the offender’s young age and lack of prior record among the potentially mitigating factors. There is nothing to indicate the judge was breaking any rules or was biased towards the defendant. Local defense lawyers seem to have great respect for him so it’s safe to assume he is not known for draconian sentences in general.

    The lady behind the recall campaign, Stanford law prof. Michele Landis Dauber, probably knows it. Nonetheless she’s all for removing the judge from the bench for ruling against her recommendation. (Prof. Dauber, whose daughter is a friend of the victim, sent a letter to the judge urging him to sentence the swimmer to 2-3 years in prison.) For someone who used to clerk for one of the country’s most liberal federal justices (Reinhardt), seeking to recall a sitting judge for leniency is an ironic twist.

    But then, Prof. Dauber does not seem to hold the due process rights of male students in great regard, judging by her role in reforming Stanford’s internal investigations of rape complaints. “Having the 18-year-old rape victim cross-examined by the guy who raped her? That’s just wrong, wrong, wrong,” was her view. Apparently the new procedure has likewise failed to protect complainants so one starts to suspect that nothing short of the Inquisition will do.

  • Ofer Imanuel

    I read about the Baylor case (Sam Ukwuachu). That was a much more severe case – forceful rape of a virgin shouting “stop” and “no”. Doesn’t make Brock Turner less guilty, but agree that the outcry is for whites.

    • Will

      And the two cases had different charges. Even if the judge had just followed normal sentence the Standford case would still have seen less punishment.

  • qet

    As far as I know this kid is going to have to register as a “sex offender” wherever he goes for the rest of his life. As such he will be prevented from holding certain occupations, from living in certain places and even from coming within a certain distance of certain places. Everyone will always know he is a “sex offender.” Is that not punishment enough for those who demand he be severely punished?

    ” ‘Punishment’ is what revenge calls itself.”–Nietzsche

  • FriendlyGoat

    Light sentences for offenses committed under the influence of alcohol are not particularly helpful for discouraging people from getting stone drunk and doing mean and careless things. The story of the swimmer here should be that if you throw caution to the wind, get hammered and do things you would not otherwise do, you also throw your life and career to the wind. We need a cautionary tale for other would-be “fraternity men” that you had better keep yourself at least half sober—-but this judge apparently thinks otherwise.

    • mgoodfel

      +1.

      I made the mistake of arguing with some teenage girls the other day that getting drunk around horny young men was a stupid thing to do. They argued that they had a perfect right to get drunk if they wanted to, and I was part of “rape culture” for suggesting otherwise. Sigh.

      • FriendlyGoat

        The boys are the ones we more importantly need to keep sober. Ask the girls if that would be okay.

        • mgoodfel

          All boys vs. these particular girls? Which is more practical? I asked them if they really expected a boy to say “stop, you’re drunk” and push them away. Has that ever happened?

          • FriendlyGoat

            What a sober or near sober boy might do is 1) Take good care of any drunk girl he might find himself with, and 2) Realize that she may be drunk but he isn’t, therefore he might find himself in big trouble for taking advantage of her in an inebriated condition.
            I get it—-as the girls you tried to counsel also do—–that the days of just telling girls to not get drunk and “ASK FOR IT”—–are over. So, the thing to do is start telling the boys they ARE RESPONSIBLE for whatever happens between them and girls, so they had better learn how to keep themselves out of trouble. Keeping their heads and their judgment intact will help.

          • mgoodfel

            I don’t know what to say to that. Teaching boys to behave better is fine, but you aren’t going to reach all the boys. Girls are just fundamentally more at risk — they get pregnant, they get raped. And they regret the drunken hookup later a lot more than the boys do!

            What I see on the net is a lot of binge drinking on campuses. So we’re not moving in the direction you suggest — just the opposite. America doesn’t have a “rape culture”, it has a drinking culture. And it amazes me that so few people point that out.

          • FriendlyGoat

            If I had a daughter (never did), I would most certainly implore her not to drink heavily and thereby increase her own risks of catastrophe with cars, boys and/or everything else.
            But, society is recognizing that girls are not really “fair game” to be raped or otherwise “overdone” sexually just because their guard is down. So, in answer to this, I believe the direction we should go is to talk somewhat less about how alcohol is only for girls to avoid in excess (as though all blame belongs on a drunk girl) but also for boys to avoid in excess to keep themselves out of trouble AND to help themselves be properly kind to girls who may be drunk.
            This approach presumably won’t draw any ire from the feminists and might address what you point out as a big problem. The goal is to prevent something like the Stanford event before it happens, right?

          • mgoodfel

            I haven’t read much about the Brock Turner case, but I haven’t seen much commentary that talks about the drinking. Whereas to me, it’s blindingly obvious that this would never have happened if EITHER of them had been sober. Let’s hope that drinking habits change, but I don’t see much sign of it so far.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I read an article yesterday that Brock Turner’s fraternity “brothers” are rather rattled about all this and the negative attention drawn to them.
            That’s where change will begin—-if indeed we get any. The male organizations at the colleges may begin to protect themselves. The way that would be done is by better alcohol “policy”.

        • Tom

          Frankly, that’s a little bit like saying “Well, you could lock your car when you leave it, but it’s more important to teach car thieves not to steal.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            “Frankly, it’s a lot more like saying” the swimmer of Stanford most likely would not have done what he did without being inebriated.
            As for all boys being properly likened to car thieves, that’s nuts.

          • Tom

            It’s called “there are predators in this world, and pretending otherwise is the act of a fool.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            One would think SOMEBODY IN THE MALE GENDER (maybe at least from the churches) would not be cheering the (sexual) predators and dissing their victims.

          • Tom

            You seem to be mistaken about my intentions. Probably because you’ve forgotten how we used to handle human predators. Such as they are outlaws, to be dealt with as wolves are.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sure. You go get your gun and commence with that straight away. When I start missing you in the comment section, I’ll assume you jumped the shark and got arrested.

          • Tom

            Your attempt to distract from the fact that you tried to claim that I support rapists is futile.
            That was low, even for you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Tom, I know you do not “support rapists”. But you and JimL and I have been over this subject again and again in relation to YMY and the feminists’ view that it’s time to go beyond “slut-shaming” and “drunk-girl-blaming” and actually ask something from boys and men who have been using alcohol for a sexual lever. What is really wrong with it? There has never been anything to defend about the booze-soaked events of fraternities or any other booze-plying of girls.

            WHAT IS WRONG WILL TELLING BOYS AND MEN THAT GETTING THEMSELVES DRUNK WITH WOMEN IS NOT COOL AND NOT SMART?

          • Tom

            Probably the fact that we tend to believe that stupidity is not a crime, as much as you’d like to make it one.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Fair enough—-you demonstrate your unconcern for the best interests of the young people quite clearly. The question is why you spend your time harassing me.

          • Tom

            My “harassment” occurs for the same reasons that you keep replying to me.
            Also, it’s evidence of the difference in our worldviews that because I don’t think it should be enshrined in law you think I don’t care.

  • ChrisHalkides

    Professor Dauber’s letter recommending a longer sentence is discussed at AcademicWonderland by KC Johnson. Someone should ask her why she released a portion of Dan Turner’s letter. Mr. Turner acknowledged his poor choice of words, BTW. As others have alluded to, the sex offender registry may be the most consequential part of this sentence, and its impact deserves consideration before one calls the entire sentence too lenient.

  • PierrePendre

    Is it appropriate for anyone to write personally to a judge to influence sentencing as Dauber did? I don’t know whether she had sat through the entire trial proceedings and heard all the evidence and arguments but intervening in this way could be construed as interfering with the independence of the courts and even as attempted intimidation. The OCR’s intervention in university procedures and the reluctance of universities to involve the police means that the way accused students are treated depends on the arbitrary practices of their university. In other words they are denied the protection of the common law. University procedures seem to be framed according to the ideological prejudices of administration and faculty. KC Johnson notes that some administrators say their hands are tied by the OCR but the OCR and administrators often appear to be ideological allies who seek the same outcome. An institutional denial of justice cannot be right and now people like Dauber are trying to extend their influence into the courts themselves.

  • Frank Jackson

    Our under age child was targeted by a sex gang. Our family were gagged in order to suppress all information. http://bit.ly/ourNZexperience

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