Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Judge Aaron Persky Having Trouble Finding a Full jury Panel after Brock Turner Sentence

Persky cited 20-year-old Turner's youth and his lack of a criminal record as "unusual circumstances" warranting leniency.

 

Judge Aaron Persky

Update: There is now a petition being cirulated to recall Judge Persky, who was re-elected to a 12 year term on June 7th. 44,000 residents who are properly registered to vote in Santa Clara County would have to sign it.

PALO ALTO -- At least 10 prospective jurors who oppose Judge Aaron Persky's sentence imposted former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner prison for a sexual assault, more or less refused this week to serve on a jury in an unrelated case he presides over, says the San Jose Mercury News.

"I can't be here, I'm so upset," one juror told the judge while the lawyers were picking the jury in a misdemeanor receipt of stolen property case, said the News.

Another prospective juror stood and said, "I can't believe what you did," referring to the six-month county jail sentence Judge Persky gave Turner. The sentence was imposed after Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious intoxicated woman last year outside a Stanford University fraternity party.

In each case, the judge said, "I understand," thanked the prospective juror and excused her or him from duty, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Turner faced at least two years in state prison until the judge followed a probation report recommendation and found grounds to sentence him to county jail and three years probation instead. Persky cited 20-year-old Turner's youth and his lack of a criminal record as "unusual circumstances" warranting leniency.

The sentence has sparked worldwide outrage, fueled by social media and the victim's impassioned, 12-page statement. A Stanford law professor and friend of the victim's family, Michele Dauber, has mounted a campaign to recall Persky.

Persky's supporters said Thursday that some of the jurors' protest statements may well have been genuine. But others may have been prompted by a desire to get out of jury duty.

In California, jury duty pays $10 a day. People who show up are employed typically by large organizations that will tolerate loss of their services and paying a salary for long purposes. Companies like Apple and Google employ thousands of people in the Stanford area. But such people are reluctant to take time out of their jobs for jury service.

 

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