Judge in Stanford Rape Case Up for Recall This June

The fate of a California judge who sentenced an attempted rapist to just six months in county jail will be decided by voters in Santa Clara County this June.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has voted to place a recall measure against Judge Aaron Persky on the June 5 ballot. The vote followed verification of 94,000 voter signatures in the recall effort against him.

“They want to hold Judge Persky accountable for his pattern of bias in favor of athletes and other privileged offenders who commit violence against women,” said Stanford law professor Dr. Michele Dauber, organizer of the recall effort.

The campaign against Persky began with his ruling in the case of Brock Turner, a young Stanford student convicted of sexually assaulting a female behind a dumpster in 2015. Critics say a review of the judge’s past revealed other instances in which he went soft on men -- particularly athletes -- accused of sexual assault.

Persky’s attorney, Elizabeth Pipkin, says her client followed the law when determining Turner’s sentence. That included taking Turner's lack of violent history and the recommendations of his parole officer into consideration.

“Being a judge is not a popularity contest. We hire the judges of this state to follow the facts and the law,” said Pipkin

Over the weekend, another one of Perskys defenders, retired judge LaDoris Cordell, also appeared on CNN’s Smerconish to talk about the case.

“This recall is targeting a good and fair judge who did absolutely nothing wrong and has demonstrated absolutely no history of bias. This recall is a dangerous threat to the independence of the judiciary. It is terrible for racial justice.”

On that last point, the host noted that everyone involved in the Turner case is white. But because of the high number of minorities in our criminal justice system, "black and brown people are going to be impacted," Cordell said. 

See also:

Growing Outrage at Judge Who Went Soft on Stanford Rapist

State, Federal Lawmakers Join Calls for Judge’s Removal 

Stanford Assault Judge Will No Longer Hear Criminal Cases