5 Petitions To Unseat Judge Aaron Persky To Sign If You Believe His Brock Turner Decision Was Unfair
Since last Thursday, when Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Michael Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Turner to six months' jail time for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, petitions to unseat him began to pop up in all corners of the internet. The judge couldn't have possibly predicted the fire that would ensue after he ruled:
A prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Turner]. I think he will not be a danger to others.
One website in particular, Change.org, has aggregated petitions about the case on one page, making it simple for people who want to protest Turner's sentence to unseat Judge Persky or simply improve Stanford's support system for sexual assault victims.
The leniency of Turner's sentence, as well as Judge Persky's decision to empathize with Turner and his father over the victim, who read a 12-page letter aloud during the trial, sparked a movement Change.org has titled "Justice for Stanford Sexual Assault Victim." A week after the trial ended, the movement gained over 954,200 supporters and includes nine separate petitions. Four of those petitions call specifically for the removal of Judge Persky. The movement's page can be found here. In addition to the petitions, an entire website called recallaaronpersky.com is raising money for the efforts.
Flying under the radar, Judge Persky began a new six-year term on Tuesday amidst the intense criticism. Facing no competitors, he was able to bypass an election entirely and hold onto the position he's held since 2003. In an interview with USA Today, Stanford law professor Michele Dauber predicted that he will lose his seat if the controversy continues:
His victory will be short-lived. I am 100% confident we will recall him. His decision hit every woman in the state of California in the gut.
Given that he's a former executive committee member of the Support Network for Battered Women, Judge Persky's decision dripped with irony. When faced with a former Stanford student athlete who had sexually assaulted a woman behind a dumpster, the judge didn't see a rapist. Like Turner, Persky had attended Stanford and was an athlete there. And similarly to Dauber, District Attorney Jeff Rosen also disagreed with Persky's decision:
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. I am so pleased that the victim’s powerful and true statements about the devastation of campus sexual assault are being heard across our nation. She has given voice to thousands of sexual assault survivors.
If you believe that Judge Persky made the wrong decision by sentencing Turner to six months in jail, this list of petitions offers an avenue of action.
1) "Remove Judge Aaron Persky From The Bench ... "
This particular petition, started by Maria Ruiz of Miami, Florida, will be sent to a total of 45 decision-makers, most of whom are state representatives and senators. With over 871,000 signatures thus far, it's well on its way to reaching its goal of one million supporters. The petition can be found here.
2) Petition To The White House
If "Impeach Judge Persky for Bias Shown in Brock Turner Sentencing" gains 100,000 signatures by July 8, the White House will have to arrange a response. Published to whitehouse.gov, the petition has nearly 91,000 supporters. It can be accessed here.
Dauber, who spoke to USA Today about Persky, has created a campaign paid for by the Progressive Women Silicon Valley State PAC. The website invites the judge's critics to become involved by volunteering, donating money toward a recall election, and signing the petition for recall. The website can be found here and includes contact information for further questions.
4) "Join Official Brock Turner Rape Judge Recall Movement"
This Change.org petition is connected to the campaign website and sends updates on the efforts to anyone who signs it. It also encourages people to flood the State of California Commission of Judicial Performance with written complaints. It can be signed here.
5) Censure Judge Persky
This fairly new petition, which has 407 signatures so far, demands that if he's not going to be recalled, Judge Persky should be censured (publicly denounced by the state) for his decision. The petition can be accessed here.