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Opinion

Brock Turner’s sentence is another sad case of leniency because of ‘affluenza’

 Brock Turner
Former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, shown in a Palo Alto, Calif., courtroom in 2015, was convicted in the sexual assault of a woman on campus.
(Karl Mondon / San Jose Mercury News via AP)

To the editor: Brock Turner and his parents are yet another “affluenza” family. The convicted felon failed to take responsibility for the sexual assault he committed, and his parents in their attempt to protect him failed to hold him accountable and teach him right from wrong. (“Brock Turner’s claims to judge contradicted in new documents,” June 11)

Reading that his arrest for assault at Stanford was the second time he was taken into custody — previously, he was arrested for underage drinking in a separate incident — and that he ran then too after being caught makes one see a pattern of behavior on Turner’s part. 

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I believe Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky will rue the day he was lenient with this young man, as I believe this will not be the last Turner sees of the justice system.

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Sandra Carter, Long Beach

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To the editor: I am a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who served 10 of my 20 years on the bench in L.A.’s central criminal division. Almost every article I have read about the Turner case is critical of the sentence, and certainly those criticisms may be appropriate. 

While it is appropriate to criticize a sentence, it is inappropriate to call for the judge’s recall. What people such as the Stanford law professor leading the charge for Persky’s recall are doing is using the judge as a whipping boy to further a cause, albeit a good cause. 

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I suggest to those calling for Persky’s removal that they imagine themselves asking a judge for leniency in a case where granting it would be appropriate but would be unpopular with the public. Then ask yourself whether you would want the judge to be concerned about losing his job when making that decision.

That’s what judicial independence is all about.

Robert T. Altman, Los Angeles

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