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Opinion

Readers React: Did Judge Aaron Persky err when he followed the probation department’s recommendation?

Michele Dauber
Stanford law professor Michele Dauber speaks at a rally advocating for Judge Aaron Persky’s removal from the bench in 2016.
(Eric Risberg / AP)

To the editor: Let me get this straight: A sitting judge with 15 impeccable years on the bench is recalled because he sentenced a defendant to the term recommended by the probation department?

To make matters worse, the movement to recall Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky was carried out by a Stanford law professor who is not licensed to practice to law. Run that by me again: She has never practiced law, but she teaches law?

Does she know when it is proper for a sentencing judge to deviate from the recommendation of the probation department in sentencing someone? Did she explain in her bake sales with recall petition in hand what the obligations of the judiciary are and what the criteria might be to ignore the probation department’s recommendation? Did she debate the necessity of an independent judiciary?

This is a very said day for the legal profession and for Stanford Law School.

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Tom Brayton, Long Beach

..

To the editor: Your editorial promoting the appointing of judges as opposed to electing them strays into dangerous waters. You state: “Many states don’t elect judges. Perhaps they are onto something.”

I believe that many dictatorships also never elect judges. I don’t think they are role models to be emulated.

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Besides, the real reason that Stanford student Brock Turner got the light sentence after being convicted of sexual assault was that Persky was not going to come down hard on a privileged young man.

David Ando, Torrance

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