CA Passes Bill Requiring Prison Sentences After Stanford Rape Case
The new bill, inspired by the backlash over the Brock Turner sentence, will bar probation to prevent light sentences for those convicted of sexual assault.
With an estimated 1 in 5 women being sexually assaulted on college campuses each year, the thought of being raped is a nightmare for most women. But when this nightmare becomes a reality, all too often the victims do not get the justice they seek in court.
Perhaps most notably, the recent case of Brock Turner caused a national outcry on behalf of his victim when the convicted Turner received an unusually light 6 months in jail — and was released after serving only half his sentence due to good behavior. Over 1 million people signed a petition to remove the case’s judge, Aaron Persky, from the bench.
Thankfully, lawmakers took notice of the public’s outrage and successfully passed a bill to prevent such light sentences for those convicted of sexual assault. It received unanimous support in the state assembly, but must first be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown before it officially becomes law.
The bill in question would close a loophole in existing law regarding victims who were unconscious, inspired by what happened to Brock Turner’s unconscious victim. The current loophole allows for convicted rapists and sexual assailants to be sentenced to probation instead of prison time if their victims were unconscious.
“Sexually assaulting an unconscious or intoxicated victim is a terrible crime and our laws need to reflect that,” Assemblyman Bill Dodd said. “Letting felons convicted of such crimes get off with probation discourages other survivors from coming forward and sends the message that raping incapacitated victims is no big deal.”
California lawmakers hope that, if passed, this bill will further deter sexual assault and protect victims of sexual assault from not receiving the justice they deserve in court.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen expressed his gratitude toward Emily Doe, the pseudonym of Brock Turner’s victim, for coming forward with her story.
“It gave all of us the inspiration to make sure the next Brock Turner either leaves the next Emily Doe alone, or the next Brock Turner goes to prison,” Rosen said.
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