Thursday, June 7, 2018

Update: Mob rule

The mob in Santa Clara County spoke loud and clear on Tuesday when they voted to recall Judge Aaron Persky because they thought the sentence he handed out to Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was too light.

There was little discussion about the hundreds of other sentences Judge Persky handed down. There was no discussion about over-incarceration. There was precious little talk about the dangers of limiting judicial discretion in sentencing.

In short, the mob voted to throw out a judge because they disagreed with one sentence he handed down to a college student accused of sexual assault.

Now what happens when a case comes before the new judge, Assistant District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson, where the choice is a sentence tailored to fit the circumstances or prison time? And what happens when one of the mob's sons or daughters is brought before the court and has to face the music? How happy will mom and dad be when the judge gives in to the mob and sends their baby to prison instead of placing them on probation?

The mob got caught up in one person's vendetta. They may have wanted to send a message that sexual assault is a serious offense but what they've done is tell every judge on the bench to be damn careful before giving anyone a second chance.

One thing is clear, however, judicial discretion is a thing of the past in Santa Clara County.

No comments: