Should College Athletes Receive Special Legal Favor?

I’m a father of four with two daughters. Since this is my blog, and I have an opinion, I’m going to weigh in on a specific rape case verdict in California. I know it’s easy to sit back and second guess any serious decision made in a court, but this particular case touches a nerve and provides focus on what’s wrong with the criminal justice system in the U.S.

Of course we can use the excuse, nothing is perfect, but when something as egregious as this verdict is handed down, then it’s time to move off of pat answers and on to specific solutions.

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Judge Aaron Persky presided over Brock Turner rape case

Brock Turner, 20, was convicted in March of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. He was sentenced last week to six months of jail time. The sentence, which could free Turner after three months for good behavior, requires him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

“His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite steak for him. … Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist.”

“His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” the father wrote.

The way people reword things to make something heinous sound better is ridiculous.

First, he should give a personal apology to the girl he raped. He should publicly admit that he understands the seriousness of his offense. Shooting, stabbing, throwing a spear at and hitting them, crashing his car into a person, strangling someone to death, or rape, isn’t just “20 minutes of action“. It’s permanent. It’s not like you can take it back.

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Brock Turner – Stanford University – athlete & rapist 2016

I don’t care how good you’ve been, wrote marvelous poetry, painted gorgeous landscapes, designed a terrific labor saving device, or participated in a university swim team, you don’t get my sympathy and neither should you receive that from a judge.

How is it better that the rape occurred by an athlete on campus rather than some schmo off campus?

What would I do different?

  • If he has earned any ribbons, medals or other athlete awards from the school, they should be rescinded. All participation and awards should be expunged from his record. 
  • Since he received a six month sentence, he should have additional requirements outside of prison, He should receive a large fine to be paid directly to the victim for counseling services and mental trauma.
  • He should be required to pay for & receive counseling services and serve at least 2500 hours of community service.
  • I personally think he should have received no less than a 5 year sentence, with at least 2 years of incarceration and 2 more years probation as a minimum.
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Brian Banks served five years in prison for rape he didn’t commit.

What this judge has effectively done is set a standard that says, if you’re someone who is a college student, with athletic aspirations, and white, you’re going to be given a lenient sentence.

If you don’t think that’s true, compare it to someone that was convicted of the same thing, wasn’t in college and is black. Then convince me that justice is blind.

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