Special Needs? No Problem! Rape of a Drunk Girl Goes Practically Unpunished
By Raymond Shipley
Brock Turner was released from jail after only three months served of a six month conviction, for rape. There has been public outrage over the handling of the Turner case, which could have resulted in over a decade in California state prison, but the judge assigned to the case, Aaron Persky, saw fit to give Turner the equivalent of a "don't get caught next time" punishment in his joke of a sentence.
The act of having sex with a woman too drunk to consent has been surrounded by controversy in recent years, and it will be a topic tackled at length by Reach Victoria in the weeks to come. It is an area of particular interest, and it would seem unfair to give this pile of feces too much due in terms of relation to said criminal activity. Suffice to say, the law, morality and ethics on sex is painfully clear: there must be consent. This shouldn't be a difficult concept to grasp, but sadly it seems to be. If there is no consent, it is rape in the eyes of the law and anyone who claims to value and respect others. Simple.
New photographs have surfaced showing a "disheveled" Turner who is "apparently bruised and with a torn shirt." Two other college students who witnessed the assault tackled Turner in order to stop him. It is unfortunate the injuries were limited only to dishevelment and bruising; this author would have done far worse.
"My intentions were not to rape a girl without her consent...I was just trying to hook up with a girl," Turner claims. "We were so drunk, we didn't even know what we were on or what we were by."
These statements are all too common in attempt at defense in these rape cases. First, I am unclear how someone rapes another with their consent. Additionally, drunkenness on the part of someone committing a criminal act is not a defense. The claim is often made as to whether two drunk people are raping each other, or if their joint drunkenness somehow cancels each other out. The short and sweet answer is, no. Intoxication is not excuse for criminal activity. The crime of rape is to have sex with another without consent. "I was just trying to hook up with a girl" shows intent, and her intoxication denies her the ability to legally offer consent. Case closed. Need an analogy? Ok, you're piss drunk at the bar and another is equally drunk that you just met tonight. While helping you walk to your car he knocks you down, provides a few swift kicks, and steals your wallet and keys. His intent was to rob you, and whether the alcohol played a part in his decision making is irrelevant, just as your own drunkenness does not provide an excuse to take your property without your legal consent.
It is this author's opinion Brock Turner should have been put in general population while incarcerated. As a white "man" in California, the rules in the penal system are clear and stated. If one has been convicted of a sex crime, ever, he needs to die. Do not pass "Go", do not collect $200, sorry about your luck. There is no gray area, just as there shouldn't be. The special treatment given to inmates that have provided information to the state makes sense, as they have traded for their protection. That this same special treatment is extended to people that have committed deplorable acts specifically because these acts are seen as abhorrent even by other convicts is an abomination. They have traded nothing for such treatment.
As for the judge, who has stated "I believe strongly in judicial independence. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to appease politicians or ideologues," I can only say he is a disgrace. California has mandatory minimum sentences for a reason. Like the reason or not, it exists; however, almost every felony is punishable by time in the county jail. This clause is there for the rare case in which actual prison time is overkill. Use of this is typically reserved for very unique cases and almost always due to a probation officer's recommendation. This author recognizes nothing unique about this case aside from an unapologetic father and son, and a judge who likely sees his own frat boy, raping ways in Turner's eyes and realizes the hypocrite he would be in sentencing a boy after his own heart to a harsh sentence. And it should go without saying the Constitution does not defend the actions of criminals.
Assembly Bill 2888 would require courts to treat punishment for those convicted of a sexual assault against someone who's unconscious or too intoxicated to give consent the same as if the victim were conscious. Not surprisingly, there is no indication the governor will sign AB 2888 since he's spent more time approving new gun grabs and spewing rhetoric about building a wall to separate California from the rest of the country. Whether AB 2888 is the answer or not is yet to be seen.
Rape is, in this author's opinion, a crime akin to murder and mayhem. Offenders should be treated accordingly, and society should popularize a morality that values each individual, male or female, not only because respect of another would limit such crimes, but because it is the right thing to do. The sexual relationship should not be a man trying to score and a woman trying to defend; both man and woman should be seen not as opponents in life, but on the same team striving for mutual goals.