The notorious Stanford rape case that shook the nation earlier in the year got a new round of controversy. The California state government, in response to the perceived light sentence that Mr. Brock Turner received, is considering mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of rape. Mr. Turner was arrested after he was discovered sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster after a party.
The subsequent trial saw him facing 14 years in prison, which was reduced by a judge to six months in jail. The reduced sentence was the source of consternation for those who felt Mr. Turner should have been subject to a harsher punishment. He was released earlier this year, after serving three months for good behavior.
The case also highlighted the racial and class undertones that permeate enforcement and application of the law. Many people argued that Mr. Turner received the sentence he did because he was Caucasian and came from a wealthy family.
The California bill, if signed into law by the governor, would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison for any person convicted of raping or assaulting a drunk or drugged person. The current debate marks a significant departure from California’s goal of reducing the prison population. It also presages a possible new wave of mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
If you are facing sexual assault charges, you may want to call a lawyer as soon as possible. As this case illustrates, a sexual assault charge could damage your reputation and your personal life. It is best to confront these charges quickly and efficiently with the help of an attorney. As you can see, even if you receive a favorable result, your personal life may still be irreparably changed.
Source: Vice News, “A coalition of feminist groups want to block sentencing bill inspired by Stanford rape case,” Tess Owen, September 12, 2016