By We’Ced Youth Media
Photo via the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.
Editor’s Note: This week, widespread outrage erupted when news broke that convicted rapist and Stanford University Swimmer, Brock Turner, had received a lenient sentence of six months in county jail plus three years of probation for raping an unconscious woman in January of 2015.
Many are arguing the punishment does not fit the crime given that back in March, Turner, 20, was convicted of three felony counts: intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
Controversy further emerged after the release of the victim’s impact statement and a letter from Turner’s father who relegated the victim to “20 minutes of action.”
After discussing the topic, We’Ced reporters weighed in on the case and discussed whether the punishment fit the crime.
“As a girl, knowing his sentence will be over in six months makes me fearful that a perpetrator will be walking around freely. I feel unsafe. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. It’s ridiculous, because if it were to be a person of color at another university and not a prestigious university like Stanford, he would have gotten more years added to his sentenced.
With this case, the justice system has been unfair. The judge was persuaded because of Turner’s White privilege..
A lot of people can say it was the girl’s fault, even though it is really the guy’s fault because of his actions. We need to raise awareness. There needs to be more classes about drinking and sexual assault. Also, people need to remember that ‘No’ means ‘NO,’ and that if you are conscious, you cannot give consent.”
– Stephanie Mancilla, 17.
“ I feel like he deserves a whole lot more added to his sentence. If he was not a White male, they would have given him a longer sentence. I’m completely mad about this. Rape is not okay under any circumstances.
It is so shocking that a parent has raised their child to believe raping someone is okay. Parents should raise their children to be respectful towards women. For Turner’s father to justify the rape as a “mistake,” is wrong. These words to me mean that his dad is okay with the crime his son committed.
We shouldn’t have to bring awareness about rape. People should already know it’s not okay.
What she went through was very traumatizing. And for someone to be handed a six month sentence for a crime that has inflicted trauma and anxiety on a young woman for a lifetime, that calls for justice to really be served.”
– Alice Herrera, 18.
“If anyone else did that they would be in a lot more trouble, by anyone I mean a person of color. He should have got the same amount of time that everyone else gets. He did the crime so he should do the time.
It is wrong that his father used the phrase “20 minutes of action” to refer to the act of rape. It wasn’t an “action,” it was take advantage of of an unconscious woman.
It’s wrong to force people into doing something that they don’t want to do or can’t consent to. People shouldn’t have to learn not to rape.”
David Macias, 18.
“I think his dad is trying to make it seem as if it wasn’t a big deal. It was a big deal. It’s not a simple “action.” Did he mean it was ‘20 minutes of rape?’ Because that’s what it was and everyone needs to understand.”
Layla Ornelas, 14.
“This case makes me incredibly angry. That should not be happening at all. I’ve seen the petitions to have the judge removed and I’ve signed one. I think it’s disrespectful to the victim and all women. It’s telling the public and the U.S. that women don’t matter and victims don’t matter. It’s frustrating. I hope that the case goes to an appeal because he already appealed his case. I’m pretty sure that maybe he might get a longer sentence. Its ridiculous. It’s a case of white privilege. A mix of white privilege and rape culture.
I think education about rape and consent should begin very early. I don’t remember ever having a discussion about rape in my sex education class in high school. It shouldn’t happen before college, which was when I finally had that talk. It was only brushed over in high school. They taught me more about abstinence, and that should be focused on. The focus should be redirected. Other preventative measures should be made. It’s about this patriarchy system between men and women. We are slowly turning into patriarchy. There’s a lot of work to do to combat patriarchy and a system that encourages rape. It should be a focus in education, but also at the family level to teach children how to respect women starting from the home.”
Leah Wight, 24