Another note regarding the Stanford case:
Some of my friends have pointed out that part of the outcry against the lenient sentence is because of how the case fits into the greater justice system. As one friend put it, “For me it’s not a problem that the judge exercised compassion for the perpetrator; the problem is that the same compassion is not extended to people who aren’t talented white men.”
For Brock Turner, his race and class status may not have caused his light sentence. I doubt that Judge Persky was intentionally weighing these factors in his mind. Maybe if Turner was black and poor, he would have received the same sentence. Who knows. But we cannot deny that a pattern emerges across the entire criminal justice system. The criminal justice system treats you better if you’re guilty, white, and rich, than if you’re innocent, poor, and black.
Judge Persky looked at the humanity of Brock Turner. He saw a young man who did not belong in prison. I hope and pray that we become a society that extends that same compassion to all.