Judge In Brock Turner Case Recalled, First CA Judge Recalled Since ’32

Aaron Perskythe California judge criticized for his sentence of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turnerhas been recalled by voters, making him the first California judge recalled since 1932.

According to The New York Times, Persky had served on the Santa Clara County Superior Court since the year 2003, and had been slated to continue his term through 2022. But voters chose to recall him in the culmination of a campaign that started shortly after his sentencing of Turner in 2016.

Turner, who was a freshman on the Stanford swimming roster during the 2014-2015 season, was arrested in January of 2015 after being found on top of an unconscious woman near a fraternity house on the Stanford campus and was immediately expelled from the university and the swim team. By March of 2016, he was eventually found guilty of three charges: assault with the intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Two months later, Persky sentenced Turner to six months in county jail. Turner would only wind up spending three months in jail. He is no longer eligible for USA Swimming membership, and he will have to register as a sex offender for life (though he recently appealed his conviction with the hope of overturning that requirement).

The decision was widely criticized, and went viral even outside the swimming community. Turner could have faced up to 10 years in prison, and reports said the prosecution asked Persky for six years in prison. Persky referenced Turner’s age and lack of criminal history in handing out only six months in jail, but that decision was widely criticized on social media and elsewhere, and a campaign began almost immediately to recall Persky.

The New York Times reports that recall supporters gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot of an election this week. Persky released a statement saying that despite his background as a prosecutor, he had a professional and legal responsibility to consider alternatives to prison for offenders without prior convictions:

“As a judge, my role is to consider both sides,” he said in the statement. “It’s not always popular, but it’s the law, and I took an oath to follow it without regard to public opinion or my opinions as a former prosecutor.”

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I find it difficult to believe a judge from California would give such a lenient sentence if he didn’t believe it was for the best of everyone. While what Brock did is horrendous, his life is ruined regardless of how much time he spends in prison. I just think we might be going down a slippery slope by recalling judges because we disagree with their sentencing.


Isn’t it the essence of American democracy to be able to recall judges through public voting?


No its american democracy to elect the people who make the laws that the judges use to sentence. This is also a state by state circumstance rather than federal.

On a brighter note always glad to have swimming in the national news spotlight!


Wow – glad to have swimming in the national news spotlight ? That’s your take away ?


This particular judge has had an established pattern of leniency toward sexual assault and abuse perpetrators in general and toward athletes in particular which preceded the Turner case.

Coach Mike 1952

Persky was a 1984 Stanford alum too.

swimming yay

The court system in general could probably use an overhaul. Realistically, the courts are not practicing blind justice as it proclaims – the white and the wealthy are systematically granted undue leniency. This is also true with powerful people, athletes, and celebrities (because of their power). It’s an un-fun sobering perspective.


Please state your statistics that prove white people get lenient sentences


You’ve got to be kidding. Only the SAM (Simplistic Angry Male) crowd desperately wants to pretend that whites are treated unfairly. Granted, we’ve got an administration that plays to SAM fears each and every day.



>While what Brock did is horrendous, his life is ruined regardless of how much time he spends in prison.

As it should be. He should have thought about consequences before doing his horrendous act.


He SHOULD have a tough time ahead. The more that people write “Brock Turner is a rapist,” the more hits it will get on Google. And, if it’s on the internet, it lives FOREVER.

Brock Turner is a rapist. Brock Turner, rapist.

Right Dude Here

As long as we say that the power belongs to the people, eventually the people need to be the ones with the power. The state of California disagreed with his rulings, and as such they have chosen someone else. The definition of democracy at work.

Wylmina Hettinga

Only wish we could have recalled Judge Vincent Chiarello whose name had appeared on the Santa Clara County ballot right before Judge Persky. Judge Chiarello had jurisdiction of Alycia Mesitit and her father, the accuser claiming Alycia’s mother was the abuser, was given full custody of Alycia. He sent her older brother to the east coast and then drugged, raped, let his friends rape, videotaped it, watched the video for years and then murdered her and buried her body in his backyard. Judge Chiarello could care less. The father had two attorneys, Alycia’s Mom had none and was owed child support. We the voters put both of these judges names on the ballot but only Judge Persky got removed. Judge… Read more »


Social media wasn’t around back then to rally supporters.

Now social media gives people such an incredible platform, it has potential to exploit the weekness of direct democracy — ‘mob rule’


I understand where he is coming from by his quote at the end of the article, but I would like to know the statistic of people let off easy who later became worse.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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