We Need to Do Better

I’m sure there are many people writing about the pitiful sentence the Stanford rapist got when the guilty verdict was finally rendered.  I’ll keep this short, because I’m sure there are plenty of writers saying everything that needs to be said, so maybe this is more for me.

His sentence…It was because of his money, his pedegree…  His blue eyes, his “nice smile….” Rape culture…something.  All of those things.  I don’t know.  Without a shadow of a doubt (and without personal bias) I believe that a young black man would be spending his life in prison, were he found guilty of the same crime in the same circumstances.  And that is only right for a crime this serious.   So why should Brock Turner be any different? Why should he deserve any leniency or deference to how the sentence might affect his life?

I also have a friend who was kidnapped, held against her will, and assaulted by her “boyfriend” for several days. That man got a month in jail…

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Even those of you who agree wholeheartedly that Turner deserves to rot in the deepest, darkest cell the state has for 10-20 years may doubt just how often this sort of thing happens, this sentencing disparity…this caring more for the rapist’s future than for his victim.  What message does this send to a victim of assault or rape?  Victims already feel violated, worthless, lost, dead inside…

We have to do better, and the first step is getting more people to acknowledge that these things still happen.  We may like to have faith in the justice system, but it is clearly misplaced.  Judges apparently have more judicial discretion than sense with regards to sentencing, so maybe it’s time to set some very rigid minimum standards…  Not the “minimum sentences” for a crime that we already have, the ones that this judge apparently decided could just patently ignored out of sympathy for the rich kid.

Finally, if you can say “I’m tired of hearing about this rapist,” or “I’m tired of hearing about sexism/racism…etc”
TOO DAMN BAD!  That attitude is part of the problem.

We need to do better.

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7 responses to “We Need to Do Better

  1. While it isn’t a contest, I think in this case the comparison is apt. But it would be a lot worse if said black man raped a white woman, wouldn’t it? We still pretend it doesn’t happen…it happens every damn day.

    • Did I misword it? I was trying to say a black man would never get any leniency in deference to his “bright future” like this rich white kid… he’d rot in jail. And I know it happens all the time, but I was referring to the “white privilege” folks that think racism doesn’t exist in the justice sysytem. Did that come across correctly? Just making sure. This is such a tough subject… rape + racism = fucking awful to discuss calmly.

      • Yes, of course you did. I was adding an extra element in pointing out that a black man raping a black woman would likely get the heavy sentence, but would get a WAY FUCKIN WORSE one if the woman was white. An added bit of racism that most don’t see. Hell, he might get off easy if black on black, as who cares about black women at all, right?

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