Stanford rape case: Campaign to remove judge Aaron Persky submits 100K signatures

SAN JOSE (KRON) – Voters are a big step closer to getting an opportunity to decide whether to oust judge Aaron Persky for his handling of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s sexual assault case.

Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber said the campaign to remove the Santa Clara County Judge submitted nearly 100,000 signatures on Thursday to get the recall on the June 2018 ballot.

The registrar of voters must verify the signatures, but Dauber said the campaign needs just under 59,000 signatures and has plenty to qualify.

“We’re here doing this because of the thousands of supporters and volunteers who have donated their time and passion and commitment to the belief that we can make a change to how violence against women is handled in the justice system,” Dauber said.

Persky drew criticism after he sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner in 2016 to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman who had passed out behind a trash bin. The judge has said it’s his job to consider lighter sentences for first offenders and that he cannot allow public opinion to factor in his decisions.

His attorney, Elizabeth Pipkin, said in a statement that the recall campaign did not comply with the California Constitution, and she looked forward to defending “the independence and discretion of superior court judges in the interest of protecting the rights of all citizens.”

Persky had filed a lawsuit arguing that superior court judges are state officers and that any effort to recall them should be filed with state elections officials. A judge ruled against him last year and said the recall campaign could resume.

California’s court judges serve six-year terms and are elected by county voters. Vacancies are filled by the governor.

Dauber said the county has 30 days to verify the signatures.



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