SAN JOSE (KRON) — Voters will decide whether to recall embattled South Bay judge Aaron Persky over his controversial sentencing of a Stanford athlete convicted of sexual assault.
The bar is fairly high to recall an elected judge, but supporters of the recall gathered some 95,000 signatures of support. And on Tuesday, they got the official nod that their effort to recall Judge Persky will be on the June ballot.
Advocates of recalling Judge Persky cheered moments after the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors ordered the measure to be placed on the Jun. 5 ballot.
Supporters believe that Judge Persky was too lenient in the sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who sexually assaulted an intoxicated woman after a fraternity party, according to Stanford Law Professor Michelle Dauber.
“It’s just very clear that the voters of this county have lost confidence in Judge Persky’s ability to be fair in cases involving violence against women, particularly when the perpetrators are privileged college athletes,” Dauber said.
The supervisors’ obligatory action sending the measure to voters was preceded by impassioned pleas of support.
But a group, known as Voices Against the Recall, warned that the effort is a threat to judicial independence, says former Judge Ladoris Cordell.
“They are going to think twice about doing what they think is right because of fear that they are going to be targeted with misinformation, lies, and distortions–and end up in the same situation Judge Persky is in,” Cordell said.
Recall supporters say Judge Persky ought to have sentenced Turner to state prison instead of six months in the county jail.
But Persky supporters insist he followed the recommendation of the probation department when he sentenced Turner, who was also ordered to register as a sex offender, and is now appealing his conviction.
This recall, in which voters will also be asked to choose a successor for Judge Persky should the recall be successful, is going to cost taxpayers about $1 million.
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