LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is committing $25,000 to a Crowdpac campaign to recall the judge in the Brock Turner rape case.
Judge Aaron Persky is responsible for handing down what many have criticised as a too-lenient punishment for the former Stanford swimmer.
Turner was released from jail on Friday after serving 92 days of his six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015.
“This woefully unjust sentence sends a powerful message about how our culture systematically discounts and excuses sexual violence against women,” Hoffman, a Stanford graduate, wrote in a blog post about his donation. “To counteract that message, we must send equally powerful messages that signal our demand for reform.”
Since Turner’s sentencing came to light, groups have been calling for the judge to be held accountable in what Hoffman describes as “a necessary first step toward larger systemic reform.”
Persky had been up for re-election, but no challengers filed to run against him in March, months before Turner’s sentencing was revealed. Because he went unchallenged, Persky began a six-year position in June.
The Associated Press reported last month that the judge asked to be moved off of criminal cases and be transferred to the court’s civil division. Santa Clara County Presiding Judge Rise Pichon granted that request.
Efforts are underway to recall the judge after his sentencing of Turner came to light. Prosecutors had pressed for six years in the case against Turner, but Persky gave him a six-month sentence instead, despite the minimum sentence for the crime being two years.
“If we truly want to create a legal system that brings justice to all — a system that recognises that physically assaulting an unconscious human being is not some form of sexual shoplifting, a petty misdemeanour where a 90-day sentence is adequate — then we must not quietly excuse Judge Persky,” Hoffman wrote.
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