Yes. This recall sends a clear message that the people demand equal justice for all, regardless of race and privilege. Judge Persky repeatedly abused his discretionary power to extend leniency to upper class, privileged defendants. A few weeks prior to granting probation to Brock Turner, Judge Persky approved sentencing a Latino defendant who was convicted of a similar crime to three years in prison. Judge LaDoris Cordell called Judge Persky’s sentence of Turner an instance of “white privilege.” This recall is a step toward ending longer sentences based on race.
Some recall opponents have argued that recalling Judge Persky will cause other judges to impose longer sentences on all criminal defendants, the majority of whom are people of color charged with nonviolent or drug offenses. This is incorrect.
First of all, our campaign is very clearly about ending impunity for high status offenders like Mr. Turner. We are confident that judges have sufficient judicial integrity to be able to distinguish between high status, white or privileged college athletes like Brock Turner who were convicted of sex crimes and poor minority drug and non-violent offenders.
Second, everyone involved in this campaign is committed to criminal justice reform and opposes mass incarceration. Many of this campaign's leaders and elected endorsers are people of color, such as Senate Pro Tem President Kevin De Leon and Congressman Ro Khanna. We reject the notion that we have to choose between justice for women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence, especially women from marginalized communities, and reforming the criminal justice system. Both are important and justice is not zero sum. We can support both: justice for victims of sexual and domestic violence by being, as Senator Kamala Harris has said, smarter on crime, rather than tougher on crime.