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Retired Judges Balk at Recall of Controversial Judge

July 14, 2016

When Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky handed down, what many consider to be an extremely light, and possibly irresponsible sentence of just 6 months to Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer, convicted of sexually assaulting a woman on campus, he could not have predicted the firestorm that has followed.  While the majority of the criticism was in favor of a harsher sentence for the defendant, the public outrage has been followed by a move to recall the judge from the bench.

However, 18 retired Santa Clara County judges have now penned an open letter, denouncing the recall of Persky.  It’s not that they disagree with the public outcry, but rather, they are balking at the precedent that could potentially be set if Persky is recalled.  In the letter, the group of judges point out that “the essence of judicial independence is that judges must be able to make decisions without fear of political repercussions.”

Persky has been on the bench since 2003, and it will be interesting to see how the push for his recall plays out once the media attention dies down.

Read more about the open letter here: http://www.law.com/sites/almstaff/2016/07/06/removing-judge-aaron-persky-would-set-a-dangerous-precedent/?slreturn=20160612195241

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