Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Stanford Rape Case

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

I have been quite critical of how universities have been treating rape allegations in recent years. From the Duke lacrosse case to the more recent University of Virginia hoax, university officials, faculty and students have been too quick to condemn male students who turned out to be innocent. Many universities have unwisely set up campus hearing boards in which the rights of the accused are severely limited. In addition, universities have been loathe to even discuss the biggest causal factor in sexual assaults: binge drinking on the part of both males and females.

Make no mistake: I consider rape to be one of the most heinous crimes of all. Rapists are cruel people who deserve long prison sentences. It seems hard to believe today, but the uber-liberal state of California actually executed a serial rapist in 1960, Caryl Chessman. One of his victims had to be committed to a mental institution. I still recall being in the 9th grade when our middle school in West Los Angeles announced over the school public address system that Chessman (after numerous stays) had been executed. A cheer went up on the playground.

That brings me to the recent Stanford University rape case in which a female student was raped by a star Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, behind a trash bin in January 2015 while she was passed out. He was convicted by a jury in March. In a stunning display of leniency, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced this creep to 6 months in jail. With time off for "good behavior", he should be out as early as September.

Had the young man shown remorse, it still would have been outrageous. As it was, he blamed his predicament on the college culture. Worse yet, his father, Dan Turner,  wrote a letter to the judge stating that his son's life should not be ruined  over "20 minutes of action". It's pretty clear that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Understandably, Stanford has reacted in outrage and for good cause. A law professor is leading the charge to have the judge removed from the bench. Unlike the Duke and UVA cases, I am fully on board here. While schools still need to address the role that binge drinking plays in campus sexual assaults, one can hope that this episode will be a teaching point for Stanford's male students.

Perhaps, this will also show students that contrary to the teachings of their liberal professors (especially law professors), there is something to be said for law and order and tough punishment for criminals. That doesn't apply just for rape cases, but all cases involving criminal conduct.

As for Brock Turner, there is a good chance that during his few months of incarceration, he will learn first hand what rape feels like.

Of course, I would never advocate such a thing, you know.

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