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“20 Minutes of Action”

[ 265 ] June 7, 2016 |

The apple didn’t fall far from the etc.

I assume the appalling behavior of the convicted defendant, his father, and the judge is self-evident to the audience here. I do have a couple of points:

  • I can imagine a different political context in which the sentence was not entirely unreasonable, although if I ran the etc. the minimum sentence for sexual assault would be more than 6 month minimum — it’s a serious violent offense. But in the context of the American penal system, the outrage is justified. A less privileged person would have almost certainly gotten more time for a similar offense, and many less privileged people are serving much longer sentences for less serious offenses in California.
  • I have no problem with saying that in terms of sentencing we should, in the long run, be leveling down rather than leveling up. But not only do arbitrarily and excessively lenient sentences (whether imposed by judges or agreed to by prosecutors) to privileged individuals do nothing to address mass incarceration, they help to sustain it. The de facto exemption that upper-class people have from draconian drug laws, for example, is critical to keeping them on the books to be arbitrarily applied to some less privileged people.
  • I am uncomfortable with the idea of recalling a judge over a particular sentence.  I can see an argument that it’s justified in this case because of the judge’s rationale as opposed to the sentence per se. But it still sets a pretty bad precedent.
  • Declaring that it’s “politically correct” to think that people should refrain from sexually assaulting others is pretty much perfect for the age of Trump.
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  • nkh

    I cannot properly apprehend what confusion of ideas could give rise to this statement:

    “…and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists”

    • delazeur

      “I raped someone, but you should be lenient with me because I’m not a rapist.”

      • gmack

        Right. It’s what Lance Mannion once described as “orc logic.” It’s fairly straightforward. One is a rapist not on the basis of what one does but of who one is: A rapist is a bad (deviant, loser) person; he is a good (normal, upstanding, successful) person; therefore, he cannot possibly be a rapist.

        • CP

          Change one letter in that word and you’ve got fifty years of Republican race politics, too. “I am not a racist because a racist is a bad person and I am a good one.”

          • River Birch

            At the risk of derailing the thread, I have to point out that this view is not nearly as characteristic of conservatives as it is of progressives. Cognitive dissonance is much more likely to blind liberals to their own racism than conservatives, in my experience. “I can’t be a racist because I voted for Barack Obama” is a real thing, sadly.

            • Thirtyish

              At the risk of derailing the thread, I have to point out that this view is not nearly as characteristic of conservatives as it is of progressives.

              Aaaaaand we’re done here. But it’s sweet that at least you’d own up to trying to derail a thread about a miscarriage of justice involving rape with good ol’ fashioned “libs are the real racists” pablum.

              • River Birch

                Not at all what I’m saying. Conservatives benefit from not having nearly as much invested in being seen as not racist. That’s why doing racist as hell things doesn’t cause as much cognitive dissonance for them. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

                • Thirtyish

                  You’re trolling. And I’m done with you. Others can eat their hearts out if they like.

                • Rob in CT

                  Conservatives benefit from not having nearly as much invested in being seen as not racist

                  Bullfuckingshit.

                  Conservatives have been running around claiming that accusations of racism are the worst thing in the world. They’ve got a lot of emotional investment in the idea that they’re not racists. And the reasoning is basically “orc logic” as explained above.

                  Liberals are not immune to that thinking, but this contrarian BS is Salon-level garbage.

                • CP

                  Conservatives benefit from not having nearly as much invested in being seen as not racist.

                  Okay. So either you’ve never met a conservative, or every one you know is in the diehard Aryan Nations/Christian Identity out-of-the-closet-white-supremacist faction.

                • advocatethis

                  I’m not sure how true it is that conservatives have less invested in not being seen as racist. Don’t know a lot of conservative racists, but those I do know are the kind that say they’re not racist because they have good reasons for believing the things they do. Most conservative racists are smart enough to grasp that being viewed as racist is something to avoid.

                • CP

                  Don’t know a lot of conservative racists, but those I do know are the kind that say they’re not racist because they have good reasons for believing the things they do. Most conservative racists are smart enough to grasp that being viewed as racist is something to avoid.

                  In fact, this was the entire point of the original Southern Strategy.

                  The dynamics of the 1968 campaign made it possible for Nixon to present himself and his party as the sensible, reasonable, moderate middle ground: not like those criminal-coddling namby-pamby liberals in the Democratic leadership who’d passed civil rights, but not like those crazy unreconstructed segregationist rednecks backing George Wallace for president either. Nixon was aiming for the “I am not a racist, but” vote, correctly calculating that the majority of white people would fall there.

                • Simply not true. Conservatives hate being called Racists. And they will do a lot, at least until Trump, to avoid being called out for Racist actions or language, including redefining the word itself.

              • CP

                To be fair, I suppose I’m the one who derailed the thread first. Oh, well. Forgive me, bloggers, I knew not what I did.

            • delazeur

              Conservatives compensate for their blatant racism by saying that they are good people. Progressives compensate for their internalized racism by supporting racially progressive policies.

              (Gross generalization, obviously, but not as bad as River Birch’s comment.)

      • efgoldman

        As the father and grandfather of girls, and as a human being, this kind of shit is going to give me another stroke, for sure. I just get so enraged. There was another story this morning (sorry I don’t have time to look for it now) about victim-blaming in another case because of how the young woman was dressed and because she got drunk. And there are the non-assault privileged defendants in other matters, like that son of a bitch in Texas who pled “affluenza” and got probation – which he then violated – when he got bombed and killed some people.
        There aren’t enough tumbrels….

        • El Guapo

          Yes! At WPI, read it in the Globe this morning, leaving my wife and I speechless. The University was defending itself against claims of negligence by blaming the victim for being intoxicated and not following the student handbook or something. The rapist was a university employee. Makes me so so angry.

          • Well, not “at WPI” in the sense the rape was in Worcester (or even on the same continent); the suit being brought claims that WPI was negligent in its management of a program in Turkey (where the employee/rapist was a local security guard working—I believe on behalf of WPI—in the raped student’s apartment building, where he lured her onto the roof, then raped her).

            • efgoldman

              I stand by my original statement: There aren’t enough tumbrels.

              • I see today that what I thought was Turkey was in fact Puerto Rico. (And that the [woman] president of WPI is unhappy with the lawyers.)

      • SP

        “But ya fuck one goat…”

        • eh

          I love that joke, it should be enshrined in the Penal Code.

    • Duvall

      “sometimes rape on campus only involves white people, and not rapists.”

    • Thirtyish

      It’s pretty bog-standard authoritarian/privilege-sustaining logic, actually–“Some people are just bad. They’re the real rapists. I (and my spawn), by definition, cannot be bad, because I am a Good Person and a special snowflake. Ergo, it’s not really rape if my kid does it.”

      ETA: gmack lays it out perfectly above.

      • John Revolta

        “Also, if you put me in prison, it would kill my parents, and then you’d be a murderer. And I’d be an orphan. Ipso fatso.”

        • Domino

          Isn’t that in relation to the story of a highwayman who states that if the people he’s robbing don’t give up their valuables, he’ll be forced to shoot, and that would make them the murderers?

          • wjts

            Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech:

            But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

            • Angry Warthog Breath

              I am going to tell everyone I know that there is an Abraham Lincoln speech that includes the sentence “That’s cool”. Hopefully they will not ask for context.

        • There’s also an Ambrose Bierce story where a man who murdered his parents pleads for lenient treatment from the judge because he is now an orphan.

      • River Birch

        Unfortunately any progressive who’s ever had to call out another progressive on their racist behavior can attest that this is a bipartisan phenomenon.

        Granted, all that proves is that white people of all political persuasions have a lot invested in their own privilege. But — and I’m not saying this is what you’re doing here — let’s not pretend like it’s just the other guys who do this stuff.

        • delazeur

          The first time you left this comment it was at least in reply to someone drawing a comparison between rape apologists and conservatives.

        • ColBatGuano

          This was dumb the first time.

        • eh

          What the hell do you know? I call out racists wherever I find them, and I hope you do too. Party politics has nothing to do with it. I also voted for Bernie today.

          P.S. I hope this comment doesn’t get me pogromed next year.

  • Warren Terra

    Everyone should read the victim’s letter (the second link). Very powerful stuff – and it’s particularly striking that the judge is giving this young monster such a minor sentence when (per the letter) he has never expressed any remorse, or even conceded the slightest wrongdoing.

    Also: the victim has never met the two young Swedish men who saw what was happening and intervened ?!

    • kped

      That letter was powerful. When she noted the newspaper articles including his swimming times, I was shocked. I mean…Jesus this crap is awful. She went through so much, this trial put her and her family through so much, I have no sympathy for this guy and his family.

      • eh

        I would like to see a comedy movie written by her. She must have such an insight into the machinery of contemporary life.

    • witlesschum

      Yeah, it’s really good and I particularly like that she’s not afraid to use biting sarcasm where appropriate.

    • Brownian

      I was struck by what a fantastic writer she is, and so incredibly saddened about the circumstances under which I read her.

      • Thirtyish

        This. I hope she never loses her self-command.

      • djw

        Yeah, me too.

    • Morbo
  • Linnaeus

    Describing Brock Turner’s crime as “action”, in this context, is quite tone deaf (though, of course, not the only egregious thing about this letter).

    • Vance Maverick

      Yeah, it’s a bad joke. But the more serious point seems to be the confusion of crime and punishment with sin and redemption, conveniently deployed by Christians and others to let People Like Us go free.

    • Thirtyish

      It’s not even “tone-deaf,” it’s unconscionable. I would be shocked if the father hasn’t also raped someone at some point in his life.

    • Denverite

      My strong hunch is that he didn’t mean “action” in the colloquial sense of “getting some action.” He meant in the more formal sense of “a steep price to pay for the acts that he committed in 20 minutes.” It was really unfortunate wording (I think/hope).

      • Linnaeus

        That was my assumption as well, hence my comment that it was tone deaf. Perhaps I’m being too generous here.

        • Cassiodorus

          Sadly, I’m willing to bet you are.

        • Barry_D

          “That was my assumption as well, hence my comment that it was tone deaf. Perhaps I’m being too generous here.”

          Well, if I was writing a letter on behalf of my son who’s awaiting sentencing, just submitting a first draft is good enough.

          Isn’t it?

      • Anna in PDX

        I agree with you because it would be just too horrifying to think he could have meant it the other way. But didn’t he reread it before sending it? It immediately jumped out at me.

        • Denverite

          But didn’t he reread it before sending it?

          More to the point, where the hell was his kid’s lawyer? He’s getting paid to avoid huge screw-ups like that.

        • Thirtyish

          More likely is that he didn’t really give two shits about trying to be sensitive. He’s almost certainly an expert in not being sensitive already, so the thought that the wording might be just a tad bit problematic probably didn’t even cross his mind.

      • delazeur

        I have a hard time believing that anyone could write that sentence, intending it in the charitable way, without seeing the double meaning. Especially since other people, including defense attorneys, should have proofread the letter.

        Combined with the “alcohol and promiscuity” line, the father seems to be buying the son’s claim that it was a consensual encounter and that on-campus casual sex is being criminalized in this case.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I suppose no parent wants to think they raised a rapist, but this man seems utterly clueless about rape. He’s upset that his son no longer eats steak. Are you fucking kidding me? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree indeed. What a fucking bone head.

      • muddy

        I dunno, I tried saying a variety of sentences using “action” in that way that didn’t involve sex. They all sounded ridiculous. In order to make them sound right I had to use “his actions” not “action”.

        Perhaps he was going for “his actions” but his subconscious took over and said it the way he really meant. They way he taught his kid.

        • Captain Oblivious

          We may be in the minority here, but I do think he meant “action” to mean “getting some p****y”.

          We liberals need to get over the idea that everyone has a working filter.

          See also T-Rump.

          • I think anyone who could spend several sentences of that letter describing how he loved to cook steaks for his son lacks any form of self awareness.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Agreed.

            • MartinAlexander

              Perhaps we are dealing with a clan of cannibal rapists.

              • eh

                I don’t think people who think like this really specialize so much. It’s all a part of steamrolling through life, as a powerful person does.

      • wjts

        You may be right, but the non-colloquial interpretation didn’t occur to me until just now.

        • Denverite

          Mentally replace “action” with “his actions” and it makes a little more sense.

          • wjts

            No, I see it and it’s not a totally implausible interpretation, but I’m not entirely convinced.

            • ColBatGuano

              Yeah, I’ve never seen that usage before.

          • eh

            “…for 20 minutes of his actions”? Nobody talks like that. Maybe Eastern Europeans or Eastern Indians in ESL.

            • wjts

              No, no one talks like that. On further reflection, though, I’ve seen lots of people write like that.

      • Mellano

        That was the best my devil’s advocate could come up with. But even on those terms it’s pretty weak — twenty minutes of “conduct” (say) is more than enough to burn down a building or shoot/stab someone in a fight, would he be making this specific plea for sympathy in those contexts?

        • Anna in PDX

          Yeah I immediately thought of that too. No matter what heinous crime the person committed the crime itself probably didn’t take a huge long amount of time, but that’s not the only factor in determining the seriousness of a crime. Say he killed someone instantly with a gun. That’s only a fraction of a second. Say he hit someone with his car while driving drunk. Again, that was not a long event. Just seems like a strange thing to write at all.

          I continue to find it hard to imagine a parent, whose son is being tried for a horrible violent crime (I have two sons in their 20s by the way) who would write such a letter and not think about how it was going to be read or interpreted before sending it. I agree with the commenter in another thread (Karen24?) who said character witnesses should have to be on the stand, writing these types of letters just seems like a stupid thing for the court to allow people to do, as it does not serve justice in any way.

          • erick

            yeah, in the total time of his life Ted Bundy only spent a small fraction of it killing people.

            That is basically what the father is saying even in the charitable reading of his statement.

            • djw

              I don’t know why people are making such a fuss over the young man who shot up the theater in Colorado; after all, it was only about 15 minutes of action, which is even less than 20.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Best. Statement. Ever.

      • Booger

        It’s hard to believe the father didn’t intend his comment to refer to “getting a little action,” versus the actions that took place over the span of twenty minutes. In either case, he seems utterly loathsome, along with his evil crotchfruit.

      • That’s precisely the opposite of my strong hunch. But maybe I’m overly cynical.

      • LFC

        OF COURSE he did not mean “action” in the colloquial sense: given the context, this is obvious. It’s either an unfortunate choice of words or — and I say this w/o knowing the circumstances or time pressure under which the statement was composed — it’s a hasty typo, in which he meant to write “twenty minutes of actions” (in the plural — as Denverite, above, has already suggested), meaning 20 minutes of acts, or 20 minutes of behavior. That’s not to excuse the substance of the statement, of course, but merely to suggest that all this harping on the phrase “20 minutes of action” — and I notice S.Lemiuex chose this for his post’s headline — is … well, you pick the right word.

        p.s. In case the pt is not clear, this is a statement intended to mitigate or reduce the sentence of his son who was convicted of sexual assault. No one in his right mind is going to use the word “action” colloquially in that context.

        • muddy

          I would like to read a complete sentence containing the phrase, “20 minutes of actions”, where it sounds like natural human speech.

          • LFC

            It does not sound like natural human speech. A lot of writing by people whose strong point is something other than writing does not sound like natural human speech. It’s far easier to assume this man is a less-than-skilled writer than it is to assume that he is a complete idiot, which is what the colloquial interpretation requires.

            p.s. and even if this statement was written for oral delivery in court it was still presumably written out first.

            • ColBatGuano

              It doesn’t sound like natural human writing either.

              • wjts

                Neither does “By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate consequences.” And anyone who’s ever had to grade undergraduate or high school writing assignments has come across plenty of examples of prose that doesn’t sound like natural human anything.

                I’m coming around to the opinion that Dan Turner is simply bad at writing.

      • djw

        That’s how I read it, but I find that reading every bit as horrifying. To abstract a brutal sexual assault into generic category of ‘action’ gives off a distinct ‘this person is lacking a normal human capacity for empathy’ vibe.

        • LFC

          @djw
          That’s a fair point, yes. The whole statement is quite bad.

      • Nick056

        To me it’s obvious he meant “action” as a synonym for “conduct” rather than “sex.” If you read it as “20 minutes of [poor] conduct” the meaning is perfectly clear.

        The problem is, the inexcusable conduct here was sexual. It was rape. so when he says “action” it’s the most cringe-inducing shade of meaning possible. But no, I don’t think he intentionally meant conjure up images of men calling sex itself “action.” The more natural reading is that he picked the worst possible substitute for “20 minutes of behavior.”

        Of course, it should go without saying that the duration of the rape is of minimal, if any, value in determining the proper penalty, especially since it ended when two other men confronted him. It’s not even like he decided to stop raping her after 20 minutes, for whatever mitigation that might be worth. Someone stopped him. Wrongheaded in every respect.

        • sharculese

          I didn’t even consider the possibility that he was using ‘action’ euphemistically until people suggested it here. I think he’s a dumb dude who chose to defend his son’s terrible behavior in the worst possible way, but I don’t think he meant ‘action’ that way.

      • By that logic Lee Harvey Oswald only committed six seconds worth of “action”.

  • delazeur

    I can imagine a different political context in which the sentence was not entirely unreasonable, although if I ran the etc. the minimum sentence for sexual assault would be more than 6 month minimum — it’s a serious violent offense. But in the context of the American penal system, the outrage is justified. A less privileged person would have almost certainly gotten more time for a similar offense, and many less privileged people are serving much longer sentences for less serious offenses in California.

    I think it’s interesting that I personally am way more inclined toward vindictive sentencing for sexual assault cases than for other categories of offenses. Get caught with an illegal handgun? Probation, counseling, and job training seem appropriate. Rape someone? Ten years in solitary and I won’t shed a tear for you. (Not that those are comparable offenses.)

    On the other hand, what is an appropriate and constructive sentence for sexual assault? In today’s context, where minorities lose their freedom over a joint and rich white people get a slap on the wrist for manslaughter, it’s reasonable to be upset over almost any sentence a privileged rapist is likely to end up with. In the future, though, assuming we can get the criminal justice system fixed we’ll have to figure out what to do with rapists.

    • Cassiodorus

      I know it’s wrong to think this way, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the urge to introduce his father to 20 minutes of “action” with a broom handle.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        You want him to clean your garage?

        • Jason

          Is there a name for this sort of reverse innuendo? Because I really like it.

          • liberalrob
          • Faux-naïveté (more common in its adjectival and concrete-noun forms “faux-naï[f|ve]” but not unknown in the abstract-noun form).

    • Arouet

      I think it’s interesting that you’re subject to censure if you’re not so inclined. I don’t think the various institutional horrors of the American criminal justice system are a terribly good justification for locking rapists up and throwing away the key out of sheer animus and revulsion towards their crimes any more than it is for other violent criminals.

      A number of progressives seem to have staked out the curious position that society should eventually forgive a young person for a terrible, violent decision that seriously affects others – unless, of course, that decision was to sexually assault someone.

      • delazeur

        I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen someone take that position, except as a rhetorical technique (such as I used) to describe their emotional position on the matter. I think most progressives realize that we need rational sentencing for sexual assault just like other crimes, but are upset that sexual assault is the one category of crime that isn’t excessively punished.

        I am also not inclined to take you seriously if you think you have been subject to censure for suggesting that rapists should be rationally punished. If you said we shouldn’t worry so much about rape and someone told you you were wrong, I might believe that. But in a world where a violent rapist only gets six months, you think you would be censured for suggesting that we not simply let rapists rot in solitary? No way.

        • Arouet

          Hey, if you’re entitled to your rhetorical techniques, so am I – I haven’t literally been subject to censure, but I don’t feel like I could express that sentiment in the company I generally keep. For the people I associate with, it doesn’t seem to be an acceptable position that we should strive to either (depending on the sentencing practices of the jurisdiction) a) bring other sentences down to the level generally issued for sexual assaults or b) bring sexual assault sentences down in conjunction with those for other violent crimes.

          We should definitely worry about rape. My position, which I don’t feel like I can express in that company without being shouted down, is that maybe increasing vindictive criminal sentences for rape is not a good or just way to try to tackle that problem.

          Obviously I’m not talking about the general public here, which is more than comfortable with not punishing rape at all in many/most cases.

        • Anon21

          I think most progressives realize that we need rational sentencing for sexual assault just like other crimes, but are upset that sexual assault is the one category of crime that isn’t excessively punished.

          Authorized sentences are plenty harsh, but investigation, prosecution, and conviction rates are all appallingly low. Then you throw in the occasional exercise of judicial/prosecutorial discretion to give breaks to an actually convicted offender like this guy and things get really maddening. The answer is not to leave our barbaric sentencing and carceral policies in place, though. (Which isn’t to say six months’ imprisonment is a sufficient sentence in this case, but in general the impulse to jack up punishments is a bad one.)

        • LeeEsq

          What I think makes sexual assault issues complicated are two things. Sexual assault is both a crime codified by law with elements that the prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and with full criminal procedure applying and a tool of oppression against people in general and women in particular. Trying to separate sexual assault (crime) like larceny (crime) from sexual assault (tool of oppression) isn’t easy. The other problem is that most of us might have the imagination to see ourselves as potential defendants for other crimes, we can’t for sexual assault. That makes them harder to empathize with than other people accused of committing crimes.

          • ThrottleJockey

            We’ve got this twisted. Its not the criminal we need to empathize with, its the victim. Far too many progressives have gotten this badly, badly wrong for no good reason.

            My reaction when I first read this case was: Ten Years. That’s what this motherfucker should’ve gotten. You rape someone the minimum should be Ten Years hard time. And, frankly, if you made the minimum 15 years, or 20 years, I wouldn’t bat an eye. This poor girl can’t sleep without having a light on. She recoils from the touch of another person. This perp has to answer for that. There has to be a reckoning.

            • LeeEsq

              I think your really misunderstanding my point. The entire basis of common law criminal jurisprudence is that the people are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, that it is the government’s burden to prove this, and that it is better for ten guilty people to go free than one innocent person to be jailed. The real star of any criminal trial should be the defendant and the sole issue if the defendant did what they were accused of beyond a reasonable doubt and if there are other reasons for finding the defendant not guilty. This is the ideal at least. Most of us on the blog support this. Most of us would want these protections to apply for us if God forbid we ever found each other on the dock.

              Sex crimes are different because while we might be able to see ourselves on the dock in some bad circumstances, we can’t imagine ourselves for being on the dock for sex crimes. We find them abhorrent for very good reasons but just because the accused may have committed a particular abhorrent crimes does not mean that the accused doesn’t deserve the full assumptions of the system. Its just that sex crimes are two things, the actual statutorily defined crime and how it exists in the popular imagination.

              • ThrottleJockey

                I’m sorry if I misunderstood your point Lee. I totally agree with you about the presumption of innocence and that its better that 10 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man be found guilty…

                But I thought you were referring to the sentencing phase, at which point we’ve decided that the accused is guilty. At that point, notwithstanding the fact that the state does get things wrong from time-to-time, we have to do right by the victim.

      • mark

        I’ve seen a lot of progressives upset over short rape sentences, but in all those cases it is a sentence of misdemeanor length and combined with some ridiculous justification by the judge. As in this case–where he’s going to get 90 days behind bars, basically–or other similar ones.

        Choosing to complain about progressives not having the same sympathy for rapists who spend a few months behind bars that they extend to non-violent individuals who spend as long or longer is not really a double standard on the progressive side.
        I have yet to see progressives ranting in mass about a 10 year sentence for rapists being too light, though if you see it and make the point in that context I’ll be more in agreement.

        Also, regarding the “never let them back in society” attitude you claim to see, IME a lot of leftists aren’t crazy about the lifelong registry either. I’m not sure the double standard is on the progressive side.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I have no problem with saying that in terms of sentencing we should, in the long run, be leveling down rather than leveling up. But not only do arbitrarily and excessively lenient sentences (whether imposed by judges or agreed to by prosecutors) to privileged individuals do nothing to address mass incarceration, they help to sustain it.

      Actually, this proves why we need to have more mandatory minimums. Judges abuse their discretion. Its a thing. With time off for good behavior criminals convicted of serious crimes like murder, rape, and aggravated assault can expect to do just half the time they’re sentenced to. Its a travesty for victims–and for society since the recidivism rate is 60%.

      • Hogan

        Actually, this proves why we need to have more mandatory minimums. Judges abuse their discretion.

        Judges may abuse their discretion in the 5% or so of felony cases that actually go to trial. Mandatory minimums mean that the discretion gets transferred to prosecutors, who can look at the guidelines and decide what charge to offer in a plea deal. I’m not sure that’s better.

        • ThrottleJockey

          About the only set of crimes for which our present scheme is too harsh is simple possession drug cases…At least DAs are responsible to constituents. Recalling or beating incumbent judges is hard sledding.

          • Barry_D

            “At least DAs are responsible to constituents. ”

            It’s a rare, rare case where they are. That Chicago DA who was an accessory to murder is the only one whom I can recall.

        • Hogan

          Oh, and under current conditions, this kid hit the fucking Powerball. The whole logic of plea deals is that taking the deal gets you a shorter sentence than going to trial. His lawyer must have thought that the Stanford athlete thing would swing a lot of weight. Well played, you evil fuck.

          • ThrottleJockey

            I think the “athlete” thing gets way over played. Maybe if he was a big time football player, I’d buy that, but swimmers. The only 2 swimmers I can name are Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz. I think its reeeally unfortunate to tar athletes with this mess. I think its mostly a matter of this guy being white and rich (or if not rich then upper middle class).

            • Hogan

              I think the “athlete” thing gets way over played.

              That would point us to the Stanford thing.

            • sharculese

              No love for Missy Franklin?

      • sharculese

        Shouldn’t part of the solution to this that we remodel our prisons so they’re places that train people in useful skills, rather than places that train them in murder, rape, and aggravated assault?

        • ThrottleJockey

          If your going in assumption is that people commit violent crimes because they lack remunerative skills, then I’d agree with that. But I don’t really think that’s why people commit violent crimes. I think they fall into 3 groups: 1) the predatory; 2) the ones with anger management problems; and 3) the mentally ill. The mentally ill need to be treated and cared for, but the other 2 groups just need to be locked up for a long period of time until they rehabilitate themselves.

          90% of the poor don’t commit crimes, much less violent crimes, so the problem with those who do is an internal/psychological problem. And just like the rich can prey on others (eg, Trump), poor people can prey on others.

          • sharculese

            If your going in assumption is that people commit violent crimes because they lack remunerative skills,

            I really wasn’t. What I was talking about was two-fold:

            1.) We’re really bad at providing opportunities for ex-cons, which means that these people’s job prospects are compromised just by going to prison.

            2.) As currently structured American prisons are set up to normalize the latter set of behaviors, which is a huge problem for people who have just been released. If a dude has just spent five years in an environment where ‘get before you get got’ is the rule, how do you expect him to act when he gets out?

            • ThrottleJockey

              You know what? Jerry Brown has commuted the sentences of a number of people given life sentences who’ve served over 20 years and I understand that the recidivism rates are quite, quite low (under 10%). So what that tells me is that long sentences have a way of rehabilitating people. If you’re angry or a predator it might take a while to get you to turn around.

              • sharculese

                But that’s a correlation/causation problem. Were they less likely to reoffend because they had been in prison that long or did the Governor’s office correctly identify the people least likely to reoffend?

                It’s really hard to say.

                • Denverite

                  Or it could be that 40 year-olds are a fuckload less likely than 17 year-olds to commit crimes.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  Oh yeah that’s at least part of it. But, again, that fact merely begs the question: Why wouldn’t you sentence a violent 20 year old to at least a 20 year term so that when they hit the streets again they’re 40?

                • sharculese

                  That too.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  For the counter to be true that would suppose that Jerry Brown’s Administration is better than the parole board at identifying those least likely to reoffend. I have a hard time buying that.

              • sharculese

                I can understand the inclination to lean on the other side, but I’m saying that at the end of the day we can’t say, and given that we can’t say I’m erring on the side that 20 years in prison does more harm than good.

                ETA: I hit reply in the wrong place, but I feel like it’s obvious what this is a reply to.

  • Linnaeus

    Declaring that it’s “politically correct” to think that people should refrain from sexually assaulting others is pretty much perfect for the age of Trump.

    Yes, but of course if those campus radicals hadn’t suppressed free speech, we wouldn’t be seeing silly claims like that, you know.

    • St. Ralph

      It’s getting to the point where a boy can’t even flirt with girls any more.

      • muddy

        SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION TIPS GUARANTEED TO WORK

        1. Don’t put drugs into people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

        2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone.

        3. If you pull over to help someone with car trouble, remember to not assault them.

        4. Never open an unlocked window or door uninvited.

        5. If you are in an elevator with someone else, don’t assault them.

        6. Remember, people go to the laundry to do their laundry; do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

        7. Use the buddy system. If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are at a bar or party.

        8. Always be honest. Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

        9. Don’t forget: you cannot have sex with someone unless that person is awake.

        10. Carry a whistle. If you are afraid you might assault someone accidentally, you can hand it to the person and they can blow it if you start an assault.

        • sharculese

          In case you missed the St. Ralph thread below, this post was definitely a joke.

          • muddy

            I know. I just like to post my list. :)

    • brad

      If those obnoxious SJW girls would just stop trying to own their own bodies then we wouldn’t have to call it rape when a bro rapes someone and problem solved.

  • witlesschum

    I can’t be the only person whose parents explained them when they were a teenager that I needed to understand that if I ever sexually assaulted someone, I’d be forfeiting the right to have them support me, help me, etc. I’m not a sociopath, so that wasn’t determinative of anything, but I tend to think it was probably a good thing for a teenage boy to hear.

    Doubt this guy ever heard anything along those lines.

    • delazeur

      Doubt this guy ever heard anything along those lines.

      Based on the “action” line, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brock’s father encouraged him to rape people. He should go to prison for being a terrible father…

      • Denverite

        See above. I’m probably being too charitable, but I think/hope he wasn’t using “action” in the colloquial sense.

        • delazeur

          I wish I could agree. The father seems to think the whole thing is a case of “sex and promiscuity.”

          • Denverite

            Yeah, I can’t come up with a charitable interpretation of that bit.

            The kid’s lawyer needs to put notice into his carrier. Letting someone submit a letter like that is malpractice. I’ve certainly been in situations where the client wants to submit or say things that will immediately make everything worse, and it’s the lawyer’s job to put a stop to it.

            • delazeur

              Totally agree, the defense attorney is incompetent to let this see the light of day.

              • DAS

                And yet the sentence was bupkis, so the defense attorney couldn’t have been that incompetent.

                • Barry_D

                  “And yet the sentence was bupkis, so the defense attorney couldn’t have been that incompetent.”

                  My money is on the judge and political/social connections.

              • LFC

                the defense attorney is incompetent to let this see the light of day

                Well, the reason it got to the world beyond the courtroom, as I understand it, is that a Stanford law professor published the letter/statement on a social media platform. It still should have been written better and vetted better, of course.

          • rea

            “sex and promiscuity.”

            Very tone-deaf phrasing on the part of the father, The charitable interpretation, however, that he was referring to his son’s promiscuity, not the victim’s

            • delazeur

              Still disagree. Promiscuity doesn’t lead to rape.

            • veleda_k

              Serious question here. Why are people bending over backwards to be charitable to him? Interpreting “20 minutes of action” to “actions that took 20 minutes” is counterintuitive. That’s not how our language works and we know it. Is it possible that’s what he meant? Yeah, I guess so. But I think if we take Occam’s razor to his comments, the clearest, most obvious reading is probably the correct one.

              Likewise, this comment here. Maybe he only means his son’s promiscuity, but that’s immaterial. He’s still implying at best that it’s promiscuity that causes rape, not rapists, and at worst that what happened wasn’t rape, but promiscuous sex.

              I’m not saying we should never be charitable. But in this case charity requires significant effort, and I’m not sure why people are making that effort here.

              (I do understand the impulse of, “But no one could be that horrible!” But my response is simply, “Sure they could.”)

              • muddy

                Of course he could, look at how he brought up his son.

        • LFC

          @Denverite:
          I’m probably being too charitable, but I think/hope he wasn’t using “action” in the colloquial sense.

          What you are doing is applying something called common sense. Common sense strongly suggests that he was not using “action” in the colloquial sense. It’s not impossible, but it seems v. unlikely.

          • ColBatGuano

            You seem quite invested in defending the rapist’s father when there is little in his letter that is defensible.

            From veleda_k above:

            I’m not saying we should never be charitable. But in this case charity requires significant effort, and I’m not sure why people are making that effort here.

            • LFC

              You seem quite invested in defending the rapist’s father

              Not at all. His statement is terrible. I said that above (using the word “bad”). Anyway, it’s a terrible statement. And as djw said above, it’s a bad sentence even if interpreted non-colloquially.

              My only point here is that some people do not have a good ear for the language, even if it’s their native language. They don’t write well, they don’t hear overtones and undertones, they don’t make obvious colloquial connections that many people make. This is not a question of being charitable or not, it’s my best guess about what happened w/r/t that sentence and that word. As others have already said, the lawyer shd never have ok’d it.

              • demit

                “…some people do not have a good ear for the language…”

                The father’s use of the word “action” is almost beside the point. The meaning behind his whole thought is unmistakably clear—it was *ONLY* 20 minutes.

                • weirdnoise

                  It’s an incredibly weak statement. Compare “only twenty minutes” when the “action” was armed robbery, mayhem, or even murder. The utter meaninglessness of “twenty minutes” makes the father’s feeling about his son’s crime crystal clear, ignoring completely any euphemistic meaning of the word “action.”

          • delazeur

            The guy pretty clearly doesn’t believe his son’s actions were rape. The colloquial interpretation is within the realm of reason.

            Why are you invested in presenting this letter in a reasonable light?

            • LFC

              I am not. See my comment above. Not commenting further on this.

              • delazeur

                Here’s some common sense for you: The letter was almost certainly reviewed by one or more attorneys. The father clearly believes this was not rape. Other statements in the letter suggest that he believes the rape is somehow tied to “promiscuity and alcohol.” Putting those things together, it’s entirely reasonable that he meant “action” in the colloquial sense.

                This is not a question of being charitable or not, it’s my best guess about what happened w/r/t that sentence and that word.

                You’re changing your line. First everyone who disagrees with you lacks common sense, now you’re just presenting your best guess? Bullshit.

                I have a hard time seeing how you can look at these facts and then conclude that the colloquial interpretation is entirely unreasonable without being invested in presenting the letter in a reasonable light.

    • N__B

      But that’s too late. If a kid hasn’t learned to not assault people before he’s a teen, it’s going to take a lot more than that explanation to teach him to not assault anyone when he’s older.

      ETA: for “learned” above, read “been taught.”

      • witlesschum

        I think teenagers are still somewhat amenable to parental role modeling, etc, but I admit to only having been on one side of that equation. I think I was about 14 when this was discussed, too.

        • N__B

          You’re right, but I think the difficulty increases greatly as kids age. But I’ve only been on the parenting side for a while, so I may be full of it.

    • Thirtyish

      According to so, so many parents, their little angel special snowflakes are capable of no wrongdoing whatsoever.

    • witlesschum

      In hindsight, I shouldn’t have included the sociopath thing. It’s a milder form of the “orc logic” gmack quoted above and I should have said it.

      • Thirtyish

        I dunno about that. “20 minutes of action” really establishes that the guy is devoid of empathy in my mind. I also agree with the orc logic angle, but this guy takes it to an extreme.

    • MPAVictoria

      “I can’t be the only person whose parents explained them when they were a teenager that I needed to understand that if I ever sexually assaulted someone, I’d be forfeiting the right to have them support me, help me, etc. I’m not a sociopath, so that wasn’t determinative of anything, but I tend to think it was probably a good thing for a teenage boy to hear.”

      Wow. I actually find that pretty disgusting and an awful thing to tell your kid. Tell him it is wrong. Tell him he should respect consent and respect women. Don’t tell him your love is conditional though

      • Rob in CT

        Personally, I’ve got a bone to pick with the idea of unconditional love. I actually lean toward thinking the whole concept is toxic.

        Further, I think that just about nobody is saintly enough to really love someone unconditionally. So not only do I think the concept is toxic but I think it’s 99% bullshit.

        • Thirtyish

          Love != total and complete acceptance of the person.

          • Rob in CT

            Sure. You can disapprove of things a person does/says and yet still love them.

            However, at some point, if the person is sufficiently awful, is it not understandable to cease loving them?

            To me, the idea that there are simply no conditions whatsoever is screwy. YMMV.

            To be fair, my opinion on this is strongly influenced by someone arguing for unconditional love in a relationship between adults, not between parent & child.

            • delazeur

              I’m with you on unconditional love between adults, but I’m honestly unsure about parents & kids. It’s definitely a different thing, but I’m not close to my parents and I don’t have kids.

      • Putting aside the conditionality of the love (and I’m a bit with Rob though I think people normally are just being bit hyperbolic), I think parents have an ongoing duty to their children to “support them” and “help them” even if they are criminals. That means, for example, helping them to take responsibility for their actions, perform restitution, and rehabilitate. This duty isn’t arbitrarily great, esp. for adult children, esp. for post-young adult children. But there are both societal and personal obligations that transcend your settled or transient affection.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I can’t be the only person whose parents explained them when they were a teenager that I needed to understand that if I ever sexually assaulted someone, I’d be forfeiting the right to have them support me, help me, etc.

      For starters, I hope no parent ever tells their kid that. You should love your kid unconditionally. That doesn’t mean you have to condone what they do obviously but your kids need to understand that they have your unconditional love.

      That being said, you have to raise your boys to unequivocally respect a woman’s right “No”, and raise your girls to speak up when they feel uncomfortable or if they don’t want to have sex. Obviously this douchy father didn’t do those things.

  • Cash & Cable

    Last night I was thinking about what I would say if I wrote a judge a letter on behalf of a friend who was convicted of rape (assuming I could be persuaded to do so in the particular circumstances). I think I settled on a strategy of emphasizing all the collateral consequences of felony convictions, particularly sexual felony convictions. I’d tell the judge, “Please don’t think that a short prison sentence means that my friend won’t be punished – he is going to face lifelong restrictions on where he can live, where he can work, and who he can interact with. His actions have caused the victim a lot of pain, but the mere fact of his conviction means that he will be subject to concrete and sometimes humiliating reminders of his crime until the day he dies. Given the difficulties that he can expect when he is released from prison, it would be better for society if he can start that process of adjustment and compensation sooner, rather than later, so that he has a better chance of living a productive and prosocial life as a marked man.”

    Even then, I’m not sure I’d have the nerve to ask for less than 3-5 years of incarceration. Six months is just crazy.

    • delazeur

      Last night I was thinking about what I would say if I wrote a judge a letter on behalf of a friend who was convicted of rape

      Frankly, anyone convicted of rape has stopped being my friend.

      • Cash & Cable

        Thus my parenthetical caveat. Although I have a couple friends who I probably wouldn’t abandon if I felt they were genuinely remorseful and willing to acknowledge the seriousness of what they’d done. If justice has already been upheld through a fair trial and sentencing, and if my friend is going to continue to pay for his crime indefinitely, what good does it do anyone for me to distance myself?

        • dsidhe

          It keeps me safe to distance myself from a rapist. But then, I’m a woman. And given that I’ve been raped, it probably keeps the rapist I thought was my friend safe from me, too.

          The only way I could write that letter is if I were sure the person was innocent. And I know enough to know I can’t be sure based on how nice he is around me.

          I know that the belief that people who rape are unforgivable malicious, sociopathic monsters is probably not helpful, because a lot of people who rape don’t see themselves that way and therefore assume what they have done cannot be rape. But someone else is going to have to make that argument, someone else is going to have to forgive them, someone else is going to have to help them figure out what they’ve done and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I respect people who can forgive, I’m just not really one of them. People who are raped pay for it indefinitely, too, and we didn’t even do it.

        • veleda_k

          Well, besides that it will, like dsidhe said, keep them from raping me, it will signal to any friends I have who have been raped or who will be raped that I am a person they can count on and trust, and if our friends group is split because one person rapes another, I can be counted on not to side with the rapist.

          I will defend the civil rights and liberties of rapists like I defend the civil rights and liberties of all people. Not hurting their feelings, however, is way down on my priority list.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Frankly, anyone convicted of rape has stopped being my friend.

        I’m curious delazeur, what about a friend who was accused of murder or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (say a knife, or a pipe). Would you feel the same?

        • delazeur

          There is a long history of people being convicted of those things who turned out to be innocent. That’s not true of rape.

          Perhaps the one exception to my statement is if a black friend was convicted of raping a white woman.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Lol, that’s the answer I suspected. You’re wrong about the rape thing of course and the Innocence Project’s success at exculpating convicted rapist prove it.

            I have a different Theory. For some reason a segment of progressive sympathize with criminals more so than they do with victims– perhaps out of a misguided belief that the majority of criminals are actually innocent or that they were forced into crime by a life of poverty. This is true Except for when it comes to sex crimes. In the case of rapes they tend to sympathize with women because of the historic oppression women have faced.

            • dsidhe

              You might like my answer to your question better. Convicted of murder or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon? Yes. Not my friend anymore, sorry. Possibly I kick you loose with a little less personal animus than a rapist or child molester, but if you’re violently assaulting people in anything less than self defense, you are not the person I thought I was friends with.

              Again, I realize my attitude makes rehab difficult for some people who might be able to rehab their lives, but someone with less PTSD is going to have to help you adjust to your new reality. It can’t be me. Perhaps we could pay professionals to do this. I would support that.

            • delazeur

              In conjunction with my answer above, like dsidhe I would probably end a friendship over a murder conviction. I would also think about it more carefully because I believe there is more room for extenuating circumstances in violent crimes than sex crimes.

              Before you start behaving like an asshole and telling me I care more about criminals than victims, would you care to present any statistics on the racial breakdown of victims and wrongly convicted rapists who have been vindicated by the Innocence Project? That’s something you could do that might actually convince people you have a point.

    • As a general proposition US sentencing law is pretty out of line with other Western countries, and I was going to say that the collateral consequences might somewhat balance that out. Then I looked up what this guy would have been hit with in Sweden, just to check my work. Two to six years is the answer. There are a lot of cultural issues with comparing rape statistics across borders, but Swedish law seems to be more or less in line with the rest of Europe in terms of prison time. So yeah, treating this like a mid-level misdemeanor is shocking, particularly in view of the apparent lack of remorse.

      • The Temporary Name

        There’s an appeal in the works. His admission to anything would probably mess that up.

        But you know, fuck him.

        • advocatethis

          And that’s part of the problem, too, that he’s appealing this.

          On one hand I can almost feel sorry for what’s now happening to this kid, because in spite of all the efforts of his father and lawyer and letter writing friends, this guy is now the face of college rape in this country. And that would be almost tragic, except he still does not seem to be willing or able to accept that what he did was rape and take responsibility for that and its consequences. So, to second The Temporary Name, fuck him.

          • Barry_D

            Well, if he hadn’t been a college student rapist, then he wouldn’t be the face of college rape.

      • ThrottleJockey

        European sentencing is far too lenient. Frankly, if you’re convicted of a violent crime the absolute minimum should be at least 5 years, and more generally 10 years. If you want to be violent with people we don’t need you on the streets.

    • lizzie

      I’d tell the judge, “Please don’t think that a short prison sentence means that my friend won’t be punished – he is going to face lifelong restrictions on where he can live, where he can work, and who he can interact with. His actions have caused the victim a lot of pain, but the mere fact of his conviction means that he will be subject to concrete and sometimes humiliating reminders of his crime until the day he dies.

      The judge is well aware of all of that. Also, it applies to everybody who is convicted of a sex crime, so why should it result in a particular person getting a break? Much better for you to tell the judge about how your friend is working on a cure for cancer/saves orphans/is always there for a friend in need/whatever other good deeds he does (assuming there are some). Give the judge some reason to believe that this crime does not represent the sum total of your friend’s character.

      • Cash & Cable

        The judge is well aware of all of that. Also, it applies to everybody who is convicted of a sex crime, so why should it result in a particular person getting a break?

        I’ve worked with judges before. They are intellectually aware of collateral consequences in the abstract, but since those aren’t part of the sentence that the judge controls, they probably aren’t in the front of the judge’s mind, and they sometimes aren’t that familiar with the practical effects of those restrictions. I guarantee you that most judges don’t follow issues like the rate of homelessness among sex offenders. They would be aware of the limits on living near parks and schools, but nobody’s pointing out to them just how difficult that makes it to get any type of housing.

        In a slightly different context (a drug conviction), Judge Block in the Eastern District of New York recently wrote a wonderful opinion declining to impose a severe prison sentence on a young woman who was caught smuggling drugs into the country from Jamaica. He called attention to the various collateral consequences and concluded that given the defendant’s lack of a criminal history and the impact of the collateral consequences, confinement was not necessary to achieve the goals of the Sentencing Guidelines.

        As for the fact that these arguments would apply broadly, I think that’s a point in favor of my approach. I wouldn’t be arguing that my (probably white, probably male) friend should receive special treatment due to attributes that correlate with privilege (getting to do cancer research, etc), though of course I would emphasize his remorse and his low risk of recidivism. I’d be making arguments that would apply to any first-time offender who showed remorse, regardless of class or race. Maybe it would be marginally less effective than taking the “special snowflake” approach, but I’d prefer not to perpetuate the inequities in the system.

        • ThrottleJockey

          That ruling was a travesty because that woman was a drug trafficker not some simple possessor. A lot of crime attends drug trafficking and much of it is violent. Moreover drug traffickers prey on children as young as 9 to work in their gangs. That opinion is yet another exhibit in why we need mandatory minimums.

    • MacK

      That is my reaction, this kid faces lifelong consequences for and they’re going to be very bad consequences. Somewhat think he would’ve been better off getting a year or two so the people that he is being punished properly-but the real punishment is going to be in decades from now as he finds you cannot get a job there also to places he cannot live, countries he cannot travel to open brackets (visa waiver for Lotta countries does not apply to convicted felon’s, and a rapist will find a waiver hard), he won’t get past the background check for a huge number of jobs, he won’t be allowed to go on to college campus without going to tell the campus police right away that he’s there, there are a lot of places in United States we won’t be able to live within a certain distance from school, the consequences of being on the sex offenders register are really pretty serious,and dude I’d say from the perspective of a white middle-class male an unmitigated disaster.

      That’s not to say have any sympathy for him, but for a sex offender who probably would not of had a very long sentence anyway, maybe a year or two, the serious consequences of being on the sex offenders register are lifelong and possibly, ultimately more punitive. I very much doubt that he realists this yet.

      • I just don’t believe that the sex offender registery is really going to be around that long, or that its strictures will seriously affect an upper class kid whose family has money. He’s not going to be living under any bridges.

        • MacK

          We do not know how wealthy the family is. However, I do not see sex offenders registers going away anytime soon, or most of the rules for those in them being relaxed very much – there has been a little relaxation on where they can live simply because it had reached the point where in many states there genuinely were cities and counties where there was no feasible address – even that has excluded violent sex offenders (which he might be, I’m not sure) and child rapists.

          The list of consequences in CA is pretty long (and in other states longer) – and he has another problem, a pretty distinctive name, plus a lot of publicity.

          Do I think he should have received a longer sentence – yes, but the register is a big deal.

          By the way, the probation officers report was the key to his getting so little time, and I have heard that in many states they are coming under pressure to keep sentences short because of cost.

          • djw

            We do not know how wealthy the family is.

            My Oakwood sources tell me they’re quite well off, if not quite one percenters. He’s a civilian Air Force contractor; their home is in West Oakwood, the priciest old money part of the greater Dayton Area. (But because Dayton is pretty cheap, that doesn’t mean all that much, as you can get a cheaper home in that area for 400-500K).

  • n00chness

    When it comes to sentencing, unlike liability, the defendant’s prior criminal history or lackthereof is an extremely relevant factor, or at least it should be.

    A heinous crime was committed. The victim has every right to feel violated and aggrieved. But the investigation, prosecution and opportunity to confront her assailant in these circumstances is evidence to me of a system that is working, that is taking the crime seriously.

    When it comes to the sentence, I am not in a rush to judge. I can see some circumstances where a longer sentence is justified, and also where a shorter one is justified. Each defendant should be judged on their own merits.

    • sparks

      Each defendant should be judged on their own merits bank balance.

      FTFY

      • n00chness

        It’s a problem. We need to invest more in resources for public defenders. At the same time, the facts are the facts, and they stay that way regardless of who the defendant’s lawyer is. Show me a 40 year-old rapist with a long history or and propensity for violence, and I am prepared to impose a lengthy sentence. Show me someone with the potential for rehabilitation, and I see it differently. In either scenario, the crime could have been identical.

    • alex284

      I don’t think people are saying that the judge shouldn’t have discretion. They’re saying that the judge mis-used that discretion. And I’m pretty sure that first time rapists usually get more than 6 months.

      Also the judge considered the defendant’s “remorsefulness” when the defendant hasn’t even admitted to committing the crime.

      • Warren Terra

        Also the judge considered the defendant’s “remorsefulness” when the defendant hasn’t even admitted to committing the crime.

        Yes, this is really the killer for me. I have no idea what an appropriate prison term is. It’s quite possible that if accompanied by sincere effort at change and significant therapy, with a proven track record of slashing recidivism, maybe six months might not be inappropriate. But for this guy, under these circumstances?.

        He committed a horrific assault, he tried to flee the scene, he denied everything and made counter-accusations, and he showed no remorse or understanding of his crimes, even after the verdict. This really doesn’t make him seem like an obvious candidate for special leniency. And given his lack of remorse, does anybody think he’ll be a better person after just 3-6 months in the county lockup, without treatment? I fear he’ll just be a more careful rapist.

        PS There is one other aspect of his sentence, beyond the time in jail. The rapist must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and honestly that bothers me. I’d like to see a process where after a very significant amount of time that label gets reassessed based on more recent behavior and on psychiatric treatment and evaluation.

        • MacK

          I understand that there are some ways to get a name out of the CA register – but it is very tough and as I understand it, unlikely in a case like this. They mostly apply to close in age statutory rape cases – a few others, pardons and exonerations,and cases where the rapist was very young and has had psychiatric treatment.

  • JL

    This is pretty close to where I’m at. I am in general uncomfortable with harsh sentencing – if we can figure out a working and comprehensive system of alternatives I’ll be on board with prison abolitionism, and as it is I’m pretty prison minimalist. But the problem here is that 1) most people wouldn’t have gotten such a light, for what the crime is, sentence, and this guy getting a light sentence does not advance the cause of sentencing reform in any way (and if anything, as you said, sustains the brokenness of the system), and 2) it’s sending a signal that the system, in the form of this judge, doesn’t see rape (at least not by the “right” person) as a particularly serious offense. Which, as someone who works a rape crisis hotline and does community organizing for my local rape crisis center and has heard the stories of literally hundreds of people who have been sexually assaulted, as someone who has experienced sexual violence, and as a human being, I find troubling. It’s an example of what people mean when they say rape culture.

    I am, like Scott, uncomfortable with recalling a judge over a sentence (and really, with judges being elected in the first place). I’ve seen tremendous public anger over light sentences for, for instance, left activists. So I would want to be very cautious with this tactic.

    • Cash & Cable

      I’ve been tangentially involved with two sexual offense cases that I thought merited an unusual degree of leniency. Both involved possession of child pornography.

      The first defendant had collected some child porn as part of a larger stash of porn while he was enlisted in the Navy. This porn ended up buried in a storage locker until it was discovered by authorities years later, after the defendant had left the navy, gotten married, entered federal employment and had children. After he pled guilty, forensics was able to prove that none of the images or videos had been viewed in the last seven years, which is extremely unusual for child porn cases. The guy had favorable testimony from his preacher and neighbors, who said they’d still trust the guy around their own children. He ultimately got probation (and of course, lost his federal job). The judge agonized about it but I thought he ultimately made the right call.

      The second case involved a young man who was 20 or 21. He was intellectually impaired (he graduated HS with a special ed diploma), partially blind, and physically fragile due to a medical condition that affected his neural system. He had been sexually abused at a young age and bullied in school. He got something like eight years for viewing child porn on a computer at his mother’s house, and I wasn’t very happy about it. It’s outrageous to me that Brock Jones got 1/16th the prison time for a more severe crime.

      • n00chness

        8 years on the second one is an absolute outrage.

        • Thirtyish

          Absolutely, especially when (as C&C) notes, actual rape often gets you less than a year in prison.

      • Karen24

        The second case there is really appalling.

    • most people wouldn’t have gotten such a light, for what the crime is, sentence

      The lighter the skin, the lighter the sentence! (Offer not valid in Sweden, vide supra.)

  • Dilan Esper

    I am very glad Scott made point 1. People don’t realize how bad 6 months in jail is. They are very cavalier about the whole notion of long sentences, as if even years in prison is “light punishment”. The big outrage here is the inequality- but he IS being punished.

    • AMK

      the big outrage here is the inequality

      This is my thinking as well. If this kid was black or brown (or a poor kid on a scholarship) they would tack on as many charges as possible and lock him up for the maximum on every one. But he’s a rich white legacy athlete…a Stanford Man…so all the other Sanford Men in the smoking lounge wink wink at each other, remember how they all got their own “20 minutes of action” back in The Day, and give the kid a slap on the wrist for being sloppy and getting caught.

      • I think 14 years in prison is a ridiculous sentence. But I don’t think three to five is wrong for this level of crime–especially absent remorse and restitution (if such a thing is possible).

  • MPAVictoria

    Guys he is writing a letter about his son. Of course he is gonna view the events in such a way that minimizes the shittyness of his sons behavior. I find it hard to be outraged by that. Human nature I think.

    /He is also 100% wrong and I agree that 6 months is a ridiculously short time to spend in prison for this. I am just saying the impulse to defend ones family is strong.

    • Rob in CT

      Not having read his letter, this was my initial take. The more I’ve seen of it (I still haven’t read the whole thing), though, the less inclined I am to stick with that initial take. There may be a natural parental inclination to defend your kid, but some of the shit this guy said goes way beyond.

      • Juicy_Joel

        He doesn’t even like steak anymore!

        • Rob in CT

          When a friend IM’d me that bit I caved on the concept of “of course the dad is defending his son!”

          The world’s tiniest violin shouted “fuck this guy” and that was that.

          • MPAVictoria

            Okay here is where I admit I didn’t read this or the victim impact statement. I just don’t have the mental toughness right now. Been a hard few days. I regret commenting.

            • Rob in CT

              No worries, as I said I didn’t read it either. It was a friend IMing me choice bits that forced me to think about it and trust me, there’s more here than dad defends son.

              • polyorchnid octopunch

                Here’s the thing that people don’t seem to understand. There’s a group of people with a lot of money and power that view most of their fellow human beings as gratification tools, and it’s entrenched as a way of looking at the world around us by the folks with power that can actually change the way things get done.

                The bean counter way of looking at the world. Not everything is numerable.

            • Thirtyish

              It’s all good.

    • Thirtyish

      Completely disagree with your first point. I kind of expect parents to condemn horrific behavior in their children (or at the very least, hold them accountable for it). The kid didn’t track mud in from outside or break a neighbor’s window with his baseball. The asshat father’s rationalizing only enables his kid’s horrific behavior and encourages him to not fucking take responsibility.

      • MPAVictoria

        “The asshat father’s rationalizing only enables his kid’s horrific behavior and encourages him to not fucking take responsibility.”

        But of course parents do this all the time. Doesn’t make it right. Just makes in not surprising. Which is my point.

        • alex284

          Common, probably. But I know parents who had to deal with this and their reaction wasn’t to say that the rape only lasted 20 minutes so who cares.

          If this is a common reaction for parents of rapists, it’s important to remember that “parents of rapists” is not the same thing as “parents” in general. Not saying it’s always the parents’ fault or anything like that, but these men learn that women don’t matter somewhere.

      • Denverite

        I dunno, in a situation like this, it’s a tough line to walk. On the one hand, you don’t want to minimize the event. On the other hand, by acknowledging how horrible it was, you feel like you risk downplaying your “now please show leniency” or whatever it is ask. I tend to err more on the side of acknowledging how horrible it was, but that approach is far from universal.

    • Brownian

      Guys he is writing a letter about his son. Of course he is gonna view the events in such a way that minimizes the shittyness of his sons behavior.

      When I was 17, I was charged with a violent assault I did not commit. My parents stood by me, but their support was clearly contingent upon them believing that I did not commit the crime. Hell, even convinced of my innocence they drove me to the police station themselves to ‘sort everything out’ (I probably don’t need to explain to a blog full of lawyers why that wasn’t a great idea.) At no point in time, even when they thought maybe I was lying to them about my innocence, did they minimize the seriousness of the crime.

      Update: Sorry, I just now saw your later comment. I apologize for piling on, and feel free to disregard my comment if you prefer.

    • Captain Oblivious

      The problem isn’t the letter. The problem is the wording.

    • Warren Terra

      It’s appropriate that he should show concern for his son’s welfare. It’s not appropriate that he has utter contempt for the victim, and it’s not appropriate that he defines his son’s welfare as getting off as close to scot-free as possible, without any admission of guilt, show of remorse, or clear intention to change into a better person and stop being a rapist.

    • djw

      That would be my general inclination for this sort of thing as well. After reading his statement, I found myself in a considerably less charitable mood.

  • DrS

    I wonder if Mr. Turner would have written a letter on behalf of someone who raped his daughter in a similar scenario? Would he write about the perpetrator being punished for a mere ’20 minutes of action”? Would he be offended if someone had characterized it as such, after seeing the effects on her?

    Trying to be charitable as possible and it’s just not really that possible.

    Not that it should even take that. This is simple human empathy here.

  • elliotb

    This is a local case for me and I read all of the summary and the victim’s statement in the Sunday paper. The real criminal here is the judge. A trial jury found this young man guilty of 3 felonies and the prosecutor recommended 6 years and the maximum was 14 years. Cutting this sentencing recommendation in half would have been lenient, but justifiable. To commute the sentence to 6 months in County is egregious and unjustifiable.

  • Captain Oblivious

    Re: the recall.

    If we actually had an independent judiciary, I would be opposed to it. But we don’t, and the judiciary we do have does a shitty job in most states of policing itself.

    If someone can convince me that California has some other way of effectively disciplining this asshat, I’ll come out against the recall, but so far nobody has explained to me what the alternatives are.

  • Cheap Wino

    The woman’s letter is truly amazing. So sad it had to be written.

    The rest of the whole situation is appalling. So obvious that kid was going to rape somebody, probably sooner rather than later. So much to turn your stomach but I think what galls me the most is how disgusting the idea that the kid rapist is going to atone by lecturing kids on the dangers of excessive drinking and sexual promiscuity. Fuck you, rapist. You don’t belong in front of any audience telling them anything about life if you still don’t get the point that your a god damned rapist. My blood is starting to boil. . .

    • advocatethis

      I think you get to the heart of this kid’s problem with “so obvious that kid was going to rape somebody, probably sooner than later.” This kid wasn’t looking for a hook up, he was looking to get off. He was looking for the easiest least committal way of having sex with another human being, and he found one who couldn’t say no or resist and could barely walk. I would not be at all surprised if this wasn’t the first time he did this, or at least tried to, merely the first time he got caught.

      • This. Not the first time he did this. And probably not the last.

  • alex284

    I’m reminded of how white people generally think black people are less capable of feeling pain:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/04/04/do-blacks-feel-less-pain-than-whites-their-doctors-may-think-so/

    There are white people in med school willing to say that they believe that the nerve endings of black people are biologically different in such a way that makes their pain less serious. If people who should know why that’s bs believe it anyway, just imagine all the less articulated racist ideas that affect sentencing inequality along racial lines.

  • Warren Terra

    One of the things that struck me in the victim’s letter was the bit about how the rapist has pledged to visit schools speaking about the evils of alcohol overindulgence (and the victim’s brilliant pledge to follow him on stage explaining that incapacitation by alcohol could put you at risk of being raped by scum like him).

    I realize wealthy people get to play a lot of these games – please have mercy on ma boy, judge, he’s going to dedicate his life to community service – but it wa rather incredible given that (1) the rapist didn’t to be claiming his judgment was impaired; (2) it was nonresponsive to the real problem and not accompanied by remorse – but mostly (3) can you even imagine the school that’d welcome the rapist to come in and address their student bodies on the evils of strong liquor?

  • AMK

    Putting myself in the minds of old rich conservative white dudes, there’s another factor at play besides the elite in-group mentality that protects children of privilege from legal consequences others would face.

    The light sentence is easy to understand when you consider that for men of a certain age and social outlook, what happened here was not real “rape” in the traditional sense (ie there was no forced vaginal intercourse that could result in pregnancy). This was “sexual assualt,” which is much easier for these people to wave away as drunken “action” that is only a legal “crime” because the “politically correct” women’s lib crowd gives the establishment enough PR headaches to make it so.

    • MissVane

      Not just men of a certain age — Scott’s last link is to the rapist’s friend’s statement in which (among other gems) she said:

      This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.

      Her whole letter has to be read to be believed.

      • Linnaeus

        I was struck by that too – the “man in the bushes” image of the rapist dies hard, despite the fact that most rapes aren’t committed that way.

        • What about the “man by the dumpster” image!

  • Joe_JP
    • Joe_JP

      for instance he noted:

      1) this seemed to be a pretty ugly case of sexual assault — e.g., significant sexual abuse of an unconscious victim, (2) the fact that the offender has apparently shown no remorse and may have perjured himself at trial in an effort to escape conviction for a serious sexual assault, and (3) my belief that, due to overcrowded jails, a six-month-in-jail sentence in California might be completed in a few weekends.

      That all said, I think [another comment] really nails the sentencing story here: I suspect the judge was prompted to give this offender a lenient jail term because he may have thought the defendant was already being “punished enough” (or even too much) by the fact that he will have essentially a life sentence on the sex offender registry. But, again, I wonder if the offender might have had some way to avoid this outcome had he admitted guilt, shown remorse, and found a way to plead guilty to lesser charges.

      The very url to this post also shows that the father’s note is part of what people are upset about. A parent can support their kids but at some point it gets to be too much especially if the victim’s harm is treated this cavalierly.

  • MacK

    The more I read about this case the more mystified I am. First I don’t understand the choice to not just plead guilty straightaway. He was interrupted trying to penetrate an unconscious mostly naked woman behind a dumpster by two men who grabbed him as he ran away trying to pull up his trousers. The evidence didn’t even require the victim’s testimony, and she wasn’t actually able to remember what happened anyway. I cannot see how he had any hope to be acquitted. What good was attacking her character going to do.

    Now it’s true to say that his life from now on is probably a disaster, being on the sex offenders registry is a big deal. In many states it limits the places he could live; there are a very large number of jobs he cut apply for; no college is going to admit him anywhere; he will not be able to get into a bunch of professions because he won’t past backround check; he will never get away from this. That’s not to say I have any sympathy for him, but it strikes me that he might’ve been better off getting sufficient long sentence that people thought he paid a real price.

    But the thing that really mystifies me is the statement his father filed, and the statement that his female friend filed. Didn’t his lawyer read these things before they went in? They are a disaster! The fathers line about “action” I mean that’s just astonishing, the friends victim blaming comments I find that incredible. It’s not that I’m surprised that people would make statements like that I’m astonished that his lawyers did not tell them to change the language and tone.

    • Ronan

      Should the lawyer have pushed him to plead out ? Or would that generally be his call ?

      • My understanding is that lawyers often strongly recommend the plea. It’s, in the end, the defendant’s call.

        E.g.,.

        An attorney should also advise a client whether or not to plead by explaining the risks and benefits of going to trial. A defense attorney should help a client reach a strategic decision by analyzing the strength of the case. If the evidence against a client is strong and conviction at trial is likely, then the attorney has a duty to negotiate a plea bargain, unless the client insists on going to trial.

        For example, let’s say Robert is facing criminal charges for identity theft. The evidence against him is pretty strong and the penalties are stiff. Robert isn’t likely to prevail at trial and his attorney has negotiated a plea bargain with the prosecutor for a plea to a lesser charge and probation. If Robert were to go to trial and be convicted, he would probably face incarceration. In this scenario, the attorney would normally advise Robert to take the plea bargain. However, the ultimate decision would be Robert’s.

      • MacK

        It’s hard to know in CA. If you are his lawyer in an adversarial system your role is to try to look after his best interests as a defendant. I’m not a criminal defense lawyer, but yes – I’d have pushed him to take a lesser plea – especially one that increased the chance that he might stay off the sex offenders register – or have a better chance of getting his name removed under various rehabilitation rules at a later date. I think there is some trivialization of what being on that register means, especially for a guy with a distinctive name – there is a high rate of suicide and homelessness amongst those on sex offenders registers because it is so socially, economically and in terms of living catastrophic.

        Pleading out woukd have ended quickly the publicity too – it might have stayed an essentially local story. Finally, I have never seen letters line those filed with the court where counsel does nit read them and consider if they are more damaging than helpful – until now I suppose.

        • Denverite

          Finally, I have never seen letters line those filed with the court where counsel does nit read them and consider if they are more damaging than helpful – until now I suppose.

          I’m wondering if it’s possible that the father might have submitted a letter that was different than the one the kid’s lawyer vetted. I could see a situation where the father gave a letter to the lawyer, the lawyer took out the stuff about drinking and promiscuity, and the father decided it was important to get that stuff in so he pulled a last minute switcheroo.

      • LeeEsq

        Lawyers can suggest to make a plea in a criminal case or to settle in a civil case but the client makes the decision and the lawyer is supposed to do the best job possible based on what the client wants out of the duty of loyalty and zealous advocacy.

        • MacK

          I do t disagree – but wow the letter from his father and old school friend – did his lawyer not read those? I cannot see how they helped.

          By the way, on the civil side I wonder about the advice some clients get. My reaction was that on the known evidence his lawyer did well to get the two rape charges tossed – but the sex assault looked unbeatable, I wonder did his lawyer tell him that?

          • LeeEsq

            Being a lawyer is also a business even though lawyers desperately tried to pretend this isn’t so and sometimes you have to do legal things that you wouldn’t choose to do keep your customer/client happy. There is also the possibility that the father and friend sent the letter to the judge on their own volition rather than through the lawyer. I only had to deal with ex parte communication against my client but I suppose ex parte communication for a client is possible.*

            *My client was filing for asylum on account of persecution for being a Roman Catholic. A relative by marriage mailed in a really wild letter that basically accused my client of being a lying hypocrite along with a DVD. Getting asylum for my client despite this was one of my proudest moments as a lawyer. It was kind of a fun problem to deal with.

            • Redwood Rhiadra

              The letter accused your client of being a DVD? That’s a wild letter indeed!

              (Yes, I know what you meant :-)

          • muddy

            But they did help, didn’t they? He got a lighter sentence.

            Probably these tone-deaf letters are what convinced the judge that these are “the right sort of people”.

            • MacK

              What helped was the pre sentencing report from the probation officer – and I’ve heard it suggested that some are pressured to recommend no-time to keep prison costs down.

  • pianomover

    Hopefully when the dust settles this woman will seek help for her drinking problem.

    • Warren Terra

      Sure. But I’d rather see some indication the man plans to seek help for his raping problem, which is completely separate.

    • ColBatGuano

      You should delete this comment.

      • Warren Terra

        She drank to incapacitation among strangers. That’s not healthy behavior; I hope she manages to avoid it in future. But her helplessness is not a factor in his guilt for raping her.

        • Thirtyish

          That may be, but I really don’t think pianomover was coming from a place of genuine concern for the victim.

          • pianomover

            I have experience with very close relatives and friends who were blackout drunks. Until they sought help things never got better.

        • Ronan

          Doesn’t necessarily imply a “drinking problem” though ,which is a loaded way (for piano mover) to put it.
          I think the reason she gives in her victim impact statement (empty stomach, hadn’t drunk in a while, etc) sounds more plausible than “she has a drinking problem”

          • pianomover

            She excuses the condition that she got herself into by claiming her tolerance was lowered since she’s left school. That is a classic excuse for a drinking problem.

            • veleda_k

              Knock it off. She’s not on trial here, and this concern trolling serves no purpose other than an attempt to move judgement back to the victim. We have no way to know if she has a drinking problem, and no justifiable reason to speculate. And whether or not she does is completely irrelevant to the crime committed. End of story.

              • pianomover

                I’m not judging anyone. I’m speaking from personal experience only. If a person can get black out drunk at a party they can also get black out drunk and get behind the wheel of a car. Like I said when the dust settles

                • Thirtyish

                  In other words, when the minor matter of having been brutally raped, and on top of that the rapist for all intents and purposes got off scot-free “dust” settles, we can await the very important matter of this victim realizing the error of her ways.

                • veleda_k

                  The truly important thing is that your know what your priorities are: making unkind and spurious accusations against a victim of a horrific crime, all because you know she made a single choice you don’t approve of.

                • ColBatGuano

                  I’m sure your blog comment is the thing that will push her to seek help.

            • Ronan

              I’ve known plenty of alcoholics who have a high tolerance for alcohol, and plenty who
              Are extremely messy. Likewise with recreational drinkers. Some who really couldn’t handle it, and so drank irregularly because of that. And the circumstance really do matter. Have you honestly never gone for a drink and found it’s hit you harder than usual ? Or gotten carried away for any number of reasons which aren’t generalisable to your general drinking behavior ? Your hard and fast rules on drinking problems really don’t hold at this level of removal.
              And it really is bad form to speculate on whether someone has a “drinking problem” unless you have enough information (which you don’t) to make a serious judgement. This is true in general but especially so In this case . Theres a lot of amateur psychologising that goes on these days. We don’t have to know anything about her drinking, or even about who Brock really is or what his father really meant.This is all largely immaterial to the question of (1) whether brick did something wrong (2) whether he’s been punished accordingly and (3) if not, then why not.
              Brock doesn’t have to be evil to have done something evil, his father doesn’t have to be an awful human being to have said something awful, and there doesn’t have to be any larger story (and a larger personal deficiency that needs to be corrected) about this woman that can explain what happened to her.

        • djw

          That could be a sign of a drinking problem, but that’s hardly the only explanation, and knowing nothing about her beyond the facts that have emerged from this case, I see no good reason at all to pretend to know what’s going on here.

          • pianomover

            This!

        • rea

          But her helplessness is not a factor in his guilt for raping her.

          It’s an aggravating factor

          • veleda_k

            I’m so glad we could turn the scrutiny where it belongs: back to the victim and her choices. Your support of rape culture is appreciated. (Not by me, but by rapists, sure.)

            • Ronan

              2 seconds on Google tells me an aggravating factor is

              “Aggravating Factor. Any fact or circumstance that increases the severity or culpability of a criminal act. Aggravating factors include recidivism, lack of remorse, amount of harm to the victim, or committing the crime in front of a child,
              ….”

              So rea is actually doing the opposite of what you’re accusing him

              • veleda_k

                Ah, then I apologize.

                • Ronan

                  I actually read rea as you did originally , but thought it was an unusual position coming from him (that’s why I looked it up)
                  Sorry if my reply was a little curt

    • Thirtyish

      Hopefully, when the dust settles, Brock Turner will seek help for his raping problem.

      • This.

      • pianomover

        This too

    • A whole lot of men and women will tell you that people get slipped either stronger alcohol than they are expecting (in mixed drinks) or roofies at frat parties. In fact there is another story going viral right now about three women who saw a man drop something in the drink of a woman at a restaurant. They approached her in the bathroom before she took the drink, called the police,and the man was arrested (with the drug) and charged for it. In their facebook account of the event they describe numerous people in the restaurant, male and female, approaching them to thank them for not being bystanders. And telling their own stories of being drugged and assaulted.

    • LeeEsq

      This is completely irrelevant to what happened to her. We don’t even know if she has a drinking problem or if like people are want to on occasion just got drunk.

  • Karen24

    Back before the glaciers receded and mastodons died out, I had a job that involved reviewing criminal records of license applicants and determining whether the state should approve the application or take it to a hearing because the conviction was so terrible. The large majority of my cases were sex offenders, and because God hates me, mostly child molesters. I reviewed shipping container loads of letters like this, and this stands out as bad. The only case where someone made a stupider statement was the one where the applicant, who was still on very strict ankle-monitor probation, compared child molesters to Jews in Nazi Germany in his statement to the judge.*

    *Doing that job convinced me that our prison sentences for sex crimes are all far too short and lenient. If I had been Empress, maybe a dozen of the hundreds of cases I reviewed would ever see the light of day again. They were all unrepentant, and to the extent that they were sorry, they blamed their conduct on drugs or booze or vicious ex-wives, never on their own damned wickedness.

    • MartinAlexander

      Out of morbid curiosity what percentage of sex offenders were child molestors?

  • Karen24

    And once again, The Onion nails it.

    • Nick056

      That is … Not the Onion.

    • Malaclypse

      But this is back in rotation.