The controversial six-month prison sentence of 20-year-old Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimming athlete who raped an unconscious woman, has drawn a considerable amount of outrage and media attention over the past few days. However, it also seems as if Aaron Persky, the judge who handed down the lenient sentence, is bearing the brunt of the blame as well. A change.org petition calling for Persky’s swift removal from his judging position has garnered over 680K online signatures.
The online petition, titled “Remove Judge Aaron Persky from the bench for his decision in Brock Turner case,” is just one component of a larger conversation at hand. The tabloid fodder surrounding the Brock Turner case has amplified a nationwide debate on how the American judicial system operates on a two-tier rule when it comes to the systemic issues plaguing campus rape culture, sexism, as well as harsher sentences handed down to poor minorities and their affluent Caucasian counterparts.