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crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brock-turner-sex-assault-case-supporters-apologize-letters-judge-sentence/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/former-stanford-swimmer-brock-turner-privilege-sexual-assault-sentence-analysis/

The first article is about apologies written by people who had written to the court in Brock's defense saying 'he's a really good person' or whatever. They decided that the victim matters too. The second article is about how the William Zanzinger  style sentence was clearly the result of privilege. Both of which I think are fairly self evident.

But there is something a little deeper in all that for me. The societal expectation that individuals be willing to throw their good friends or even family members into horrible situations based on realities of people they don't know. Secondarily, in our society, the sentences given amount to the equivalent of banishment and offer no institutional means of real atonement through varied forms of restitution. By recognizing the rights of the victim, is it necessary to effectively put the perp on an ice floe to die? Something in this picture seems wrong. It is certainly an improvement in my opinion to grant the victim the power of the state to make amends rather than to make it worse as was the old practice, but it just seems to me that this is some sort of intermediate moral phase. We still seem to use hate and revenge as motives in our justice system.

I don't have an alternative available offhand but it just seems like exchanging one fucked up thing for another, only marginally less fucked up thing.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #1
It is certainly an improvement in my opinion to grant the victim the power of the state to make amends rather than to make it worse as was the old practice,
I'm confused.  Exactly what change in practice are you referring to, here?

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #2
I think you should include the victim's careful and intense statement if you want to discuss this case:

http://heavy.com/news/2016/06/brock-turner-rape-victim-full-statement-pdf-ashleigh-banfield-video-youtube-cnn/

And possibly Turner's father's statement. in which his unfortunate choice of words:

Quote
His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.
probably amped up the criticism considerably.

http://heavy.com/news/2016/06/brock-turner-father-dad-dan-turner-full-letter-statement-stanford-rapist/

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #3
It is certainly an improvement in my opinion to grant the victim the power of the state to make amends rather than to make it worse as was the old practice,
I'm confused.  Exactly what change in practice are you referring to, here?
well, at least we are starting to blame the perpetrator rather than the victim.

Maybe it's the concept of blame as a replacement for community practices that may seem inefficient from a utilitarian rational choice type I really am able to cut my losses because humans are only valuable the way I value them sort of way. I mean, I am fine with putting that dude in prison for a long long time. He did something really horrible and it's possible he could do it again. But there is something that feels societally unhealthy still in the mix.
Love is like a magic penny
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #4
I think you should include the victim's careful and intense statement if you want to discuss this case:

http://heavy.com/news/2016/06/brock-turner-rape-victim-full-statement-pdf-ashleigh-banfield-video-youtube-cnn/

And possibly Turner's father's statement. in which his unfortunate choice of words:

Quote
His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.
probably amped up the criticism considerably.

http://heavy.com/news/2016/06/brock-turner-father-dad-dan-turner-full-letter-statement-stanford-rapist/

Actually, no. Those statements are my original point and question. They are the same issue.

Edit, I mean, yes. Feel free to include them. Those are the same issues I was getting at. They are eminently relevant. 
Love is like a magic penny
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #5
Neither of your articles include a link to the victim's statement, that I could see.

I am not at all sure what you're trying to discuss here, unless that such statements by supporters or victims should not be part of proceedings.

It's interesting that Cunt at MR has in fact stated just that re this case.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #6
Neither of your articles include a link to the victim's statement, that I could see.

I am not at all sure what you're trying to discuss here, unless that such statements by supporters or victims should not be part of proceedings.

It's interesting that Cunt at MR has in fact stated just that re this case.

Maybe. I guess it is. The ideas that his family and friends ought to throw him under the bus and the more they say dumb privileged shit in defense of their family member the more the public demands blood. Somehow it just seems weird that either of those should be allowed in the judicial question at all. I'm saddened by the 6 month sentence and the privilege that displays, but I'm also saddened by the demands for blood. Basically, I guess the 6 month sentence is probably going to be pretty punitive on the guy in some ways but clearly there should be no difference in the sentence of him and a young black male doing the same thing to a white girl in the same place and clearly there is a difference in sentencing.

Character witnesses nor the suffering of the victim should be able to influence the trial if we have some sort of formula to determine appropriate punishment but that sounds like mandatory sentencing and also sounds like shit because there are always mitigating circumstances. I think it's about the way we use anger and hate to justify the legal system. Privilege is more than annoying and rightly is a massive problem. But maybe imprisonment is also a massive problem. Somehow the punishment seems unrelated to the crime and has no rational justification that I can see.

If everyone got what they deserved, we'd discover that there is no god because there is no god's eye view to determine what someone deserves. It's a cobbled together half-assed category of agreed upon moral judgments which we have learned to substitute for action. It's no different from road rage in most cases.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #7
It's a cobbled together half-assed category of agreed upon moral judgments which we have learned to substitute for action. It's no different from road rage in most cases.
Yep, that's a pretty good description of every "justice system" that humans have ever made.

But putting together a practical justice system that doesn't fit that description is probably hopeless.

True justice would magically take away the victim's pain, and make it as if the act had never taken place.  As for the perpetrator, I can't for the life of me figure out what true justice would do there.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #8
You and your realism. :Whyyou:
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #9
True justice for the perp would involve a groundhog day simulator, where they continually replay the events until they "get it right", which would involve coming out of the process changed in such a way that they'd never want to do the crime again.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #10
However, an eye for an eye is a lot more sophisticated in some cases than we might give it credit for. A book by that name that I read:
http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/law/jurisprudence/eye-eye
Is among the most profound jurisprudence works I've ever come across.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #11
Neither of your articles include a link to the victim's statement, that I could see.

I am not at all sure what you're trying to discuss here, unless that such statements by supporters or victims should not be part of proceedings.

It's interesting that Cunt at MR has in fact stated just that re this case.

Maybe. I guess it is. The ideas that his family and friends ought to throw him under the bus and the more they say dumb privileged shit in defense of their family member the more the public demands blood. Somehow it just seems weird that either of those should be allowed in the judicial question at all. I'm saddened by the 6 month sentence and the privilege that displays, but I'm also saddened by the demands for blood. Basically, I guess the 6 month sentence is probably going to be pretty punitive on the guy in some ways but clearly there should be no difference in the sentence of him and a young black male doing the same thing to a white girl in the same place and clearly there is a difference in sentencing.

Character witnesses nor the suffering of the victim should be able to influence the trial if we have some sort of formula to determine appropriate punishment but that sounds like mandatory sentencing and also sounds like shit because there are always mitigating circumstances. I think it's about the way we use anger and hate to justify the legal system. Privilege is more than annoying and rightly is a massive problem. But maybe imprisonment is also a massive problem. Somehow the punishment seems unrelated to the crime and has no rational justification that I can see.

If everyone got what they deserved, we'd discover that there is no god because there is no god's eye view to determine what someone deserves. It's a cobbled together half-assed category of agreed upon moral judgments which we have learned to substitute for action. It's no different from road rage in most cases.

Isn't the reality in the US that very few criminal cases attract any degree of public attention at all? The ones that do usually have some aspect that does cry out for more equitable judgements by the system, even if thousands of similar cases had similar input and results.
I agree that perhaps any such statements in court from victims or the defendant's supporters may not be appropriate in the courtroom. This case is hugely illustrative of the reality that people have different levels of competence when expressing themselves. The victim's statement was extremely articulate, thoughtful, carefully worded, not vengeful. The supporters' statements we've read are awful, poorly worded, clumsy, reek of privilege and denial. And yet it appears the victim's words had little or no effect on the sentence, while the crude and privileged nature of the supporters' words may appear to have influenced the light sentence.
It looks to me as if none of the statements had any effect at all - the judge based the sentence on the probation office report and recommendation.
The appearance of injustice does bring out the worst in people, and they reveal their own flaws and vengefulness. It's very ugly.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #12
True justice for the perp would involve a groundhog day simulator, where they continually replay the events until they "get it right", which would involve coming out of the process changed in such a way that they'd never want to do the crime again.
Yeah. There's an element of community and restitution that is just completely missing. That's really what I'm thinking of. Thanks for putting a scenario to it.
Love is like a magic penny
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if you give it away you'll have so many
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #13
Neither of your articles include a link to the victim's statement, that I could see.

I am not at all sure what you're trying to discuss here, unless that such statements by supporters or victims should not be part of proceedings.

It's interesting that Cunt at MR has in fact stated just that re this case.

Maybe. I guess it is. The ideas that his family and friends ought to throw him under the bus and the more they say dumb privileged shit in defense of their family member the more the public demands blood. Somehow it just seems weird that either of those should be allowed in the judicial question at all. I'm saddened by the 6 month sentence and the privilege that displays, but I'm also saddened by the demands for blood. Basically, I guess the 6 month sentence is probably going to be pretty punitive on the guy in some ways but clearly there should be no difference in the sentence of him and a young black male doing the same thing to a white girl in the same place and clearly there is a difference in sentencing.

Character witnesses nor the suffering of the victim should be able to influence the trial if we have some sort of formula to determine appropriate punishment but that sounds like mandatory sentencing and also sounds like shit because there are always mitigating circumstances. I think it's about the way we use anger and hate to justify the legal system. Privilege is more than annoying and rightly is a massive problem. But maybe imprisonment is also a massive problem. Somehow the punishment seems unrelated to the crime and has no rational justification that I can see.

If everyone got what they deserved, we'd discover that there is no god because there is no god's eye view to determine what someone deserves. It's a cobbled together half-assed category of agreed upon moral judgments which we have learned to substitute for action. It's no different from road rage in most cases.

Isn't the reality in the US that very few criminal cases attract any degree of public attention at all? The ones that do usually have some aspect that does cry out for more equitable judgements by the system, even if thousands of similar cases had similar input and results.
I agree that perhaps any such statements in court from victims or the defendant's supporters may not be appropriate in the courtroom. This case is hugely illustrative of the reality that people have different levels of competence when expressing themselves. The victim's statement was extremely articulate, thoughtful, carefully worded, not vengeful. The supporters' statements we've read are awful, poorly worded, clumsy, reek of privilege and denial. And yet it appears the victim's words had little or no effect on the sentence, while the crude and privileged nature of the supporters' words may appear to have influenced the light sentence.
It looks to me as if none of the statements had any effect at all - the judge based the sentence on the probation office report and recommendation.
The appearance of injustice does bring out the worst in people, and they reveal their own flaws and vengefulness. It's very ugly.
Yes it is. That ugliness seems impossible to shed light on without creating a worse situation. That is also relevant in this case.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #14
Pedantic point. ... ( or maybe not. I don't really know what the legal ramifications are. )

There was no "rape verdict".
Turner was convicted on INTENT to commit rape, and SEXUAL ASSAULT on an unconscious victim and SEXUAL ASSAULT on an intoxicated victim.

I'm not sure but I think the technical distinction involves presence or absence of penile penetration.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #15
Pedantic point. ... ( or maybe not. I don't really know what the legal ramifications are. )

There was no "rape verdict".
Turner was convicted on INTENT to commit rape, and SEXUAL ASSAULT on an unconscious victim and SEXUAL ASSAULT on an intoxicated victim.

I'm not sure but I think the technical distinction involves presence or absence of penile penetration.

According to what I've read, state law and federal law differ regarding the definition of rape. Federal law defines rape as any non-consensual penetration, oral, anal, or vaginal, with a penis, digit, or object. State law in this case requires a penis to be used in order to define rape; other acts are referred to as sexual assault.

In this case there was no evidence of Turner penetrating his victim with his penis; he was 'dry humping' the unconscious woman when the Swedish students first saw him and subsequently stopped him. Hospital evidence suggested he digitally penetrated her and probably used an unknown foreign object too; there was dirt, pine needles, debris inside her vagina, along with lacerations.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #16
Turner admitted to "fingering" - and claimed the victim consented.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #17
True justice for the perp would involve a groundhog day simulator, where they continually replay the events until they "get it right", which would involve coming out of the process changed in such a way that they'd never want to do the crime again.

Yes, but then that smacks of Orwellian brain washing. And that's going to be a tough pill to swallow for most folks.
Are we there yet?

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #18
Turner admitted to "fingering" - and claimed the victim consented.

He claimed a lot of things (changed his initial story) once he found out the woman couldn't remember a damn thing. Even (and I doubt it, considering other facts) if she did consent to some kind of sexual contact, I seriously doubt it included 'yeah baby shove dirt and pine needles inside me with your manly fist'.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #19
Yes... I don't think there's much controversy over whether the jury's verdicts were warranted. I don't know how much the "childhood friend" letter writer knew about the details of the case when she chalked the conviction up to "political correctness" run amok, but that was disturbing.
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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #20
Neither of your articles include a link to the victim's statement, that I could see.

I am not at all sure what you're trying to discuss here, unless that such statements by supporters or victims should not be part of proceedings.

It's interesting that Cunt at MR has in fact stated just that re this case.

Maybe. I guess it is. The ideas that his family and friends ought to throw him under the bus and the more they say dumb privileged shit in defense of their family member the more the public demands blood. Somehow it just seems weird that either of those should be allowed in the judicial question at all. I'm saddened by the 6 month sentence and the privilege that displays, but I'm also saddened by the demands for blood. Basically, I guess the 6 month sentence is probably going to be pretty punitive on the guy in some ways but clearly there should be no difference in the sentence of him and a young black male doing the same thing to a white girl in the same place and clearly there is a difference in sentencing.

Character witnesses nor the suffering of the victim should be able to influence the trial if we have some sort of formula to determine appropriate punishment but that sounds like mandatory sentencing and also sounds like shit because there are always mitigating circumstances. I think it's about the way we use anger and hate to justify the legal system. Privilege is more than annoying and rightly is a massive problem. But maybe imprisonment is also a massive problem. Somehow the punishment seems unrelated to the crime and has no rational justification that I can see.

If everyone got what they deserved, we'd discover that there is no god because there is no god's eye view to determine what someone deserves. It's a cobbled together half-assed category of agreed upon moral judgments which we have learned to substitute for action. It's no different from road rage in most cases.

Isn't the reality in the US that very few criminal cases attract any degree of public attention at all? The ones that do usually have some aspect that does cry out for more equitable judgements by the system, even if thousands of similar cases had similar input and results.
I agree that perhaps any such statements in court from victims or the defendant's supporters may not be appropriate in the courtroom. This case is hugely illustrative of the reality that people have different levels of competence when expressing themselves. The victim's statement was extremely articulate, thoughtful, carefully worded, not vengeful. The supporters' statements we've read are awful, poorly worded, clumsy, reek of privilege and denial. And yet it appears the victim's words had little or no effect on the sentence, while the crude and privileged nature of the supporters' words may appear to have influenced the light sentence.
It looks to me as if none of the statements had any effect at all - the judge based the sentence on the probation office report and recommendation.
The appearance of injustice does bring out the worst in people, and they reveal their own flaws and vengefulness. It's very ugly.

I'd agree and I believe it's general practice throughout the US that victims' and defendants' statements are not allowed during the trial phase, that in which it's determined if the defendant committed the crime he or she is accused of. Up to that point, they are still considered innocent until proven guilty and any purely defamatory or inflammatory evidence is prohibited, for good reason. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial. One in which emotion is not a factor in determining if the defendant committed the crime he or she is accused of.  This is why the prohibition on prior convictions is justified, unless those prior convictions are indicative of a trend or a motive or a similar method. If the defendant is acquitted, that's it, the end, everyone goes home. If the defendant is convicted, then begins the sentencing phase, with the matter of guilt or innocence legally determined as fact. At this point, I believe it's more than fair to consider the emotional aspects of the crime as they indicate the level of antisocialiality of the now convicted defendant and to what extent that person requires isolation and/or re-education/regrooving.

I tend to think our justice system is still very much rooted in crime and punishment. In other words, you harmed someone, so now they get to harm you in return, ie - eye for an eye. Which really does no one any good, it does not restore the blinded their vision and it's arguable that it deters others from committing the same crime: the classic pickpockets at the hanging scenario. In short, the use of the term "rehabilitation" in our justice system is a joke at best and a lie at worst. Maybe that should be reversed, I dunno. It is possible, in many cases, to divert criminal behavior, to retrain criminals. And we should, but don't. We put them into the same venues as we put those that can't be rehabilitated. I dunno what makes some people so psychopathic, so sociopathic, they can not be re-educated, regrooved, remade, they are, for whatever reason, irretrievably broken and can not be fixed. They simply don't see other humans, other life forms, pretty much anything, as other than stuff to be used, to be consumed. If it serves their purpose, any use of other stuff is perfectly OK. These most likely can not be re-educated, can not regrooved, and as such, you need to isolate them, permanently. Either by incarceration or simply doing away with them. Hickock and Smith were not going to be fixed. Ted Bundy was not going to be fixed. Manson is not going to be fixed. They are mortal dangers that need to be addressed and protected against. It's a public safety issue.

But that's not how our system works. It's based upon punishment. Pound of flesh, eye for an eye. And to top it off, we often hire the same sorts to keep the dangers in check. Yeah, that's a good idea. If you weren't a psychopath/sociopath before we sent you to prison, we're going to make sure you are one when you get out.

And, unfortunately, much police work is faulty, at best, many prosecutors are lazy or simply want the win. Often defense lawyers are inadequate. Or asleep or drunk. Hey, they were represented, right?

In any case, I don't see much regarding Turner's sentence being revisited, as much as this judge is a bad choice for being a judge and should be removed from office. There's three ways to do so in this case, impeachment, which is very difficult, referral to the Judicial Inquiry Commission or, more simply, voting the judge out of office. Which is the focus of the effort.

I understand the arguments against voting for judges. They should be impartial. But they should also be responsible. But to whom? Well, I'd argue to the public. The public is, at least in the US, under the moral authority of the Declaration of Independence and the legal authority of the Constitution (and State Constitutions) the ultimate source of all political and legal power. All of the various stop gaps in the US system are primarily intended to delay such action so as to defuse inflamed reactionary movements. To allow them to burn themselves out before they can cause serious damage. This is the major threat in democracy, the tendency to extremism but the realization most such trends are temporary. Let them fuck up a City or two, a County or two, a State or two.

So in this case, the judge, who has no major accolades anyway, is up for reelection, prior to now unopposed.
That lack of opposition is not a good sign. And the campaign to challenge him is a good thing. It;'s the People speaking.  Does anyone here oppose the People speaking? If so, they are hypocrites and should be ignored. People who speak out on having themselves silenced should be silenced.

Given the rather cushy job most judgeships entail, I'm surprised the seats are not more hotly contested. Salaries of $150K per year are not particularly horrendous, the work schedule is not all that bad, lots of perks. Of course, there's the odd chance some disgruntled "client" might shoot you, but hey, that doesn't happen often.
Are we there yet?

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #21
Yes... I don't think there's much controversy over whether the jury's verdicts were warranted. I don't know how much the "childhood friend" letter writer knew about the details of the case when she chalked the conviction up to "political correctness" run amok, but that was disturbing.

I don't think she was adequately informed to begin with. She claimed later that she didn't know her support letter would be made public once read in court. She's very young herself and may have just thought 'Oh this old high school friend would never do something that awful' and wrote what she thought would help him without much thought (and she was likely asked to do so by the defendant's legal team). I think the public reaction was over the top, particularly regarding venues cancelling her band's performances.

But there is a huge demographic that blames 'political correctness' for all sorts of social restraints they feel are irksome, and I would guess she is immersed in that privileged part of American culture.

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #22
Yes... I don't think there's much controversy over whether the jury's verdicts were warranted. I don't know how much the "childhood friend" letter writer knew about the details of the case when she chalked the conviction up to "political correctness" run amok, but that was disturbing.

I don't think she was adequately informed to begin with. She claimed later that she didn't know her support letter would be made public once read in court. She's very young herself and may have just thought 'Oh this old high school friend would never do something that awful' and wrote what she thought would help him without much thought (and she was likely asked to do so by the defendant's legal team). I think the public reaction was over the top, particularly regarding venues cancelling her band's performances.

But there is a huge demographic that blames 'political correctness' for all sorts of social restraints they feel are irksome, and I would guess she is immersed in that privileged part of American culture.

One has to wonder if she imagined being the victim in this case. How she would have felt if it had been her that awoke in the ER and learned she'd been raped and her childhood friend Turner had been the raper.

As far as I can tell, there was no question the victim had recently been sexually active and was clearly unable to have been able to consent to such. Two people witnessed at least some of the acts. The objects found in her vagina were pretty obvious, plus the testimony of the witnesses and her blood analysis confirm all that.  So the verdict was obvious. She was unable to give consent and she was therefore criminally assaulted. Conviction on such.

'Childhood' letters should be excluded automatically.

I got a huge lesson on racism and privilege during my 20 years in Hawaii. I was pretty amazed at both ends of the spectrum. I expected to some extent the anti-Caucasian sentiment, and experienced it often, especially in terms of commerce and government. I had a lot of contact with both. But once the people I had to deal with learned I wasn't the typical white asshole just in from the States, such dissipated. I had a lot of good times with the locals and they with me. Mostly because I wasn't the typical ripoff States asshole haole. . Not to say I wasn't some sort of asshole, but certainly not that type and whatever kind I was did not interfere with my business and personal associations.

On the other hand, the stories I heard from locals were horrendous. Even given a reasonable amount of animosity and self-aggrandizing,  they were pretty awful. And I had to live those down.

Meanwhile, I heard from Mainlanders of the constant racism they experienced. I was rather amazed as I had always found the locals, whether Asian or Hawaiian or South Pacifican (if such is a term) to be very open, honest, easy, friendly). And yet, I knew some of these folks for a long time, they weren't "racists". Were they? Eventually I figured it out. White Mainlanders, while not overt, is was their "privilege" that ruled. They were so used to being deferred the absence of such seemed like racism. Because they weren't deferred to, it seemed to them they were being discriminated against. What a concept, Because you are no longer a Pirincess,, this somehow translates to being not treated as an equal.
Are we there yet?

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #23
Pedantic point. ... ( or maybe not. I don't really know what the legal ramifications are. )

There was no "rape verdict".
Turner was convicted on INTENT to commit rape, and SEXUAL ASSAULT on an unconscious victim and SEXUAL ASSAULT on an intoxicated victim.

I'm not sure but I think the technical distinction involves presence or absence of penile penetration.

According to what I've read, state law and federal law differ regarding the definition of rape. Federal law defines rape as any non-consensual penetration, oral, anal, or vaginal, with a penis, digit, or object. State law in this case requires a penis to be used in order to define rape; other acts are referred to as sexual assault.

In this case there was no evidence of Turner penetrating his victim with his penis; he was 'dry humping' the unconscious woman when the Swedish students first saw him and subsequently stopped him. Hospital evidence suggested he digitally penetrated her and probably used an unknown foreign object too; there was dirt, pine needles, debris inside her vagina, along with lacerations.

To me that sounds like rape - so why doesn't the federal law apply? Surely that is 'higher' than state law?

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Re: crime and punishment: Stanford swimmer's rape verdict
Reply #24
Monad, I don't think that's how American law works.