At least 10 prospective jurors are now refusing to serve the judge who sentenced Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer sentenced to six months in jail last week for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus.
Turner was sentenced last week for assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person with a foreign object. Prosecutors recommended that Turner be sentenced to six years in prison, but Judge Aaron Persky handed down a sentence of six months, saying a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on the 20-year-old. Supporters of the victim have harshly criticized the sentence as too lenient, and a Stanford law professor is leading a recall campaign against Persky.
While lawyers were selecting jury members for Persky’s new case, which is unrelated to Turner, prospective jurors told Persky, “I can’t believe what you did,” and “I can’t be here, I’m so upset,” according to the San Jose Mercury News. In each case, Persky replied with “I understand” and excused the upset juror.
If jurors continue to protest being assigned to Persky’s cases, it could cause problems by prolonging the jury-selection process, the Mercury News reports.