Why The Brock Turner Appeal Is A Big Deal

Why The Brock Turner Appeal Is A Big Deal

No, I don't care how excellent of a swimmer he was.
1005
views

About 3 days ago, it was announced that convicted Brock Turner is now appealing his conviction from Santa Clara Country over his rape case back in 2015. Turner's 172-page appeal submitted by his attorney discussed how aspects such as Brock Turner's swimming career and school performance were all factors that shouldn't have been overlooked because it "demonstrated his honesty." In addition, a full 60 pages of the appeal goes on to describe how intoxicated the victim, Emily Doe, was. Turner's appeal also continues to discuss how the description of how he repeatedly assaulted the victim "behind a dumpster" brought an unfair view to his case by associating the fact that he was trying to conceal his actions as well as associate the actions with the filth of the dumpster. In reality, the assault carried out next to the dumpster, with the other side facing the football field and a wall on the other side.

While the articles telling of Turner's appeal bring up the forgotten feeling of outrage we experienced from the trial, my stomach also has been twisted into a feeling of nausea every time Brock's face appears on the media.

I'm not sorry, Brock. Your actions, trials, and now appeal have all displayed the glaring issues we have in the US facing assault, rape, and white privilege. And heart-breakingly, one victim had to suffer for these to come to view.

Here is a summary and outline to catch anyone who's out of the loop up:

January 10, 2015: Brock Turner, a swimmer at Stanford University, is reportedly very "creepy" and "handsy" at an event at Kappa Alpha Order fraternity towards a woman who later spoke out.

January 17, 2015: Turner leaves the Kappa Alpha fraternity house with the victim, Emily Doe, and is soon pulled off her by passing graduate students who spot him thrusting himself into her unconscious body behind a dumpster—whoops, my bad, thrusting himself into her unconscious body dumpster-adjacent and as a result, is tackled by the grad students and later arrested,

January 18, 2015: Turner posts up a $150,000 bail, most assuming from his daddy.

January 28, 2015: Turner is formally charged with two counts of rape, two counts of penetration and one count of assault with intent to rape.

October 7, 2015: Rape charges are dropped.

March 30, 2016: The court finds Turner guilty on all remaining assault charges, but Turner and his defense appeal.

June 2, 2016: Judge Aaron Persky of Santa Clara County sentences Turner to six months in jail and to register as a sex offender—an extremely light sentence seeing that the maximum (and typical) could have been up to 14 years in prison.

September 2, 2016: Turner is released from jail after 3 months.

December 1, 2017: Turner and his defense submit a 172-page brief insinuating that Turner’s trial was not fair.

First, let’s get to the point. On March 30, 2016, Turner was found guilty of several indictments relating to that night. These are sexual penetration of an unconscious woman, sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman, and assault with intent to rape.

So, here we are, in December of 2017 and still hearing about Turner and his defense constantly arguing his side.

I understand how the justice system works. I know that a lot of this case rode on the emotional level for people all over the country. I know that many people insinuated Turner’s guilt before he even faced trial. But what I don’t understand is how because of these things, a man convicted and proven to not only assault and take advantage of a woman unconscious, but to be a predator, has continued to emphasize the rhetoric of assault on college campuses as well as white privilege within the US justice system.

As we launch in to a new ordeal of watching the appeal, here are some key things we need to remember:

Rape is rape

Quite honestly, I don’t give a damn if he wasn’t convicted of rape. Brock Turner is a rapist. He is a clean-cut cookie cutter image of college men and because of that, so many people, including his own father, refuse to recognize him as the monster he is.

Brock, I don’t care how intoxicated the woman was. I don’t care if you “thought she wanted it”. And what I really don’t care about is how “excellent” of a student or athlete you are. You’re a monster, and what you did that night was horrific and going to follow that victim throughout the rest of her life.

Turner’s father became infamous as he referred to the assault as “20-minutes of action” in his letter to the court. Let’s look at the idiocy of this phrase. “20-minutes of action”. For 20 minutes, Brock Turner repeatedly forced himself inside an unconscious body and the only thing that stopped him were the bystanders who intervened as they saw an unconscious body be thrust into over and over again BEHIND A DUMPSTER. For 20 minutes, Brock Turner raped, assaulted, and altered the life of an innocent girl who just happened to drink too much and fall into the hands of a monster. It may have just been “20 minutes” but just because the time window was brief, doesn’t mean the damage was.

The thing that’s so difficult to recognize on a college campus is that rape, regardless of who it is, is rape. It doesn’t matter how intoxicated either party is, when someone forces themselves on an unconscious body, it’s rape. I don’t care that the charge wasn’t “deemed” rape entirely. The charge was penetration of a foreign object, so honestly, I couldn’t tell you which one is worse, rape or being repeatedly gouged into with a foreign object behind a dumpster. Brock, you raped someone. You’re a rapist, regardless of what your defense attorney or daddy tells you because even they know deep down that what you did was horrible. The jury didn’t overlook your swimming career or your grades, they were simply overpowered by the evidence that proved you assaulted that girl on the night of January 17, 2015.

White privilege is alive and well in the justice system

Let’s separate politics, the race issues, and social problems the US is facing right now. I want you to try to clear your mind of bias when I incite this question.

If Brock Turner was Latino or black, do you think the outcome would’ve been the same?

If you said yes, you’re lying to yourself. A study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union found that blacks and Latinos receive on average sentences that are 20 times longer than the sentence for white crimes.

Turner grew up in an affluent neighborhood, excelled in swimming and school, and had parents wealthy enough to hire a defense as well as bail him out for a sum of $150,000.

The problem with the justice system in the US in three-pronged.

One is that the racist stereotypes that insinuate minorities are less human and more capable of committing heinous crimes take over the emotions that can determine whether a defendant is guilty, or innocent based on the color of their skin. For example, when Stephen Paddock open-fired on the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, the first questions being asked were if he was connected to a terrorist organization—meaning that it would be easier to accept what happened if we connected him to a group of foreigners that we lived in fear of… Because after all, what white guy just open fires for no reason? Oh, wait.

The second is that even in cases of heinous crimes, such as Turner’s, these are all too often excused because of the idea white privilege gives us which is that white people are more easily rehabilitated than people of color. Therefore, the judge so easily accepted that those 20 minutes in which Turner repeatedly and brutally assaulted the woman did not determine his character.

The third prong is easy to grasp. Who runs the justice system? The government. Who’s in the government?

A bunch of privileged white males who, for the most part, were able to gain power because of wealth.

We need to adjust the way we prevent rape in the country.

The victim in this heartbreaking case was not assaulted violently because she was wearing revealing clothing. She wasn’t assaulted because she had too much to drink. She also wasn’t assaulted because she chose to go out that night.

She was assaulted because Brock Turner is a pig, who took advantage of her and her state and consciously chose to penetrate and rape the victim.

Stop telling girls how “not” to get raped and start telling men not to rape. If someone’s unconscious, don’t have sex with them. If someone’s too drunk to think for themselves, don’t have sex with them. If someone says “no”, don’t have sex with them.

Don’t tell me that you wouldn’t ever rape someone because you have a mom, sister, wife, girlfriend, or daughter. Tell me you wouldn’t rape someone because it’s sick and wrong.

As we advance on to witness the next chapter in this seemingly never-ending case, remember these observations. And the sooner that closed-minded people stop pushing this off as “liberal bullshit” the sooner we can stop our population from getting raped (every 4.2 minutes in the US).

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and many others, like myself, who have fallen victim to a sexual assault on a college campus. It’s not okay, it’s not excusable, and it must stop now.

And to Brock Turner, I hope your “20 minutes of action” really did ruin your life.

Cover Image Credit: New York Post

Popular Right Now

75 Things To Do Instead Of Studying For Finals

Need some procrastination inspiration? Here ya go.
11893
views

With the end of the semester nearly upon us, college students everywhere are trembling with anxiety over the impending doom that some call “finals week.” To prepare for this hellish week of exams, one might assume that students are hard at work reviewing class notes, practicing with flash cards, memorizing vocabulary terms and going over study guides. In a perfect world, that would undoubtedly be the case. But in reality, most students are probably just procrastinating.

So if you’re busy not studying for finals but quickly running out of things to do, here are some ideas:

1. Think about all the studying you have to do

2. Cry

3. Sleep

4. Make yourself a cup of coffee

5. Take a shower

6. Watch an episode of a series on Netflix

7. And then another one

8. And another one

9. Well, you might as well finish the whole season now

10. Clean your room

11. Do laundry

12. Order a pizza

13. Eat the pizza (bonus points if you can finish the whole thing by yourself)

14. Regret eating all that pizza

15. Get over it because pizza is always worth it

16. Go to the gym

17. Check Facebook

18. Refresh Facebook, just in case something new happened in the past 53 seconds

19. Write a letter to your best friend

20. Look at cute pictures of puppies—for six hours

21. Make cookies

22. Watch that “Spongebob” episode where he tries to write an essay but ends up procrastinating for like 14 hours (we can all relate)

23. Organize your closet

24. Get sucked into an Instagram-stalking black hole

25. Accidentally “like” your ex-boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend’s best friend’s Instagram post from 129 weeks ago

26. Have a mini freak-out because, wow, that was so creepy of you

27. Stare blankly out a window

28. Go for a walk

29. Watch a Christmas movie

30. Listen to music

31. Try to figure out how to lick your elbow (nope, still can’t do it)

32. Look up videos of the Peanut Butter Baby

33. Recreate the original video with your friends

34. Take another shower to wash off all that peanut butter

35. Write down all the things you have to do before the end of the semester in your planner

36. Close your planner without actually doing any of them

37. Look at fun craft ideas on Pinterest

38. Call your mom

39. Go through all the old pictures on your phone

40. Do some jumping jacks

41. Write scathing reviews for all your professors on ratemyprofessors.com

42. Wash your walls (walls get dirty too, OK?)

43. Question your sanity

44. Look up how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

45. Text a cute boy

46. Write a short novel

47. Realize that creative writing really isn’t your strong suit and throw that short novel away

48. Eat some popcorn

49. Research the unemployment rate for college dropouts

50. Ponder the meaning of life

51. Repeatedly say the word “ponder” out loud because it sounds really weird

52. Paint your nails

53. Rearrange all the furniture in your room (after you let your nail polish dry)

54. Redo your nails because they weren’t quite dry and you messed them up

55. Go Christmas shopping

56. Plan your wedding

57. Look up the nutrition facts for your favorite Subway sandwich

58. Snapchat really hideous pictures of yourself

59. Learn the choreography for all the dance numbers in "High School Musical"

60. Make a killer video of yourself performing the routines

61. Delete the video and never tell a soul about it because, wow, that was really embarrassing

62. Take a Buzzfeed quiz to figure out which Disney princess you are

63. Watch all the Disney movies you can find illegally online

64. Get addicted to a stupid game on your phone

65. Calculate how high you have to score on the exam to still get an A in the class (258 percent is totally achievable, right?)

66. Run a marathon

67. Just kidding about that whole marathon thing—maybe start out with just running around the block?

68. Make a scrapbook full of pictures of your dog

69. Buy a super cute dress online that you really don’t need

70. Decide that your self-worth is not dependent on your exam scores, and resolve to stop studying altogether

71. Change your mind because you’d actually like to have a decent GPA

72. Try out meditation

73. Braid your hair into an extremely complicated up-do for no reason

74. Come to the conclusion that you should probably start actually studying now

75. Start back at #1 and repeat

Cover Image Credit: studygram.tumblr.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Revival Of The Coal Industry Is Unattainable

Clean beautiful coal will never be a reality. President Trump's backing of a declining industry is misguided and will have despairing environmental impacts.

700
views

The coal industry and its workers were placed at the forefront of American politics during the 2016 election cycle. President Trump promised a revival of the coal industry and promised to secure the jobs of coal country. The President, halfway through his first term, has so far taken measures to do just that. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, threw out Obama's Clean Power Plan, and did away with an Obama-era regulation that would prevent coal ash from entering streams and other bodies of water.

On one hand, it's quite extraordinary for a politician to do good on his campaign promises. On the other hand, is anyone considering whether or not the President is putting all his eggs into the wrong basket? Coal has been on the decline for about a decade now. Even without environmental regulations, the energy produced by coal is expected to reduce by 20% by 2030. Renewable energy such as wind and solar are replacing coal.


For an election campaign, it's easy to see why a candidate would align with coal. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania are key when running a national campaign. The votes are there in those counties that support the coal industry. They will vote for any candidate who sides with their industry. But from an environmental standpoint, there's more on the line than just an election. It's about our clean air and water. Climate change is real and the effects of coal will only accelerate the process.

Coal ash that finds its way into water streams can damage that water supply for good. It could also impact the wildlife within the area. Coal also pollutes the air we breathe. Clean coal is a myth. Plain and simple. Coal is anything but clean. Clean coal sounds good in a stump speech, but we all know it's a fallacy.

Mountaintop mining also has a deep environmental impact. The Appalachian mountains have been destroyed from surface mining. West Virginia residents hold their beautiful mountains in high regard. Now, some of them look very different and the destruction is permanent. If the mining continues, the mountains of the Appalachia region will be gone. It would be a shame if you went to West Virginia to admire their mountains, and none were left.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt passed the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Roosevelt protected 230 million acres of land during his presidency. Roosevelt understood the importance of conservation and preserving our nation's natural beauty. The same natural beauty that God envisioned. We should not take that for granted. We should restore our mountains, forests, and lakes so that our children's children can reside in the richness of our natural environment.

President Roosevelt also ended the coal strike in 1902. The United States was much more dependent on coal in the 20th century than it is now. Roosevelt knew the coal strike had to be resolved because the cold winter would have been fatal. The change of the Republican party over a century later is quite intriguing to ponder. The party went from a strong conservationist in Roosevelt to Trump, who is willing to move mountains for a dying industry.

All of these facts surrounding the coal debate cannot be ignored. The rest of the western world will move on to new forms of renewable energy. While the United States will be stuck in neutral, reviving coal. Renewable energy should be strongly considered if we are to protect our water, air, and lands.

Disclaimer: I understand the risks coal miners make when they show up for work. I know that safety regulations are not always up to par and that coal mining is a very dangerous profession. I also understand the viewpoint of coal miners and their reasoning for disagreeing with me. I know they want to work and provide for their families. That's what we all want to do. As I write this, I wish not to offend coal miners, I only aim to critique the President and his policies about the coal industry.

Related Content

Facebook Comments