Brock Turner should be punished forever? Guess what? He will be.
“Brock, some of us will follow your time in prison and after. We will make sure that your 20 minutes of action are not forgotten, and that women will be warned where ever you take up
residence…May you never have one moment of peace for the remainder of your miserable life.”
This is one of thousands of comments posted online, and one of the less vicious, protesting the sentence handed down by Judge Persky to Brock Turner after a jury trial concluded with a conviction of rape.
In this age of hyper-vigilance against any hint of sexual assault, especially on college campuses where labels of “rape culture” have empowered special campus committees with extraordinary powers against the accused, this is not surprising.
Mr. Turner’s father’s ill-advised and crudely rendered comment regarding the outcome did nothing but further raise the level of fury against a sentence of six months in jail and a probationary term of three years. Petitions are sweeping the website calling for Judge Persky’s removal. Blogs dedicated to soliciting hate messages directed to Brock are blossoming. Facebook is turning a blind eye to the hate and violence some of their messages contain. Dr. Drew jumped in with an entire show dedicated to the unfairness of the punishment.
Even Vice-president Biden has joined the chorus of vitriol, lending the weight of the executive branch of our government to the outcry.
One thing is missing.
Those calling for a lifetime of punishment are overlooking the fact that it has been assessed and will be served. Brock Turner, for as long as he lives, will be a lifetime registrant on the sex offender registry.
His scholarship is toast. The parameters of his life will be structured as long as he lives by the requirements and limitations of the sex offender registry of whatever state he lives in. His future will be significantly diminished and damaged. Consequences may include difficulty completing his education, inability to obtain employment, and not being able to live in many areas or locations. He may not be able to attend his children’s school functions or even take them to school. He may be forbidden entry to parks, libraries, and a host of other “child-focused” public or private venues. He could even possibly be forbidden to place Christmas lights on his home or turn on a porch light on Halloween. He and his family, including his children, will quite possibly be victims of harassment, ridicule, vandalism, and assault.
While his haters are pleased with this, it is not a good thing.
The American justice system is built on the premise that man commits crime>man is punished>man learns lesson>man goes on to become a functioning, law-abiding member of society. This is the very best possible outcome for public safety and society in general.
The registry stops that process during the last step because no matter how rehabilitated and law-abiding a registrant has become, the public registry assures that he will never be forgiven nor his actions forgotten by those who think that, of all possible crimes, even torture and murder, only sexual crimes should be never forgiven and forever punished.
Brock Turner committed a terrible crime. He caused pain and suffering to an innocent victim and her family. He brought dishonor on his name and his family. Many feel his punishment should be cruel and unusual and last a lifetime.