Opinion: Brock Turner still doesn’t understand that actions have consequences

In Opinion
The heinous act isn’t being taken seriously with the attempted appeal of Brock Turner’s conviction. His ignorant attitude reflects the public’s, and shows that there is still work to be done to thwart this view. (Hannah Miller / Daily Titan)

Brock Turner is in the news again because he is trying to appeal his sexual assault conviction, solidifying the notion that he is absolute scum.

People v. Turner garnered national attention because of the audacity in his claim to innocence.

Turner was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault: Sexual penetration (by a foreign object) of an unconscious woman, sexual penetration (by a foreign object) of an intoxicated woman and assault with intent to commit rape.

During the trial, it was noted by the survivor that Turner didn’t show any remorse. He tried to say he had remorse in his closing statement, but this appeal shows that he still has none.

The filed appeal is 172 pages on why he didn’t get a fair trial.

He’s right, the trial wasn’t fair – he should have gotten the six years in prison that the prosecutors were fighting for.

Instead, the judge – who is now facing dismissal for his ruling in the case – gave Turner six months in county jail, citing that one of the reasons he did not give a harsher punishment was because it might ruin the Olympic-hopeful’s career.

However, USA Swimming, the national governing body for swimming in the United States, has a strict zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct, and it has stated that Turner is ineligible to apply and therefore unable to participate in any sanctioned swimming competitions, including the Olympics.

Does it really matter that Turner doesn’t get to swim competitively. It’s not like he’s banned from swimming in a pool, unless it’s on Stanford’s campus, from which he has been banned for life.

After serving only three months of his ridiculous six-month sentence, he is now serving three years probation and participating in a court-mandated sex offender rehabilitation program, which is supposed to help him “address denial and accept full responsibility for his/her harmful behaviors, past and present” and “understand the impact of harmful behaviors on self and others,” according to Stopitnow.org’s FAQs on sex offender treatment.

Clearly it’s not working. He’s still making excuses for himself.

Within that 172-page brief about why his conviction should be appealed, there are 60 pages focused on how intoxicated the survivor was on the night of the attack, according to The New York Times.

During the trial, it was established that the survivor’s blood alcohol content was measured at the hospital to be .12 percent and estimated to be .22 percent at the time of the assault. She was unconscious at the time of the assault, with paramedics rating her an 11 out of 15 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, and remained unconscious until waking up three hours later in the hospital. She stated that she does not remember leaving the party or meeting him.

Not only that, but the appeal also states that the trial was unfair because testimony by character witnesses who spoke of his swimming career, his performance in school and who attested to his honesty were excluded.

What kind of sexual assault trial, in which there are witnesses who attest to the crime, would need character witnesses to talk about how good the perpetrator is at swimming?

Turner is grasping at straws and embarrassing himself even further. There’s a reason he’s the textbook example for rape. What he should do is be grateful that his punishment wasn’t worse and take the rehabilitation program seriously.

As for the appeal he’s trying to get, the Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement on Saturday that “Brock Turner received a fair trial and was justly convicted. His conviction will be upheld. Nothing can ever roll back (the survivor’s) legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.”

Before the end of the 2016 trial, the survivor spoke to the courtroom about how Turner continues to refuse to take responsibility: “Somehow he still doesn’t get it,” the survivor said. “Somehow he still sounds confused.” Sadly, her statement is still true today.

Turner, like so many other sexual assaulters, just don’t understand the severity of his actions. Turner’s father, too, was grossly lacking comprehension when he said that his son’s life shouldn’t be ruined based on “20 minutes of action.”

The survivor stated in the courtroom that the assault left her with extreme depression, which resulted in her having to quit her job. She was so traumatized that she couldn’t talk about the assault for eight months.

Unfortunately, her story is not rare. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, 23.1 percent of female undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation.

Too many people treat sexual assault like a joke, not enough people take it seriously. Too many are like Brock Turner, who use inebriation as an excuse to be immoral and don’t see anything wrong with it; not enough voices are teaching others what it means to have healthy sexual attitudes and behaviors.

This case brought attention to the issue of on-campus sexual assault, and it ushered in a wave of sex education and activism, as well as a call for consent culture. For better or worse, Turner has once again reminded us that our work is not done.

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  • Dan Jackson

    I am trying so hard to understand why the drunk man is responsible for the drunk girl. I don’t understand. She said yes, he did it, but for some reason the drunk man is supposed to know the drunk girl can’t give consent. If you are going to write on rhetoric please read some of the trial articles, the girl remembers nothing, all we have to go by is the mans report, Brock says the girl gave consent.

    If he had been sober i would say yes punish him harsher.

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