Brock Turner is trying to have his sexual assault conviction overturned.
Turner was convicted last year of assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in 2015 and served three months at the county jail. What could have been a 14-year turn in a state penitentiary turned into a six month sentence — later cut in half, for good behavior — sparking outrage.
Turner’s lawyer believes the jury was unfairly prejudiced against him due to the use of the phrase, “behind a dumpster.” He contends in a statement that this “implied an intent on the appellant’s part to shield and sequester his activities” and “implied moral depravity, callousness and culpability on the appellant’s part because of the inherent connotations of filth, garbage, detritus and criminal activity frequently associated with dumpsters.”
Even though he’s finished serving time, Turner has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, which is likely why his legal team wants to overturn the conviction. Before he was convicted, Turner swam for Stanford; he was later banned from ever swimming for Team USA after his conviction. Reintegrating with civilized society becomes much simpler with a clean record.
Turner’s light sentence came from Judge Aaron Persky, who didn’t want to impact the former swimmer’s future too harshly; Persky, after the backlash stemming from his Turner sentence, no longer tries criminal cases. Turner and his lawyers believe that even the served sentence was too much.
“What we are saying is that what happened is not a crime,” Turner’s legal adviser John Tompkins told NBC. “It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime.”
Many believe that Persky was unfair only in how lightly he punished Turner.
“The problem with this case wasn’t that Judge Persky was unfair to Brock Turner, it was that Judge Persky was unfair to the victim when he sentenced Turner to only a few months in county jail,” Stanford law professor Michelle Dauber told Buzzfeed News.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen believes that Turner’s new legal effort is already a lost cause, according to a statement given to The Mercury News.
“His conviction will be upheld. Nothing can ever roll back Emily Doe’s legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.”