Brock Turner is a walking symbol for our broken justice system

Brock Turner leaves the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. (Dan Honda/AP)

On Friday, Sept. 2, Brock Turner was released from prison after serving only three months for rape. In the wake of Turner’s sentencing, Stanford University decided to ban hard liquor at on-campus parties and restrict bottle sizes, citing safety concerns. This response to the rape case does nothing to improve the rape culture that exists on college campuses. All Turner’s release and Stanford’s response has shown is that no justice has been served.

On Jan. 18, 2015, Brock Turner raped a woman behind a dumpster following a party at Stanford University. Following the rape, Stanford banned Turner from ever stepping foot on campus and he was formally banned from U.S. swimming. Authorities initially indicted Turner on five charges: two counts of rape, two of felony sexual assault and one of attempted rape.

The two rape charges were thrown out after DNA testing came out inconclusive. The trial started on March 16 and ended on March 30, when the jury convicted Turner on the three remaining charges. The advised sentence for three felony sexual assault convictions is 14 years. Prosecutors recommended six years and probation officers called for a moderate sentence because it was a first time offense.

The judge ultimately settled on six months in prison along with three years of probation, with the requirement that Turner register as a sex offender and attend a rehabilitation program.

On Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Stanford University banned the use of hard liquor at on-campus parties and limited the bottle size of hard liquor that students could bring onto campus.

Stanford is not the first school to ban hard liquor in the wake of sexual assaults on campus, but it does nothing to solve the problem at hand. By banning hard liquor, Stanford is removing themselves from any responsibility in the rape case and is perpetrating the idea that alcohol is chiefly responsible for rape. During his trial, Turner blamed alcohol for impairing his judgement and, by banning hard liquor, Stanford is agreeing with Brock Turner.

Stanford should be focusing on the realities behind rape and sexual assault and educating students about sexual assault, especially since the only information given is through a class taken at orientation and an online tutorial. Banning a substance that students are going to be using anyway does nothing to address the issue. In fact, all it really does is blame the only one who is blameless in these kinds of cases: the victim.

Being sentenced to six months of a recommended 14 years is laughable. Only serving three months of that six month sentence is absolutely deplorable. Brock Turner only had to serve 1.7 percent of the recommended sentence for three felony counts of rape. Just think about that for a second. Turner didn’t even serve five percent of his sentence.

Society has recommended sentences because certain crimes do a certain amount of damage and perpetrators have to make up that damage to society. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes in existence; yet, apparently the lifelong damage is not worth more than three months’ imprisonment. Even now, even after being convicted of three felony rape charges, even after serving prison time, Turner will not admit that he did anything wrong.  

Whether Brock Turner wants to admit it or not, he destroyed someone’s life. His requirement to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life is nothing compared to the trauma that his victim faced and continues to face. Stanford’s response does little more than insult victims and belittle the severity of the crime.

It is 2016. Rape is not something that people do not understand. We, as a society, have very clear laws on what rape is and what its punishment should be. We know what doesn’t cause rape (alcohol among other things) and we know the one thing that does cause rape: rapists. But more than that, we know that in People of the State of California vs. Brock Allen Turner, no justice was serve


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and opinion’s contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu.