Recall Aaron Persky activists turns in 100,000 signatures to remove judge from bench

The campaign to recall the judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault case is gaining momentum.

On Thursday at 9 a.m., the group trying to remove Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky turned in 100,000 signatures at the registrar of voters office. The recall effort has been led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who has been the most vocal advocate to remove Persky from the bench.

That’s far more signatures than they need to put the recall issue on the June ballot, despite the fact that recalling a judge in California is rare.

In 2016, Persky sparked outrage when he sentenced Turner, then a Stanford swimmer, to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a campus party.  

Turner was set free after just three months behind bars but he was also forced to register as a sex offender for life.

Critics said his sentencing of a white student was much more lenient than an African-American young man would have gotten. But Persky has many supporters as well, including former Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell, who is African American. This summer, 89 professors also wrote an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle titled "Why we oppose recall of Judge Persky." They cite the fact that Persky followed the recommendation of a probation report, which is standard practice and lawful.

Persky has asked a state appellate court to block this election.  

The registrar of voters will have until March to certify the signatures.