Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexual assault could get tougher sentence

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Persky is only the fifth judge in California history to be booted out of office before his term is up - and the first in 86 years.

While a gender breakdown of the final vote has not yet been revealed, a poll in late May by a local San Francisco TV station found that women strongly supported the recall effort.

Persky had fought to block the recall election, but an appellate court ruled that it could take place. The last judge recalled in the United States occurred in Wisconsin in 1977. Four others require malfeasance or other specified wrongdoing, while 41 states and the federal government prohibit it. "It wouldn't take much for judges to basically be as tough as they can be".

No, that didn't seem to matter to supporters of the recall. "This mob mentality and witch hunt is going to haunt us for years".

Turner's sentence, which predated the #MeToo movement of women speaking out publicly against sexual harassment and abuse, was held up as a symbol of how the USA justice system fails to take sex crimes seriously enough.

Persky came under fire in June 2016 for sentencing Brock Turner, then 20, to six months in the county jail and three years probation for three counts of sexual assault, a penalty widely denounced as too lenient.

Turner was released after serving just three months of his six-month term and has since appealed against his conviction.

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Persky has repeatedly stated he has no regrets about his handling of the trial; he cited Turner's age, lack of prior criminal record, and the fact that both he (and more worringly) his victim were intoxicated as mitigating factors for the light sentence. But some, including the Recall Judge Aaron Persky Campaign, charged that Turner's status as an elite, white young athlete at a prestigious university also factored into Persky's decision to be lenient. The California Commission on Judicial Performance has cleared him of misconduct. "There'd be such public backlash".

The election results close the book on a divisive campaign that raised hard questions about how the judicial system handles violence against women, how the public views judicial decision-making and independence and how judges under political fire should respond.

So this recall will affect the judicial system in our country. "But this recall seems to say, if a decision doesn't meet with public approval, you could lose your job". "This election expresses clearly that sexual assault, sexual violence is serious and it has to be taken seriously by elected officials".

On the other side of the debate are veteran legal professionals who say that ousting Persky could set a risky precedent, threatening judicial independence and forcing judges to mete out harsher sentences simply to stave off public outrage and political repercussions. "It was a ideal storm".

Mr Persky is white and holds undergraduate degrees from Stanford and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Attendees tell Fly that the mood at Persky's election night gathering, another no-reporters-allowed affair, was considerably more somber.