What: A video about the grassroots campaign against Judge Aaron Persky.
Who: Vice and HBO.
Why we care: Perhaps if the Brock Turner case had gone to trial now, after nine months of the #MeToo movement, it would have gone differently. Instead, because it happened in 2016, the year America elected an avowed vagina-grabber to the highest office in the land, Turner was given the boys-will-be-boys wrist-slap of a three-month sentence. Anyone who read the harrowing letter the Stanford victim recited to her attacker in court, and many who didn’t, were appalled at the judge’s staggering leniency. One person who was more appalled than average was Michele Dauber, the Stanford law professor who led a campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky, which ultimately proved successful during Tuesday’s election: Voters in Santa Clara County removed the superior court judge from the bench. He’s out.
HBO’s Vice News Tonight aired a well-timed investigative piece on Tuesday that went behind the scenes of the campaign that brought down Judge Persky. Professor Dauber, a personal friend of the victim, launched the campaign immediately following the verdict two years ago, recruiting dozens of volunteers and raising a million dollars in resources for her efforts. Together, they put up signs with slogans like “We don’t forget. We recall,” and knocked on enough doors to eventually gather 95,000 signatures for a petition to move up Persky’s re-election bid from 2022 to 2018.
Evan McMorris-Santoro, the reporter behind the piece tidily sums up Dauber’s efforts: “What you have now is people using the political system to call bullshit on the judicial one.”
Watch the full segment from Vice News Tonight below.