Justice

Brock Turner May Only Serve Three Months in County Jail

June 9th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

It turns out that former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, may only serve out half of his six-month jail sentence.

brock-turner

"Online inmate records show 20-year-old Brock Turner is expected to be released from the Santa Clara County jail on Sept. 2," the Associated Press reports. "He was booked June 2."

Details about the sexual assault case — outlined in a statement from the victim, which was published online and widely read — prompted widespread outrage over the relatively short, six-month sentence. Turner was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault, which carries a minimum penalty of 2 years in state prison, and a maximum of 14 years under California law, Vox reports.

Santa Clara County jail

The judge overseeing the case expressed concern over the "severe impact" a tougher sentence would have on Turner, whose academic and athletic achievements are believed to have earned him leniency in the sentencing process, CNN reports. Now it appears Turner is benefiting from a systemic issue with California's criminal justice system.

In California, "[c]ounty jail inmates serve 50 percent of their sentences if they keep a clean disciplinary record," the AP reports.

Mass incarceration and overcrowding issues have led numerous county jails in California to increase the rate of early releases for inmates, sometimes requiring inmates to serve only 10 to 30 percent of their sentence. With the passage of Proposition 47 — a 2015 California ballot initiative that reclassified certain felony drug and property crimes as misdemeanors, driving down rates of incarceration — more inmates are serving out at least 50 percent of their sentence, Fox News reports.

Man in jail holding his cell

But Turner's case is sparking a different kind of conversation about sentencing reform.

Overall, advocates are trying to reduce sentences to decrease overcrowding in jails and lessen the U.S. epidemic of mass incarceration. However, Turner’s light sentence has raised questions about disproportionate punishments in the criminal justice system, leading some to call for increased sentencing standards for sexual predators, Slate reports.

Besides the three-month sentence, Turner has also been placed in protective custody at the Santa Clara County jail, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office told TMZ. The official stated that the inmate's protective custody status was unrelated to the high-profile nature of the case, "but rather because he was convicted of sexual assault ... and those type of inmates are often targeted," TMZ reports.

ATTN: reached out to the Santa Clara County jail for comment, but a representative was not immediately available.

RELATED: The Stanford Victim Reads Incredible Letter to the Man Who Sexually Assaulted Her