Joe Biden has written a great letter to the Stanford rape victim:
Vice President Joe Biden has written an open letter to the anonymous woman who was raped by former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner last year. The victim’s testimony in court — in which she read aloud from her victim impact statement — went viral and made Turner and his crime against an unconscious woman notorious.
Buzzfeed reported on Thursday that Biden titled the letter An Open Letter to a Courageous Young Woman and in it, the vice president said how much he admires the assault survivor’s courage in letting the details of the crime become public.
“I do not know your name — but I know that a lot of people failed you that terrible January night and in the months that followed,” Biden said. “It must have been wrenching — to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking.”
As they say, read the whole thing.
Man, that guy has a lot of class.
Which is saying something these days for aging white male politicians.
I will profoundly miss having Joe Biden as VP. He gets life in a way that very few people I’ve ever met do.
James E Powell
Never been a really big fan of Biden – too corporate, too chummy with odious Republicans. But he’s got the touch, as we used to say. Hardly any big time politicians can match him.
The rude pundit went to see the drumpf give a speech:
Things like this make me think Biden actually learned some *correct* lessons from his unconscionable treatment of Anita Hill back in the day.
I will miss Handsome Joe and Onion Joe Biden in equal measure. A better veep I can’t imagine and it’s been a pleasure (and a relief) to see the two get along so famously.
@ShadeTail: Agreed. The man has grown visibly. This is a classy and touching thing to do. Will miss him almost as much as I will miss PBO.
Wow. Powerful letter. Well done, Mr. Vice President.
Gin & Tonic
@Miss Bianca: Some people are beaten down by personal tragedy, some grow from it.
Well done, sir, well done.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
I posted late last night about my own experience with sexual assault, and I love this letter. I’m going to miss Crazy Uncle Joe.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
This man needs to be VP for another 4 years. Technically it’s allowed.
(Sorry it’s a FOX news link but it’s the only one available) Assemblymember Susan Eggman (who has been kicking ass and taking names on women’s issues since she was elected, she’s responsible for expanded family leave and equal pay statutes as well) has called for Judge Persky to resign. That also comes with a petition that has now gotten more than 600k signatures for a recall effort against Perksy because of his sentencing of Turner.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: I suspect that he’s ready to move on, though I doubt that anyone in the history of the Republic has enjoyed being VP as much as he has.
Thank you, Ride or Die Joe.
@Humboldtblue: I wonder if Brock Turner were the one who had been raped by a man, if six months would have been the “appropriate” sentence for 20 minutes of “action.”
Being raped by a woman? Equally odious, but unlikely to be seen that way in today’s sexist society. See the meme, “Doesn’t matter. Had sex.”
Iowa Old Lady
@greennotGreen: Would his father have called his rape by a man “20 minutes of action”? I doubt it.
What a great letter. I’m sure Hillary will do a fine job — maybe better than fine. But I wish we could keep Obama and Biden another four (or eight) years.
And yeah, Joe Biden has been a great Vice President, but I don’t want him in that slot anymore. As a cancer patient, I want him promoting the Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
I often think of Biden wandering through the hallways humming:
And he’d be right. I’m going miss both him and Obama, when they’re gone.
@Iowa Old Lady: My point exactly.
Iowa Old Lady
@greennotGreen: The father shocked me deeply. I’m not sure it’s safe to leave a man who thinks that way running around loose on the streets.
@Iowa Old Lady: apple/tree
Brock Turner case fallout: Prospective jurors refuse to serve under judge
@Iowa Old Lady: I know I will deeply regret offering this comment — but expecting the parent of a convicted criminal defendant to disavow his son and argue for his incarceration is not reasonable. Parents continuing to support, and minimizing their children’s criminal conduct, happens everyday.
ETA for clarity
Iowa Old Lady
@LAO: I’m trying to think what I’d do if my son were in this situation, and I truly can’t imagine it.
Still that “20 minutes of action” characterization was pretty revealing.
@Iowa Old Lady: In fairness, would you prefer the standard “one poor decision, while his judgment was impaired” — which is a line I read on a fairly regular basis.
What’s galling in this case — is the Judge’s actions — I’ve been a defense attorney too long to look at the dad and condemn him when his statement (no matter how tone deaf) was born out of his love for his son and fear for his incarceration. The Judge, on the other hand,…
@LAO: I agree with you, I think what was so shocking was his callous description of 20 minutes of action as an excusable boys will be boys type situation and that sentiment combined with the judge’s sentence has pissed people off.
Note — Susan Eggman was also a driving force behind a California state bill that has removed the statute of limitations for rape that’s expected to reach Brown’s desk as well as the end of life act that went into effect today.
In the past I’ve read some sharp criticism of Joe Biden. People are complex. I don’t know one human being who is capable of making the best choice every single time they have an important issue on their plate. I know Joe Biden has made mistakes and yet I’ve always felt that he is a decent human being who wants to be a part of good things and wants to push the path forward to a better society. He is also an apex politician who has survived for over 30 years at the highest level of national politcs. I’m not sure one can do that and have a perfect record of siding with the angels.
This letter does run true with the best characteristics I have seen in Joe throughout the years.
Yes, parents go to the mat for their kids. I’m a dad, of a girl not a boy for what that’s worth, and will defend my kid with every fiber of my being no matter what, but at the same time she is held accountable for her actions. If she committed a crime I would not soft-pedal the crime while pleading for leniency. What good old dad did in this case was essentially give a, “Who among us hasn’t…?” excuse, brushing away the kid’s decrepit morals as a simple drinker’s mistake. As a compelling plea, it had the opposite effect.
Of course, the judge seemed to buy it and the attorneys probably had some insight in this regard.
Gin & Tonic
@LAO: I’ve always thought that “bad choices” or “poor decisions” terminology, in and of itself tries to minimize the *acts* of these sorts of perps. If I order a tequila, that’s a “poor decision”. If I sexually assault an unconscious woman, that’s way more than a “decision” – that’s a criminal act. It’s not like I was “choosing” between the shrimp lo mein and the orange flavor beef.
Iowa Old Lady
@LAO: Yeah, the judge should be the impartial adult in the room.
@Gin & Tonic: It’s a total cop-out. That’s the point. Friends and family members of criminal defendants often down play the crime because they know another/different side of the defendant.
@efgoldman: I was using the term “prefer” in a loose manner. And, like it or not, sentencing is not just about the victim but its also about the defendant. What kills me (as a defense attorney) is that some criminal defendants do deserve leniency and judicial discretion in sentencing is an important feature of the criminal justice system. Laws that impose mandatory minimums are terrible and can both create and perpetuate real injustice.
Honestly, I’m not sure whether anyone can make that representation in the abstract.
@Gin & Tonic: Everyone who commits a crime is a good person who only means to do the right thing. That’s why it’s a crime, they knew better but something in them kept them from doing the right thing.
Jean Renoir: “Everybody has their reasons.”
A suggestion since all of use see it so much. How about a front pager (or all of them get together and do it) post the actual documented differences between D and R positions focusing on the actual differences between Clinton and Trump. It’d be a useful quick copy and past for all the various discussions we’re all going to be having with white guys that insist that ‘there is no difference between them’. (Its almost always white guys isn’t it?)
@efgoldman: I don’t disagree (or, as normal people say “I agree”). Access to quality legal representation is a yuuuge problem. Hopefully Trump will get on that. //
I have a few public defender friends, so it’s at least been an area of discussion.
@Trollhattan: I don’t doubt that you believe that, should your daughter be convicted of a crime, you would not sugarcoat her responsibility to obtain leniency for her. I just think it’s like a “burning building question” — could I run into a burning building to save a human being? to save my child? to save my pet? It’s difficult to really know how we would respond unless actual confronted with the situation.
In my career, I have seen parents rationalize some very terrible behavior — not defending your child turns out to be a very difficult thing to do. Hopefully, this will all remain theory and you will never have to test your beliefs on this.
O/T, but just announced Elizabeth Warren will endorse Hillary on TRMS tonight.
Just One More Canuck
@eric: I’ve said this before, but never more true than in this case. The turd doesn’t fall far from the asshole
Gin & Tonic
@LAO: The other part of this guy’s lenient treatment that isn’t getting much play is he’ll be in county lockup, not state. That can be a big difference. I have friends who have a son who had (maybe still has) a real drinking problem, and in the pre-dawn hours after getting shit-faced one night got in his car and struck and killed a pedestrian. He was going to jail, everybody knew that, and his parents (who are rich) spent a lot of money on an attorney just to get him serving his time in Ulster County and not NYS facilities. He wouldn’t have done well in State.
James E Powell
I’ve been a lawyer doing domestic relations & a little juvenile/criminal. I’m now a high school teacher. My experience has been the same as yours. I hope people don’t slam you for making the observation.
That said, I do think public condemnation of the father’s statement serves a public purpose. This shit’s gotta stop.
The judge could slap them with contempt and put them in jail. I think the only thing stopping him is that he would rather keep the whole thing quiet until it blows over in a week or two.
I would imagine that the jurors would go back to the pool, but I can’t imagine a defense atty leaving them on a panel.
I’ll reframe my answer a bit. If I were petitioning (insert correct verb) the court for leniency for my child, I would not use the approach taken by the father because I found it ghoulish and borderline contemptuous both of the victim and the state’s case. I would apologize to the victim, victim’s family and other injured parties. I would emphasize her profound remorse, her desire to change for the better and steps already taken, note that it was an anomaly out of character as verified by her previously clean record and many character witnesses, and the many negative and needless impacts of extended incarceration.
If her attorneys flat out told me the approach didn’t work with this particular judge, then perhaps I’d rethink.
As much as I wish we could we can’t keep Obama for another 8 years, but we can keep Joe– #VPforLife
Jill on Line #3 would like a word. FWIW I’ll miss her, too.
It’s a political blog and in politics, whether online or in the MSM, people actually think they know these politicians. They don’t. As Lindsay Graham said not too long ago – Anyone who knows Joe Biden and doesn’t like him has something wrong with them.
@Gin & Tonic:
That actually has little to do with the judge. Californians approved Prop 47 which was championed by Jerry Brown to lower the prison population at the order of a federal court (we remain in violation of that order). We imprison far too many people and keep them imprisoned for far too long so Brown came up with Prop 47 that lessened some non-violent drug offense and other non-violent crimes to misdemeanors, re-classified other crimes (like dropping grand theft from $900 to $450) and then put a huge burden on county jails to house those convicted of crimes with sentences of three years and less.
So that’s a systemic issue and one we inflicted on ourselves. I was also unaware that in addition to our odious practice of sending state prisoners to out of state for profit prisons (there is nothing more abhorrent than our monetizing imprisonment) we also have privately run immigration facilities that if you read the latest reports are nothing more than near-concentration camp horrors where abuse, sexual assault and violence are par for the course.
@LAO: One of my problems with this case is the son (and the father) fail to recognize and call what he did rape. He just used bad judgment and drank to much. He’s going to talk to high school students about how alcohol can ruin your life. No, raping someone ruined his life. If we wants to be of use to high school students, he should teach them about consent.
@ShadeTail: Yeah, I’ll never forget that, as much as Leslie Knope makes me want to.
Jack the Second
@Iowa Old Lady: I know it is a SF dystopian trope, but I’m coming around to the idea that we need an army of psychiatrists, therapists, and social workers roaming the streets, as big as a police force, maybe instead of a police force, empowered to therapize the shit out of people.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: had a discussion with my BIL this afternoon on this same subject. Uncle Joe would be a perfect Veep for Hillary.
Apparently, Brock will be released three months early. Seriously, how is this justice?
No, but he could be even a little contrite.