Rape sentencing America - rehabilitation vs punishment

(32 Posts)
Felascloak Mon 15-Aug-16 13:29:35

I've just read an article about a US college student who raped a semiconscious student at a party. He received a 2 year community sentence and 20 years on probation because the judge thought prison would not rehabilitate him.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/austin-wilkerson-boulder-rape-prison_us_57abb86ce4b06e52746f3b22

This reminds me a lot of the recent Brock turner sentencing.

I'm not sure in cases as serious as rape that "rehabilitation" should be given a higher priority than "punishment".
Also surely such a light sentence works against rehabilitation by sending the message that rape isn't serious enough to result in acustodial term (I'm pretty sure this only applies to white middle class rapists though)
Very glad I am not living in America

Felascloak Mon 15-Aug-16 13:29:49

www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/austin-wilkerson-boulder-rape-prison_us_57abb86ce4b06e52746f3b22

paddypants13 Mon 15-Aug-16 19:41:16

When I read your thread title I immediately thought it would be about Brock.

I am at a loss as to what to say to this. The attitude that putting a rapist in prison doesn't benefit anyone. I think the victim would probably disagree and would probably be a little bit comforted by the fact that her rapist is not walking the streets and that his freedom has been taken away. I imagine her life has been a prison since it happened (although I sincerely hope that's not the case). Also, surely long prison sentences would deter other opportunist rapists.

MadamDeathstare Mon 15-Aug-16 19:49:11

Prison is not only a punishment, it also removes violent criminals from society so that they don't get the opportunity to ruin another person's life for a while. Sex offenders have a high rescidivism (sp?) rate and I don't think any method has proved effective at rehabilitating them so I'm interested in knowing what is going to be done to rehabilitate this....creature.

AyeAmarok Mon 15-Aug-16 19:52:12

Very disappointing. For all the reasons mentioned.

Does a community sentence rehabilitate murderers? No. Then why is it OK for rapists?

geekaMaxima Mon 15-Aug-16 19:55:16

Rehabilitation and punishment are not the only reasons for a custodial sentence, though (and I'm not a supporter of prison as punishment). There's also protection of the public.

Is this man still a danger to women? Is he likely to rape again? Probably. He lied and minimised throughout the trial, and shows no remorse. That should have been reason enough for prison.

I really hope the prosecution can appeal. sad

Felascloak Mon 15-Aug-16 20:55:18

The judge seems completely unconcerned as to the impact of this guy on women full stop. I assume the twenty year parole is so he would get a tougher sentence next time. Obviously it hasn't occurred to the judge that a prison sentence could reduce the risk of "next time".
So depressing.

Felascloak Mon 15-Aug-16 21:00:02

Here's a more detailed article. The guy sounds scary and manipulative.
www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/13/first-brock-turner-now-boulder-how-two-sex-assaults-amassed-headlines.html

Also I'm struck be the resemblance between wilkerson and turner. Freaky.

Felascloak Mon 15-Aug-16 21:03:29

Ugh I need to step away from Google. Judge Persky (who sentenced Brock turner) has given a man 4 DAYS in prison for accessing child abuse images when most offenders get around 6 months +
What the fuck is wrong with the guy?
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/09/stanford-trial-judge-child-abuse-image-brock-turner

JedRambosteen Mon 15-Aug-16 21:08:33

What indeed?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Mon 15-Aug-16 21:57:55

You know rehabilitation would be a really admirable aim except for the fact that it seems the only time it seems to be considered is when it's linked to rape cases.

Personal drug possession? 5 years minimum.
Petty theft? 18 months for a first time offence
Walking whilst black? Lock him up and throw away the key.
Oh but just a little bit of rape, we wouldn't want to ruin his life for a few moments of action would we? He's got such a bright future - you're all being mean. We'll make sure that he can be super successful and that will be sure to fix his massive entitlement issues and raging misogyny.

VestalVirgin Tue 16-Aug-16 11:48:47

I'm interested in knowing what is going to be done to rehabilitate this....creature.

Teaching him how to get away with rape, probably. For a rape case to go to court in the first place, the woman has to be very lucky, or the rapist very stupid, anyway, so ... I suppose they'll teach Brock Turner to take his rape victim to a more secluded space next time.

It is very obvious to me that those judges don't consider rape a crime at all.

Felascloak Tue 23-Aug-16 18:14:21

For fuck sake. Here is another one.
www.attn.com/stories/10890/david-becker-charged-with-rape-serving-no-jail-time

It is so shocking and unfair. Not surprised there is such a frat culture if the sentencing is like this. Disgusting.

Xenophile Tue 23-Aug-16 21:07:14

Lovely. No record at all, and that delightful nickname.

But there aint no such thing as male privilege now.

AyeAmarok Tue 23-Aug-16 21:15:55

How much longer is this going to be allowed to go on for before someone, Obama? Hillary Clinton?, steps in and says enough is enough?

What is the point of minimum sentences if judges are allowed to do this?

AyeAmarok Tue 23-Aug-16 21:16:44

Something tells me Donald Trump would think it was a suitable punishment too.

SenecaFalls Tue 23-Aug-16 21:23:20

There are significant limits to what presidents can do because sexual assault, like most crimes in the US, is a primarily a matter of state law. The Obama administration has made improving the response to survivors of campus sexual assault a priority.

Felascloak Tue 23-Aug-16 21:25:33

I don't know whether it's being reported more because interest was raised by brock Turner. Or whether the Turner case set some kind of precedent that opened the door to misogynistic judges feeling able to make these kind of judgments.
It makes me sick that a supposedly moral country treats it's women this way. I really hope we don't follow suit here.

SenecaFalls Wed 24-Aug-16 02:12:00

I don't think that the Turner case has emboldened judges to apply lighter sentences; it has likely had the opposite effect because of the criticism that the judge in the Turner case received.

The average sentence for rape in the US is 8-9 years, which I think is roughly equivalent to sentences in the UK.

Shoxfordian Thu 25-Aug-16 14:57:04

The sentencing in this case is ridiculous- he won't even be put on the sex offenders register. He's learnt there are no real consequences to his actions & will probably end up doing this again

Felascloak Thu 25-Aug-16 15:00:13

So seneca do you think it's coincidental that we've seen three of these rich athletic white boys get barely more than a ticking off in the last few months? Or do you think it's always happened and is being reported more?

SenecaFalls Thu 25-Aug-16 15:52:10

I do think that it has always happened and is now being reported more because there is more awareness and more outrage. I hope that the publicity these cases have received will make judges less likely to impose these lenient sentences.

powershowerforanhour Thu 25-Aug-16 15:56:15

The average sentence for rape in the US is 8-9 years
This is average for all rapes I take it.
What's the average for a rape commited by a frat boy?

Felascloak Thu 25-Aug-16 16:12:25

Thanks seneca. I was just asking because you are in the US, not to be confrontational btw. I'm pretty horrified at what appears to be a direction of travel, it would be slightly reassuring (although not at all acceptable) if it's always happened but is now being reported more widely.

Scarydinosaurs Thu 25-Aug-16 16:17:00

power I would be fascinated to know sentencing for rape broken down by gender, race, income/economic status/class.

Horrific how these white men are essentially told "this isn't a crime" and actions are condoned by these sentences. Rape culture is alive and well.

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