After a California judge sentenced Brock Turner to just six months in jail for the rape of an unconscious woman, people across the United States were outraged and still continue to be outraged. Many people called for a serious change in the way our justice system handles sexual assault cases.
Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara’s District Attorney, has answered their calls. He has proposed new legislation that would require a mandatory minimum sentence for the raping of an unconscious victim.
Current California law mandates that the rape of an unconscious victim can result in a three to eight year jail sentence. If the victim was unconscious or intoxicated, however, the assailant can get away with as little as probation.
California State Assemblyman, Evan Low, said that the “current law actually incentivizes rapists to get their victim intoxicated before assaulting them,” according to the Huffington Post.
If Rosen’s proposed law, AB 2888, passes, rapists would receive a minimum sentence of three years in state prison regardless of whether the victim was conscious or not. Rosen argued that there should be no distinction between the rape of a conscious or unconscious victim because rape is rape.
“We need to protect the next Emily Doe from the next Brock Turner,” Rosen said. “Let’s give the next campus assault victim no reason to fear that her attacker will end up walking around free after spending less time in jail than it takes to finish a single college semester.”
Whether Rosen’s law passes or not, it seems that the United States is finally starting to address its epidemic of sexual assault across college campuses. That’s a great thing.