Brock Turner Case Proves That Activists Are Wrong About Campus Rape Trials

Sexual assault at Stanford University was rightly handled by the police, not the campus bureaucrats.


Brock Turner

I mentioned this in my previous post about the convicted Stanford University, but it bears repeating: Brock Turner is the reason that cops, rather than colleges, should investigate and adjudicate rape. 

Yes, Turner's sentence was inappropriately lenient, but the fact that he will spend any time in jail at all is a credit to the criminal justice system. Because witnesses involved the police from the beginning, Turner was assured a fair trial that resulted in a well-deserved conviction. The public can have faith that the verdict was correct: it was arrived at by twelve jurors who determined, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Turner committed the crime he was accused of. 

Many anti-rape activists are condemning Turner's meager sentence, and rightly so. But there's a profound irony here: a large contingent of the anti-rape activist community is actually opposed to mandatory involvement of the cops and courts in student sexual assault disputes—even though cops and courts are the only vehicle for obtaining a prison sentence at all

As KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor write in The Washington Post

The backlash against Turner's sentence is being exploited by a powerful but misguided movement to delegitimize law enforcement as the best way to handle campus sexual assaults. The accusers' rights group Know Your IX has claimed that even reporting an assault to police could harm campus victims. "#copsoffcampus," the group recently tweeted. 

Campus activists at Stanford and nationwide have championed secretive disciplinary processes run by administrators who know little about gathering evidence (or about fair procedures). Indeed, had this case been initially channeled through the school, critical evidence — including Turner's highly incriminating statement to police — might have been lost. 

No one should be in favor of the campus-run rape adjudication system, because it is deeply unfair to both accusers and the accused, produces outcomes that are frequently overturned via lawsuits, and is incapable of ascertaining jail time for rapists. People like Turner should face justice—real justice, not the ill-considered half-measure that colleges supply.