Jerry Brown Just Signed a Tough-on-Rape Bill That's So Bad, Even Feminists Hate It

New law establishes mandatory minimums for sex crimes.

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Brock Turner
Splash News/Newscom

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bills 2888 and 701 on Friday, which create mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of sex crimes.

The bills came in response to the outcry over Brock Turner's lenient sentence. As I've argued previously, that outcry was largely justified—Turner did get a comparatively light prison sentence, though the fact that he has to register as a sex offender is no small thing.

But mandatory minimums are a terrible policy in general. Indeed, there's a growing bipartisan consensus among policy experts and politicians on the right and the left that reforming mandatory minimum sentencing is something that needs to happen if the country is ever going to fix its costly and immoral mass incarceration problem.

The California bill flies in the face of this consensus. That's not just my opinion: as Elizabeth Nolan Brown notes, even many leftist-feminists are vocally opposed to mandatory minimums for sex crimes because there's no evidence they reduce crime.

In a letter explaining why he was signing the bill, Gov. Brown insisted that "as a general matter, I am opposed to adding more mandatory minimum sentences. Nevertheless, I am signing AB 2888, because I believe it brings a measure of parity to sentencing for criminal acts that are substantially similar."

The new law specifically prohibits judges from letting perpetrators get off with probation if they have been convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious or intoxicated person. While this may have produced a better outcome in the Turner case, forcing judges to send more people to prison is bad public policy. It will exacerbate all kinds of problems with the criminal justice system.

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51 responses to “Jerry Brown Just Signed a Tough-on-Rape Bill That's So Bad, Even Feminists Hate It

  1. Indeed, there’s a growing bipartisan consensus among policy experts and politicians on the right and the left that reforming mandatory minimum sentencing is something that needs to happen

    But obviously, whatever this ‘growing consensus’ is, was nowhere near large or influential enough to stop the bill from going through the California legislature and being signed into law by The Lord of the Flies.

    1. We need a “measure of parity to sentencing for criminal acts that are substantially similar.”

      This law, when combined with the Title IX consent standard of “hey, six months ago I was drunk, I think, and he had sex with me,” and aggressive prosecutors, is scarier than a Harambe shirt-wearing clown-frog waving his dick in the woods.

      1. Absolutely. Sentencing and criminal justice reform seems to be limited to those acts which aren’t a hobby horse of your constituency.

      2. I need an editor. Please submit your resumes, along with some feet pics. Thanks.

        1. I only have dick pics, can I still apply? And what are your benefits?

          1. I don’t believe in benefits.

            1. A true libertarian. Dick pics inbound.

      3. Ezra Klein is pretty happy. The idea, in his words, is to make men terrified of sex.

        I’d be inclined to find his wife, befriend her, fill her head with radical feminist nonsense and convince her to accuse him of rape if I weren’t fairly sure he’d actually believe he raped her retroactively and thereby completely miss the irony of the situation.

        1. No one believes Ezra Klein is capable of sex.

        2. I’d be inclined to find his wife, befriend her, fill her head with radical feminist nonsense

          I have a feeling you can skip step number 3 there.

  2. As I’ve argued previously, the youthful and virtuous Robby’s second guessing of the Brock Turner sentencing is shallow BS.

    But it is somewhat reassuring that the usual status-anxious, virtue-signalling Robby is back. Change is always risky.

  3. All sentences should be a formula:
    base sentence * modifiers
    modifiers = victim’s status – convict’s status +/- style
    Just define the status modifiers. Style points would be the only subjective component. Of course the aristocracy’s status modifier is sufficiently high that they aren’t punished.

  4. Intoxicated? I don’t see how that could cause any problems.

    Her – “You raped me.”

    Him – “No I didn’t. You were completely conscious and aggressively initiated sex with me.”

    Her – “Yeah, but I had had two beers.”

    Him – “Two beers?!”

    Her – “I am a lightweight.”

    1. Her: I want you now!

      Him: Please blow into this breathalyzer first … sorry, you blew a 0.09. Sober up and try again later.

      1. [obligatory “that’s not a breathalyzer” joke]

    2. This is why my default position is to deny them my essence.

      1. I figured you had no essence to deny.

      2. +1 Operation Drop-Kick

    3. Surprisingly enough, the *military* justice system has explicitly repudiated the ‘one-beer-is-enough-to-prevent-consent’ standard.

      Unfortunately that standard exists in the military because the EEO/sexual harrassment people pushed it and *continue* to push it even though there’s no legal backing for it.

  5. I was intoxicated by her smell your honor.

  6. I thought Democrats were all progressive and not reactionary.

    1. You’ve never read the paper the day after somebody gets shot by a non-cop, have you?

  7. It’s the Salem Witch Trials all over again, and it won’t end until the wrong sort of people get in trouble.

    Step 1 – Find single daughter of high ranking politician
    Step 2 – Get drunk and hook up
    Step 3 – File rape charges, watch politician shit bricks over the mandatory minimums his daughter is being threatened with
    Step 4 – Law repealed

    Please somebody, step up and do this, perhaps with a presidential daughter, and end this nonsense.

    1. It’s adorable that you think this law would ever be applied equally to both genders.

    2. Obama’s girls can do what they want. You only chance would be if you were a poor transsexual muslim refugee blinded during a chemical attack on Aleppo.

      1. What . . . what’s ‘Aleppo’?

    3. It would have to be a son.

      And you’d have to keep the condom.

      1. I understand cement shoes, if fitted correctly, can be quite comfortable.

  8. Someone post this on Facebook with the comment “tell me again about Democrats’ concern for overcrowded prisons?”

    I’m curious as to what the rationalization a will be.

    1. The Republicans made them do it

    2. The rationalization will be rape culture.

  9. I can’t wait for this to be disproportionately applied to people of color! Good job, liberals!

  10. RE: Jerry Brown Just Signed a Tough-on-Rape Bill That’s So Bad, Even Feminists Hate It
    New law establishes mandatory minimums for sex crimes.

    Yay!
    More people in prison for longer periods of time.
    We are now officially a gulag state thanks to our enlightened and wise leaders in federal and state Politburos.
    Yay!

  11. His only future is in some kinda angry porn. Or a gas station attendant. Or a jizz mopper.

    1. Do you know what jizz moppers make? That’s a solid career there.

  12. The famous “Bailiff! Whack his pee-pee.” legislation?

  13. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Brock believes in rock hard defense and determination.

  14. All laws named after someone are by definition bad laws. Since they require that some outrageous act be outlawed. By any sensible measure, things that ought to be illegal are already illegal. (And plenty of things that shouldn’t be illegal.)

    So making it illegal to rape clowns and calling it Tony’s law is just putting a hat on a hat. It’s already against the law to rape anyone, let alone clowns, so why exactly do we need a new law?

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal to rape clowns. If it is, it shouldn’t be.

  15. Okay, explain to me why “sex offenders” get special treatment versus merely violent offenders. Kill someone, get 20 years, serve 8 and you paid your debt to society. Commit a sex crime and you have to wear it around like the scarlet letter for the rest of your life. I agree that there few things worse than, say, sexually exploiting a child, but somehow, merely killing one is less abhorrent in the eyes of society. It’s not hard to find a photo of a butchered child on the internet, but a picture of a naked one (and I have no interest in naked children), look at one of those and you are the worst sort of pariah who deserves eternal damnation. What is it it about a sex crime that makes it more horrifying than crimes of mere violence? Now, I certainly think that rapists and chlld molesters deserve to have the book thrown at them, but this weird distortion where plain old violence and brutality is somehow a lesser evil sexual abuse of anyone – I just don’t get it.

    1. Because the systemic oppression of women that… ah fuck, I can’t even.

      Because feminists are pieces of shit.

    2. FWIW, I appreciated this take on this issue, and generally find it insightful.

  16. Feminists hate it?

    That makes me want to like it.

  17. What is about the sex act that makes it so that women who have been drinking are excused from the choices they made while they were drinking while women who chose to drive their cars home after excessive alcohol consumption are not?

    Also why are women considered to have not consented to sex because they are drunk because their inhibitions have been lowered while men are considered guilty of rape under the same circumstances.

    1. Effin’ rape apologist…

      I can’t even with this guy. Can you even? Because I can’t even. The misogyny is strong with this one. No means No, asshole!

      1. He’s just not woke like you and I are, bruh!

  18. “even many leftist-feminists are vocally opposed to mandatory minimums for sex crimes because there’s no evidence they reduce crime.”

    If you read the associated quote in Elizabeth Nolan-Brown’s article, it wasn’t a principled opposition to mandatory minimum sentences driving the sentiment, but rather a desire to have a mob go kick the judge’s door down.

    Also, intersectionality nonsense, but that’s a given, right?

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