If you looked up “delayed-and-disproportionate-to-the-charges criminal justice” in a textbook somewhere, you might find this story about Brock Turner’s mugshot being used as part of a textbook’s entry on rape. In 2015, Turner was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of felony sexual assault, and one count of attempted rape after he sexually penetrated (with his fingers and a foreign object) an unconscious and intoxicated 22-year-old woman at Stanford University. He was ultimately only convicted on two counts of felony sexual assault, for which he faced a 14-year sentence. Well, he might have been looking at that much time if 1. our criminal justice system weren’t broken and 2. he weren’t a young white man, who, as a student athlete, had all kinds of “potential.” Turner was sentenced to six months, of which he served three before being released.
Turner did have to register as a sex offender, though. And now, thanks to a revised edition of the Introduction To Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity, And Change, Turner’s bullshit sentence will be taken into consideration as part of an examination of the justice system’s failings in handling rape and socioeconomic privilege. Mashable noticed a Facebook post by a Washington State University student about the textbook’s definition of rape, which now features Turner’s mugshot with the following caption: “Some are shocked at how short this sentence is. Others who are more familiar with the way sexual violence has been handled in the criminal justice system are shocked that he was found guilty and served time at all. What do you think?”
Turner’s mugshot was the only real update to that section of the book, which was written by Professor Callie Marie Rennison, of the University of Colorado Denver, and Mary J. Dodge.