|The photo that should have run with all the stories|
Today, I read the letter that the father of Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault, wrote to the judge presiding over the case.
Two things about the letter really stuck out in my mind:
1) Calling sexual assault and attempted rape "20 minutes of action" has to be the most crass and tone-deaf description of what his son did to that woman! I sincerely hope that was merely a poor choice of wording on Mr. Turner's part.
2) But notwithstanding that, reading the letter reminded me of something I did when I was a teenager.
One weekend, when I was 15, I was up visiting my mother and sister. While I was there, I got caught stealing a pack of cigarettes from a supermarket. No charges were filed against me, but my mom decided that for the rest of my visit I was going to pull weeds in a section of her back yard where she planned to plant a garden. I pleaded with my mom for some lenience. After all, I was filled with guilt and remorse for what I had done, and I told her that I had learned my lesson. "Son," she told me, " I understand that you feel remorse for what you did. You should feel that way. However, you still need to pay the price for what you have done." And with that, I spent the rest of my weekend digging dirt and pulling weeds.
I get that Mr. Turner is looking at his son, and seeing how what he has done has had a devastating effect on him, and doesn't want to see his flesh and blood in such a manner. But making excuses for his son and telling the judge how a six month sentence is too harsh is not what he should be doing. The simple fact of the matter is that his son committed an act which is punishable by law. If anything, he should be thanking the judge and his lucky stars that his son has been let off so light! But most importantly, he should realize that no matter how badly his son feels about what he did, he needs to pay the price for what he has done. And he needs to tell his son that.