Brock Turner: the literal textbook definition of rape

Columnist Katie Haga 

Columnist Katie Haga 

Remember the ex-Stanford all-star swimmer, Brock Turner? Many remember him by that title, but I remember him as a rapist who only got three months of jail time. The authors of “Introduction to Criminal Justice: System, Diversity, and Change Second Edition” want to make sure we brand Turner the title for the rest of his life.

In 2015, Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious young woman and was later charged with three counts of sexual assault. The charges amounted to a potential 14 year prison sentence but prosecutors recommended a “moderate” county jail sentence and decided on a six-year sentence. 

When writing a letter to the judge asking for leniency in his son’s sentencing, father of the rapist Dan Turner said, “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” 

Figures why Brock Turner doesn’t feel as if he did anything wrong; his parents coddled him and endorsed raping someone. Years turned to months when judge Aaron Persky made the final decision of a whopping six month sentence, giving a whole new meaning to the saying “boys will be boys.”

However, because of “good behavior,” the authorities released rapist Brock Turnerfrom jail after only three months. And by “good behavior” I mean his white privilege and the failure of our disgraceful justice system. 

Although the system failed the American people when letting Turner off with such a minor punishment, Callie Marie Rennison and Mary J. Dodge, the authors of “Introduction to Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity, and Change Second Edition” published Turner as the definition of rape. Literally.

A freshman at Washington State University was doing her homework for Criminal Justice 101 when she came across Turner’s face. Hannah Kendall Shuman took to Facebook on Sept. 7 to express her opinion on her finding. 

Shuman posted a photo of the text book page along with the caption “He may have been able to get out of prison time but in my Criminal Justice 101 textbook, Brock Turner is the definition of rape, so he’s got that goin for him.” The post has received over 41,000 likes, 91,000 shares and 3,500 comments and counting.

In an interview with Huffington Post Shuman said, “I didn’t think anyone of status or wealth would ever want to bring him up again, it seemed like America just wanted to act as if he never happened.”

According to SFGate, the authors and publisher of the textbook released a joint statement on Thursday. 

“Turner’s actions, as determined by the California Jury, fit the standards for the FBI definition of rape” the statement said, “as well as certain other state definitions, but not the California definition as of the time the final book manuscript.”

The authors seem to not care about any backlash they may receive for using Turner’s mugshot; many people are actually commending them. Especially the student whose post went viral.

One of the authors, Marie Rennison, spoke about her approach for the textbook in November when she received the Bonnie S. Fisher Victimology Career award, according to Metro News. “Existing criminal justice books speak little about victims...in our book victims are front and center.This is the way it should be,” said Rennison, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Like Shuman said, it feels as if Americans forgot about the trash human being that is Brock Turner, but two individuals, women nonetheless, made sure that people will not forget about Turner and his pitiful, wrist-slap punishment. This textbook’s publication sheds light on the fact that not all heroes wear capes.