Convicted Rapists Will Now Serve Mandatory Prison Time In California

In response to Brock Turner’s lenient sentence, lawmakers voted unanimously to take sexual assault more seriously

Image via Getty images

Following news that convicted rapist Brock Turner will be released from jail three months early, the California Assembly voted to enforce prison sentences for those convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious person, NPR reports. Politicians, journalists, and spectators alike found Turner’s six-month sentence to be frustratingly lenient given the fact that the former Stanford student was convicted of sexually assaulting an inebriated, unconscious woman.

In a unanimous 66-to-0 vote, lawmakers approved a bill that will make it harder for convicted rapists to get off so easily. Assemblyman Bill Dodd, who helped author the new bill, said in a statement:

“Sexually assaulting an unconscious or intoxicated victim is a terrible crime and our laws need to reflect that. Letting felons convicted of such crimes get off with probation discourages other survivors from coming forward and sends the message that raping incapacitated victims is no big deal.”

But what is the difference between a jail sentence and a prison sentence? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it basically comes down to sentence length and type of facility. As opposed to federally and state run prisons, jails are operated by local governments and primarily serve as short-term holding facilities for inmates awaiting trial. While prisons can house inmates serving life sentences, jails typically only harbor inmates for up to one year.

According to current California laws, prison sentences are only imposed when a sexual assault involves physical force. With the new law instated, prison sentences will be mandatory for those convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious victims, even if physical force was not applied. That being said, don’t all cases of assault involve physical force?

Issues like these should require states to reexamine their laws pertaining to rape seeing as many are outdated, and quite frankly, alarmingly sexist. As recently as 2009, a man evaded charges after sneaking into a stranger’s dark bedroom and forcing sex on a woman who initially complied, thinking the man was her boyfriend. Under California’s “rape by deception” law, the man could not be convicted of sexual assault because the victim was not married. And let’s not forget that up until 1979, it was perfectly legal in this country for a man to rape his wife.

While this new bill will certainly help increase the severity of sentences for sexual assault perpetrators, there’s still much work to be done to ensure lawmakers take these violent crimes seriously.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

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She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

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Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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