What's next after Judge Persky recall?

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- The judge who came under fire for the six-month sentence he imposed on Brock Turner for sexual assault is out of a job.

But the successful recall of Judge Aaron Persky Tuesday for that controversial sentence could have a chilling effect on other judges who make difficult decisions.

RELATED: Judge Persky Recalled over Brock Turner sentencing

By removing Judge Persky from the bench, voters made it clear that the six-month sentence given to Brock Turner for sexual assault was not acceptable. Recall organizer Michele Dauber indicated that voting is now a potent tool to advocate for victims of sexual assault and violence.

"This campaign and this election will have no impact on judicial independence," said Dauber. "Judge Persky is an elected official, and there is no such thing as an elected official who is independent of the voters."

Like Michele Dauber, Margaret Russell is also a law professor. However, she was opposed to the recall. Now that voters ousted Judge Persky, she is worried about politicizing the judiciary.

"A political movement that seeks to stack the judiciary by recalling people who make unpopular opinions is bad whether you're on the left or right," said Prof. Russell. who teaches Constitutional law at Santa Clara University Law School. "That's not what a free society is about."

TIMELINE: How the Brock Turner case ignited debate on sexual assault

While the recall might be interpreted as a way to balance the scale of justice evenly for the accused and the victim, defense attorney Steven Clark, who has also been a prosecutor, says both sides may have been hurt.

"I think both prosecution and defense are concerned that this recall could be eroding our judicial system," said Clark. "It is supposed to be independent of the political process, and now it's been thrown right into the political process."

Superior Court judges come up for re-election every six years. However, after the Persky recall, none of them can be assured that they will end up serving a full term. That could include Persky's successor, assistant district attorney Cindy Hendrickson, who won the election to fill the remaining four years of Persky's term.

For more stories, photos, and video on the Brock Turner case and Judge Persky, visit this page.
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