The California judge who sparked outrage with his controversial sentencing in the rape trial against Stanford University student Brock Turner has asked to step aside from criminal cases after numerous calls for his resignation. Judge Aaron Persky, who faced nationwide criticism for sentencing Turner to just six months in a county jail, will now only hear civil cases. He will begin hearing only civil cases on Sept. 6. “While I firmly believe in Judge Persky’s ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served,” Presiding Judge Risë Jones Pichon said in a statement Thursday. “Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment,” he said. While many critics welcomed the news, some say it’s not enough. Michele Dauber, head of The Recall Judge Persky Campaign, said as long as Persky will “still be a judge,” the problem of judicial bias hasn’t really been addressed.
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