It is a father’s job to want the best for his child, to believe the best of his child, to advocate for his child even sometimes to the detriment of good sense.
What Brock Turner did was evil as well as criminal, but I can’t say I’d be any more willing than his father to see one of my sons punished to the fullest extent of the law. I can’t manage to work up any moral outrage at his admittedly ludicrous evaluation of his son’s situation.
His arguments are bad, and bad for society, and must be rejected. But he deserves no scorn for making them. He’s doing his job as a parent.
But that’s why we don’t ask the parents of the convicted wrongdoer to set the penalty.We ask people who are charged with fairly weighting the goods of all relevant persons in a case; we ask people who are charged with making the law just by making it equally applicable; we ask people who are charged with acknowledging and overcoming their own implicit biases and recusing themselves when they have explicit biases; we ask people who are charged with considering the immediate facts before them as well as the long-term effects of the ultimate decision.
No, I don’t have any (well, much) ire to direct toward Mr. Turner, but I have plenty of ire to direct elsewhere.