AUTHOR’S NOTE: I want to preface this post by saying that I absolutely don’t think rape or assault is ever okay and is always wrong.
I recognize this post may upset a few people I love dearly but I need them to pause and hear me out.
The recent sentencing of Brock Turner in the rape/assault case stemming from events which occurred in January of 2015 has caused a non-trivial amount of internet uproar. It is easy to understand why.
Was the victim clearly assaulted/raped? Both via her statement and a jury of peers this was validated. Common sense would have validated this as well.
Is the sentence bestowed upon the assailant anemic vis a vis the damage done to the victim? I can only say I’d be pissed off if someone raped me and received a similar sentence.
Has the assailant Brock Turner demonstrated true remorse, growth or forward progress, or even taken accountability for his actions? No. It would seem he and his legal team have played a short term strategy to minimize damage versus accepting the past and moving forward.
Is the father’s letter of support for his son extremely tone deaf in light of the things I’ve stated above? Yes, this letter is almost incendiary versus supportive of his son’s plight.
You should now read the victim’s letter (Brock Turner Letter To JPK Comments – with my highlights in blue).
It’s ten pages of the most incredible words of wisdom and insight I’ve read. I read it twice and just spent a few moments to write the victim directly via her attorneys to show my support. What a remarkable phoenix to have risen from the ashes of this.
He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me. Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue.
There are so many things she says that are so…tangible.
Instead of simply amplifying the ire directed towards the judge, the assailant, the father, I want to offer something in support of forgiveness and atonement…something the victim reminded me is very true.
She says (paraphrased) in the letter that had Brock just taken accountability and acknowledged what he’d done, she would have been agreeable to leniency. This never happened and in fact still hasn’t.
Brock and his attorneys have chosen to play a short game of protection and positioning versus taking accountability and choosing a different path forward.
Two stickies remind me of this.
Both are reminder to remain focused on improvement and progression towards the person you want to be, and reminders that every moment can be a choice for which direction you take.
In this way of thinking, there is an amazing capability to forgive ourselves for mistakes made and move forward with hope and acceptance we still are not perfect. Only ownership of our accountability and the subsequent atonement required (whether it’s legal or not) create the space for the path forward though.
So I’ll do that now.
I was arrested, later convicted, and then served jail time, home detention, and work crew obligations resulting from my decision to drive while intoxicated.
This occurred in 2009 and though I still don’t believe I was intoxicated (I was pulled over due to a tail light being out in my new car due to what I’d learn was an electrical recall), my BAC was sufficient to meet the burden of proof in Seattle.
If you want to see what the court case looks like for a white collar DUI, here’s the court transcript. DUI CASE REDACTED
I accepted accountability and used the legal case (which cost more than $20K to me) to control my sentencing, which would otherwise been the judges to decide upon without context.
I acknowledged I drank, but I disputed the legitimacy of why I was pulled over (it was stated I accelerated quickly (which I always do), but in reality, it had to do with the tail light on my brand new car).
I passed all field sobriety tests. My BAC tested twice under the legal limit, and once over. This was enough to convict and I accept that conviction. I spent 30 days in jail, 60 days on house arrest, did 20 days of work crew, and paid a steep price.
I’m certainly not innocent of never having driven when I shouldn’t.
But I accept accountability and I’ve focused on how to change.
My crime was not rape though, and thankfully it didn’t impact another life.
Do I think this asshat swimmer kid should have a path towards forgiveness and atonement? ABSOLUTELY, without question. As the victim states in her letter, I’m hopeful he learns from and this experience and fundamentally rethinks the values he will maintain moving forward.
That may never occur but hopefully it does. Some people aren’t built for a life of accountability. Until he learns how important this “virtue” is, he should feel the weight of punishment and will likely bring it upon himself, time and time again.
In writing this post, I was reminded of one of the letters of support written for me.
This is what a letter might look like in a life spent focused less on your short term circumstance, more on the long game. The goal of playing the long game is simple:
To arrive at the “18th hole” of life surrounded by the best representatives of all that really matters – morals, acts of service, kindness, accountability, self-improvement, creativity, connection. You arrive there by having unending hope that everyone can be on the 18th hole with you, not just those you expect.
I like to play the long game.
A letter of support of Jason Krech as his sentencing is considered:
To the Honorable ——-,
Thank you for taking a moment to consider this letter. We are writing in support of our dear friend Jason Krech. We have known Jason for over three years, which on the surface may seem like a relatively short time but in reality does not do justice to the connection we feel towards him. You see your honor, we consider Jason a part of our family.
We were saddened to hear about Jason’s recent conviction but are certain that he will rise to the occasion, take accountability for his actions and learn from this experience. Our confidence comes from observing Jason lead his life. We have witnessed Jason demonstrate some amazing core values that we believe are critical to being an exceptional human being. Some examples include:
- Family. Jason is a role model for his own nieces and nephews (ages 9 – 14), helping them making good choices around school, activities, and emotional strength. His family has been through some extraordinary circumstances in the last couple of years (including his step-mother being diagnosed w/terminal cancer, his father having a stroke, his brother-in-law dying in a fire) and through all of this, Jason has supported and coached his young nieces and nephews through sadness, anger and confusion. He spends time with them in every day scenarios (sports, school activities, family events) and spends time with them on his own, to both give them new experiences (Jason lives in urban Seattle) and give his sister and husband a break. Not only have we witnessed this behavior with his family but Jason has also proven to be a fantastic role model for our own **– who is 11 and going through challenging family experiences as well. Jason helped ** process his fear around his ** and helped ** understand that it’s ok to feel upset when things aren’t going well. He also helped ** re-gain a sense of fun and see that even when things are not going well, there can be moments of fun and happiness. To be honest, Jason has been a blessing.
- Harmony. If there ever are misunderstandings and/or feelings hurt in his extended family, work or social circles, Jason tackles the issue, brings others together for resolution and ensures that balance is restored to the relationship. Jason is always authentic, taking accountability for any of his own feelings or actions that may have led to a misunderstanding. At the end of the day, he always works to ensure everyone moves forward in new and more deeply connected ways. This approach is true in both personal and professional scenarios.
- Caring. Jason never dismisses another person’s feelings – even when his interpretation of a situation is different. He is always there with open arms to listen and share his thoughts when someone is upset or experiencing hard situations. He goes out of the way to give what he has in both time and capabilities. Actions include delivering food to folks that are sick, making a call when someone feels down and generally giving all he has for the betterment of others.
- Community. Last but not least, Jason continuously demonstrates a deep passion for his community. He is the president of his condo’s board of directors’ and three years ago there was extensive damage to the building. The scenario involved law suits with the builder and an unfortunate insurance company approach. Throughout the ordeal Jason continuously communicated difficult news to the owners in the building. When most people would have walked away, Jason held on, demonstrated leadership and never let go of what was best for the owners. His conviction, patience, and perseverance led to the condos getting fixed and mitigated the total cost going to the owners w/in the building. Needless to say, Jason has been re-elected several times due to his strong connection and results for his fellow condo owners.
If it isn’t already clear, we have experience with Jason that demonstrates he has an incredibly strong character. He is an important person in our lives. We consider him part of our family and trust him deeply to be an authentic, constant part of our daily lives – in good times and in hard times. We suspect that this essence of goodness can sometimes get lost in a courtroom, and potentially in a letter. We would like to offer our contact information should you desire more details and/or would like to ask clarifying questions around Jason’s qualities. We hope that this letter has given you a sense of the wonderful human being you are considering. We promise to support Jason as he takes accountability for his transgression.