“When we make a decision in a civil or criminal case, we’re always disappointing one side or the other. And so if one side or the other that’s disappointed is able to generate outrage, get it out there on social media, raise a lot of money based on one decision, it’s just – it’s just not right,” Persky said.
More than one million people signed an online petition calling for Persky’s removal from the bench. The campaign to recall the judge has raised more than $1 million and he has raised $400,000 to fight back.
“There are even lawn signs now that have my face next to a mug shot of the defendant,” Persky said. “I accept responsibility for every decision that I’ve made as a judge. But what I cannot accept are the downstream consequences, the collateral damage, if you will, to the next case, to the next judge’s decision, to even the next juror’s decision. I mean this notion, the power of social media, the power of politics, if it affects jurors then where are we? We’ve completely corrupted our system.”
For weeks after he sentenced Turner, Persky said for safety he had to come and go from this courthouse by the back entrance used by inmates. Since the recall effort began, he has not been hearing cases, he’s working only as a judge in night court.