This Twitter response is the only response to Judge Aquilina’s sentencing that matters
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina didn’t waste energy offering former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar a single smidge of sympathy while sentencing him yesterday. Because he was accused of abusing more than 150 women and girls throughout the span of his career as a team doctor, and deserved exactly what he got: up to 175 years in prison.
There’s one specific moment from the sentencing that’s garnering a lot of talk, however.
Aquilina read aloud parts of a letter Nassar wrote, where he tried to say he was a “good doctor” and that he was “manipulated” into admitting he’d sexually molested his patients. Judge Aquilina’s bullshit meter didn’t permit her to continue, so she ceased reading it immediately and literally tossed it aside like a piece of trash.
Judge Aquilina doesn’t have time for this shit, and neither do we.
Unfortunately, some people (cough: men) took to Twitter to grumble about Aquilina’s strong words. For example, Alexandra Petri shared the following brilliant tweet:
Why Didn’t Judge Use A Nicer Tone When Sentencing That Man Who Was Just Convicted Of Molesting More Than 140 Children, Concerned Internet Gentleman Wants To Know
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) January 24, 2018
Which then acted as a sort of signal for mansplainers everywhere to come forth for no other reason than to further prove Petri right.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/956272285584945152
Ding ding ding. It's not that the judge needed to be nicer to the predator, it's that I want the charges against him to stick and the judge's comments give him an avenue of escape.— AdamMPkins (@AdamMPkins) January 24, 2018
The problem isn't that these comments hurt anyone's feelings. It's that they provide him with an avenue for appeal, which might require a second sentencing hearing.— Andrew Fleischman (@ASFleischman) January 24, 2018
It's totally fine for the judge at the end to throw the book at you, but not before all the evidence is in.
LOL except the evidence is in. The vile piece of garbage pled guilty.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/956341894673465344
Commence eyerolling for all eternity.
What of the idea that the judge's grandstanding served to upstage all of those courageous victim statements? That was my gut reaction, "whoa lady, this is not about YOU"— Forrest Chump (@ForrestChump_) January 25, 2018
Statements by the survivors have been extraordinary. A judge performing like this leaves me cold. https://t.co/L7enXJvOnL
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 24, 2018
Look, this judge is a woman who just endured a week of heart-wrenching and traumatizing testimony from Nassar’s victims, and her words and actions at the sentencing reflected as such. This is where we dive head-first into the double standard that corrupts our justice system, and why anyone condemning Aquilina’s reaction can have several seats. The jury’s job is to remain impartial; Judge Aquilina’s job was to impose a just sentence — and many people of Twitter feel she did just that.
I can't help but think that if a man had delivered the same performance as Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the words being bandied about to describe it would be things like "oratory", "powerhouse", and "tour de force", not "grandstanding" and "emotional" and "inappropriate".
— Alexandra Erin (@AlexandraErin) January 24, 2018
Some compared the visceral reaction to her sentencing to the visceral reaction Hillary received from men anytime she did just about anything.
Judge Aquilina, in a slow & quiet voice, crushing Nassar in a vise. "You played on everyone's vulnerability. I'm not vulnerable. Not to you. … I swore to uphold the Constitution and the law. … And I know exactly what to do. … It is my honor and privilege to sentence you."
— Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) January 24, 2018
Can we all please remember that Nassar himself pled guilty? And not just for the chance at a plea deal, or a lighter sentence — because let’s also not forget he tried to make excuses for his abuse in his letter.
Judge Aquilina showed contempt for a man who admitted who, by his own admission, broke the law and abused over a hundred girls and women. There should be no complaints or arguments about that.