Randy Stoker

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Randy Stoker is a district judge at the Idaho 5th Judicial District Court in Twin Falls, Idaho. He became infamous for the allegedly lenient sentence he gave to  John Howard, a white teenager from a legendary basketball coaching family who raped a disabled black teammate with a coat hanger[11] [4]


Randy J. Stoker has been a district judge for the Fifth District of Idaho since 2007 when he was appointed by Governor Butch Otter. He was most recently re-elected in May 2014. His current term expires in January 2019. Randy Stoker was elected twice to be the judge for the Fifth District of Idaho in 2007 and 2014, in both elections which he ran unopposed in. His current term runs until 2019. Prior to his judicial appointment in 2007, Stoker with the magistrate judge in Twin Falls County, Idaho.  [7]

Sentencing of John Howard

On December 16, 2016 Randy Stoker sentenced John Howard who raped a disabled black teammate with a coat hanger to zero jail or prison time despite him facing a maximum of 10 years. Instead Randy sentenced John Howard to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service


The sentence was criticized for being far too lenient, and being biased by John Howard's race and wealth. John Howard is White/Caucasian and the nephew of legendary basketball coach Acey Shaw. John's father served as Acey's assistant coach.  Shaun King an African american activist and writer for the New York Daily News criticized the sentence writing that is was the" "living embodiment of white privilege."  [8]


A petition to remove Randy Stoker from the bench over the lenient sentence has received over 150,000 signatures on Change.org[12]


With good behavior, the judge said his record could be expunged. He’ll also be allowed to do his community service in his new home in Texas where his family peacefully relocated. [9] Randy Stoker had accepted John Howard's Alford plea, which allowed him to maintain his innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors would have most likely won a conviction if the case had gone to trial. [4] The lenient sentence means that the judge will only order prison time if Howard violates his probation. The maximum punishment that could be meted out in such a case would be 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. [4]


After accepting the plea on February 25, as Randy Stoker issued the final sentencing, he also discounted testimony of racist remarks toward the black player and concluded that the assault was not racially motivated. [11]


Stoker, as he sentenced Howard to community service and probation, was emphatic that the assault did not constitute a rape. [10]

"Whatever happened in that locker room was not sexual," he said. "In my view, this is not a case about racial bias," he also said."People from the east coast have no idea what this case is about," he said, according to the Guardian. "But I'm not going to impose a sentence that is not supported by the law." [10]

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  • Comment
    Konstantine Nikka-Sher Piterman  •  12/20/2016 10:55:09 PM UTC
    another hit, navin! you're a great writer.
Created: 12/20/2016 10:00:40 PM UTC
Last Modified: 02/28/2017 04:24:49 AM UTC