Recall Effort Against Judge M. Marc Kelly Fails to Qualify for Ballot
Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 31, 2015
With a legal deadline of 5:00 PM tonight to submit 90,829 signatures for the recall of Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, recall proponents were unable to gather enough signatures and did not submit their petitions to the Registrar of Voters by the deadline less than an hour ago.
The recall effort was launched against Kelly in reaction to his April ruling in the Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto case, in which Rojano-Nieto was convicted of sexual assault of a 3-year-old relative. Despite state law imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, Kelly slashed the sentence down by 60% to 10 years.
In his ruling, Kelly stated:
…in looking at the facts of Mr. Rojano’s case, the manner in which this offense was committed is not typical of a predatory, violent brutal sodomy of a child case: Mr. Rojano did not seek out or stalk [the victim]. He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm [the victim] when he sexually assaulted her…There was no violence or callous disregard for [the victim’s] well-being…”
Appointed by Governor Gray Davis in 2000, Kelly was unopposed for re-election in 2006 and 2012, so he did not appear on the ballot. He is widely expected to face a challenge for his next re-election in 2018.