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Promising Football Star Wrongfully Imprisoned for Rape Disgusted by Sympathetic Ruling for White Standford Athlete

 

Football star Brian Banks was wrongfully imprisoned for rape in 2002 and later exonerated. 

Fourteen years ago, the dreams of a promising African-American football player were shattered as he sat in a courtroom patiently awaiting a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School football star Brian Banks was  convicted of rape back in 2002. Just 16 years old at the time, Banks was charged as an adult and received a sentence of six years behind bars. His accuser finally came forward in 2012 to recant her allegations, and the football star was exonerated for the crime.

According to the New York Daily News, Banks had served five years and two months of his sentence by that time. He also served an additional five years of parole.

Now a free man working for the NFL, Banks has been sure to follow the high-profile rape case involving Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. The college athlete was convicted on three felony counts stemming from a 2015 sexual assault on an unconscious, inebriated female, the New York Daily News reports.

Banks, along with the rest of the country, was appalled when Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months in the county jail Friday, for fear that prison time would have a “severe impact” on the young athlete.

“I think he will not be a danger to others,” Persky said.

According to the New York Daily News, Turner could have his sentence reduced to three months if he stays on his best behavior. He’ll have to register as a sex offender upon his release, however.


Of course, Turner’s light sentence and sympathetic treatment from the judge is a stark contrast from what Banks experienced all those years ago. Banks argues that no one ever took into consideration the effect prison would have on him, a young, Black, innocent man. He also asserts that privilege is behind Judge Persky’s mercy on the 20-year-old Stanford swimmer.

“I would say it’s a case of privilege,” Banks told the New York Daily News. “It seems like the judge based his decision on lifestyle. He’s lived such a good life and has never experienced anything serious in his life that would prepare him for prison. He was sheltered so much he wouldn’t be able to survive prison. What about the kid who has nothing, he struggles to eat, struggles to get a fair education? What about the kid who has no choice who he is born to and has drug-addicted parents or a non-parent household? Where is the consideration for them when they commit a crime?”

The football star faced 41 years to life for the rape conviction and turned down a number of plea deals for 25, 18 or nine years behind bars before the judge finally sentenced him to six years in 2002, the publication reports.

“Do I plead to a crime that I did not commit and receive a small sentence or do I roll the dice, risk my entire life behind bars for a crime I didn’t commit?” Banks said. “I realized that day, regardless of whatever my decision was, neither one of them was going home an innocent man.”

Banks also recalled that on the day of jury selection, he was told that he probably wouldn’t get a trial because “I was a big, Black teenager and the jury would be an all-white jury and they would automatically assume me as guilty.”

The New York Daily News reports that Turner, who is white, could have been sentenced to a maximum of 14 years behind bars. Judge Persky’s sentence came up short, as prosecutors were seeking a six-year term, according to Raw Story.

“You know a man is guilty, so why aren’t we unleashing half of the punishment that was unleashed on Brian Banks when he was innocent and there was no evidence?” Banks stated. “They gave me six years. They gave him six months.”

After a promising football career and 10 years of his life were snatched away, Banks is now an employee at the NFL’s Department of Operations and works as a board member for the California Innocence Project, which helped to clear his name, the New York Daily News reports. The former football star is also a life coach and delivers inspirational speeches. He said his traumatic ordeal has helped him identify with Turner’s victim in a way.

“I wasn’t physically raped, but I was raped in a sense of my freedom,” Banks said. “I was kidnapped, taken against my will, placed in a box for five years and two months. I was denied all human rights. When I screamed and pleaded and begged, it fell on deaf ears. It’s a different form of being assaulted and taken advantage of. I know what she is going through.”

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On June 7, 2016 at 0:03 PM, JDaveG said:

I agree.  Still, the father's letter is pretty sad even without that.  I sympathize with wanting to plead for leniency for your child, but his child did something objectively ****ing awful. 

Rule 1 of pleading for leniency -- don't make yourself out to be the victim.  The father talked WAY too much about how his son's actions are going to affect his son, and not nearly enough about how very sorry the both of them are about how they are going to affect the victim.

I don't know much about the rules of pleading for leniency, but I know a fathers love for both a son and a daughter.  I don't really see the relevance of discussing the victim in discussing why a court should consider leniency.  And I would imagine a letter addressing the acts of a defendant could be used against them in an appeal, which I believe I read that they are looking to do.  So I guess I understand the letter from the father, and I think the outrage over it is really pathetic in its own right.  The people can certainly, and rightfully so, get bent on the sentencing, but going after the dad is just a bunch of people that are looking for a fight.  

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9 minutes ago, kicker said:

I don't know much about the rules of pleading for leniency, but I know a fathers love for both a son and a daughter.  I don't really see the relevance of discussing the victim in discussing why a court should consider leniency.  And I would imagine a letter addressing the acts of a defendant could be used against them in an appeal, which I believe I read that they are looking to do.  So I guess I understand the letter from the father, and I think the outrage over it is really pathetic in its own right.  The people can certainly, and rightfully so, get bent on the sentencing, but going after the dad is just a bunch of people that are looking for a fight.  

You don't necessarily have to discuss the victim per se, but you should express remorse over something besides you being in trouble.

"I'm sorry I got caught" isn't a plea for leniency.  I do understand the letter, but I fully understand why it pissed people off, too.

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A less-than-generous interpretation of the letter is that the father thinks the son was trapped by the ambiguity of the situation and his own inebriation, and that he would better serve the common good by going around telling guys to beware of drunk girls coming onto them and then saying it was rape afterward.

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27 minutes ago, Serge said:

A less-than-generous interpretation of the letter is that the father thinks the son was trapped by the ambiguity of the situation and his own inebriation, and that he would better serve the common good by going around telling guys to beware of drunk girls coming onto them and then saying it was rape afterward.

I would add to it that he felt his son was already destroyed, and that prison time as  punishment was unnecessary.  

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, kicker said:

I would add to it that he felt his son was already destroyed, and that prison time as  punishment was unnecessary.  

 

 

 

In pleading for leniency, he probably should avoid giving the impression that he thinks raping an unconscious person is equivalent to stealing someone's wallet.

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59 minutes ago, Serge said:

In pleading for leniency, he probably should avoid giving the impression that he thinks raping an unconscious person is equivalent to stealing someone's wallet.

I didn't get that impression from the letter.  So many of you seem to think that the father should somehow apologize for his son's crimes.  I don't see that. The sentencing and character witness portion is there to tell the judge why a sentence should be high or low, right?  I just don't see the point in discussing the victim for a defendant's benefit.  

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4 minutes ago, kicker said:

I didn't get that impression from the letter.  So many of you seem to think that the father should somehow apologize for his son's crimes.  I don't see that. The sentencing and character witness portion is there to tell the judge why a sentence should be high or low, right?  I just don't see the point in discussing the victim for a defendant's benefit.  

If it looks like his father cares more about his son getting punished for raping someone than the fact that his son actually raped someone, then it raises the question of whether or not the son was ever taught by his father why rape is a crime. That's counterproductive when the father argues that his son should be put on probation for rape because "he's already suffered enough." It makes it look like the son was raised to think he's entitled to whatever he doesn't get caught doing and he only feels bad because he's being punished.

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Within the American Justice system, if you are of brown skin, then you're guilty until proven innocent.

If found guilty, the punishment will be the maximum or twice as harsh.

If you're proven innocent, the stigma is still upon you that you must have did something to have been arrested and/or tried.

And even if you've NEVER committed a crime in your life, then you're always still under the assumption or the suspicion to commit a crime. (*see racial profiling)

And now only six months given for taking a woman's humanity? Man, white privilege is something to behold.

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7 hours ago, Statick said:

Within the American Justice system, if you are of brown skin, then you're guilty until proven innocent.

If found guilty, the punishment will be the maximum or twice as harsh.

If you're proven innocent, the stigma is still upon you that you must have did something to have been arrested and/or tried.

And even if you've NEVER committed a crime in your life, then you're always still under the assumption or the suspicion to commit a crime. (*see racial profiling)

And now only six months given for taking a woman's humanity? Man, white privilege is something to behold.

I feel this is more green privilege. If this were a poor white guy hed be maxxed sentenced. 

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19 hours ago, Statick said:

Within the American Justice system, if you are of brown skin, then you're guilty until proven innocent.

If found guilty, the punishment will be the maximum or twice as harsh.

If you're proven innocent, the stigma is still upon you that you must have did something to have been arrested and/or tried.

And even if you've NEVER committed a crime in your life, then you're always still under the assumption or the suspicion to commit a crime. (*see racial profiling)

And now only six months given for taking a woman's humanity? Man, white privilege is something to behold.

And then there's OJ...:D

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The judge pitied him because he raped someone and now he's being treated like a criminal. It's probably fair to say the judge identified with him as more than just a white person or a person with money. He probably identified with him as a misogynist more than anything.

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8 hours ago, Serge said:

The judge pitied him because he raped someone and now he's being treated like a criminal. It's probably fair to say the judge identified with him as more than just a white person or a person with money. He probably identified with him as a misogynist more than anything.

Thank god the young grad student was there to save her.   

 

A graduate student who tackled the Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting a woman outside a frat party shared disturbing details about that January night.

“She was unconscious. The entire time,” Swedish student Carl-Frederik Arndt told CBS. “I checked her and she didn’t move at all. The guy stood up then we saw she wasn’t moving still.”

“We stopped and thought, “This is very strange,” he told Swedish outlet Expressen.

Arndt was riding his bike with a pal, Lars Peter Jonsson, when he saw Brock Turner “aggressively thrusting his hips into her,” he said in a statement to police following the Jan. 18, 2015 sexual assault.

“We called him out on it and the guy ran away. My friend, Peter, chased after him,” Arndt told CBS.

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9 hours ago, capologist said:

And then there's OJ...:D

Add Greg Hardy to the list. Found guilty of assaulting a woman, sentenced to a suspended 60-day jail term and 18 months probation- just a slap on the wrist. Obviously he appealed and she was a no-show. The "white privilege" that Statick mentioned should be known as "green privilege" since thats all that matters to Lady Liberty's purse. But if Hardy was broke and had an ounce of weed, he would be gone for two years.

There's NO DOUBT that black folks get harsher sentences. But I think the reason why is not because of racism from judges (not saying that doesn't exist), but because of the out of control black on black violence. They think the more black people they put in prison for long sentences, the safer the streets will be. It's a failed philosophy. I've seen white and black judges hand down harsh sentences to black folks.  

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2 minutes ago, SpongeDad said:

Add Greg Hardy to the list. Found guilty of assaulting a woman, sentenced to a suspended 60-day jail term and 18 months probation- just a slap on the wrist. Obviously he appealed and she was a no-show. The "white privilege" that Statick mentioned should be known as "green privilege" since thats all that matters to Lady Liberty's purse. But if Hardy was broke and had an ounce of weed, he would be gone for two years.

There's NO DOUBT that black folks get harsher sentences. But I think the reason why is not because of racism from judges (not saying that doesn't exist), but because of the out of control black on black violence. They think the more black people they put in prison for long sentences, the safer the streets will be. It's a failed philosophy. I've seen white and black judges hand down harsh sentences to black folks.  

I'm thinking it's more about those who have money get the breaks and those that don't, don't...

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It does seem pretty unlikely that a black guy caught in that situation would get just a tiny fraction of the maximum possible sentence because the judge was worried what prison would do to him, especially if he tried to tell the judge that peer pressure made him do it.

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I mean, seriously, he blamed peer pressure and binge drinking for him raping an unconscious person. The only way that doesn't come off as avoiding responsibility by making himself out to be the victim is if the judge bought that ********, which means the judge really must identify with him. Being white probably helped, although, again, you have to hate women on some level to think an unconscious woman is being ambiguous about giving consent and "college life" presents a double standard in encouraging partying but discouraging rape.

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On 6/10/2016 at 0:42 PM, Serge said:

I mean, seriously, he blamed peer pressure and binge drinking for him raping an unconscious person. The only way that doesn't come off as avoiding responsibility by making himself out to be the victim is if the judge bought that ********, which means the judge really must identify with him. Being white probably helped, although, again, you have to hate women on some level to think an unconscious woman is being ambiguous about giving consent and "college life" presents a double standard in encouraging partying but discouraging rape.

Only thing I can come up with is financial influence.  Just no reason to go that lightly with the sentence...

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