Ex-top football prospect exonerated

Ex-top football prospect exonerated

There are 12 comments on the WLUK-TV Green Bay story from May 25, 2012, titled Ex-top football prospect exonerated. In it, WLUK-TV Green Bay reports that:

First he cried. Then Brian Banks - exonerated of a rape conviction that cost him five years in prison - walked outside the courthouse and seized the moment of freedom he had dreamed of for so long.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WLUK-TV Green Bay.

Joey Sanchez

AOL

#1 May 25, 2012
Did they immediately arrest the vile woman who told the dispicable LIE about this young man?
Contrarian

United States

#2 May 26, 2012
Sorry, I am not buying into this guy's story. The jails and prisons are full of people who accepted plea deals -- that means maybe they're guilty, maybe they're not guilty, but they agree to a shorter sentence to avoid the risk of a longer terms. That's exactly what happened here: he got a modest five years. It's complete baloney that he's blaming his lawyer for pressuring him into the plea -- if he lacks mental toughness he doesn't deserve to pay college ball, and he certainly is not NFL material.

I think the girl was telling the truth back then. Four sets of lawyers evaluated her claim (the prosecutor and defense in the criminal case, and her lawyer and the school's lawyers in the civil case) and they determined she was credible. Believe me, the school district lawyers don't recommend writing a check for over a million dollars unless the case against them is very strong. Look at how vigorously LBUSD and the city fought the Melody Ross civil case.

Besides if the girl was under 18 at the time of the incident, isn't it a crime to have sex with her even if she enthusiastically agrees to it?

Finally, I'm surprised the judge undid the sentence. Judgments are supposed to be final; that certainty is one of the hallmarks of the American justice system. If a convicted criminal believes there is new evidence that establishes that he is not guilty, there are limited ways to present that claim. But a superior court judge shouldn't simply vacate a sentence, especially if it was imposed by another judge.
Contrarian

United States

#3 May 26, 2012
Another troubling thing about this young man: he says he's spent the last several years working out six days a week so he can play football. That tells me that he has a very exaggerated sense of entitlement. Poly has produced many, many fantastic football players, but very few of them have gone on to the NFL. This man is being completely unrealistic if he is hanging his hat on a pro ball career, and so are the relatives and lawyers who are encouraging him.

If the man really wants to move forward with his life, he should forget football and instead develop his brainpower so he can help other people. Perhaps he has a good career as an advisor to troubled youth, or a teacher or lawyer if his record is sufficiently cleared.
bonnie b

AOL

#4 May 26, 2012
Will the lying woman be forced to pay back the million plus bonanza she extorted from the pathetic tax slaves?
Contrarian

United States

#5 May 26, 2012
He had sexual contact with a tenth grade girl -- how does that make him "innocent"?

The girl made a statement to an investigator that he illegally taped without her consent, he's the one who needs to be prosecuted and sent to prison. He can share a cell with Anthony Pellicano.

The girl has not "recanted" anything to prosecutors, nor has she purported to recant under oath and subject to cross-examination. No basis to seek to get the money back from her. Look at her settlement agreement with the school district. It almost certainly has a Civil Code section 1542 waiver: if the parties later discover new or different facts, they can't undo the settlement.

The judge opened a massive can of worms by setting aside the plea bargain. What a horrible idea.
Contrarian

United States

#6 May 26, 2012
To avoid problems like this in the future, perhaps plea bargaining should be abolished. You're charged with a crime, you go to trial, the jury either finds you guilty or not guilty. That would discourage prosecutors from "overcharging" a crime.
Contrarian

United States

#7 May 26, 2012
There's nothing special about this man. A very high percentage of people in prison will tell you they're "innocent" or "they were in the wrong place at the wrong time." Lots of times key witnesses will for some reason recant their trial testimony years after the fact, as happened here. In death penalty cases, it's amazing how many witnesses back away from their prior statements -- it's one of the favored strategies for dragging out appeals and habeas proceedings for decades.
Ronald

Bellflower, CA

#8 May 26, 2012
Contrarian wrote:
There's nothing special about this man. A very high percentage of people in prison will tell you they're "innocent" or "they were in the wrong place at the wrong time." Lots of times key witnesses will for some reason recant their trial testimony years after the fact, as happened here. In death penalty cases, it's amazing how many witnesses back away from their prior statements -- it's one of the favored strategies for dragging out appeals and habeas proceedings for decades.
Contrarian.

I have often thought that many criminals develop a sincerely held belief in the truth of "the story" their high paid taxpayer funded defense lawyers cook up for them.

Ronald
John

United States

#9 May 26, 2012
Contrarian wrote:
Another troubling thing about this young man: he says he's spent the last several years working out six days a week so he can play football. That tells me that he has a very exaggerated sense of entitlement. Poly has produced many, many fantastic football players, but very few of them have gone on to the NFL. This man is being completely unrealistic if he is hanging his hat on a pro ball career, and so are the relatives and lawyers who are encouraging him.
If the man really wants to move forward with his life, he should forget football and instead develop his brainpower so he can help other people. Perhaps he has a good career as an advisor to troubled youth, or a teacher or lawyer if his record is sufficiently cleared.
Why would you want a guy who allegedly fingered, if not raped a sixteen year old girl while at school to be anywhere around "troubled youth"? When I was in high school, if you were a senior and fingered some sophomore back behind the bleachers, you'd be considered a predatory sleaze-bucket.
Fruitti

United States

#10 May 26, 2012
I love how his mom says, "I dint raise may boy to be dwin dat!"

Yeah? How about his dad? Did he raise him to do that? What? He has no dad? He effed you and left? Ah, I see. Silly swamp-running neegress.
Contrarian

United States

#11 May 26, 2012
@John, good point, I shoulda made a different suggestion for the man's future career plans.

@Fruitti, the man's father is around in some capacity -- mom, dad, and the man are all photographed together in the LAT.

The woman/victim has two little kids who are on welfare. Mom sure burned through her lawsuit booty fast!
Contrarian

United States

#12 May 26, 2012
@Ronald, excellent point. James Earl Ray, the man who pleaded guilty to killing MLK, spent the next three decades trying to convince people he was innocent. As you point out, over the years various lawyers and journalists suggested various "facts" to him, and after some point he probably sincerely believed he had nothing to do with the crime.

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