brian_banks

Dr. Boyce: If Someone’s Falsely Accused of Rape, All Liars Should be in Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, KultureKritic.com

There’s nothing like using Facebook to say “I’m sorry for sending you to prison after falsely accusing you of kidnap and rape.”

That’s what happened to Brian Banks, after his accuser friended him on Facebook hoping that he could “let bygones be bygones” on a false rape and kidnapping conviction back in 2002.

After reading this story, I was infuriated.  I was angry for Mr. Banks, who was in tears in the courtroom, reflecting on only God-knows-what happened to him after being sent to prison at a young age.  He was a football star on his way to play college sports at the highest level when the non-incident took place.  Wanetta Gibson (the accuser) ruined Brian’s life, and the system aided and abetted her in a quest to destroy this young man’s future.

Every perpetrator of this crime against justice deserves to be punished, starting with Banks’ accuser.  There is word that Wanetta is going to be asked to repay the $1.5 million she was paid by the school district for what she claimed to have happened to her, but her repayment should go far beyond money.  She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and deserves a prison sentence no less severe than the time that was going to be given to Mr. Banks when the state chose to believe that he was a rapist.

The second party to pay for what happened to Mr. Banks should be the attorney, judge and prosecutors who coerced him into taking a plea deal.  Mr. Banks was told that if he continued to hold on to his “illusion” of innocence and actually fight for his right to a fair trial, he could face up to 41 years.  This kind of threat is similar to what was done during the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition, where anyone who proclaimed their innocence was tortured until they admitted guilt.  This kind of coercive and unjust bargaining should be disallowed in the justice system altogether.

Finally, Mr. Banks deserves to be financially compensated.   No amount of money can make up for what he lost, but about $10 million dollars should help ease the pain at least a little bit.  There was no physical evidence whatsoever that Banks committed this rape, so there was no justification for any judge or prosecutor to consider sending him to prison. In that regard, those involved in the decision to destroy this young man’s life should be sent to the very same prison that they were willing to send an innocent human being.

The story of Brian Banks is, unfortunately quite common, particularly among young black males.   It has even happened in my own family and the scenario is usually the same:  Someone gets into trouble and can’t afford a good attorney.  The overworked public defender, without seriously considering the evidence, tries to get the defendant to take a plea deal.  Even if he is actually innocent and fights for his/her right to a fair trial, the defendant is then told that not succumbing to jail or prison time will result in a much harsher sentence.  The person doesn’t go to prison because they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; they are incarcerated because public officials are too lazy to actually carry out their commitment to pursuing justice.

As a result of this farcical form of justice being administered all throughout America, millions of black men can’t get jobs and black families have been destroyed to no end.  Politicians in Washington are asking black folks to march for gay marriage and immigration, but say almost nothing about the fact that our fathers, sons and brothers are being sent away to capitalist-funded modern day, concentration camps.  This is nothing short of a true holocaust, and the broken families, violence and devastation around us serve as evidence that the impact is both deep and permanent.

What’s saddest about the story of Brian Banks is that he was one of the lucky ones.   His accuser was silly enough to confess to her lie on record, and someone cared enough to investigate the situation further.  But for every Brian Banks that is exonerated, there are 1,000 other innocent citizens who sit behind bars, away from the people they love.   They were never given a fair trial and no one will ever take up their case.  These stories will never be told unless we demand that someone start telling them.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of the forthcoming book, “The RAPP Sheet: Rising Above Psychological Poison.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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  1. jackie townsend

    this is just another example of how the blk race is targeted by tehe criminal justice system….blacks can’t even work in that field witout being setup….i should kno it happened to me…and kno one would hear me….God bless this young man and may this be for the Glory of God in his life….amen..i really wish lady justice was blind….but some how she is peekin from behind that blind fold….

  2. Everyone seamed have no problem destroying this young man lets see how quick they are at making restitution. As for that young ‘lady’ (and I use the term loosely) some jail time seems to be in order!

  3. HEY LIKE EVERYBODY IS FEELING BRIAN BANKS I TO FEEL AND UNDERSTAND BUT I ALSO WAS ACCUSED OF RAPE BY MY WIFE BACK IN 1991 WENT TO PRISON ON A PLEA BARGIN 6 YEARS BUT IN THE PROCESS ON MY PLEA BARGIN I WAS NEVER REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER BUT THE COUNTY WHO GAVE ME THE PLEA BARGIN CAME AFTER ME TALKING ABOUT I HAVE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER SO BACK IN 2003 I LIONEL DUVAL CURTIS SR WAS FORCE TO TAKE ANOTHER PLEA BARGIN FOR FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER pc 290 AND FORCE TO WEAR A ANKEL DIVICE AND BANK IN 2009 AGAIN ACCUSED OF THE SAME CRIME BUT IN THE PROCESS OF DOING MY TIME I LOST MY MOTHER,FATHER,UNCLE WHILE BEING FALSELY ACCUSED

  4. Women should never accuse a man of rape when it’s not true. It’s hard enough for women who are actually raped. I do think she deserved some jail time and she needs to pay back the money. I bet she doesn’t have any left. Easy come easy go.

  5. Everyone who lies about being raped should automatically have to serve a prison sentence. As for the judge and prosecutor and attorneys they should loose their jobs automatically. our justice system is a mess, a big racist mess. The attorneys involved and the judge also should have to serve a prison sentence and never ever be allowed to work in the system again

  6. That bitch should go to prison!!! she makes it bad on REAL RAPE VICTIMS!!!!

  7. This can happen to anyone, no matter what their color, because of a lack of money. If you are poor, you don’t have the price of justice.

  8. Forgive her!

    It shows that we have lost our humanity senses.

    Wondering what the hell she was thinking.

    Please educate our people on the reality of prison!

    It is happening everyday to someone!

    I hope this young man can start an educational program about laws and the black man’s consequences whether you have money or not.

    We must educate, it is not a delicacy but an advocate for how we are falling into these traps outside and inside.

  9. Happened in our family , too. The boy was innocent and (NOT A JURY OF HIS PIERS) as stated by the judge lied to say he was guillty – no evidence of rape. Her story rape…his story, she put her hands down his pants. The lie-detector test by police said “yes”. The one given by our lawyer from the man who created the lie detector tests for the U.S. Armed Forces showed “NO”. I busted into the police cheif’s office in Montgomery County, MD when the police claimed they lost the girls test, which is why they arrested the boy. I said, Where is her test, the thing that you arrested the boy on…He responded, “WE LIED”. This is why I throw all court summons letters in the trash. SO I file the law for Black Men under “T” for trash! SO who you gonna call? Thank God for Attorney Billy Murphy. The family fire the court attorney and hired Mr. Murphy for the sentencing, who saved an innocent Black Kid’s Life.

  10. I don’t even want to read the whole article-I’m already mad.
    YES ALL FALSE ACCUSERS SHOULD BE PRISONED. What penalty do they pay for telling a doggone lie? An innocent person has gone to prison and “suffered” mentally, physically and spiritually for a crime they never committed and someone on the outside is saying OH- I am losing so much sleep and 10-15 years or “everwhat” want to FREE their selfish-mind and say, let me HELP this person NOW. Somebody get me a “razor strap”, I wanna whup not whip, but whup msomebody

  11. Thank you for writing so clearly about this horrible injustice. My family and I have learned that our broken system of criminal justice doesn’t limit itself to black people. My family and I are white and Asian. My son was falsely accused of assault. He took his case to trial in the same courthouse that Brian Banks was strong-armed in. We hired an attorney, spent over $10,000 on attorney fees, subpoenas, expert witness testimony, travel, and court costs only to have the trial sabotaged by the prosecutor. We were never even able to get to a verdict. My son was strong-armed into a plea bargain with only twenty minutes allowed to decide the rest of his life. He took the deal. Once the prosecutor has you in his sights, it seems that not even thousands of dollars can get you out. Forget about the facts. Forget about being innocent. Forget even about community service. The only thing that was going to satisfy the judge and prosecutor was a guilty plea and time in state prison. My son served in Afghanistan and held a friend in his arms while he bled to death from a gunshot wound. None of this matters. He’s going to prison where he will be treated like human garbage. Welcome to America.

  12. happening to me right now, systems broke, i am not taking pleas

  13. wanetta ugly gibson derserves a very long prison time, why in the hell isnt the proscecutor charging that ugly chick with liying? ohh thats right the prosecutor helped her lie to get a conviction.. lucky for wanda and that prosecutor,brian isnt related to me and i dont know him, because her ass would be hunted down… she should not be able to continue living free and happy, you lucky wanda,very lucky

  14. My son was 19 years old when he was accused of rape. He has

    been incarcerated for 8.5 years for this crime he did not commit.

    I need help for my son’s life. He has been stabbed, beaten and

    I do not know what to do to help him. I had evidence and people

    to prove that this crime did not happen. This girl lied and she

    know she lied and her mother knows she lied. My son listened

    to his lawyer to take an alfred plea and received a sentence of 18

    years. The judge told my son if he didn’t take the plea, that she

    would give him 20 to 40 years and my son was afraid and took

    the plea. If any of you out there can help us please please help

    my son.

  15. In Cleveland Juvenile Court, Alonda Monet Garth lied on my family member, she claimed she ‘feared for her life because he had a pager” a nd said she was drugged over 750 yards, 5 blocks, down Kinsman and 130th, at 4 PM, very busy street, even at 4AM and she said nobody was outside, passed 8 busstops, 2 schools, the public defender didn’t use any of the witnesses, didn’t know he had the rape kit results until at trial and we never got the results, had filed for an appeal but the paperwork was never filed, it took 2yrs for her to come to lie, continuing because brothers were sick, we found out about the judge’s decision through a probation officer about 2 weeks later, he had an alibi but the judge wouldn’t allow it, judge stopped the girl’s testimony when she started crying when the PD started asking her questions, the public defender died at age 51, 2 yrs ago, the girl is in a criminal justice school, family member is screwed over, still,

  16. I feel so sorry for this guy and reading each and every one of your stories I couldn’t help but be touched by them and I feel sorry that either you or your loved ones were taken away because of a false accusation…it is fowl!wrong!lives are ruined….life goes on but it like your whole life is locked up in a time zone for a crime that you did not commit….I feel they must have stronger laws.Rape is a terrible crime to happen to anybody!And it is also a horrible crime to be locked up and your life taken away for a crime that you did not commit.They need to have better laws and start locking these people up for false accusations!

  17. That’s a slippery slope. If you falsely accuse anybody of that crime and it’s found to be untrue you should face the consequences. However there will be people who are truly violated and will not come forward out of fear or maybe called a liar because of lack of evidence or not enough. People need to be honest, a r@pe accusation is no joke.

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