Ten years after wrongful conviction, former high-school football star signs with Falcons

posted at 8:41 pm on April 4, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

I feel like this story might be slightly treacherous in the wake of the Steubenville case because the roles are reversed, but it shouldn’t be. A victim is a victim, and in this case, the football player ended up being a victim of his accuser and the justice system. His accuser hurt not only Brian Banks, but real victims of rape. Banks is getting a second chance at an NFL career after five years in prison and five years on probation. Unfortunately, that’s more than many wrongfully convicted people get after emerging from the system.

Brian Banks was wrongly accused of rape at age 16, when he was a star high school football player with a verbal commitment to USC and the possibility of a professional career. After his five years in prison, Banks’ accuser admitted she lied and he was able to get his conviction overturned, with help from the California Innocence Project.

Banks said he read every book he could find while in prison and also learned to value every opportunity.

“It’s almost impossible to explain, the feeling of not having freedom, to be stripped away of your freedom, of your dignity, the respect you once had,” he said. “To lose it all and watch the world pass you by as you sit inside a prison cell, knowing you shouldn’t be there, knowing you’re there because of another person’s lies, to lose it all and then get it all back, it’s a very humbling, spiritual feeling that you just don’t want to take anything for granted.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see both sides of the human spirit. … My journey has been crazy but my journey has been a learning experience that is unlike any other.”

He will get a shot at the Falcons roster at age 27.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Banks will be given an opportunity to win a spot on the team at inside linebacker. He met with Falcons coach Mike Smith at the team’s facility Wednesday.

“I had a really amazing one-on-one conversation with him,” Banks said. “He congratulated me and said he was happy for me to be here but this was just the beginning of a long road to making that next step and making that 53-man roster. We both agreed that I don’t expect any handouts or any favoritism. I’m here to work like everybody else and the result of my hard work will be whatever they deem necessary.

“All I can do is my best and however the turnout will be, I thank God for the opportunity.”

Banks will participate in Atlanta’s offseason workouts, which begin on April 22.

His accuser, who had gotten a $750,000 settlement after the case, showed up in Banks’ life again while he was on probation, sending him a Facebook message:

Out of the blue, Gibson, then 24, sent Banks a Facebook friend request.

Banks slammed the laptop cover down and jumped out of his chair. Was somebody playing a joke on him?

He looked again. Amazing. Gibson had typed, “Let’s let bygones be bygones.”

Easy for her to say. She didn’t watch 10 years of her life go by.

“She was adamant about meeting me,” Banks says. “I asked my brother [Freddy], ‘What should I do?’ He said, ‘Whatever you do, make sure you play chess, not checkers.’”

Banks’ first move: To get everything she said on tape. He hired a private investigator and met Gibson in the man’s office, where every conversation was secretly videotaped. The tape recorded Gibson saying, clearly, “No, he did not rape me.”

Was he nervous she wouldn’t say it?

“I didn’t have to get her to say anything,” Banks said. “She came into the room expressing herself. She even came back the next day. The investigator asked her again, point blank. ‘Did Brian rape you?’ ‘No.’ ‘Did he kidnap you?’ ‘No.’”

In a world where CNN bemoans the lost bright futures of convicted Steubenville rapists caught on tape, and all media seems to disproportionately laud any major football star who shows a hint of rehabilitation after a crime—Michael Vick, Ray Lewis—I figure it’s worth highlighting a redemption story about a guy who was innocent of any crime. I wish him the best at camp.


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Go Falcons!

Donald Draper on April 4, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Unreal. No way to replace the time he lost in his life.

God can make something good out of it though – like Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Kudos to the Falcons for giving him a shot.

MikeknaJ on April 4, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Makes you wonder if they should go to trial for something if the only evidence a crime took place is the word of the alleged victim.

philoquin on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Why isn’t that girl in prison now? You can’t ruin someone’s life like that and get off scott-free. That should be a felony.

MikeknaJ on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Good Luck to Mr. Banks.

CW on April 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

His accuser, who had gotten a $750,000 settlement after the case,

Who payed that, and can they get it back?

Count to 10 on April 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

MikeknaJ on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Tawana Brawley, Crystal Mangum…

But man, after the run of bad luck the guy had…

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Pro football at 27? Good luck dude.

Bishop on April 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

What did Gibson get? A $750,000 settlement from the school.

So, the taxpayers got bilked. Again.

Count to 10 on April 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM

In a world where CNN bemoans the lost bright futures of convicted Steubenville rapists caught on tape

Except that the 2 boys in the Steubenville case did not rape anyone.

One of them, the one who was punished more severely, made out with and fingered the girl in the back seat of a car as they were bring driven to the next party. The witness who testified said that she was conscious and able to talk. There was no evidence that what he did with her was non-consensual. This was implied because she was said to be drunk at the time, but there was no evidence showing that she was too drunk to consent at that time (she was obviously too drunk to consent later, at the second party).

Later on, the second boy stuck his finger in her while she was passed out on the floor, while numerous people gawked and took pictures/video, which they soon posted online. Yes, this second boy was guilty of a minor sexual assault, minor because the penetration was only with his finger and was brief. If you really want to look at sexual assault cases, this is about as low as it gets in terms of severity. It is still a crime and he should have been punished. Lifetime sex offender though? no.

The people who got off scott free are all the malicious people who recorded it for laughs and then posted it publicly. They were threatened with child porn charges unless they agreed to testify for the prosecution. It was shameful that the prosecution gave them all deals when what they did to the girl was far far worse (widespread public humiliation) than what the actual defendants did.

kaltes on April 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Pro football at 27? Good luck dude.

Bishop on April 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

On the plus side, he hasn’t had all of those years of injuries.

Count to 10 on April 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

If Vick can still play, it’s more than fitting that this guy should.

platypus on April 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

I doubt they will, but were I the School District I’d sue for the money; and since it was paid for, no doubt, by the district’s liability policy; I’d see about insurance fraud charges, too.

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

If Vick can still play, it’s more than fitting that this guy should.

platypus on April 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Huh? Why even compare the two.

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 8:54 PM

I totally get flamed every time I bring up the fact that yes sometimes women do lie in rape cases.

earlgrey133 on April 4, 2013 at 8:54 PM

kaltes on April 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Played football did you?

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 8:55 PM

His accuser, who had gotten a $750,000 settlement after the case,

Who payed that, and can they get it back?

Count to 10 on April 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Good question.

Not to sound trite, but many of us live in a kind of psychological prison, ways of thinking and seeing, that we sometimes break free of at times of loss, moments of compassion, or just an insight that the way we’ve thought of things is just wrong. There are other prisons.

Anyway, he’s out of at least one prison, and I’m glad.

Paul-Cincy on April 4, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Huh? Why even compare the two.

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Don’t be dense – it doesn’t become you. Because it’s football, a place where all sorts of bad behavior is tolerated just because the bad boys can play the game. Now we have a guy who was never bad so it is perfectly appropriate to hold him up as an example to the sleazeballs. Maybe they will feel a little shame about what they got away with doing.

Got it?

platypus on April 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

kaltes on April 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Minor?

What? you think the girl was asking for it?

If you get something shoved up your hole, will you consider it minor?

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

platypus on April 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Got it. You think a wrongfully accused innocent man is the same as a guilty one.

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Wanetta sounds like a kook, BTW. I really pity any of the people she’s dealt with over the last 10 years.

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I totally get flamed every time I bring up the fact that yes sometimes women do lie in rape cases.

earlgrey133 on April 4, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Really? Maybe it’s because this is GayAir, and everybody knows the rainbow people are the cat’s meow. They would never do such a thing so you are a heretic.

Or something like that.

/

platypus on April 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Got it. You think a wrongfully accused innocent man is the same as a guilty one.

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 9:00 PM

You’re in favor of fruiters getting special rights, aren’t you?

I knew it.

platypus on April 4, 2013 at 9:02 PM

The 2 pictures at the top of the page are of 2 men. One who should never have been in prison and the other one of a man that should be there for the next 20 but will never be there.

VegasRick on April 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Bishop how old is Brandon Weeden?

CW on April 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Wanetta sounds like a kook, BTW. I really pity any of the people she’s dealt with over the last 10 years.

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

After reading about her facebook friend request, I thought the exact same thing.

Paul-Cincy on April 4, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Apparently some folks believe they have editorial control of HA; when the only thing they have control of is the On/Off button.

If the site is too ghey, don’t bother sticking around….

I quit going to QandO because the anarcho-capitalists got tiresome. I I quit going to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler because I got tired of wiping Emperor Mischa’s spittle from my CRT.

I haven’t a clue if those sites still prosper or even exist….

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 9:09 PM

I will be rooting for him.

KCB on April 4, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Wanetta Gibson should spend 5 years in prison. What an evil person.

mbs on April 4, 2013 at 9:12 PM

A dated story. I confessed I watched 60 Mins 2 weeks ago when Banks was featured. He actually tried out last season with Seattle and was cut by Pete Carroll, who had recruited him to USC when he was the coach there…

Hey, a football story still beats the gay, illegal, gun-toting zombie story!

hillsoftx on April 4, 2013 at 9:13 PM

To continue of Wanetta, is she such a psychopath, so narcissistic that she had absolutely NO clue about the damage she had wrought in another human’s life?

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Hey, a football story still beats the gay, illegal, gun-toting zombie story!

WHOA-UP here, now….there are zombies toting guns? That could be more than a little problematic.

JFKY on April 4, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Should she not see equal time in prison? I mean really, she took away a good chunk of his life. She can’t be allowed to walk free.

Dongemaharu on April 4, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Ray Lewis? Redemption?

wte9 on April 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Allahpundit,
To equate the misdeeds Michael Vick with the alleged misdeeds Ray Lewis is a contemptible bit of emotionally driven smearing. To equate the life of a dog with that of a human is itself contemptible. It’s the sort of thinking that is prevalent in this country now, and it’s the sort of thinking that has brought us to dwell in this entitlement and gay marriage endorsing society.

M240H on April 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Good luck to him. I hope he makes the team.

gophergirl on April 4, 2013 at 9:24 PM

I Love Mary Katherine Ham – and she is always right.

Good Luck, champ!

williamg on April 4, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Why isn’t that girl in prison now? You can’t ruin someone’s life like that and get off scott-free. That should be a felony.
MikeknaJ on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I agree; why isn’t she in jail?

RedSoxNation on April 4, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Pro football at 27? Good luck dude.

Bishop on April 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Look at Staubach. He served his commission in the Navy (including a year in Viet Nam) before joining the Cowboys as a rookie in 1969 at the age of 27.

dddave on April 4, 2013 at 9:29 PM

May he have much success and joy in the future. He deserves both.

Resist We Much on April 4, 2013 at 9:34 PM

“She was put up to this by her mother; (Wanetta) was only a teenager at the time,” said attorney Alissa Bjerkhoel of the California Innocence Project.

The neighbor said, “Wanetta wasn’t bright enough to think that up.”

Despite the settlement, the pair continued to live in a squalid apartment complex in a neighborhood where bars on the windows and metal security doors are commonplace. Weeds substitute for front lawns.

Today, after frittering away their money, the women move from one place to another, always a step ahead of debt collectors slapping them with liens, public records show. Rhodes has a lengthy rap sheet, including assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, drug offenses and stalking.


Binders
of women, indeed.

Gibson has never married but has two children by different men, the neighbors said. Although now 26, she still lives with her mother, who has a stranglehold over her life.

Jeff2161 on April 4, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Allahpundit,
To equate the misdeeds Michael Vick with the alleged misdeeds Ray Lewis is a contemptible bit of emotionally driven smearing. To equate the life of a dog with that of a human is itself contemptible. It’s the sort of thinking that is prevalent in this country now, and it’s the sort of thinking that has brought us to dwell in this entitlement and gay marriage endorsing society.

M240H on April 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

A) It’s Mary Katharine. B) Oh, wah. Both men were convicted of crimes (Lewis’ conviction was not for murder), and I was comparing media treatment of them.

Mary Katharine Ham on April 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Look at Staubach. He served his commission in the Navy (including a year in Viet Nam) before joining the Cowboys as a rookie in 1969 at the age of 27.

dddave on April 4, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Staubach also started at Navy for three years. This poor guy is 27 and has not played a down of competitive football since he was in high school.

I will definitely be pulling for him though.

Captain Kirock on April 4, 2013 at 9:54 PM

A) It’s Mary Katharine. B) Oh, wah. Both men were convicted of crimes (Lewis’ conviction was not for murder), and I was comparing media treatment of them.

Mary Katharine Ham on April 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Snap!

Ray Lewis never killed anyone. I’m not making any excuses for him, but if I remember correctly Lewis was charged as an accessory after the fact and with providing false information to a peace officer. Part of Lewis’ plea was that he had to testify against the actual murderer.

Captain Kirock on April 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on April 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Any word on punishment of the false accuser?

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2013 at 9:59 PM

a stranglehold

Jeff2161 on April 4, 2013 at 9:35 PM

They should both go to prison.

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Why isn’t that girl in prison now? You can’t ruin someone’s life like that and get off scott-free. That should be a felony.

MikeknaJ on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Perjury is a crime. These are the kind of facts the charge of perjury was designed to prosecute. I don’t care if her mother, her brother, her whole family put her up to it. Do the crime, do the time.

JustTruth101 on April 4, 2013 at 10:04 PM

They should both go to prison.

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2013 at 10:02 PM

That’s a good point, conspiracy is also a crime.

JustTruth101 on April 4, 2013 at 10:05 PM

This is why I can’t stand the rape debate.

Say a single thing about extenuating circumstances, and you’re a sexist woman-hating victim blamer who is probably a secret rapist.

But how many women speak out against liars like Gibson, liars who ruin people’s entire lives just for kicks?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

M240H on April 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

The only job Michael Vick should be allowed to hold is janitor in an animal shelter. You can judge a man’s feelings toward humans by how he treats people. Actually-I’d like to see Michael Vick ripped-up by Pittbulls. THAT would be justice.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Support these innocence projects around the country and abroad. I can think of few things worse than being wrongly convicted for something like this. I think the most amazing and humbling thing to see is when these guys get and forgive their accusers. They are bigger than I think I could be about being in prison for twenty years or twenty days.

lexhamfox on April 4, 2013 at 10:11 PM

But how many women speak out against liars like Gibson, liars who ruin people’s entire lives just for kicks?

Good Solid B-Plus on April 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

And cash too. The accuser got $750,000 of taxpayers’ money from Long Beach Unified School District because the alleged rape occurred while the kids were supposed to be in school.

I believe the school district has already said they will not pursue the matter any further and the LA County DA has already said he will bring no charges against the accused.

Captain Kirock on April 4, 2013 at 10:13 PM

MikeknaJ on April 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

+1

Plus, she should give him the money and then some.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2013 at 10:24 PM

The guy’s got more class than all the so-called black leadership of the African American community combined.

HiJack on April 4, 2013 at 10:24 PM

I believe the school district has already said they will not pursue the matter any further and the LA County DA has already said he will bring no charges against the accused.

Captain Kirock on April 4, 2013 at 10:13 PM

The dynamic duo have already blown through all the cash, so there’s no point pursuing them civilly. But they absolutely should both be tried criminally.

JustTruth101 on April 4, 2013 at 10:24 PM

There is no comparison between this case and Steubenville. The Stubenville kids can’t claim that they were unfairly accused when they took video of the stunt.

I hope he gets every dime out of the woman who falsely accused him as he can — and one hopes that the school district has another $750,000 sitting around — for what is good for the goose is certainly good for the gander.

As for those defending the Steubenville kids, remember — the girl was 16 years old and had no legal ability to consent to anything — much less what they did to her on camera. Their defense of “she didn’t say no” was priceless for its obtuseness and in your face “yes we did and it’s totally legal” reasoning.

unclesmrgol on April 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Minor?

What? you think the girl was asking for it?

If you get something shoved up your hole, will you consider it minor?

cozmo on April 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Yes, I would think a finger would be minor compared to the other possibilities, like foreign objects and penises. A sexual assault could be a single brief contact, or it could be a brutal prolonged one. This is at the bottom of the scale as far as the severity of the assault goes.

kaltes on April 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM

I wish this young man all the luck in the world. He has such grace when he speaks of his experience.
He is owed big time. I pray for him to have great success.
The witch who accused him should be in jail and made to give back every dime she got from the district.
Mr Banks only wanted to go on with his life and I thank the Falcons for giving him the chance.

All the best
This is a great story.

Delsa on April 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

As for those defending the Steubenville kids, remember — the girl was 16 years old and had no legal ability to consent to anything — much less what they did to her on camera. Their defense of “she didn’t say no” was priceless for its obtuseness and in your face “yes we did and it’s totally legal” reasoning.

unclesmrgol on April 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Actually the age of consent in Ohio is 16, so she was legal.

People under 18 have the legal ability to consent. Statutory rape laws are not based on the lack of consent, they make consensual activity illegal. The law recognizes in all 50 states that having sex with a minor who is unconscious is more severe than having sex with one who is conscious and consenting, therefore the law always recognizes that a minor can consent. However, the law makes it a crime despite this consent.

kaltes on April 4, 2013 at 11:35 PM

A) It’s Mary Katharine. B) Oh, wah. Both men were convicted of crimes (Lewis’ conviction was not for murder), and I was comparing media treatment of them.

Mary Katharine Ham on April 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

A) Please accept my apologies for the misattribution B) No apologies for objectong to your pairing of the men together; I stand by my assertion, “wah” yourself

M240H on April 4, 2013 at 11:36 PM

The people who got off scott free are all the malicious people who recorded it for laughs and then posted it publicly. They were threatened with child porn charges unless they agreed to testify for the prosecution. It was shameful that the prosecution gave them all deals when what they did to the girl was far far worse (widespread public humiliation) than what the actual defendants did.

kaltes on April 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Unbelievable that such an attitude as yours persists. I hope those young men who WERE convicted spend a LOT of time in jail, and have to live as registered sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

They had the benefit of trial, and of counsel. No one forced them to act as they did.

TKindred on April 4, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Support these innocence projects around the country and abroad. I can think of few things worse than being wrongly convicted for something like this.

lexhamfox on April 4, 2013 at 10:11 PM

How about being executed for a crime you didn’t commit? Even more reason to support the Innocence Project.
http://www.innocenceproject.org/about/

cam2 on April 4, 2013 at 11:44 PM

How about being executed for a crime you didn’t commit? Even more reason to support the Innocence Project.
http://www.innocenceproject.org/about/

cam2 on April 4, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Hoe about the fact that Barry OJ Scheck only wants to use DNA evidence to get someone off but not convict? Kind of a problem I think.

arnold ziffel on April 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

The fun of sexual blackmail.

Steeler RB Jerome Bettis was a target but the accuser messed up. This was in 2002 or so.

Some people love to turn themselves or even kids into victims and law enforcement loves the salacious.

You can go after a casual date, someone you have know for some time or a husband with a prenuptial you can’t live with. You can even target several guys!

Screaming rape or assault, stalking or even invasion of privacy is such a great way to make money or get flying monkeys after guys a gal doesn’t like that I am waiting for an infomercial or book on the topic. You get a host of helpers with badges all of whom operate on cost plus and report to nobody.

They should cover this subject for boys as part of sex ed in high school. The best part is the fact that he media ignores all the abuse of the system.

Here is a tiny sample:

http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/economic-harassment-of-men/

IlikedAUH2O on April 5, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Crystal Mangum pretty much got away with almost Nifonging the Duke Lacrosse Team until she whacked her boyfriend. Meanwhile Zimmerman faces a strong possibility of being Angela Coreyed for Saint Trayvon. It makes one wonder how many purely political targets are doing time because JustUs frequently has an ulterior agenda.

viking01 on April 5, 2013 at 1:25 AM

When did Ray Lewis ever show a hint of rehabilitation?

If anything he got more cocky and self-serving after scooting away from the double murder he witnessed and refused to talk about, leaving two families scratching their heads as to who murdered their sons on Super Sunday in Lewis’ presence and why he would not help id the killers.

the way the NFL always glorified Lewis was nauseating & disgraceful, and now that he’s retired the hosannas will only grow louder and more sycophantic as he will be the hottest “get” on pregame/analysis shows across the NFL network of shows from now until the next double murder he witnesses and refuses to talk about.

I for one will change the channel every time i see him.

Sacramento on April 5, 2013 at 1:59 AM

Here is one very important consideration why any type of punishment for voluntary recanters ought to be seriously examined:

If voluntary recanters know there will be harsh punishment for telling the truth, they will be less inclined to tell the truth.

Put another way, it is more important to have the falsely accused exonerated, than to have the false accuser punished.

This applies only to false accusers who come forward voluntarily and knowingly.

Not an easy question, but if a recanter does come forward, their own consciences probably have inflicted a lot of punishment already.

Moonzoo on April 5, 2013 at 6:34 AM

No apologies for objectong to your pairing of the men together; I stand by my assertion, “wah” yourself

M240H on April 4, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Lighten up.

Talking about two things is not saying those two things are exactly the same. This is the same kind of hysterical reaction as the SSM advocates getting their panties in a bunch whenever anyone points out that the arguments they’re advancing also apply to polygamy, and many of them apply to pedophilia. They say “you’re equating homosexuality with polygamy and pedophilia!”, which clearly is not what’s being done.

It’s called “compare and contrast” for a reason.

The Monster on April 5, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Yep, she should have whatever money from the settlement taken back and spend the exact amount of days in jail that he had to endure. I hope he makes the team. He seems to be trying to make the most of a horrid situation. Kudos to him.

Minnfidel on April 5, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Lighten up.

Talking about two things is not saying those two things are exactly the same. This is the same kind of hysterical reaction as the SSM advocates getting their panties in a bunch whenever anyone points out that the arguments they’re advancing also apply to polygamy, and many of them apply to pedophilia. They say “you’re equating homosexuality with polygamy and pedophilia!”, which clearly is not what’s being done.

It’s called “compare and contrast” for a reason.

The Monster on April 5, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I’m not “reacting hysterically”. This is-

…Actually-I’d like to see Michael Vick ripped-up by Pittbulls. THAT would be justice.

-which appears elsewhere in the thread.

What Vick did is despicable, but it is nowhere near murder. Yet every time his name is mentioned, someone suggests that he be murdered in some gruesome fashion. That is wrong, and that’s why I objected to the author’s pairing of Vick with a man very much “near murder”.

M240H on April 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM

When did Ray Lewis ever show a hint of rehabilitation?

If anything he got more cocky and self-serving after scooting away from the double murder he witnessed and refused to talk about, leaving two families scratching their heads as to who murdered their sons on Super Sunday in Lewis’ presence and why he would not help id the killers.

the way the NFL always glorified Lewis was nauseating & disgraceful, and now that he’s retired the hosannas will only grow louder and more sycophantic as he will be the hottest “get” on pregame/analysis shows across the NFL network of shows from now until the next double murder he witnesses and refuses to talk about.

I for one will change the channel every time i see him.

Sacramento on April 5, 2013 at 1:59 AM

I believe he was more than simply a witness. More like an accomplice during the act.

slickwillie2001 on April 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM

I heard this guy’s story on 20/20 or some other show. I’m so happy that he’s getting his second chance.

Ryan Anthony on April 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Unbelievable that such an attitude as yours persists. I hope those young men who WERE convicted spend a LOT of time in jail, and have to live as registered sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

They had the benefit of trial, and of counsel. No one forced them to act as they did.

TKindred on April 4, 2013 at 11:39 PM

They did not have the right to a JURY trial because they were minors. Their case was decided solely by a judge, who faced enormous outside pressure to be harsh with them given the lies being spread about the case online.

A conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that the girl was so intoxicated that she was unconscious or effectively so. She claimed she had no memory of the events, which doesn’t help the prosecution. So all the prosecution had left was a bunch of kids who wouldn’t cooperate. So what does the prosecution do? It takes the kids who took pictures and video of the girl topless, and threatens to charge them with the creation of child pornography, which can get you 30 years in federal prison, unless these kids testified for the prosecution.

So in other words, the DA says, tell us what we want to hear or we will throw you in jail for a very long time and make you sex offenders for life. So what are the kids going to do? Of course they are going to say whatever the DA wants them to say. On top of that, those kids blatantly lie under oath and claim that they were taking pics of the naked girl to document the crime out of concern for the girl, when the truth is they had turned around and posted it online and sent it around to their friends. The prosecution encouraged these blatant lies to make themselves look good, as if they weren’t actually letting wrongdoers off he hook. uh huh

kaltes on April 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

The false accuser AND the prosecutor should go to jail. Mandatory sentencing should be banned. Prosecutors use it as a club against the poor and uneducated.

Everyone ignores the prosecutor’s role in this.

I personally know of a friend’s child (15 years old) who was accused of a sex crime and the prosecutor went after him full bore and offered up a take-or-leave-it deal where the kid had to decide on in 30 minutes, like Banks, with only an incompetent public defender there to assist him with the decision. His deal was lifetime label as a sexual predator and 2 years hard time in the worst prison in our state’s system without the possibility of parole or go to trial and be convicted of the crime and serve a mandatory 20 years. The kid, small, unsophisticated, shy, and probably barely sexually mature, was the victim of a girl who was basically a tramp who had no parental supervision. The girl’s mom wanted to tap into the state’s victim fund for 10s of thousands of dollars. The boy had no choice but to agree to the 2 year sentence. The judge, thank God, saw the situation for what it was and threw out the agreement and gave the kid probation. The kid was an honor student and held down two part time jobs to support his family.

The prosecutor should have been fired. The boy is now in college, still working hard, and is well thought of in the community. If the judge hadn’t stepped in he would have been one year out of prison now, probably a career criminal.

Our judicial system is against the poor and the uneducated. Prosecutors can be a evil bunch of people. This type of stuff happens every day in America.

MadJayhawk on April 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Delsa on April 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

THIS!

RedInMD on April 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM

MadJayhawk on April 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Yeah, uhh, I find that hard to believe. There is no way a minor is facing 20 years even is he is accused of rape.

Not only that, but no judge is going to throw out a deal like that, unless he asks the defendant at the hearing to enter the plea and the defendant flat out says “no, I’m not guilty and I don’t understand the terms of the deal”. Judges cant step in when they think a deal is too harsh. Their role in that situation is purely a matter of due process.

Yes I agree that prosecutors are a major part of the problem, unlike police who bear the brunt of the public’s hatred of the system, prosecutors can act like tyrants and they never get attacked for it, but let’s not tell outlandish stories.

kaltes on April 5, 2013 at 9:29 PM