Brian Banks: The Case for Taking on Post Release Sex Offender Innocence Cases

Brian Banks had the world in his hands.  He was a star high school football player. Every major college program in the country wanted him to play for them.  There was already talk of an NFL career.  That all ended when he was falsely accused of rape.  His lawyer told him to plea bargain even though there was no physical evidence of the crime.  He was told that he might spend the rest of his life in prison even though the case was built on the shaky testimony of his alleged victim, a fellow high school student.

Brian took the deal and went to prison for several years.  His scholarship disappeared, his dreams disappeared, but when he got out of prison he was determined to get those dreams back.   Had he been convicted of any other crime, even a murder, he would have had an easier time, but convicted sex offenders are  in a class all their own.  The time is never served.  For the rest of his life he would be on sex offender lists, the government would need to know where he lived, and he would have trouble getting jobs or coping with the relationship issues that come with explaining to your girlfriend that you were convicted of rape, you plead, but you were actually innocent.

All innocence projects are overwhelmed with work.  Thus, as directors we must make tough decisions about what cases to take on.  In reviewing cases, priority is often determined based on the punishment the potentially innocent person is facing.  Death penalty cases have the highest priority.  Life cases are just behind them.  Cases with significant terms of years are third.  Most of us never get to the cases where a client has been released.  There are too few resources.  The cases take too much time and too much money.

Sex offender cases should be treated differently than other cases.  They are life sentences.  Brian’s case is a reminder of what gets taken away when someone is falsely accused of rape.  It is also a call for all projects to at least consider taking on these cases.

Brian Banks Website

12 responses to “Brian Banks: The Case for Taking on Post Release Sex Offender Innocence Cases

  1. Carole McCartney

    Justin, couldn’t agree more. One of our cases that has pained me the most that we didn’t get any relief on, was a dentist who was wrongly convicted of inappropriately touching 2 young patients. He ‘only’ served 4 months in prison (a result we believe of the judge not even believing that he’d been convicted on such evident lies) but his life is ruined. He is on the sex offenders register, has lost his practice and career, isn’t permitted to take his kids on holiday or be alone with children… has lost all his money and his wife now has to work two jobs because of their debts and he can’t get a job – who would employ a sex offender? his life is in tatters, and will remain so. Meanwhile, the two ‘victims’ received ample compensation… these cases deserve our efforts and I will always believe that.

  2. Thanks for pointing out how harmful the new laws on sexual offenders are. Many people convicted of sex crimes on the slightest of evidence or for relatively minor offenses are branded for life.

  3. Pingback: Brian Banks: The Case for Taking on Post Release Sex Offender Innocence Cases : The Brian Banks Story

  4. Pingback: Brian Banks: The Case for Taking on Post Release Sex Offender Innocence Cases : The Brian Banks Story

  5. FIRST, I want to say Thank you to Justin and his team in San Diego for taking on Brian Banks Case, & airing his story on CBS News.

    A sex-offender is a Preditor, one with ill thoughts and bad intentions, who needs monitoring, registering, living under strict laws for everyones sake and safety. A violent gang member or drug dealing thieve needs monitoring, registering, residency laws, but the number of “Sex offenders” in California is off the charts!

    What is wrong with this picture and why?
    In cases such as Brians, there is no need to be registered as a Sex offender, but once branded, almost impossible to clear up name?
    Please get Brian’s Story out more this month, as like I said, Californian’s REALLY NEED TO Hear it, and with his court date coming up, it’s even more important, as getting the Governor to sign off is not going to be easy,……for anyone……..untill people see what’s happening.
    Bill Clinton is doing something similiar and I would like to hear his view, but bottom line, Punishment and Payment for crime need to fit the bill.
    Thanks again to you and your team for taking Brian’s case,

    • Why This Is Important
      It will help to prove with 100% certainty the concealment of a crime that only the real criminal or in the case of a frame up by law enforcement. This will help keep all parties involved honest!! I
      a new test that the Iowa Supreme Court ruled on and overturned a 24 year old conviction, using Brain fingerprinting test. This test has been used by The FBI, In Collaboration with: Drew C. Richardson, Ph. D, former Supervisory Special Agent FBI Laboratory Quantico, VA to accurately detect 100% of the times the concealment of information. Brain Fingerprinting testing also achieved 100% accuracy in three studies they conducted on contract for a U.S. intelligence agency, including one that was in collaboration with Dr. Rene Hernandez of the US Navy.
      Pass the word Iowa Senator Grassley is a proponent of this new technology pass the word if you want justice.

  6. Pingback: Breaking News: California Innocence Project Exonerates Brian Banks Today… | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  7. I just heard a report on this case; heartwarming, except that the “victim” told Brian that she actually lost her innocence years later. Does this mean that no one checked to see if she was still a virgin, a simple medical procedure? If confronted with her virginity at that point, she might have confessed to the lie, saving Brian from years of pain and punishment. Anyone? Was there a confirming medical exam to show loss of virginity and possible bruising,etc.? If not, let’s convict the defense attorney who recommended the “no contest,” before he requested a medical exam. Can someone let me know if an exam was performed on the accuser?

  8. Pingback: Banks Story Highlights Other Innocence Efforts | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  9. I just emailed Mr. Scheck a letter this evening asking about this very thing, help for wrongfully accused sex offenders mostly due to the lifelong felony as a sex offender that they will have to suffer. My son is one such person accused of possession of child pornography which he did not ask to have put on his computer and after believing since February that one of the Innocence Projects was going to try to help him, I found out Friday that because he will serve less than 20 years, they will not. He will be devastated when I tell him that. Please, is there any other project that will consider helping him? He wasn’t even home on 23 of the days when these files were accessed from his computer. However it would have cost up to and most likely over $250,000 to prove hacking! State of Iowa has his back against the wall due to no hacking case ever having been tried yet . He would have to go to trial and was advised he will lose. We had a lawyer who talked us into paying a lump sum $20,000 as it would be less expensive than charging hourly and two forensics experts, one good, one an idiot. US Probations tells me I am not the first to complain about this attorney. Even the counselor he had for a short time prior to sentencing advised that prosecutors have quotas to fill by the end of the year. They were mad that his case drug out past December. We wanted the forensics done, correctly. The fact that the attorney is ‘friends’ with the prosecutor concerns me. Felt like he was feeding the lambs to the prosecutor. Also, the fact that the CCA’s are privately run, have stock, financial statements and forward looking statements scares the bejeebers out of me. If these guys can all buy stock in CCA, where’s the motivation to clear anyone? Thank you.

  10. I know what Brian banks went through. Because I am going through the same thing as he did. But mine does not have a happy ending yet. When I saw Brian’s story I was so glad for him . To be free of the lies,and false accusations that you have to deal with daily. It made me want to share my horror story to Brian banks. So that he will that I feel his pain more than most. I like Brian banks was the victim of a woman’s lies. But it was city money she was after. You see I was the second accussed black cop to be accussed of kidnap and rape while on duty. A crime I never committed. But because of the rape alleged by the first cop. Which was a high profile case in a small town. The city paid this woman a large sum of money. This was put in the newspapers for all to see. This put a target on every black police officer. As after this their were many woman who read about the settlement in the papers. And you can guess what happened next. They were looking to sue the city as well. I was maneuvered into driving the same type of police vehicle as the first accussed officer. Against my wishes to drive it. which I felt was to set me up to fall. Then it happened after being so careful not to be accussed. A woman accussed me of kidnap and rape. A crime I did not commit. I had been with a woman in that police vehicle. But she had asked me for money which I gave her. In the amount of $20 and she offered herself to me. Nothing happened as I was afraid of getting caught. She got back in the vehicle and said let’s go. She then said something that took my breath away. ( because he knows what’s up). I asked who? But she said nothing. To make a long story short she had me drop her off near what I believed to be a drug house. I drove off and about a hour later a rape call came across the radio. But it was in a different location much farther away from where I had dropped this woman off at. Days later I was being questioned by internal affairs for kidnap and rape charges. I did not tell them what happened and asked for an attorney. I was told to report back to the police captain. He ordered me to work allnight in a secured communications room. I worked my full 8 hours under watching eyes. And I could not call home as the calls were monitored. When they let me go home. I told my wife what had happened to me. And fell asleep. In the morning when I went to take my wife to work. I was blocked in by internal affairs officers. Who were there to arrest me. But because of my watching kids they let me return on my own to there office. I did and I was finger printed, booked, and jailed. Like Brian banks mine ended in a plea bargain. I did not know it back then. But I would realize what had happened. I had been with a woman named Patricia A. But the name on the complaint was Patricia W. I would learn online that Patricia A had a long record which included Misrepresentation. After seeing this I knew what had happened. The woman who had signed the complaint against me was not the woman I was with. But a copycat out to get city money. DNA was taken from me back then but it is my opinion and belief it was withheld from me until I pleaded. I recently discovered that my civil rights had been violated. Under gideon vs Wainwright. I still cannot afford a lawyer and am looking for public legal aide. No one cares, everyone says you are guilty first. It is my hope to have my dna test results I took shown to the world. That although I was wrong for being a cop with a hooker I did not kidnap and rape her. Or her stand in scam buddy. When you are accussed with this crime your world dissolves. All of this happened to me back in 1993 it is now 2012. But I remember it as if it happened yesterday. I am looking for legal help somewhere to end my nightmare. But for now mine is still not a happy ending. So you see Brian I truly am happy for you. For it gives me hope. God bless you.

  11. Pingback: Brian Banks, Exonerated of Rape Conviction, Signs with Atlanta Falcons | Wrongful Convictions Blog

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