In a Wednesday interview with CNN‘s Brooke Baldwin, former NFL player Brian Banks, who was wrongly accused of rape in 2002, speaks out about Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who was found guilty of the same act but faces a less harsher punishment.
Banks, who works in the NFL’s Los Angeles office, was 16 years old when he was accused of rape and tried as an adult. He was sent to juvenile hall for a year before his case came up. He faced 41 years to life in prison and first turned down plea deals for 25, 18 and nine years. Why? He didn’t do it. He finally agreed to undergo 90 days of observation in Chico State Prison with assurances from his attorney that he would then get probation. It was a better option, he was told, than a young black kid facing an all-white jury.
Instead, Banks received six years from the judge.
“The judge in this case totally mishandled the situation,” Banks says. “Something has to be done about this and my heart goes out to the victim.”
The former NFL player points out the racial and economic privilege at play in the case.
“The sad thing about this is that Brock was sentenced based on his lifestyle. Because of that, the conclusion was that prison would have a negative impact on him. But what about the children that have no choice about where they are born and who they are born to … When that kid stands in front of that judge, they see all the negative.”