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View Diary: Why Brian Banks' Story Is Nothing to Celebrate (45 comments)

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  •  This response sort of irks me (23+ / 0-)

    The plight of Brian Banks, and the horror inflicted on him, is every bit as much of a concern as rape. Both are horrid things that we should and must try to stop.

    Your first reaction in a diary about a wrongful conviction is that you feel sorry for rape victims, who aren't even mentioned or implicated in this story.

    You use the word "poster boy" in a condescending fashion, as if the people that will talk about the problems with witness misidentification and wrongful convictions are somehow doing something wrong.

    Brian Banks IS a poster boy. And what happens to him IS a real problem. You're correct that it's a conflict, but intellectual honesty requires us to recognize both sides of this issue, and admit that the system can ruin lives on both sides of the aisle.

    You've also constructed a nice little strawman that's very easy to tear down. Only the most disingenuous participant in this debate would make a stupid comment like "all women are lying about rape." There's something very different that most people will say. And that is, "There are few controls in place to protect people like Brian Banks in an age where prosecutors take young black male rape convictions like feathers in their caps."

    Which is a very reasonable thing to say. You say we have a "rape culture" problem? Sure. You're probably right. We also have a criminal justice culture problem, where people are guilty upon accusation, especially if they're black in an age where DAs can exclude black jurors very easily. These two problems seem to be in conflict with one another.

    What's the solution? I'm not sure, but I can be pretty sure it doesn't start with dismissing or minimizing the horrors suffered by Brian Banks.

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

    by Grizzard on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 02:18:58 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Fair Enough (4+ / 0-)

      There are two real problems, or more accurately three.

      There is the problem of people wrongfully being convicted of crimes and the racial disparity in that, which is a very valid and real problem.

      There is the problem of rape, which is  a very valid and real problem.

      There is the problem of people being wrongfully accused of, and sent to prison, for rapes that aren't real.

      Of the three, the third seems to be the least sever as it is a subset of the other two, i.e. it only makes up a percentage of people who are wrongfully convicted AND it's a much smaller percentage of people who are accused of rape. I'm much more inclined to believe that there are more unreported rapes than falsely reported ones.

      But you're right. I shouldn't say that's not the "real" problem. I'ts  more of a "moot point" in the technical sense. It's a valid discussion to have, but we don't have to have it here. It's not the topic of the diary.

      Discourse is better served if we can stick to the rules of logic.

      by backell on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 02:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it doesn't. But if wishes were fishes, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, Dark UltraValia

      one would have hoped that the crime he was falsely convicted of was not rape.  Because this is such a twisted situation.  I agree with your comment, but I also thought of potential ramifications future rape victims may face, especially if Banks is successful with the Falcons.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 02:27:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you go to the Innocence Project's site... (6+ / 0-)'re going to find one after another after another of these stories.  Many of them are proven--beyond any shadow of a shadow of a doubt--by DNA evidence to have been innocent.

        One was released a week and a half ago when DNA evidence proved he couldn't have been the rapist.

        One of the problems of the kind of thinking going on on the DailyKos as of late--that "accusation = guilt"--is that it leads to these kinds of situations.  We have the justice system we have--that presumes innocence until one is proven guilty in a court of law--for a reason, and even it fails us.  In fact, it fails us a lot.

        Imagine if jurors were to assume someone is a rapist until proven innocent.

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