In a story here, wrongfully convicted high school football star Brian Banks is seeking $219,000.00 from the State of California for his imprisonment based on a wrongful conviction. California passed a statute that permitted exonerated convicts to be paid a maximum of $100 for each day they were wrongfully convicted and confined. You can read the horrific facts of his ordeal reported here.
What I find interesting is that the DA's office sought a conviction of Banks without any physical evidence except Wanetta Gibson's word. You would think obtaining a rape conviction would be a tough case to prove, but the DA's office pursued charges against Brian Banks, whose defense attorney talked him into a plea deal out of fear that a jury would assume Banks was guilty because he was a big black teenager.
With regards to Wanetta Gibson's false statement in which she was paid $1.5 million?
Los Angeles prosecutors have said it is unlikely Gibson will be charged with making false accusations, saying it would be a tough case to prove.
Let that sink in. The DA had no problem charging Brian Banks where there was no physical evidence in a he said/she said case where some of the things she was saying did not make sense. For instance, no DNA was found in her rape kit because she said Banks "wiped the semen off with a towel." Any DNA expert would say that makes no sense. Sounds like a pretty difficult case, right? But, when it comes to prosecuting a woman who admitted on tape that no rape or kidnapping occurred, the DA believes that is a "tough case to prove." Therefore, they cannot bring charges against her.
So, there are two lessons the Los Angeles County DA's office is teaching based on their actions in regards to Banks and Gibson. First, to the falsely accused: Do not plead guilty to something you did not do. There are decisions that the client makes, and there are decisions that the attorney makes. Your choice of plea is a decision you make as a client. No attorney can force their client into pleading guilty, even if the client is guilty. If your defense attorney tries to talk you into pleading guilty where you are innocent, then maybe it is time to find or request a new defense attorney from the public defenders office.
Second, to false accusers: You can lie about kidnapping and sexual assault that results in a man being confined for five years and two months, get paid $1.5 million dollars for injuries you did not suffer, admit on tape that there was no rape or kidnapping, and never face a criminal prosecution for lying to the police.
If there is a statute of limitations issue with regards to a criminal offense of lying to the police, then I can understand why that would be a tough case to prove. But, that would be the only reason. Otherwise, the Los Angeles County's DA has shown that it will aggressively prosecute sexual offenses without definitive evidence of guilt, but let criminal liars off the hook where there is overwhelming evidence of guilt. They should be ashamed.