Get used to the name, ‘cause you’ll be hearing it often. And may it be for touchdowns and commencement addresses rather than gimmicks or Kardashians, because among other things Brain Banks just may be our answer to Michael Vick. Yet how many men with Banks’ spirit and character are deteriorating right now in American prisons?
At 17, Long Beach Polytechnic High School football star Brian Banks was convicted of kidnapping and raping a female classmate. He did just over 5 years in state prison. When his accuser confessed that she wasn’t raped by Banks, a judge exonerated him. Now 27, the athlete once pursued by USC is hopeful he’ll be given a shot in the NFL, allowing him to fund a documentary about his journey.
Prison is like living in a parking structure overseen by the Department of Motor Vehicles and filled with beggars from New Delhi, except these askers don’t want money. They want you to believe they’re innocent. And life behind bars means gettin’ used to these claims: what I call the white noise of innocence. It’s not hard, really, ’cause you tune it out almost immediately. You have to. Before you even hit a real prison yard you’ve heard so many stories of wrongful prosecution you know the idiots from the potentially sincere, the mistaken from the mealy-mouthed. When it comes to inmates’ comprehension of how the court system works and the law in general, you’ve found a bottomless pit of delusion, denial, and distortion. (more…)