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Black Man Wrongfully Convicted of Rape Laments Disparity with Stanford Student’s Sentence

A 20-year-old Stanford swimmer’s six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman last year has much of the country up in arms — including a black former high school football player wrongly convicted of rape as a teen, who is pointing out the disparities in treatment.

Brian Banks said he was 16 when he was making out with a 15-year-old girl in 2002. By the end of the day, he was accused of rape and tried as an adult in court. He was sent to juvenile hall for a year before he was convicted by an all-white jury. Facing 41 years to life in prison, he was eventually given a six-year sentence by the judge.

In comparison, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky did not sentence white Stanford student Brock Turner to prison, and didn’t come close to the maximum 14-year sentence that Turner could have received for his crimes, instead ordering him to serve six months in county jail. In the ruling, Judge Persky stated that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact” on Turner, who the judge said “will not be a danger to others” once freed.

Banks, who served more than five years in prison before the girl recanted her story, said that the results of Turner’s case is because of privilege.

“It seems like the judge based his decision on lifestyle,” he said, the New York Daily News reported. He’s lived such a good life and has never experienced anything serious in his life that would prepare him for prison. He was sheltered so much he wouldn’t be able to survive prison. What about the kid who has nothing, he struggles to eat, struggles to get a fair education? What about the kid who has no choice who he is born to and has drug-addicted parents or a non-parent household? Where is the consideration for them when they commit a crime?”

reported. He’s lived such a good life and has never experienced anything serious in his life that would prepare him for prison. He was sheltered so much he wouldn’t be able to survive prison. What about the kid who has nothing, he struggles to eat, struggles to get a fair education? What about the kid who has no choice who he is born to and has drug-addicted parents or a non-parent household? Where is the consideration for them when they commit a crime?”

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