Condemning Wanetta Gibson

There’s no treatment harsh enough for Wanetta Gibson

Hardly a week goes by when I don’t receive a nasty and haughty message attacking me for harshly judging the unethical conduct of another. “Who are you to judge?,” the critic will write. “Are you so perfect? Have you never made a mistake? How can you know what was going on in that person’s life, or how bad she (or he) feels? What right do you have to find fault with someone else?” My answer, if I bother to send one, seldom varies. I tell these correspondents that all of us have a duty to judge others so that we are qualified to judge ourselves, to make certain that societal standards are carefully considered and vetted, and to identify conduct that we believe is destructive to society. Refusing to judge others makes it easy for the predators around us to take advantage of our ethical laziness, and people get hurt as a result.

And in those dark moments late at night, after a difficult day when my confidence is at low ebb, as I begin to doubt the purpose of my life and question my own values, I think about people like the horrible Wanetta Gibson.

From the New York Daily News:

“The kidnap-rape conviction of a once-promising prep football star was dismissed Thursday following a recantation by his accuser. Brian Banks collapsed in sobs on the counsel table during a court hearing where a prosecutor quickly conceded the decade-old case and moved for the dismissal.

“In the summer of 2002, Banks’ future looked bright: He was a 17-year-old high school football star being heavily recruited by a number of colleges. But in a single day that changed with the accusations of kidnapping and rape by a female student. He maintained there was no rape and their sexual contact was consensual, but his lawyer urged him to plead no contest rather than risk a sentence of 41 years to life in prison if convicted. He followed the advice and went to prison for six years, shattering his dreams of gridiron glory.”

Then, we learn, the former student, Wanetta Gibson, contacted Banks on Facebook  after his release. They met, and she confessed that she had lied to prosecutors about the rape, that as he knew, she had consented. But she told him that she didn’t want to confess to prosecutors, because she didn’t want to have to return the $1.5 million damages award her mother obtained from Long Beach Polytechnic High based on her lies and Banks’ conviction. It took the dedication of the California Innocence Project to get the truth to court and exonerate Banks, who has had to wear a monitoring device while he was on probation and register as a sex offender.

There are not sufficient laws, nor words in the dictionary, nor public shaming, shunning and condemnation to do justice to the likes of Wanetta Gibson. She ruined a young man’s life and stole $1.5 million in the process. She can recant, apologize, say that she found God, weep, express regret and anything else, and it should not insulate her from societal rejection. No one should hire her. No bank should give her a loan or a credit card. No taxpayer should have to contribute to her health insurance or food stamps. No one should befriend her. Absolutely no one should forgive her, consort with her or trust her. The kind of organized hatred that was manufactured against George Zimmerman is appropriate in her case. The Golden Rule? If I behaved like Wanetta Gibson, I would deserve everything I have described, and more.

There is no law that can place her in prison long enough; the Constitution prevents us from indenturing her to Brian Banks for life; we don’t allow torture or tar and feathering. She can change her name and identity, and still lurk among decent people, until another impulse provokes her to ruin someone else’s life. We require convicted sex offenders to register, and they post photographs of these people, many if not most of them harmless and law abiding citizens. Why isn’t there a Terrible Human Being registry for Wanetta Gibson? Even if hers were the only name on it, it would be worth having.

When she has given all of her earthly possessions to Brian Banks, and paid back all of the money she fraudulently took from the schools that could have used it to serve its students’ needs, and dedicated her life to charity, the poor, sick and dispossessed, maybe then we should consider whether she deserves a nod when we pass her on the street, rather than a sneer. Maybe. But even then she will not have erased to consequences of her intentional, malicious, anti-social act to destroy a young man’s future for her own selfish gain.

What can we do with people like her? How can we protect ourselves from them? We can begin by judging them, condemning them, stating loudly and firmly how terrible and unforgivable their conduct has been, and never, ever, trusting them. It is not enough, not by a long shot. But it’s a start.


Pointer: Legal Ethics Forum

Facts: New York Daily News

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at

179 thoughts on “Condemning Wanetta Gibson

  1. I can’t get this case out of my mind. As much as Wanetta Gibson is deserving of scorn and blame; where is the outrage at the prosecutor who pushed Brian Banks into accepting a plea bargain? According to Brian’s own account, the prosecutor used the most coercive tactics to force Brian into accepting a plea. He gave him only ten minutes to make an unthinkable choice. He wouldn’t allow Brian to talk with his mother or any other family advisers. He used tactics that would make the most narcissistic con man blush with shame. I never saw an apology from any representative of the Long Beach courthouse. I never saw an expression of remorse or shame from the judge who coldly accepted a coerced plea from a devastated young man. Where is the accountability from the people who were supposed to be the gatekeepers of justice?

    • You are right! Most prosecutors care nothing about the truth, they simply want a high conviction rate. ; Then when prosecuting a white for rape or crime towards blacks, there are even more factors involved. They are afraid of riots and afraid of being called a racist. Just like the Zimmerman case. While I think Zimmerman is a punk for needing a gun to fight an unarmed man, if the facts are as he stated, self defense would be in order. We probably won’t ever know the truth in that case.
      This case reminds me of Al Sharpton’s hoax with Tuana Brawley trying to put a white police officer in jail for a rape that he did not commit. She nor Sharpton ever did any jail time for their outrageous scheme

      • Most prosecutors are, in fact, honest and dedicated to justice. A few bad ones, proportionately, do a lot of damage.
        The prosecutor in the Zimmerman case, as I have covered here, appears to be an unethical, politicized, hack. I doubt that Zimmerman will be convicted of 2nd degree murder, which is an over-charge.

  2. Wanetta Gibson deserves to be punished but are you really saying that she should never be able to hold a job ever again? That’s idiotic, and goes overboard. You make yourself sound like an equally terrible person. She deserves no sympathy at all, but you’re saying you’d rather see her continue to live on welfare and your tax dollars instead of being able to support herself. That’s stupid. You’re calling for all these crazy punishments but her life sucks already, it sounds like she already can’t get hired. But, Brian Banks is playing football and living his dream. I think justice has been served, a little bit. What more do you want? You might as well just say that you think people should die because they made a mistake or did something immoral, but having no compassion is equally immoral.

    • Never be ABLE to hold a job? I didn’t say that. That implies a legal prohibition from anyone hiring her. I think she should be shunned. Absolutely. I don’t think she should be trusted again. I wouldn’t hire someone who did this. Would you? Who let an innocent man rot in jail because she didn’t want to give back money she had illicitly in the first place? She’s had her break: she wasn’t locked up.

      No, I’m not crazy about Wanetta Gibson getting pubic money—she is, in fact, the argument against public “compassion.” She deserves to have to beg on the street: She can’t get a job, if she can’t, because she’s despicable, and did something unforgivable. Tell me, if the father who beat his kid to death after insuring him for a half-million gets acquitted on a technicality, who much compassion does he deserve? Gibson is only slightly more horrible than he is, which is hardly an endorsement. She is a sociopath, and about as close to evil as humans get. You can’t be compassionate to sociopaths. They will stab you in the back.

      Justice has NOT been served. You have a weird view of justice. Her consequences have been minimal. The fact that people have reached out to help Banks is wonderful, but she had no hand in it, and deserves no consideration or mercy because of it. What she did, the harm she intentionally inflicted, is in the books—whether he makes a million bucks or gets hit by a bus, her crime is not changed or lessened in any way.

      And your last sentence is either dishonest or ignorant. “Mistake” should not be uttered in connection with Wanetta Gibson. At best she made millions of mistakes, because every second for a decade that she did not pick up the phone was a “mistake”—but it was no mistake. It was intentional. And had it not been for the Innocence Project, Banks would be rotting in jail today. Would she still be making a “mistake,” in your flaccid, silly, illogical, ethically-inert analysis? She didn’t “do something immoral.” You can’t end your “argument” by pretending she cheated on her husband or swore in church. This wasn’t a kid who fell in with the wrong crowd and robbed a 7-11 with a squirt gun. She coldly, with malice aforethought, lied about a rape and sent a boy to prison for 40+ years on a false rape conviction and was willing to let him stay there to keep her money. An she never took any steps to release him. Anything she suffers now short of being locked away is a gift. Compassion for what??

      Your kind of naive and thought-free warped “ethics” are why people like Gibson can do all the harm they do in a lifetime. And you call me stupid. I call you dangerous.

      My commentary stands. And you are exactly the kind of person that inspired it.

      • Oh…and you owe me a valid e-mail address, or your dim response, which I just can’t wait to read, won’t be posted. The only reason I posted this comment with your “nononono” email [If your answer to the rules here is “No”, then the ethical response would be not to post comments. But I wouldn’t expect someone who thinks Wanetta Gibson requires compassion to grasp THAT] si that it was too outrageous to let pass.

      • Jack, you are absolutely right with everything you have said and I’m sure that 99.5% of people agree. This woman needs to be shunned from society, is a pariah to the human culture and is the ultimate face of evil.

      • Just out of curiosity, has she held a job yet, do we think a person of with these kind of morals has any intention of working for a living????I for some reason don’t think she does. Just an opinion.

    • Jack has said it all. That fat ass system sucker took the best years away from a promising athlete. How easily people forget what he endured every waking moment in jail while she gorged herself on Gucci bags, Coach purses, Versacchi jewerly & collard greens. She’s a disappointment to her race. Remember: She committed the crime; not him. I love Karma…it’s my favorite dish !

  3. Mr jack marshal, you asked me about different angles, well how about embracing a culture of celebrating and respecting our sexual desires and lives, away from the war on sex waged by both the religious far right, and the feminist far left! And the funny thing is that both sects hate each other but both use the word ethics – that you use as your title – in the arguments, may be we should creat a new better home for this poor abused word …

  4. This is Intimidating indeed, I am going away, I am sorry .. But please look at my previous comment and remember : you asked me to keep talking plus my comment was exactly related to the topic .. Looks like I can’t freely express .. Again I am very sorry I am going away .

    • I have no intention of intimidating you or driving anyone away. Perhaps this is a communication issue, and if so, I apologize. Here is what you wrote, and what I took it to mean:

      Mr jack marshal, you asked me about different angles, well how about embracing a culture of celebrating and respecting our sexual desires and lives, away from the war on sex waged by both the religious far right, and the feminist far left! [ And when I have I not done that in this blog? I view that as an accusation without support or cause.] And the funny thing is that both sects hate each other but both use the word ethics – that you use as your title – in the arguments, may be we should create a new better home for this poor abused word. [ I think “Ethics Alarms” is a perfectly good home for that word, and if you have a better option, by all means let us in on it.]

      If this comment was germane to the post, and I can’t see how from here, then it must be in reference to my response to your earlier comment. But you didn’t link to that response, I don’t remember it, and it was made quite a while ago. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to do detective work on reader comments.

  5. Well my accusations were against wanneta williams and the like, not you or your blog plus I am referring to my first comment on this blog not the one you commented on yesterday, besides the reason why I am commenting on your blog and noticed it in the first place is because seems to me I share your vision on the issue ( maybe) I am just a member of the australian sex party but lives in memphis TN for now, you may not like me intelectually but I think I just had a liking in your blog’s message .

  6. Personally, I think that %$^!& deserves to be raped for real now, but not by Banks, but by real rape criminals. She took the money and ran, spent every last cent and now she is broke and on welfare. Quite frankly, we should send her black a$$ to North Korea or Afghanistan, for what she did to Banks. He did not deserve what she did to him.

  7. When I first heard the Brian Banks story, I said to my self this has got to be a white woman. It reminded me of some old movie back in slavery where a black man didn’t have a chance if white woman said he raped her. Wanetta Gibson and all of those white women that intentionally called rape on an innocent Black man deserves everything that was mentioned above. This is not an uncommon thing to happen even in todays times.

  8. Agree with most of what you said but

    “We require convicted sex offenders to register, and they post photographs of these people, many if not most of them harmless and law abiding citizens.”

    No most of them sex offenders. Very dangerous people. The Brian Banks is a travesty but the reason its so well known is cause its pretty rare.

  9. I believe that public shunning will place her in a symbolic prison. Of course she will not be tried and convicted in a court of law. Therefore the public should shun her. Close every door to her. Make her suffer the way she made him suffer. No matter what he will never get that time back. No matter what will he be completely free.

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