Friday, October 26, 2007

Georgia Supreme Court Orders Release Of Genarlow Wilson

I cannot say whether this case was tied to racism or not. Could be yes, could be no. But what I can say is, it was tied to an awfully stupid law. Now, the Georgia Supreme Court has finally ordered the release of the young man.

Georgia's Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of a young man who has been imprisoned for more than two years for having consensual oral sex with another teenager.

The court ruled 4-3 that Genarlow Wilson's 10-year sentence was cruel and unusual punishment.

What this young man did was incredibly stupid and irresponsible, but to sentence him to 10 years over this was utterly cruel and ridiculous. How anyone could equivocate a minor having any kind of consensual sex with another minor the same as an adult predator is beyond me.

Again, I am not necessarily questioning the conviction in this case, just the sentencing component that was part of the law, which was changed but could not be applied retroactively:

The 1995 law Wilson violated was changed in 2006 to make oral sex between teens close in age a misdemeanor, similar to the law regarding teen sexual intercourse. But the state Supreme Court later upheld a lower court's ruling which said that the 2006 law could not be applied retroactively.

As a side note to all of this, I have one observation worthy of some thought. As unfair as this sentence was, I do not recall the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson organizing marches against this injustice. It is clear to me that they would rather manufacture prejudice, bigotry, and racism.


Rocket said...

This was the most ridiculous miscarriage of justice against this young man that I have heard of in along time.

I am glad that the State of Georgia has finally come to it's senses and freed him, albeit late. In my opinion he should have never been in the clinker in the first place.

I personally believe that his color of skin really did not help things.

A.C. McCloud said...

It's about time.

mustang said...

It is the unfairness of judicial sentencing, especially in the South, that resulted in valid claims of racial discrimination. Georgia has a state law prohibiting the commission of sodomy, even between husband and wife. Regardless of whether one thinks that any state has the right to regulate sexual behavior among consenting adults, the law is clear. If such violation compounds by the fact that the “illegal” act involved a minor, then we should expect the sentence to be more severe. But I agree with you that the sentence was ridiculous, even if the citizens of Georgia allow such a law to remain on the books.

Al Sharpton is not only one of this country’s most prominent bigots he is a dangerous zealot whose considerable wealth is attributed to his success as a buffoon. He panders to the lucrative vocation of victimization, and until individuals cease to consider themselves victims, he will continue to accumulate wealth. In my view, the only difference between such men as Sharpton, Jackson, and Jim Jones of our society is that Jones is thankfully dead.

Anonim said...

Everything aside, how come a change of law that lessens the allowed punishment for an offense shouldn't automatically be retroactive? That beats me... I am no lawyer, so I may be naive here, but I believe such automatic retroaction should be an established principle of law.

Greg said...

A victory for all of us who enjoy receiving oral sex!

Ok, a terrible joke, I know. I couldn't help myself.

Everything aside, how come a change of law that lessens the allowed punishment for an offense shouldn't automatically be retroactive?

As I understand it, all the legislature has to do is clearly express its intent to make it retroactive. I'm not sure though. It's a good question.