Genarlow Wilson is Finally Free!

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Principessa, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    Georgia Court Orders Man Freed in Sex Case New York Times - October 26, 2007
    By BRENDA GOODMAN

    ATLANTA, Oct. 26 — The Georgia Supreme Court today ended the 10-year prison sentence of a man who was convicted in 2003 of having consensual oral sex with another teenager. The court said the harsh sentence violated the Constitution’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

    In a 4-to-3 ruling, the court’s majority said the sentence was “grossly disproportionate” to the crime, which the justices said “did not rise to the level of culpability of adults who prey on children.”

    The inmate, Genarlow Wilson, who is now 21, was 17 when he was caught on videotape having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl at a drug and alcohol fueled New Year’s Eve party in 2003. He is expected to be released this afternoon.

    Mr. Wilson, who is black, was convicted of aggravated child molestation for the act, a charge which carried a mandatory minimum prison term so harsh it shocked his jury and prompted an international outcry from critics who charged that prosecutors had been overzealous and racially motivated. The law, critics said, was meant to keep child molesters behind bars, not to curb teenage sexual activity.

    The year after Mr. Wilson was sentenced, the Georgia General Assembly changed the law to make consensual sex between teens a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in prison; but the legislature declined to apply the law to Mr. Wilson’s case retroactively. That decision set up a test of wills between the lawmakers and judges, as Mr. Wilson’s attorney appealed to both camps to set free her client, who had been an honors student and star athlete.

    Writing for the majority in Friday’s 48-page opinion, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears noted that changes to the law made after Mr. Wilson’s conviction “represent a seismic shift in the legislature’s view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants.

    “The severe felony punishment and sex offender registration imposed on Wilson make no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment,” she wrote.

    But dissenting judges said the legislature had clearly not intended to make the new law retroactive to Mr. Wilson’s case.

    As a result, wrote Justice George Carley in dissenting opinion, the punishment should not be deemed cruel and unusual. He said the majority decision represented an “unprecedented disregard for the General Assembly’s constitutional authority” and wrote that it would open the door for other felony offenders convicted of aggravated child molestation to be “discharged from lawful custody.”

    Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, in a written statement, indicated that he would not challenge the high court’s decision.

    “I respectfully acknowledge the court’s authority to grant the relief that they have crafted in this case,” Mr. Baker said. “I hope the court’s decision will also put an end to this issue as a matter of contention in the hearts and minds of concerned Georgians and others across the county who have taken such a strong interest in this case.”

    John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, called the case “one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Georgia in modern times.”
    “Each day this young man spent in jail is one day too long,” Mr. Lewis said in a statement. “It was unbelievable for this young man to go through what he went through.”

    Mr. Wilson has spent more than two years behind bars, and was expected to be released from the Al Burrus Correction Training Center in Forsyth.

    “The courts can work; the courts do work,” said Brenda J. Bernstein, Mr. Wilson’s lawyer in telephone interview.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It's about damn time! This young mans life has been ruined because of this. :mad::angryfire2: I would like to believe that he will be able to pick up the pieces of his life and go on to college and a career and have a normal, productive life. Unfortunately, the odds are against him. :frown1:

    This case is a prime example of racism in America. Not just because of the overly, harsh verdict which was initially issued; but because if a black girl had been giving him a blow job on video he would never have been convicted. It most certainly would never have made the news. Most of the articles and news reports stress that the oral sex was consensual and that the young man is black. What they don't tell you is that it was the white girls parents who took him to court, not the girl.
     
  2. B_Jennuine73

    B_Jennuine73 New Member

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    Pretty sickening.
     
  3. Hockeytiger

    Hockeytiger Active Member

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    While I agree the punishment seemed overly harsh, I'm glad his plans for the future have been ruined. He deserved it. From my understanding, he and his friends repeatedly targeted girls years (yes YEARS) younger than they were, invited them to parties with hopes they got drunk so they could have group sex with them. This was not first incident. They were warned by the authorities to stop it and refused. If she had anything to drink, it wasn't consensual. Lastly, the fact that she didn't want to proceed with the case doesn't mean much. That is very common in rape cases. (I'm not saying it was forcible rape, but if she didn't have capacity to consent, then she was still violated.) Add in the videotape and I can totally understand why.

    Rather than send him to prison, I would have thought expelling him from school (for specifically targeting significantly younger girls for this) and denying him graduation (and thus his college carrer) would be enough.
    Then again, I didn't have a daughter at that school.
     
  4. frizzle

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    Racism? He broke law and truthfully, although harsh, should of done the time. I guess it wouldn't of made a difference if he was 20 or 30 years older.
     
  5. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    Why does everything always end up being racist when a black and white are involved? It never ceases to amaze me.
     
  6. sortofbigthen

    sortofbigthen New Member

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    A newspaper said it was :rolleyes:
     
  7. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    Anything to sell a story I guess.
     
  8. Principessa

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    Frizzle you have no clue whatsoever how difficult it is to be a black man in America! :rolleyes::mad: If the girl sucking his big, black dick had been black or hispanic the cops would have told her parents no crime had been committed and sent them home. It has happend in the states before and not just in the south.:mad: You should rent the movie White Man's Burden.


    Not always; but in this instance yes, it is a racial issue. Had he been white or the girl been black I guarantee he would never have spent one night in jail. I hope he sues the pants off those jerks for wrongful incarceration.


    The simple, yet ugly truth is that there are different and unequal laws for blacks and whites; wealthy and poor in this country.
     
  9. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!

    PA,

    Girl! Do not get me started on this one! There is so much that goes into this situation that folks will not or will not want to understand. I think all young Black men now need to get a T-shirt saying "Remember the Scotsboro Boys and Emmitt Till" . Actually I want Hockey Tiger to come back as a bittersweet chocolate brother from the hood. :biggrin1:
     
  10. kazooplayer

    kazooplayer New Member

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    njqt, I think you have an opinion which you're not willing to let go. I'd be willing to admit that race played a part in this, but you're making it seem like his acts were completely innocent, when, in fact, they truly weren't.

    I went to highschool, I was a horny teenager, and I NEVER intentionally invited YOUNGER girls to parties where there was alcohol so I could FUCK them; if these kids were intentionally targeting younger girls, I think they're assholes. Now, on to whether or not they should have been punished? Nah, probably not, or at least not to the degree that they were. But is it rape? I don't know either, we weren't there, so I don't think either of us can make conjecture on what actually happened.

    By the way, you contradicted yourself - hockeytiger stated that the girl not wanting to go on with the case doesn't mean much in itself, which I wholeheartedly agree with - why would you, as a 15 year old girl, want to commit yourself to the lengthy process of a criminal procession, and be known as "The Victim" for the rest of your highschool career - but you said it does matter, and in the very next sentence you said you yourself didn't want to report your rape? What the hell are you saying then?

    I think you should lighten up is all - is this race motivated? Partly, I'm sure, as I'm sure almost everything is, but I bet there's a lot more to the story that we know nothing about, so I don't think it's fair of you to fling insults at people for having a differing opinion.
     
  11. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    It gets quite tiresome the race card gets played every time a black person gets in trouble. It seems the crime gets overlooked and all the focus is on the race of the person whether quilty or innocent, typical knee jerk reaction. And just how do you know that if the person was white he wouldn't go to jail, pretty big assumption I think.
     
  12. Principessa

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  13. snoozan

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    so why is no one putting any sort of culpability on the girl, or, gasp, these children's parents?

    this young woman willingly got drunk and sucked a guy's dick on video. she's just as responsible. i'm sure she was aware of this young man's reputation, and she went ahead and partied with him and sucked his cock on camera.

    they were both high school students, and i can't see how he, somehow, was more responsible for his actions than she for hers.

    and the parents? where were they before they pressed charges against this young man? where were his parents? if the parents' had been properly involved in their children's lives, i'm sure the liklihood of this kind of thing happening would have decreased greatly.

    it's senseless to pin this on this one young man.
     
  14. Mr. Snakey

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    Im amazed at the Old laws still on the books in this country. Thank god they changed the law set him free. I cant help but say if the boy was White would this have taken so long.
     
  15. Principessa

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    ROTFLMAO! Because I'm a black American and I've seen it happen, my parents have seen it happen, my grandparents have seen it happen. I've been a victim of DWB on more than one occassion. It's not an assumption it's a fact!


    I can't decide which it it is. :rolleyes::confused: Either you live under a rock, have no knowledge whatsoever of race relations in America, or you're just an idiot.

    This is just one of thousands of cases that go back over 100 years.
    You should check these out: Too little, too late.
    Racial Profiling , Driving While Black, Statistical Proof of DWB.
     
  16. HotBulge

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    The punishment did not fit the crime. Regardless of whether it was Black or White, a misdemeanor wrongly exploded into serious prison time. The wrongful judgment is exacerbated by the fact that the boy had exclupatory evidence: he videotaped the girl giving him a blow job (This is the YouTube generation). The girl was never threatened or coerced in any way during the video, so the natural question is how does a teenage indiscretion amount to years in prison.

    NTJQ is absolutely right when she states that this incident would never have made the news if there had not been an interracial component to it. Teenage sexual experimentation between peers happens all the time.

    The major question being raised in 2007 with Black/White race relations is this: Do two systems of Justice exist in this country? For the same crime, does the judicial system deliver a harsher sentencing for Blacks than it does Whites. This is not a consideration to be ignored because it sounds like a tiresome race-based muckraking tirade. In some extreme, yet very real cases, it's a matter of life and death. Consider how in some states, Black inmates are far more likely to receive the death penalty for the same level of murder than Whites. Now, with new DNA techniques, several Black men who were once on death row from guilty verdicts and questionable witness testimony, have been freed.
     
  17. TheRob

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    This case is a prime example of racism in America. Not just because of the overly, harsh verdict which was initially issued; but because if a black girl had been giving him a blow job on video he would never have been convicted. It most certainly would never have made the news. Most of the articles and news reports stress that the oral sex was consensual and that the young man is black. What they don't tell you is that it was the white girls parents who took him to court, not the girl.


    disagree with most of that
    the verdict is verdict, it can't be harsh it is only guilty or not guilty
    he was guilty cus he did it so the verdict was fine
    the PUNISHMENT was harsh but not because of his race, it was mandated to be that way by lawmakers so that's point one

    um if a black girl had done it he'd have been ok?
    conjecture pure and simple, black guys go to prison for having sex with underaged black girls
    there's point two

    this didn't really make the news either until the appeals
    and again, conjecture so that's point three

    the girl is underage so it's not up to her to take him to court, nothing odd about that, just the way it works so that's point four

    to move on to some solidarity, if both parties are underaged neither should be punished or both should be punished
    this case is more about sexism then reacism
     
  18. kazooplayer

    kazooplayer New Member

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    I don't think he was put in jail or punished harshly because he was black, I think it was political; I do, however, think a white teenager would not be punished as severely.

    I don't think courts specifically try to treat blacks poorly, I just think they treat whites better, if that makes sense?
     
  19. frizzle

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    Well actaully it is an assumption as you have no statistics to back it up with, you cannot use personal experiences as proof.

    I can't comment on American racial segergation, but I'll admit whilst there will ALWAYS be racial differences and resentment between some people, it is not a huge deal in this country at the present time, just over-reactions.

    Infact a recent black police commissioner has said he wanted more ethnic minorities stop and searched because of the increase of gun and knife crime. What makes me laugh is people are offended by this, yet can't see the link between black youths and gun/knife crime.
     
  20. HotBulge

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    If the law is "just the law" and "a verdict is a verdict", by your logic, the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia should not have overturned the ruling of the district court. The Supreme Court found that the state's old law amounts to cruel or unusual punishment. The prison sentence does not fit the nature of the crime, which should be a misdemeanor at best. The girl's parents just don't want to face the fact that their daughter is sexually active and that she participates reveal-all MySpace teen party behavior.

    About your point #2, the media does not report on Black teenagers having sex with each other. One would be hard-pressed to find a high-profile example. (The Duke Lacrosse team rape allegation doesn't count -- and it turned out to be a false accusation anyhow). If Genarlow Wilson were out of high school or was a predatory adult, one can see a more serious sentence for having sex with a minor.
     
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