The case of Wilson v Georgia is still raging on. It should be over by now.
When Genarlow Wilson was 17 he attended an orgy-like New Year's Eve party in a motel with other teens who engaged in consensual sex acts. He is now 21 and has served 2 years of a 10 year sentence in jail.
The party-goers were minors. The party was videotaped. The shit hit the fan when a 17 year old girl and Wilson had sex. The next morning she claimed that she was raped by Wilson. The videotape showed that the girl, while clearly buzzed, did not try to stop Wilson. He was not charged with rape. In Georgia, consensual intercourse between minor aged teens is a misdemeanor. On the other hand, consensual oral sex between teenagers was a felony in Georgia at the time.
Several young men at the party received oral sex from a willing 15 year old girl at the party. Genarlow Wilson was one of them. He did not accept a plea bargain and expected to be acquitted after a trial. He wasn't. If he had accepted the plea bargain, he would have had to have registered as a sex offender which would have prohibited him from going home because he has an 8 year old sister. He would have been deemed a threat to his little sister. Instead he ended up in jail.
The young African-American teenaged honor student who had the misfortune of living in Georgia was sentenced to 10 years in jail and was charged with aggravated child molestation. Had he "merely" had intercourse with her, he would have been charged with a misdemeanor and a much lighter sentence would have been imposed.
The law in Georgia was then deemed so ridiculous after this case that in 2006 that the legislature changed it so that oral sex between consenting teenaged minors is now a misdemeanor. Genarlow Wilson's lawyer, ironically named B.J. Bernstein, appealed the case recently. Because the law was changed after the fact, Wilson could not use that as a defense but Bernstein maintained that serving 10 years in jail is unconstitutional under Georgia's Eight amendment which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The judge agreed and ordered Wilson released from jail on Monday and would not have to register as a sex offender. His sentence was changed to 12 months. Since he was already in jail for 2 years, he could go home.
But not so fast. Georgia state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, has filed an appeal. He wants a higher court to decide whether it has the power to commute Wilson's sentence to a sentence that didn't exist at the time of the "crime."
While technically he has a point, I contend that he is nitpicking, he should drop it already and spend tax payer money on prosecuting those who commit dangerous crimes. He is using the justice system to ruin a young once promising life. While criminal cases should not be determined by popular opinion, and Georgians are outraged by this case, including Jimmy Carter, it is clear that the law on the books at the time of Wilson's trial was poorly framed in the first place or the legislature wouldn't have changed it.
Let this boy carry on with his life or Georgia will be the laughing stock of the country.
Blondesense Liz is not an attorney, nor does she play one on TV (although her dad was.) She's a former teenager who remembers what it was like and currently the mother of a son.