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Teen does 10 years for oral sex
January 25, 2007 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Why is Genarlow Wilson in Prison? Genarlow Wilson sits in prison despite being a good son, a good athlete and high school student with a 3.2 GPA. He never had any criminal trouble. On the day he was to sit for the SAT, at seventeen years old, his life changed forever. He was arrested. In Douglas County he was accused of inappropriate sexual acts at a New Year’s Eve party. A jury acquitted him of the allegation of Rape but convicted him of Aggravated Child Molestation for a voluntary act of oral sex with another teenager. He was 17, and she was 15.

On July 1st, the new Romeo and Juliet law went into effect in Georgia for any other teen that engages in consensual sexual acts. That change in the law means that no teen prosecuted for consensual oral sex could receive more than a 12 months sentence or be required to register as a sex offender. But since the law was not changed retroactively, Genarlow Wilson must serve his mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, without parole.
posted by b_thinky (179 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Isn't this why pardons exist?
posted by b_thinky at 10:05 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


more cowbell on that last link there, b_thinky.
posted by phaedon at 10:06 AM on January 25, 2007


I'm guessing the girl was white...
posted by SBMike at 10:07 AM on January 25, 2007


Free the West Memphis 69!!

er, sorry.
posted by psmealey at 10:07 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Despite being a good athlete?
posted by jonson at 10:09 AM on January 25, 2007


WTF? link worked when posted. Damn, I suck.
posted by b_thinky at 10:12 AM on January 25, 2007


I read the article, and it is truly a shame. I hope that he can get out in time to still have some semblance of a future.

Did anyone catch the part about a local teacher who was caught having sex with students at around the same time getting only 90 days?
posted by reenum at 10:14 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fixed link: ...mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, without parole.
posted by Prospero at 10:16 AM on January 25, 2007


Despite being a good athlete?

Don't we usually let people off the hook for crimes in America, so long as they are good at sports? This must be a truly unusual case.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:17 AM on January 25, 2007


I'm guessing the girl was white...

Well, the real problem is that the perp is black.

Despite being a suburb of Atlanta, Douglas county is like 80% white.
posted by three blind mice at 10:19 AM on January 25, 2007


Hmm, well I guess if she was only 15 then it wasn't a voluntary act of oral sex.
posted by LadyBonita at 10:20 AM on January 25, 2007


Here's an account with a very different perspective.
posted by transona5 at 10:26 AM on January 25, 2007


Why? 15 year olds don't have free will?
posted by cavalier at 10:27 AM on January 25, 2007


Here's an account with a very different perspective.

Huh? How so? Seems exactly the same to me.
posted by dobbs at 10:31 AM on January 25, 2007


from transona5's link:

Whatever their feelings about the law, jurors felt they had no choice but to find Wilson guilty of aggravated child molestation.

I remember hearing a while back that juries actually do have some discretion to allow their opinions of the law enter into their decision. That if they felt the sentencing would be too harsh, they could decide not-guilty even if they thought the defendant had violated the law. Is there any truth to this or am I getting this completely wrong?
posted by SBMike at 10:33 AM on January 25, 2007


Sounds like you're talking about jury nullification, frequently featured on The Practice.
posted by aaronetc at 10:36 AM on January 25, 2007


SBMike, it's called jury nullification.
posted by daksya at 10:36 AM on January 25, 2007


It looks like Senate Bill 37 is this guy's only chance to get out of there. I live in Georgia so I'll be writing a few letters when I get off work. Thinks for the heads up on this b_thinky. I hadn't heard this story.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2007


Well, the real problem is that the perp is black.

Well, no, the real problem is that it's a draconian law and punishment. Plenty of white guys who committed similar acts have been convicted under these laws, too.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2007


From the article with a supposedly different perspective:
He stood trial in February 2005 for five days. And at first, the jury's deliberations moved swiftly. Jurors voted to acquit Wilson of raping the 17-year-old.

"I mean it wasn't even an hour," said jury forewoman Marie Manigault. "We immediately saw the tape for what it was. We went back and saw it again and saw what actually happened and everybody immediately said not guilty."

But there was one other charge the jury had to decide on. The second girl in the videotape was 15, and the age of consent in Georgia is 16. And under state law, prosecutors charged Wilson with aggravated child molestation. To those close to the young man, it was an outrage.

"Nobody could believe that this is the law," Mann said.

Even jurors frowned on the charge. "A bad law, absolutely," Manigault said.

And in Georgia, that they'd had oral sex made matters worse. Until 1998, oral sex between husband and wife was illegal, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. In Wilson's case, even though he is only two years older than the girl, she was 15 and — willing or not — could not consent legally that night.
So the jury didn't believe it was rape - felt that was obvious. The issue here is that the guy got a bj from a consenting 15 year old who was too young to consent. 10 years for this is an outrage.
posted by xammerboy at 10:39 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is it only me who's so tired of Merrikans whining about their country but not actually ever fucking doing something about it?
posted by unSane at 10:39 AM on January 25, 2007


I think what you're looking for is jury nullification. It is controversial, to say the least. Having been a juror in a criminal case, it is very strongly communicated to you that you are responsible to make a decision based on whether a law was broken, not whether a law (or the likely sentence to be received) is just. But realistically any juror can decide that, this is not justice and simply refuse to find a verdict even when the evidence is genuinely incontrovertible. However, this would most likely result in a hung jury and it would be a situation of enormous pressure and duress for holdout jurors. And I think (but I don't know) that if a juror admitted that they delivered a verdict they believed was contrary to the actual facts, it could result in a mistrial, potentially even legal issues for the juror.
posted by nanojath at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2007


That if they felt the sentencing would be too harsh, they could decide not-guilty even if they thought the defendant had violated the law.

Yeah, but here's another quote from that article: "Whatever their feelings about the law, jurors felt they had no choice but to find Wilson guilty of aggravated child molestation. Moments later, back in the jury room, jurors were told for the first time that the conviction came with a mandatory sentence of at least 10 years in prison." [emphasis mine]

Ah, nothing says "American justice" like "protecting" a 15 year old kid from having consensual sex by sending a 17 year old kid to prison. You know, American prison. Where they rape people. Excelsior!
posted by vorfeed at 10:41 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


That if they felt the sentencing would be too harsh, they could decide not-guilty even if they thought the defendant had violated the law. Is there any truth to this or am I getting this completely wrong?
In this case the jury would have to say that the guy did not get a bj from a 15 year old. It's extremely difficult to nullify a case when they jury is asked to simply consider the facts in front of them.
posted by xammerboy at 10:41 AM on January 25, 2007


My guess is that he is in prison because he broke a law, was convicted, and sentenced to a prison term. That seems to be the general thrust of the issue.

As Justice Hunstein of the Georgia Supreme Court pointed out: "…while I am very sympathetic to Wilson’s argument regarding the injustice of sentencing this promising young man with good grades and no criminal history to ten years in prison without parole and a lifetime registration as a sexual offender because he engaged in consensual oral sex with a 15 year old victim only two years his junior, this Court is bound by the Legislature’s determination that young persons in Wilson’s situation are not entitled to the misdemeanor treatment now accorded to identical behavior under OCGA 16-6-4."

But I guess you really asking whether it was fair. And that determination seems to in the hands of the people of Georgia who, through the legislature, have the right to make the decriminalization retroactively applied.

Also, I think this story could do without the aggrandizing of the guy in jail. As the ESPN story notes, "He admits he wasn't perfect. Far from it. He drank. He smoked pot. He'd been sexually active since he was 13. And a month or so after that final playoff game, he and some buddies were plotting a New Year's Eve bash. His mama heard them whispering in his bedroom that afternoon. She knew kids whispering usually meant trouble, so she went in and looked those boys up and down."

So the statement, "He never had any criminal trouble" is reflective of a degree of luck; not a reflection on the lack of criminal culpability. There isn't any reason to play the "but he is a good kid" card. The issue doesn't require that factor to be addressed. The issue is a more focused one that has been a much debated question in regards to criminal law and punishment: should all laws that decriminalize actions be retroactive? That question applies to anyone serving a sentence for a now decriminalized act, regardless of whether they are a flunkie or a Rhodes scholar. The debate on that issue gets into theories of incarceration: do we punish someone for their specific act, or do we punish someone because they failed to comply with laws? If it is the latter, then decriminalizations should not be retroactive since, at the time, the person still violated criminal laws. The legal debate in this case becomes even more contested in that it involves the hotly contested area of statutory crimes and the lack of a need for scienter.
posted by dios at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is the stuff that drives me nuts. You're telling me that if someone is 15 years, 364 days old they're a helpless child but one day later they can consent (assuming 16 is the age of consent in GA)? We're so hysterical on any and all "OMG it's for the children!" stuff in this country.
posted by maxwelton at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2007


unSane: "Is it only me who's so tired of Merrikans whining about their country but not actually ever fucking doing something about it?"

Is it only me who's tired of non-Merrikans snarking about Merrikah just because it's fun? They already changed the law down in Jow-jah. Or what exactly did you have in mind here?
posted by koeselitz at 10:43 AM on January 25, 2007


Sounds like you're talking about jury nullification

That does sound like what you're talking about, but you shouldn't be under the misimpression that it's undisputed that juries have the legal "discretion" to engage in jury nullification. It's highly controversial, and many courts would deny that nullification is a "right" that a jury has. I'm not sure the Wikipedia article gives a good picture of the current view of jury nullification.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:46 AM on January 25, 2007


koeselitz writes "Is it only me who's tired of non-Merrikans snarking about Merrikah just because it's fun?"

No, we also do it because you guys make it so fucking easy.
posted by clevershark at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2007


I'm guessing the girl was white...

Nah, both of the supposed victims were black, too (see interview with prosecutor in this piece). This is just another case of legislators and prosecutors reading their mandate to be "tough on crime" rather uncritically.
posted by grobstein at 10:49 AM on January 25, 2007


dios, which act makes the kid a bad person? The under-age drinking and smoking or the fact that a 15 year old gave him a bj?

To me the drinking and marijuana use is the worst part, given that the sex was clearly consensual and instigated by the 15 year old girl.

So why not charge for alcohol and pot instead of child molestation? Lots of kids I know got busted with pot and nobody had to serve 10 years hard time.

What's so outrageous about this case is the sentence is completely out of line with the crime. Why did the female teacher only get 90 days while this kid gets 10 years?
posted by b_thinky at 10:51 AM on January 25, 2007


Congress and their mandatory minimum sentences are to blame, if anyone. Judges no longer have the discretion they once did. Congress reacts more strongly to the "people's interests," so they enact punishments for crimes without looking to see what similar crimes have as their punishment. Thus, we get things like murderers being able to get financial aid once they leave prison, but a casual drug user cannot. Congress lacks a sense of history and proportion.
posted by adipocere at 10:53 AM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


You're telling me that if someone is 15 years, 364 days old they're a helpless child but one day later they can consent (assuming 16 is the age of consent in GA)?.

We have to make an age cut off somewhere. Where do you propose it? 15 and a half? That's only a few months older than 15 and a quarter. Which is only a few months older than just turned 15..... Humans don't go from Helpless Child to Mature Adult overnight, it's a slow process. Unfortunately, when you make laws about it, (which are needed to protect kids from those who would harm them), you have to give it a number.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:53 AM on January 25, 2007


Spooner's Essay on the Trial by Jury
posted by Kwantsar at 10:54 AM on January 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


It's extremely difficult to nullify a case when they jury is asked to simply consider the facts in front of them.

Had the jury known the penalty ahead of time, I bet they'd have done it regardless, and served their time for contempt of court if necessary. But of course, the entire idea of jury nullification is poison to our current system, which depends on the jury not knowing much about the applicable law or the penalty, and not being allowed to bring things like common sense or ideals of justice to the table. Hell, these days even the judge often doesn't get to use discretion in sentencing. Note that this case had a mandatory minimum sentence. We like our trials to go 1-2-3, with a minimum of hassle or fuss, and we pick our juries and laws accordingly.

A++++++ DEFENDANT WOULD CONVICT AGAIN!
posted by vorfeed at 10:54 AM on January 25, 2007


I think what you're looking for is jury nullification. It is controversial, to say the least.

It is an interesting concept. Given the nature of our Constitution, there does not seem to be anything problematic about instances of jury nullification. That we value trials by juries who are free, one can't object when the jury acts in the way they choose.

That being the case, there is something inherently problematic about jury nullification as a policy to be advocated or embraced. Jury nullification is, by definition, counter-authoritarian and anti-democratic. It places the power to make the law in the hands of 12 individuals and strips the power of our constitutional republic to articulate the will of the people. Taken to its logical extreme, if everyone in the country but 12 people believed X and made a law regarding X, it would be absolute tyranny of the minority if those 12 people ended up on a jury and disregarded X, thereby rendering the law and our political system without power. So a policy to be advocated, it really is shorthand for people to circumvent the democratic process. The legal process is not a tool to be used when one cannot find the support to pursue their goals through the legislative process.

So, as weird as it sounds, it sort of a situation where it is bad as a policy but perfectly fine in practice.
posted by dios at 10:56 AM on January 25, 2007


Metafilter: bad as a policy but perfectly fine in practice
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:03 AM on January 25, 2007


Another story from the Police State? BORING
posted by sporb at 11:06 AM on January 25, 2007


Well, OK, my parent is kicking to say that a party where the high school's homecoming king is having public, videotaped sex with multiple women is not at all cool.

Having said that, here's this for those that don't have it (Danger Mouse + Murs)

Dear Marcus
I know it's been hard time
since they made you the victim of your so-called crime
Kinda snatched you out the game of life in your prime
They already took one, we won't let 'em take nine
Since birth the deck was stacked against you to fail
Witcha father not there, mom's in and outta jail
But you saw through it all and chose to excel
I can't see why they chose to lock you in a cell
Well I'm praying that you're free by the time you get this
Never known a convict with a three nine six
GPA but in Rome G-A
Black boys having sex with white girls? No way
In most any other state it woulda been OK
For two high school teens to have sexual relations
But at age 15? That's molestation
In the great state of Georgia and I really feel for ya
She was only three months away from bein' 16
You a few months away from achievin' your dreams
All-American, played on the football team
Accepted into Vanderbilt, a scholar in the makin'
And the jury saw fit to acquit you of the rapin'
After only fifteen minutes of deliberation
What's the state of our nation when the laws ain't in check?
Got you servin' ten years for consensual sex?!
I'm perplexed and ashamed at the games that they playin'
Tryin' to keep a young man from his life and education
Not to mention the family you been with since age ten
Regardless of your race they loved you and took you in
So let your struggle make you great, don't let it make you hate
No we won't stop workin' 'til you free from those gates
Much love and respect, hold your head, God bless
From the bottom of my heart, M-U-R-S


Awfully similar story, although it again turns on behavior that leaves you agog. (A deflowering in a trailer on school property?) Marcus Dixon had the charges reversed and was released with time served on the less serious charge of misdemeanor statutory rape.
posted by blueshammer at 11:07 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


From the ESPN article: "But because of an archaic Georgia law, it was a misdemeanor for teenagers less than three years apart to have sexual intercourse, but a felony for the same kids to have oral sex"

Can someone, presumably, more familiar with Georgia law explain to me what the highlighted text is refering to? I get the age of consent thing but this bit threw me. What happens if the teenagers are more than three years apart?I'm guessing its a bigger crime but I wasn't aware that there was an age gap rule included in consent laws... Then again I don't live in Georgia.
posted by srw12 at 11:14 AM on January 25, 2007


From the "different perspective" article:
And a state legislator who helped pass the molestation law said it was never meant to police teen sex.

"The legislative intent was to protect women and children from sexual predators," said Rep. Tyrone Brooks, a Democrat in the Georgia State Assembly.
Whuh? Huh? A law was (mis)used for something other than the idiot who helped pass it intended it to be used for? Inconceivable!
posted by treepour at 11:20 AM on January 25, 2007


koeselitz, no your not the only one.

clevershark. right , cause if you lived here you would so totally be making a difference. when canada is living with the responsibilities that come with being a superpower, then you all can tell us what to do to keep our's in line. for now how about not taking a piss on the only people in this monster's belly that don't want it to turn around and eat you for lunch. don't presume what real control americans have over this beast. we are outside looking in, just like you. if you're calling for armed revolt, meet me at the border fella. that goes for unsane too.
posted by nola at 11:25 AM on January 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


The problem here is a) an unjust law and b ) mandatory minimum sentences.

If legislators weren't pandering fucknut twunts, they'd throw out mandatory minimum sentences and leave level of punishment where it belongs: to the persons deciding the circumstances of the case - i.e. the judge and jury.
posted by lalochezia at 11:30 AM on January 25, 2007


Green Eyed Monster: We have to make an age cut off somewhere. Where do you propose it? 15 and a half? That's only a few months older than 15 and a quarter. Which is only a few months older than just turned 15..... Humans don't go from Helpless Child to Mature Adult overnight, it's a slow process. Unfortunately, when you make laws about it, (which are needed to protect kids from those who would harm them), you have to give it a number.

Let's not restrict sexual activity to age, instead lets require mandatory licenses. After demonstrating of knowledge of STDs, consequences of pregnancy, function of sex organs of both sexes, a skills test, and a certain number of hours of hands-on training with a licensed adult, any teen may obtain a state license to have sexual intercourse. Like a fishing license, they are subject to taxation and permit only approved sexual acts. Sex without a license will result in hefty fines if not a permanent prohibition of sex related activities.
posted by peeedro at 11:31 AM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the case of Genarlow Wilson, both in its own right and as a lens into the larger issue of victimless crime, and why it is often harshly punished in America. Wilson is serving a ten-year prison sentence in Georgia simply because, at 17, he had consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Colb explains why the closeness in their ages was not a defense, and considers the role of the fact that Wilson is African-American. She also discusses the role of the concept of "sin" in the evolution of the law.
posted by homunculus at 11:35 AM on January 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Clearly most Mefites think it's perfectly okay because he's a black male and she's a white female, whereas racial entitlements won't matter if they're both male -- and if they're both female the subject is too h4wt for anything but gawping at on Youtube. I say this is another clear case of liberal inconsistency: if it's Pedophiliac Sexual Offensation if both partners are white males then it's equally criminal and perverty when anybody does it. A 15 year old white heterosexual female is every bit as much an Abused Child Victim as a 15 year old Caucasian gay male, and anybody who thinks differently should hurry up and found a NAMGLA chapter before we take him out and lynch him.

The spirit of the law is obvious: until all parties to any consensual sexual act are 18, the eldest party is automatically the Designated Offensor. If he's 8 years, 10 months, 3 days old and three hours old and she's 45 seconds older then she ought to be branded and locked away forever so decent people can be safe from her pedopredatoriousness.

We must protect all children equally!
posted by davy at 11:35 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


C'mon, nola.

Armchair jingoism never sounds cool.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:36 AM on January 25, 2007


Lately I've noticed something about the Ohio - Georgia - Florida axis... it's like the Axis of Tyranny, from all the stories that keep rolling out of there. It's sheer irony that I look at those goings-ons and feel glad to be in Texas.
posted by calhound at 11:37 AM on January 25, 2007


is the age of consent here not 18? (admits little knowledge of american-state-law-diversity) with such a small age-difference, this seems...excessive. it takes two...
posted by cardamine at 11:41 AM on January 25, 2007


far from jingoism i'm saying blame the US not the people, or is it the people of iraq's fault for not being able to control the US either? this power don't go were it's told, it goes were it wants. or am i just missing something?
posted by nola at 11:42 AM on January 25, 2007


I think the jury convicted out of jealousy. The party where the "crimes" took place was way more awesome than any hootenanny I've ever been to.
posted by papakwanz at 11:43 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


and don't tell me we can force change through elections , cause what we do there amounts to picking a favorite color every 4 years. i'm sorry canada, world. the dirty secret of the US is , we don't run things over here. capital, that is merrika's final decider, not the people , not the rule of law. money.

now as i said , if you all want to help with an armed revolt, meet me at the border.

otherwise , get off our collective back.
posted by nola at 11:52 AM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, OK, my parent is kicking to say that a party where the high school's homecoming king is having public, videotaped sex with multiple women is not at all cool.

Why not?

davy: what the hell are you talking about? Where on earth do you get the idea than anyone in this thread is saying that 2 underage gay white males should be tried but a straight black male shouldn't?
posted by papakwanz at 11:56 AM on January 25, 2007


Clearly most Mefites think it's perfectly okay because he's a black male and she's a white female
posted by davy at 1:35 PM CST on January 25


Huh? Do you even bother to read this stuff before climbing up on your agendabox?
posted by dios at 11:56 AM on January 25, 2007


davy writes "Clearly most Mefites think it's perfectly okay because he's a black male and she's a white female, whereas racial entitlements won't matter if they're both male...[nonsense retracted]"

What the hell are you talking about? 1) She's black. 2) I don't know what you mean by "think it's perfectly okay" (the sex or the punishment?) Few, if any people here seem okay with the punishment; most seem to think the sex, even if significantly skeezy, does not deserve 10 years in jail. 3) No one here has made any comments regarding same-gender sexual contact; certainly no one has expressed the opinion that you seem to be angrily railing against: that age of consent laws should be based on sexuality. 4) The age of consent in Georgia is 16.

Can you restate taking these factors into account; and try to be clear, please.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:57 AM on January 25, 2007


cardamine writes "is the age of consent here not 18? "

No, it is not.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:58 AM on January 25, 2007


capital, that is merrika's final decider, not the people , not the rule of law. money.

Thanks, ChomskyFan666.

Care to explain how financial considerations are at play in statutory sexual offense cases?
posted by dios at 11:58 AM on January 25, 2007


Davy, what in the world are you talking about? That is thw worst strawman I've ever seen this side of 111.
posted by notsnot at 12:00 PM on January 25, 2007


otherwise , get off our collective back.posted by nola

Nola,
I was just saying no need to get hot under the collar when friends raise a concerned eyebrow.
No more than that.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:01 PM on January 25, 2007


See also DumbLaws and StupidLaws. Fun!
posted by antifuse at 12:05 PM on January 25, 2007


The real problem (well, among many) is that juries are not informed of of the mandatory minimum sentences. They might have expected him to get a suspended sentence or something, but were shocked by the 10 years.

Anyway, this happens all the time. Welcome to America!
posted by delmoi at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2007


ok sorry . . . this merrikan keeps getting sand in his oatmeal today , so i'm a little touchie.

Care to explain how financial considerations are at play in statutory sexual offense cases?
posted by dios


it's called a derail dios , you taught me everything i never wanted to know about them.
posted by nola at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2007


calhound:

Lately I've noticed something about the Ohio - Georgia - Florida axis... it's like the Axis of Tyranny, from all the stories that keep rolling out of there. It's sheer irony that I look at those goings-ons and feel glad to be in Texas.


Wow, Texas, huh? That kid is lucky he doesn't live there, he'd probably be up for the death penalty.... Axis of Tyranny indeed, better than Death Penalty capital of the world.
posted by eparchos at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2007


Davy, What's an offensor?
posted by A189Nut at 12:08 PM on January 25, 2007


I think davy is comparing this to the Mark Foley matter. Davy the difference is that the guy was only 17 also a child. Why is he any more guilty of molestation then the girl?

That is the purpose of Romeo and Juliet laws.

This never would have happened here in Iowa, where the age of consent is just 14!
posted by delmoi at 12:10 PM on January 25, 2007


A: Because he is black.
posted by j-urb at 12:10 PM on January 25, 2007


davy:
...I say this is another clear case of liberal inconsistency:

And I submit that your comment is another case of conservative illiteracy.
posted by eparchos at 12:10 PM on January 25, 2007


Good thing he's not gay.

Well, no, the real problem is that it's a draconian law and punishment. Plenty of white guys who committed similar acts have been convicted under these laws, too.

I'd be curious to find out what the conviction statistics are, classified by race. Given prison statistics in general, particularly for crimes categorized as "violent", I'm not sure I would be willing to take this assertion on face value.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on January 25, 2007


Don't we usually let people off the hook for crimes in America, so long as they are good at sports?

No, not at all. You're thinking of OJ Simpson (good lawyer, inept prosecution) and perhaps Kobe Bryant (obviously innocent, charges would probably have never been brought if he hadn't been famous) and possibly Ray Lewis (same deal as Bryant, more or less).
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:17 PM on January 25, 2007


Jury nullification is, by definition, counter-authoritarian and anti-democratic.

Counter-authoritarian? You say that like it's a bad thing.

The tyranny of the majority is much more commonplace than any inflicted by a minority. There are some lines that should not be crossed, no matter how popular the idea is, and a jury is a final defense against this kind of wrong. Sometimes the law should not be applied, and the jury is in the best of all possible circumstances to determine this.

We live in a draconian and ridiculous time, in which it is hard to breathe in and out without breaking a rule or regulation of some type. Many of these laws are unjust and should not exist, but at the very least, there are certainly cases in which the law should not be applied.

The purpose of the law is justice, not the enforcement of the law itself.
posted by Malor at 12:35 PM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


We have to make an age cut off somewhere. Where do you propose it? 15 and a half? That's only a few months older than 15 and a quarter. Which is only a few months older than just turned 15..... Humans don't go from Helpless Child to Mature Adult overnight, it's a slow process. Unfortunately, when you make laws about it, (which are needed to protect kids from those who would harm them), you have to give it a number.

Why do we have to have an age cut off? Why can't we evaluate the actual maturity of participants (and their consequent capacity to consent) on a case-by-case basis?

It's possible that a preternaturally mature child could take advantage of someone much older, but emotionally or intellectually stunted in such a way that they ought not be deemed capable of giving consent.

The law should account for this; if you just refer to some arbitrary number, then it does not.
posted by juv3nal at 12:35 PM on January 25, 2007


and a certain number of hours of hands-on training with a licensed adult, any teen may obtain a state license to have sexual intercourse

Ooh, can I have this job?

"Sorry Brittany, you're going to need a few more practice sessions before you qualify for that liscense. Your technique is improving however."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:38 PM on January 25, 2007


delmoi writes "I think davy is comparing this to the Mark Foley matter."

This is a truly heroic effort at reading between the lines. I don't know whether you're right or not, but I admire your effort.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2007


Oops, I should have said 'there are nearly always cases in which a given law should not be applied'. That's what a jury is for.
posted by Malor at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2007


If you go back to other (fairly recent) Metafilter threads about Pedophiliac Sex Offensation you'll see what I mean: I'm talking about the Universal Mefite Consensus (minus a few dissidents trolls who are clearly out to Enable Pedophilia and therefore don't count).

If she's black then I clearly misread something. But because (to quote a noted late Constitutional Scholar) "facts are stupid things" that doesn't really matter. What matters is the intent, unless you want to say that 15 year old black females don't deserve the same protection white boys get.

Again, I'm arguing for consistency: if Foley should meet the Lynching Tree for sending off-color IMs to a 16 year old white mail then Wilson should swing for victimizing this poor defenseless 15 year old non-white non-male.

On preview (damn I type slow), delmoi read me correctly. I'll bet that delmoi probably also understands that rather than "conservative illiteracy" that was an example of scathing sarcasm. Now, to answer delmoi, the difference (maybe besides that he's black) is that he's above the "Age of Consent" in the state of Georgia , which is only 16 (for both sexes).

It seems that the Guardians of Morality who the taxpaying voters of Georgia enable to Protect The Children have since passed a "Romeo and Juliet law" to partially fix that, but it's still not fully legal in Georgia for any set of lovers one of whom is over 16 to have consensual relations: to quote the FPP, "[t]hat change in the law means that no teen prosecuted for consensual oral sex could receive more than a 12 months sentence or be required to register as a sex offender." So if she's 17 and he's 15 and she victimizes him with fellatio she would still be legally entitled to up to 12 months of compulsory room & board.
posted by davy at 12:44 PM on January 25, 2007


"16 year old white mail"

Does that Mozilla bug allow retroactive spellchecking?
posted by davy at 12:47 PM on January 25, 2007


Counter-authoritarian? You say that like it's a bad thing.

That was supposed to say "counter-majoritarian."

Many of these laws are unjust and should not exist

That is your personal opinion, and a melodramatic one at that. And one, I submit, not held by the majority of the country or they wouldn't exist. So you have three options: (1) move; (2) convince people the law should be changed; or (3) accept the law as you have submitted to the will of the majority by virtue of your assent to living under the government.
posted by dios at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2007


if Foley should meet the Lynching Tree

Foley was Lynched? Sorry I missed that.

There's a difference between resigning from a cushy job and spending 10 years in prison, just as there is a difference between teens having consensual sex and a grown adult abusing his position of power for the sake of his sexual gratification. That you conflate these astounds me.
posted by peeedro at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2007


davy writes "Again, I'm arguing for consistency: if Foley should meet the Lynching Tree for sending off-color IMs to a 16 year old white mail then Wilson should swing for victimizing this poor defenseless 15 year old non-white non-male."

Holy shit, delmoi, you nailed it! You have my utmost respect.

davy, this is the most stupid thing I've ever read. That is all.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:52 PM on January 25, 2007


OK, that's not all.

For the sake of consistency, I will say that yes, like Foley, Wilson should be forced to resign from the House of Representatives of the United States of America, just as any Representative would surely be forced to do were he videotaped getting blown by a 15-year-old.

Of either gender, I'm sure.

Hell, I'd even be cool with just kicking the kid off the football team, which I'm sure would be a much bigger deal for him, since, as far as I can tell, he isn't currently a Rep.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:55 PM on January 25, 2007


The real problem (well, among many) is that juries are not informed of of the mandatory minimum sentences. They might have expected him to get a suspended sentence or something, but were shocked by the 10 years.

Uh, I'm not sure I understand this. The role of a jury is to determine the facts of the case, apply the law to those facts, and thus determine if the law has been violated. That's it. How is the penalty for violating the law relevant to whether or not the law has been violated?

Part of the whole 'rule of law' idea is that selective enforcement is a bad thing. "Well, technically he did exactly what the law prohibits and is plainly guilty, but I don't really think he deserves ten years, he's a good kid, so I'm going to lie through my teeth and say he's not guilty" is not an attitude juries should be adopting - for one thing, it's too easily reversed, producing something like "Well, technically it's not possible for him to be guilty of this, but he's a horrible enough person that he probably deserves to be in jail for something anyway, so I'm gonna say he's guilty."
posted by kafziel at 12:57 PM on January 25, 2007


davy writes "if Foley should meet the Lynching Tree"

OK, just one more thing. This is probably the most offensive thing I'll read this week.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:58 PM on January 25, 2007


If she's black then I clearly misread something. But because (to quote a noted late Constitutional Scholar) "facts are stupid things" that doesn't really matter.

Oh, so in your earlier comment her race mattered, but now it doesn't. And you're arguing FOR CONSISTENCY??
Oh, and, last I checked, Foley's not serving 10 years in prison. My comment on your illiteracy was not entirely sarcasm, as you clearly have a remarkably twisted theory here... so twisted that it makes absolutely no sense. Foley gets chastised for sending IMs to interns 37 years younger than him, kid gets a hummer from a girl 2 years his junior, gets 10 years. So, in other words, two completely different cases which you're trying to somehow, magically, equate. And, somehow, this makes some point against the "Universal Mefite Consensus". The only problem is, you don't actually bother to detail how that makes any point at all.
Again, I repeat, how the hell are you arguing for consistency with such a completely inconsistent argument? Worst spin evar.
posted by eparchos at 12:59 PM on January 25, 2007


Don't bother arguing with davy and his gaygenda. He has it in his head that gays are more discriminated against than black people and these laws are all about discrimination. So we shouldn't feel bad for this guy because gays have it worse.

Or something to that effect. I can't really tell because I die laughing when I read that Foley was tied to a Lynching Tree.
posted by dios at 1:02 PM on January 25, 2007


Hey eparchos, you still don't get it because you still don't want to. Let me guess, you're a straight guy, right?
posted by davy at 1:03 PM on January 25, 2007


kafziel: How is the penalty for violating the law relevant to whether or not the law has been violated?

A lawyer can correct me if I'm wrong, but that's why the jury does not learn about the penalties of a crime when deciding guilt or innocence. Not until after the person is found guilty is the jury told the sentencing guidelines and given instructions to deliberate on the penalty that will be recommended.
posted by peeedro at 1:05 PM on January 25, 2007


Hey eparchos, you still don't get it because you still don't want to. Let me guess, you're a straight guy, right?

No, I don't "get it" because it doesn't make any sense. I don't care if you're straight or not, and whether I'm straight or not doesn't matter: You write gibberish. If you're practicing writing hermetically, good for you, you win. If you plan on communicating any ideas any time soon, though, I recommend not doing so.
Oh, and, just to point out how wrong you are, again: No, I am not straight. So if you're thinking your writing secretly communicates to all non-straight people in the MeFi universe while leaving straight people in the dark, try again.
Jeez, and here I thought dios was being silly.
posted by eparchos at 1:10 PM on January 25, 2007


Davy: there was, I think a couple years ago or so, a case similar to this where both people were male. I think the ages were about the same, 17 and 15 or maybe 17 and 14. I'm pretty sure most people here took the position that it was unfair to put the older boy in jail.

At the same time, the reaction of a fifty year old man getting blown on film by a 15 year old would probably be very different then the reaction around here of a 17 year old boy getting blow. This case involves a minor age difference, and the other involves a huge one.

It really isn't inconsistent to find one abhorrent and another not that bad. Plus, I'm not really sure that many people were saying Foley should be put in jail for 10 years, they just wanted to point out the hypocrisy of the republican congressional leadership.
posted by delmoi at 1:13 PM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


And dios, you are so wrong it's funny. But then if you had Reading Comprehension Skills you'd've noticed I said "if Foley should meet the Lynching Tree". And actually on this issue I take a libertarian stand -- and my "SO" is female (which I'm not, in case you missed that too).

Again, my point is that if Age of Consent laws must remain they should be applied equally, to "protect" 15 year old black females as well as 16 year old white males. The sex, sexual preference, political affiliation or occupation of the Pedophile Perpetrator should not matter: all that should matter is that s/he is above the Age of Consent and the Abused Victim is below it. Whether the Evil Offender is 17 or 7 times 17 should not matter either: the line has been drawn in the law, and fudging it is as unfair as letting some people get away with murder. Tyrannize everybody, not just people you don't relate to.
posted by davy at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2007


Hey eparchos, you still don't get it because you still don't want to. Let me guess, you're a straight guy, right?
Sweetie, I'm not a straight guy, and I think you're contradicting yourself, too. Seriously, sometimes when a whole lot of people tell you that you're off-target, it's not 'cause they're just out to get you.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2007


davy, honey?

Love you to bits, usually. But seriously... you're creating lots and lots of ridiculous strawmen. You and I, we generally agree on the ridiculousness of many age of consent laws, largely because both you and I were doing all sorts of things when we were teenagers that could have gotten a lot of people in very hot water, had we cared to do so.

This situation, though, is very sepcifically about an asinine law punishing straight kids. Nobody here--nobody but you--mentioned gay kids.

Have a martini, man. Chill.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:23 PM on January 25, 2007


ta, mr_roboto. i've never understood why state laws differ, seems unfair (odd, unlucky, etc...) that you could commit a 'crime' in one state and not in another.

anyway, laws don't allow for common-sense decisions/penalties, whatever. there are cut-off points, minimum sentences, and they don't always apply like they're meant to. maybe this case shouldn't even have gone to court. kids have underage sex: fact. i'm not debating the morals of it, i'm just saying it's true. imposing penalties on teenagers, i imagine, does very little good.
posted by cardamine at 1:25 PM on January 25, 2007


Karmakaze, read my comment that somehow got posted a few seconds before yours and tell me if I'm still contradicting myself.

And dirtynumbangelboy, what are YOU talking about? Go reread what I said.
posted by davy at 1:29 PM on January 25, 2007


"The law is no respecter of persons." It should tyrannize everybody equally.
posted by davy at 1:30 PM on January 25, 2007


But, davy, you're making an irrational comparison.

Foley: abused his power to get his rocks off

This kid: had consensual sex


There is an ocean of difference between the two, and you know it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:37 PM on January 25, 2007


That is your personal opinion, and a melodramatic one at that. And one, I submit, not held by the majority of the country or they wouldn't exist. So you have three options: (1) move; (2) convince people the law should be changed; or (3) accept the law as you have submitted to the will of the majority by virtue of your assent to living under the government.

So by your standards, if 51 people think the other 49 should be tortured and executed, that's perfectly okay.

There's nothing magical about a majority. There are some lines that should never be crossed. If it's wrong for a king or a President or Congress to decree something, it's just as wrong for the majority to do so.

You seem to have this idea that a majority is always right. I shudder in fear at living in what you would consider utopia.
posted by Malor at 1:40 PM on January 25, 2007


Hey eparchos, you still don't get it because you still don't want to. Let me guess, you're a straight guy, right?

In retrospect, I should have just paraphrased one of my favorite lines from a Consolidated album to that: "From this moment forth, we are black lesbians!"
posted by eparchos at 1:46 PM on January 25, 2007


Contact Eddie Barker and let him know what you think:

Eddie Barker
Firm: Douglas County District Attorney Off.
Address: Douglas County Cthse
Room 205
6754 Broad St
Douglasville, GA 30134-1711
Phone: (770) 920-7292
Fax: (770) 920-7123

and if you think contacting him won't make a difference, i plead with you to -- out of respect for the injustice done to Mr. Wilson and respect for the compassion shown by those who are willing to try to do what they can -- keep that opinion to yourself.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:48 PM on January 25, 2007


out of respect for the injustice done to Mr. Wilson

whoops, that should read "out of concern..."
posted by lord_wolf at 1:51 PM on January 25, 2007


The state also has discretion as to whether to prosecute a given violation. I found it apalling that District Attorney McDade would say "Do I believe that [in] Genarlow Wilson's case justice would have been served if he accepted a lesser plea? Sure I do. I wish he had of. Sure I do."

Why did McDade prosecute as he did and then act as if he had no role in the issuance of a mandatory minimum sentence? If there is blame to be had for this travesty it starts there (and likely with his boss).
posted by fydfyd at 1:53 PM on January 25, 2007


This kid: had consensual sex

That is not what she is saying. He can say that, the jury might think that, but it does not explain why the first thing she did when she woke up was to call her mother and tell her that she thought she had been raped.

I don't think consentual is the right word to be using here.
posted by thirteen at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2007


So by your standards, if 51 people think the other 49 should be tortured and executed, that's perfectly okay.

Where did I say that?

In the Madisonian system, there are two competing principles: that of majority rule and that of individual rights. Majorities are free to rule so long as individual (or minority) rights are not infringed. The whole purpose of government is established to balance and provide a mechanism by which the freedom for majorities to rule and the protection of individual rights can be preserved.

So 51 can't vote to kill the other 49, because it would violate the rights of the 49.

If there is a conflict, and the balance goes to favor the majority or the individual, then either tyranny of the majority or tyranny of the minority results.

There's nothing magical about a majority.

Yes there is. It's kind of the point of democracy, yes?

There are some lines that should never be crossed.

Who said otherwise?

You seem to have this idea that a majority is always right.
posted by Malor at 3:40 PM CST on January 25


Where did I ever say that?

What I did say was that as a citizen of the United States, the government derives its power from the assent of the people, which means me. I assent to living under this government. As such, I assent to the right of majorities to rule in any method short of depriving me of my constitutional rights. I can dislike what they decide to do, but they are free to do it. And I am free to dislike it. I can work to change it. Or, I can decide to be a outlaw. Or I can move. If I want a society that has legalized nudity, I have to work through the marketplace of ideas and convince people we should have it. Or, I need to move to a place that has it. If I can't or refuse to do those things, I don't really have any legs to stand on to bitch about the majority's right to make it illegal. That is their right. And as a citizen, I submit to their decision irrespective of whether I agree with it or not.

You might shudder in fear at living in the kind of society that the Constitution creates, but you don't really propose any sort of plausible and preferable alternative. As far as I can tell, the Constitution still remains the greatest political idea and construct and has not been surpassed by another form. Care to share with us the one you have in mind?
posted by dios at 2:09 PM on January 25, 2007


"Foley: abused his power to get his rocks off"

Really? I haven't seen any IMs from Foley saying "I'll make life hard for you if you don't", only the same kind of goofy "sex-chat" I'd expect from a 14 year old AOLer. Mind you I suspect Foley probably did abuse his power in several ways at several times -- because that's what politicians qua politicians do -- just that I don't see that "scandal" as fitting that definition: the Democrats were just too weak to take down somebody more powerful for what bothered them more -- as wimps will bomb Grenada because they can't handle Cuba.

Those who are sure Foley misused his power in those IMs (to an EX_page I thought) please support your arguments with documentation.

And see what thirteen just said. Which by the way does not matter to my argument on Age of Consent laws: the whole point of Age of Consent laws is that under some arbitrary age you're not old enough to consent whether you want to or not.

And yes, forcing someone to have sex is wrong whether s/he's 15 or 50.

Again, my point: you should use the law to tyrannize everybody equally, not just people you don't think you're very much like.

(Let's see what hilarious ways y'all can come up with to misread this comment.)
posted by davy at 2:21 PM on January 25, 2007


It's kind of the point of democracy, yes?

Proportional representation (PR) voting systems are used by most of the world’s major democracies. Under PR, representatives are elected from multi-seat districts in proportion to the number of votes received. PR assures that political parties or candidates will have the percent of legislative seats that reflects their public support. A party or candidate need not come in first to win seats.

In contrast, in the United States we use “winner-take-all” single seat districts, where votes going to a losing candidate are wasted, even if that candidate garners 49.9% of the vote. This leaves significant blocs of voters unrepresented.


For what it's worth, no, most modern democracies have evolved countermeasures against majority abuses.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 PM on January 25, 2007


This kid: had consensual sex

That is not what she is saying. He can say that, the jury might think that, but it does not explain why the first thing she did when she woke up was to call her mother and tell her that she thought she had been raped.

I don't think consentual is the right word to be using here.



...

Well now I don't know what to think! 15 year old girls who don't want to suck cock? Well, I never!
posted by liquorice at 2:26 PM on January 25, 2007


It's kind of the point of democracy, yes?

Proportional representation (PR) voting systems are used by most of the world’s major democracies....

For what it's worth, no


Gee, once those proportionally elected officials make it into office and various pieces of legislation are proposed, I wonder how they decide which pass since they apparently have moved beyond the concept of "whether more officials vote 'yay' or 'nay' decides whether the legislation passes.

SMP vs. PR has not a damn thing to do with anything being discussed here.
posted by dios at 2:32 PM on January 25, 2007


There seems to be some confusion here. From the articles, and correct me if I am wrong:

There was a 17-year old girl who attended this party, was drunk and had sex with some of the people there. She claimed she had been raped. The jury reviewed the tape and found that to not be the case. Not guilty.

There is a 15-year old girl who initiated oral sex with him and others. She herself said she initiated it. Guilty.

It is of this second "crime" that he is serving a sentence.

Whether everyone getting drunk and having sex constitutes rape or not is a different discussion. He was not found guilty in that case. He is serving a sentence for sex that was consensual on everyone's part.
posted by Durhey at 2:47 PM on January 25, 2007


Don't bother arguing with davy and his gaygenda.

Now I see! So davy, YOU'RE the one behind this nefarious "homosexual agenda" I keep hearing about!! For shame...

This kid: had consensual sex

That is not what she is saying.


Way to RTFA, FW.

There were TWO girls. The 17 yr old (who engaged in vaginal sex with Wilson & his friends) claimed that she had been raped. From the ABC News article:

"Authorities believed the 17-year-old alleged rape victim and said she was too intoxicated to consent to any sexual acts.... He stood trial in February 2005 for five days. And at first, the jury's deliberations moved swiftly. Jurors voted to acquit Wilson of raping the 17-year-old.

'I mean it wasn't even an hour,' said jury forewoman Marie Manigault. 'We immediately saw the tape for what it was. We went back and saw it again and saw what actually happened and everybody immediately said not guilty.'


The 15 yr old girl performed oral sex on Wilson & his friends, and that is what had got him sent to jail, despite the fact that she said it was totally consensual oral sex:

"The second girl in the videotape was 15, and the age of consent in Georgia is 16. And under state law, prosecutors charged Wilson with aggravated child molestation."

From the ESPN article:

"When he was a senior in high school, he received oral sex from a 10th grader. He was 17. She was 15. Everyone, including the girl and the prosecution, agreed she initiated the act."
posted by papakwanz at 2:47 PM on January 25, 2007


Gee, once those proportionally elected officials make it into office and various pieces of legislation are proposed, I wonder how they decide which pass since they apparently have moved beyond the concept of "whether more officials vote 'yay' or 'nay' decides whether the legislation passes.

But that's not what you said. You said that democracy runs by majority rule, which is clearly not the case when, in the aforementioned example, a quorum of smaller political entities — none of which need hold a plurality — must reach agreement before deciding policy, as opposed to the zero-sum-based single entity you describe above. As another example, some juries do not operate under majority-rule principles, yet are elements of a functional, legitimate democratic system. Reality suggests that not all democracies need or do operate under your stringent guidelines.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:48 PM on January 25, 2007



Way to RTFA, FW.


Well aren't you charming. I did to read the article. I apologize for confusing the events of the evening.
posted by thirteen at 3:02 PM on January 25, 2007


I just think it is wrong to punish the 17 year old for being in love.
posted by Slap Factory at 3:25 PM on January 25, 2007


If these two people are not peers, maybe we should take them out of the same schools? That's quite a mixed message isn't it? You may perform "X" with only certain members of your history class, but who knows which ones? It's like all of high school is a game of Operation.
posted by Brainy at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2007


Anyway, what's wrong with my equating Foley and this case is that I ain't yet seen anything showing "that evil Republican hypocritical closet homo pedophile" Foley actually touched any of those (ex-?) pages in real life, whereas in the case we're discussing everybody -- even the Convicted Sex Offender -- agrees that actual physical sexual contact actually took place. Therefore, on anybody's Criminal Perversion Conduct Scale this case would have to be worse than Foley's. Furthermore, Wilson and his friends made a video of this Pedophile Sex Offense, so they should also go down for Child Pr0nography too. (If, that is, the applicable laws are applied fairly.)

Of course very few Mefites will see it as I do, because around here it's so much hipper to identify with a 17 year old straight black athlete than a 52 year old gay white Republican congressman. So people are likely to keep on missing my point that the law and associated Moral Outrage should apply to everybody equally, not just those people it's hip to dislike. (And then you have to be careful to specify that you hate Foley because he's a hypocritical Republican "Master of the Universe," not because he's a faggot.)

---
"He is serving a sentence for sex that was consensual on everyone's part."

A pedophiliac sodomitical offense against an underage juvenile! She's UNDERAGE, so it wouldn't matter if she begged him and paid cash money, just like it wouldn't matter if she was only 5 instead of 15.
posted by davy at 3:52 PM on January 25, 2007


Anyway, what's wrong with my equating Foley and this case ...

What's WRONG is that a) Foley wasn't convicted of anything, b) Foley isn't serving 10 years in jail, c) Apparently there was no actual sex involved in Foley's case and d) a 37-year-difference in age is MUCH more significant than a 2 year difference.

Ther is NO similarity between these cases. One was a PR disaster for a pervy closet pederast and the other was a case of a drunk teenager screwing another drunk teenager. The fact that you seem to be willing to champion a pederast as some sort of a martyr to gay rights is actually pretty sickening, but that is completely beside the point.
posted by eparchos at 4:01 PM on January 25, 2007


Is it only me who's so tired of Merrikans whining about their country but not actually ever fucking doing something about it?

Is it only me who's sick of Canadians making knee-jerk anti-American comments? (You too, clevershark.)

Another story from the Police State? BORING

I really shouldn't be able to pick these out so easily. Don't you guys have anything better to do than talk about how much America sucks?



This guy doesn't deserve the sentence he's facing, especially not since it was consensual. This is one area where the law hasn't quite figured out how to get out of the one-size-fits-all approach.
posted by oaf at 4:09 PM on January 25, 2007


I like the way there is plenty of argument between members at the moment, on this thread and others. Adds colour.

Now lets all bow our heads and say thank you to Matt for the oportunity to be public ignorami on a global scale. *bows head*

It is a quandry that, the video evidence is incontrovertable and the status as a crime is clear according to the letter of the law, but the name (not to mention the sentence) of the crime seems a little bit extreme; aggravated child molestation. That would have rung alarm bells for me, were I on the jury. I might have thought, this sounds like the name of a law designed to protect children from non-consenual sex, not sure if I agree that it applies here. I would probably be a pain in the ass for the other jurers.

Apropos of something: A friend of mine was on a jury once, he said he was astonished at their cavalier attitude. Some members seemed to be treating it like a holiday, being off work and shopping for clothes, turning up late and being fined, wanting to get home in time to see their favourite TV program rather than discuss the evidence further (i.e. let's just say he's guilty, *insert TV program title* is on in an hour and I don't want to miss the beginning) and forming gangs and alliances to get what they want rather than any semblance of justice for the defendant.
posted by asok at 4:14 PM on January 25, 2007


Of course very few Mefites will see it as I do, because around here it's so much hipper to identify with a 17 year old straight black athlete than a 52 year old gay white Republican congressman.

I think that's an unfair generalization. From my point of view on both subjects, you're comparing apples and oranges. My issue with Foley is not that he was spreading teh ghey to unsuspecting straight and pure boys who are now and forever tainted by the evil ghey disease. My issue with Foley is that he was abusing his position in an entirely inappropriate manner. It wouldn't matter if his behavior was leveled at 17 year old male pages or 27 year old female interns. His conduct was inappropriate in the context of his working relationship with the other party/parties, and he should be held accountable for that.

As to this case, for the record, I think that the consent laws (or underage laws) that this boy was prosecuted under are unfair, an opinion apparently now shared by the majority of voters in Georgia. So no, I don't think this kid really did anything wrong. I think dios asks an interesting question in the last paragraph of this post. I personally believe that people should be punished based on what they did wrong, not simply for the fact that they shouldn't have done it. As such, I would support retroactively releasing anyone serving time for a crime that is no longer considered criminal behavior.

Finally, I'm wondering if this kid has any grounds for appeal?
posted by Brak at 4:15 PM on January 25, 2007


"The legal process is not a tool to be used when one cannot find the support to pursue their goals through the legislative process."


Tell that to Alberto Gonzales.
posted by stenseng at 4:25 PM on January 25, 2007


davy, do you need a map to get out of left field?

laws are more about an intention that requires interpretation, than an absolute, since they are a structure imposed upon this clusterfuck we call daily life. if you can't see the difference between a 52 year old man (homosexual or not) being sexually explicit with his 17 year old employees that borders on harassement, and a 15 year old having consensual sex with a 17 year old at a party.

it has absolutely nothing to do with "hipness". wrt foley, it is much more comparable to clinton-lewinski, but I still don't see a double standard due to the fact that he was gay. Since lewinski ostensibly did everything willingly, while in Foley's case, his victims humoured him as much as possible without actually committing to anything, which gave foley a very creepy, stalker profile. (pedophile is definitely not the right word though, ignorant of anyone to call foley a pedophile, perhaps that is more of a homophobic reaction, I don't know)

the law says its wrong for a 15 year old to have sex with a 17 year old, but sometimes you have to make exceptions, and this looks like one of those times. if I were one of the lawyers or judges in this case I would be absolutely ashamed for ruining this kid's teenage years, and possibly most of his 20's as well. nothing like 10 years in an american prison to develop a criminal for life. if he gets through this a stronger person than he will be stronger than the vast majority of us.

this is exactly what judges are for, otherwise our tax dollars would be much better spent writing a very small shell script to replace such useless public servants.
posted by ryanfou at 4:28 PM on January 25, 2007


The fact is, eparchos, this Wilson athlete is, unlike Foley, a convicted sex offender convicted of offending sexually with an underage person. He's MORE guilty of being a "pederast" than Foley, who nobody's shown ever got nekkid with any of his "victims".

(And by the way, are you aware that pederasty was the normal, socially acceptable form of gayness in classical Greece? Two 52 year old men fucking together were either pathetic failures to get a Beautiful Youth -- or dangerous perverts to be shunned and driven out.)

Nor am I championing anybody as a martyr to gay rights: learn to read for content, I'm arguing against Age of Consent laws -- for straights too. As for ryanfou's "the law says its wrong for a 15 year old to have sex with a 17 year old, but sometimes you have to make exceptions," we're dealing with The LAW here, that which can send you to a bigtime Maximum Security penitentiary, so a law you have to keep making exceptions for should be gotten rid of. If it's so UNFAIR to convict a 17 year old male with accepting a blowjob from an UNDERAGED MINOR female, then it's also unfair to convict a 37 year old man for accepting a blowjob from a 15 year old guy. Either enforce the law fairly and equally or drop it. Why would you argue against this unless you're dead set on being unfair?

"The law says it's wrong to murder Jews en masse, but sometimes you have to make exceptions." (Is that clear enough?)

And Brak, I said "very few" will agree, not that everybody is obligated to disagree with me on it. And about the "Romeo and Juliet law": I don't like it because it did not go far enough and is not retroactive. (Didn't Loving v. Virginia "legitimize" previous mixed-race marriages?)

By the way, slavery is wrong for all kinds of reasons, but what made American slavery unfair was that blacks could not own white slaves.
posted by davy at 4:45 PM on January 25, 2007


Davy, you seem to be either missing the intention of the age difference distinction (and it varies from state to state), or else you are dismissing it entirely without discussing why you do not accept it.

The presumed (legally) difference between a 52 year old having sex with a 15 year old and a 17 year old having sex with a fifteen year old is that the 17 year old is expected to be closer in emotional maturity to the victim, and is in fact either a child himself in the eyes of the law, or damned close to it. The younger offender is given a break because he is not expected to have the judgment and maturity of an older adult, and hence, his actions are considered to be less predatory. The older offender is presupposed to know better, and is therefore considered culpable to a greater degree.

The truth in fact of these sort of presumption surely varies from case to case, but the legislatures that write the laws are stuck by the inherent impossibility of covering all situations using language which is by its nature ambiguous.
posted by John Smallberries at 4:50 PM on January 25, 2007


davy:
Pederasty has nothing to do with a man screwing an underage woman, and we don't live in ancient Greece. We live in a modern society with modern ethics, including letting gay men live. If you want to compare and contrast historical attitudes on pederasty, fine, but that is completely pointless and tempts me to start comparing historical attitudes on "sexual inversion", as it used to be called. Do you think that gay men should be lobotomized or have shock treatment administered to them? No? Well then stuff it with your historical equations, seriously.

If it's so UNFAIR to convict a 17 year old male with accepting a blowjob from an UNDERAGED MINOR female, then it's also unfair to convict a 37 year old man for accepting a blowjob from a 15 year old guy.

What is this mystical case of the 37 year old man getting a blow job from a 15 year old boy? Is this another case you haven't bothered to bring up yet? Because, last I checked, you were talking about text-message invites from an old pederast and comparing it to two teenagers screwing.

Either enforce the law fairly and equally or drop it.

So, what you're saying is that sexual contact is the same crime as text messaging explicit come-ons? So, if I email a 15 year old and invite tell them I'd like them to get in my shirt, that's the SAME crime as making a 15 year old blow me? Are you ACTUALLY this dense? Or is it just that the mere mention of sex brings out some ridiculous knee-jerk response out of you, no matter how incredibly inappropriate it is to the topic?
posted by eparchos at 5:06 PM on January 25, 2007


Well aren't you charming.

Touche. My snarkiness was admittedly a bit over the top.
posted by papakwanz at 5:16 PM on January 25, 2007


But John Smallberries, a law that needs frigging talmudic scholarship to figure out how to apply correctly should not be included in the criminal code.

And eparchos, I have no idea what the voices in your head tell you I'm saying, but I don't recognize your snarky crap as pertaining to my comments here at all. For one thing, you seem to be "hearing" somebody say gay men should be lobotomized and/or shot. Maybe you should seek professional help, from a psychiatrist and/or an English teacher.

Anyway: anyone over the Age of Consent, even a 17 year old black male athlete, who gets convicted of a sex offense against an underaged juvenile, even a consenting 15 year old black female one, is ipso facto a pedophile sex offender. Arguing otherwise is like saying a guy who runs into a bank waving a gun yelling "Fill a bag with big bills!" is not an armed robber.
posted by davy at 5:30 PM on January 25, 2007


davy writes "Anyway, what's wrong with my equating Foley and this case is that I ain't yet seen anything showing 'that evil Republican hypocritical closet homo pedophile' Foley actually touched any of those (ex-?) pages in real life"

I seem to recall that at least one of them referenced the 'last time' they were together.

davy writes "Of course very few Mefites will see it as I do, because around here it's so much hipper to identify with a 17 year old straight black athlete than a 52 year old gay white Republican congressman."

Um, no. See... Foley was in a position of trust and authority over those pages. And whether or not he ever said 'I can make life hell for you', it's a fairly widely-held view--correctly--that it is reasonable to infer it. For reference, the enormous number of laws prohibiting sexual relaitonships between people where there is a power imbalance, whether explicit or implied.

Further, davy, this kid participated in consensual oral sex with someone only two years his junior. While that is quite conceivably an issue when those ages are, say, 11 and 13, it should not be an issue when those ages are 15 and 17. For God's sake, if that had been the case when I was in high school, at least half the school should have been thrown in jail.

davy writes "A pedophiliac sodomitical offense against an underage juvenile!"

Uhhh... no. Please to be looking up the meaning of the word 'pedophile', kthx.

davy writes "If it's so UNFAIR to convict a 17 year old male with accepting a blowjob from an UNDERAGED MINOR female, then it's also unfair to convict a 37 year old man for accepting a blowjob from a 15 year old guy."

Again, davy, seriously. 2 years difference in age is miles away from 22.

davy writes "'The law says it's wrong to murder Jews en masse, but sometimes you have to make exceptions.' (Is that clear enough?)"

That is so patently ridiculous...

Listen, davy. I'm asking as a friend. Is there something bothering you? For a while I was going through some shit and taking it out here in some pretty irrational ways, and it looks like you're doing the same. Are you okay?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:31 PM on January 25, 2007


davy writes "or one thing, you seem to be 'hearing' somebody say gay men should be lobotomized and/or shot."

*sigh*

No, that's not what he's hearing. What he is attempting to point out is that comparisons to ancient Greek sociocultural norms are thoroughly pointless.

davy writes "Arguing otherwise is like saying a guy who runs into a bank waving a gun yelling 'Fill a bag with big bills!' is not an armed robber."

No, it's...

Oh fuck it. I give up.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:32 PM on January 25, 2007


No, that's not what he's hearing. What he is attempting to point out is that comparisons to ancient Greek sociocultural norms are thoroughly pointless.

Thank you, dnab.
I also give the fuck up.
posted by eparchos at 5:38 PM on January 25, 2007


davy, think about what you are arguing for. one 17 year old "man" gets convicted and spends 11 years in prison in an unjust system.

yes the entire "age of consent" system is a mess, but your argument seems to be that it's unfair to a lot of people, so lets not make exceptions when we can. do you honestly believe this guy belongs in prison for 10 years? the difference between 15 and 16 can be as little as one day. as the age gap widens, more factors come into play, maturity, abuse... not saying its universally and unconditionally wrong for a 32 year old to have sex with a 15 year old, but I would put the onus on you to explain why it should be allowed, rather than have to defend why it shouldn't be allowed.

perhaps the more interesting question is, for how long have you conflated genocide with oral sex?
posted by ryanfou at 5:47 PM on January 25, 2007


"[T]his kid participated in consensual oral sex with someone only two years his junior."

Who was under the legal Age of Consent. You can count to 16, right? And you can subtract 15 from 16 without getting a negative number?

And the point of "comparisons to ancient Greek sociocultural norms" is to point out that contemporary USan sociocultural norms are not graven in stone -- and perhaps should not be in the criminal code. And if they must be in the criminal code they should be enforced to the letter.

Arguing for this exception and that exception is arguing away the law. Why not just get rid of this law then? Because "ideally" it can work out as a way to favor 17 year old straight black athletes over creepy old white fags? If so why not simply openly and honestly criminalize being a creepy old white fag without dragging in this stuff about the age of one's "victim"? Since, as all the "exceptions" have pointed out, the point of Age of Consent laws is really not protecting the "underage victim" anyway, but regulating who has access to fresh young meat? Or why not sell Fresh Young Meat licenses to people we approve of? Creepy Old Fags would have to pay an awful lot, but promising young athletes could get 'em as perks for joining the Team.
posted by davy at 6:13 PM on January 25, 2007


Davy, here is another point to consider: unequal sentences for offenders unequal protection for the victims. This is not a civil legal matter where the outcome is a redress of the victim's grievances. It is a criminal matter wherein the state seeks to punish offenders, hopefully according to their culpability. A longer sentence is not a bigger win for the victim, in general.

For the reasons I mentioned prieviously, the law tries to make a distinction in considering the level of offense of a younger - and therefore less responsible - offender as compared to an older offender.

Yes, there are some severe problems with the way law in general works, but the world is not all in black and white, and lawmakers are trying to deal with almost infinite shades of gray. A Sisyphean task at best.
posted by John Smallberries at 6:25 PM on January 25, 2007


Davy.... these are not the same crime. Not even close. Wake the hell up.
posted by eparchos at 6:27 PM on January 25, 2007


"It is a criminal matter wherein the state seeks to punish offenders, hopefully according to their culpability."

Yes: rewarding those criminals we approve of.

As someone pointed out earlier, maybe if this 17 year old male athlete were not black he would not have been charged at all.
posted by davy at 6:34 PM on January 25, 2007


>> It is a criminal matter wherein the state seeks to punish offenders, hopefully according to their culpability.

> Yes: rewarding those criminals we approve of.

Or I should say 'rewarding those child molesters we approve of.'
posted by davy at 6:36 PM on January 25, 2007


eparchos, I thought you gave up?
posted by davy at 6:40 PM on January 25, 2007


I think I've actually gotten stupider just by reading this thread.

Christ.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:40 PM on January 25, 2007


I don't know what your point is davy, but your pursuit of it in this context makes me very sad.
posted by ryanfou at 6:42 PM on January 25, 2007


eparchos, I thought you gave up?

At this point, it's just another test of my faith in the basic reasoning capability of mammals versus your incredible stupidity. Call it an experiment.
posted by eparchos at 6:43 PM on January 25, 2007


The kid was clearly wrong in his underage partying and sex orgying. And he should be punished. BUT ten years? He's missing the best years of his life and when he gets out he'll carry the baggage with him forever - and we all know your professional life is a non-starter if you're an ex-con.

If this was Saudi Arabia, he'd get 100 lashes and get on with his life. I never thought I'd argue for corpral punishment but this situation is a great example of the need for it.
posted by b_thinky at 6:44 PM on January 25, 2007


"The kid was clearly wrong in his underage partying and sex orgying."

Bullshit. It was right when I did it, and it was fun too.

And again my point is that we need to scrap the Age of Consent and Statutory Rape laws. All those law have really done is discriminate against certain kinds of "child molesters": Creepy Old Fags are right out most places, and until last summer Young Black Athletes were (at least officially) forbidden "fresh meat" in Georgia.
posted by davy at 6:57 PM on January 25, 2007


I'm just glad that this court action gaurantees he'll be a positive influence on society in ten years.

Gather ye bjers while ye may 'n all.
posted by OrangeDrink at 6:59 PM on January 25, 2007


And again my point is that we need to scrap the Age of Consent and Statutory Rape laws. All those law have really done is discriminate against certain kinds of "child molesters":

And, you know, convicted people who rape children.

Too bad NAMBLA's web site is down or I'd point you to it, davy.
posted by eparchos at 7:03 PM on January 25, 2007


From the ESPN article: "But because of an archaic Georgia law, it was a misdemeanor for teenagers less than three years apart to have sexual intercourse, but a felony for the same kids to have oral sex"

Can someone, presumably, more familiar with Georgia law explain to me what the highlighted text is refering to? I get the age of consent thing but this bit threw me. What happens if the teenagers are more than three years apart?I'm guessing its a bigger crime but I wasn't aware that there was an age gap rule included in consent laws... Then again I don't live in Georgia.


swr12: Age gaps are common in consent laws, actually. The idea is that someone X can have consensual sex with someone aged X+N, but not X+N+1. US states vary those numbers considerably, however.

In Georgia, statutory rape has this exception:

If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of statutory rape is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Since the law was amended in 2006, I'm assuming that three was changed to four. As noted, this law only applies to sexual intercourse; sodomy -- oral sex -- falls under child molestation. This law also appears to have been modified (that is, the news stories say "the Romeo and Juliet law means he won't serve more than ten years" but they mean "the complicated age gap formula, when applied, means he can only be convicted of a misdemeanor").
posted by dhartung at 7:18 PM on January 25, 2007


> > And again my point is that we need to scrap the Age of Consent and Statutory Rape laws. All those law have really done is discriminate against certain kinds of "child molesters":

> And, you know, convicted people who rape children.

But we should go easier on those convicted of Aggravated Child Molestation, like this Genarlow Wilson guy we're talking about, eh?

If the issue is rape, well, why don't we make "forcing someone to have sex against his/her will" a crime?

As dhartung said, "Age gaps are common in consent laws, actually." That's because the issue is not really "protecting the children" but regulating access to them. American society has already made "hot young lolitas" a desirable Good, one need only go to a mall or wait at a bus stop near a school in session to see that, the issue is who is Allowed to get the goods we're encouraging them to flaunt -- and whether we treat "hot young twinks" the same way. The criminal justice system seldom accepts extenuating circumstances for armed bank robbery, for example, and it's learning not to accept cheap excuses for the forcible rape of strangers, so when the aim really is to enforce a No-No that's not too difficult.
posted by davy at 7:43 PM on January 25, 2007


And eparchos, I've already pointed Mefites to NAMBLA several times in the past two years or so. Have you seen the Wikipedia article?
posted by davy at 7:47 PM on January 25, 2007


Davy, child molesters are treated the same, under the law, whether they bone a boy or a girl. PROUD child molesters or sympathizers are treated pretty much the same in American society: With disgust and derision. Your "men who like boys are treated more poorly than men who like girls" argument suffers from a complete and total lack of information other than your rantings. Find me some statistics which back this up, because from my perspective that's just blatantly false. Most everybody I know is revolted by child molestation no matter what the genders involved are.

But we should go easier on those convicted of Aggravated Child Molestation, like this Genarlow Wilson guy we're talking about, eh?

Please point out an equivalent case and then you might have a basis for this insane, stupid argument you're having. Find me someone who has been put away for 10 years for having consensual sex with someone 2 years younger than themselves. Bringing in Mark Foley is not equivalent. What you seem to be advocating here is EITHER we harshly punish every case of statutory rape OR we abolish statutory rape altogether. However, you have failed to come up with an example which has anything to do with this. Right now, you have created a false dilemma and, sorry to say, nobody's buying it.
posted by eparchos at 8:26 PM on January 25, 2007


Actually eparchos, so far only three or four people in this thread have bothered to argue with me, and nobody's done so harder than you.

And as for your "child molesters are treated the same, under the law, whether they bone a boy or a girl" argument: oh really? I bet this Genarlow Wilson guy would have gotten even worse than 10 years for an Aggravated Child Molestation conviction if his "victim" had been a 15 year old boy, and worse still for a 15 year old white boy (Wilson being "non-white" of course). Your failure to consider such issues has me rolling my eyes at your willful naivete. (Which in a 20 year old is expected, but in a 40 year old is simply pathetic.)

You'd do a lot better if you realized that the point of "the criminal 'justice' system" is not justice at all but power, in the case of this thread specifically the issue is power over sex. ('Power through controlling sex' is another way to put it.) Another example is the "Junior Anti-Sex League" in Nineteen Eighty-Four, and another the issue of anti-miscegenation laws as struck down by Loving v. Virginia. And then of course there's The Handmaid's Tale, ostensibly about an attempt to enforce Morality. (But go ahead, tell me nothing in these examples is related to each other or to the subject we're discussing; show me thereby you haven't read even the Wikipedia articles I've just pointed to.)
posted by davy at 9:20 PM on January 25, 2007


Y'all might also add this theologian to your Reading List.
posted by davy at 9:24 PM on January 25, 2007


And eparchos, you're new around here. You might also read up on me.
posted by davy at 9:29 PM on January 25, 2007


As I said before, point me to some FACTS proving my "willful naivete" and I might start to buy it. Until then, all you are saying is "you bet" that, if the victim involved were a different sort of person, there would be a different verdict. Right now, ass I have is your beliefs versus a whole big wide world full of people who disagree with you. Facts make points, not beliefs.
As far as your twisted view of what the justice system is about, that's a completely different issue. And conflating interracial marriage with pederasty and pedophilia? That's as bad as conflating homosexuality and pederasty, which you also did earlier in this thread.
I'm aware that our culture is repressive about sex, and I don't think that really matters in this case. All I've been saying is that your argument is craptastic and that you are putting apples in the same barrel with satellite dishes. So, no, I don't think those examples have much to do with the subject we're discussing, other than being another transparent attempt for you to shy away from actually discussing anything at all other than your little pre-prepared soapbox rant.
And who's the 40 year old?
posted by eparchos at 9:33 PM on January 25, 2007


And eparchos, you're new around here. You might also read up on me.

Ah, good on you! How majestic, the old "you are a noob" argument. Since you brought it up, note that it took me a whole 1.5 months to get 8 fewer favorites than you've gotten in 2 years, in less than 1/10th of the comments. Anyways, aren't you discriminating on me based on my MeFi age now? OMG hypocrisy!
posted by eparchos at 9:36 PM on January 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Make that 7 fewer....
posted by eparchos at 10:12 PM on January 25, 2007


Okay, we've just established that eparchos, in addition to not reading what I wrote here for content, also didn't read even the Wikipedia articles on the books I suggested, that he didn't read up on my years of previous comments on subjects like this, and that nonetheless he somehow manages to wildly flatter my writing ability ("pre-prepared soapbox rant"). That is, he's not only a n00b, he's a bright green one, and probably too young to be served Adult Beverages to boot. (I just hope he's too young to vote; we've suffered enough from such proudly idiotic ignorance, as in all those 18 year olds who elected Reagan twice.)

And hey kid, I'm surprised anybody ever "favorited" anything I've said here, let alone what they've done so about. It's not like I'm trying to be popular, you pustulent twerp. I have no need for Sex Crime laws: it's kids like you who turn me off practicing pederasty.
posted by davy at 10:25 PM on January 25, 2007


Here's a hint: I'm not 40 and I'm not a kid, either, so don't worry about me "turning you off of practicing pederasty."

I actually did read both what you wrote here AND the wikipedia links. In fact, I've even read some of the books you linked to, 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale.
Now rather than assuming that I'm not reading what you're writing, consider that your argument is poorly expressed, weak, inconsistent, flawed, and basically non-existent. I still have yet to see one fact from you which has anything to do with your central point, and no matter how many times you try to belittle me, build straw men, and otherwise try to divert me, one fact does remain: Your argument is the spurious, frothsome ranting of a man so totally passionate about an issue that the facts are apparently either beneath him or beyond him.
posted by eparchos at 10:41 PM on January 25, 2007


Considering, O eparchos, that all you know of facts is how to try to insult me, I thank you for the sport and chortles. Let me know when you learn anything about what we've been discussing here, okay?
posted by davy at 11:01 PM on January 25, 2007


That has to be a rhetorical headline. Why would a black teen get a FUBAR sentence like that in GEORGIA? You must be kidding.

Why is Ward Churchill happening? Why did Kurdistan happen? Why the holocaust?

Hope I made my point.
posted by Twang at 11:09 PM on January 25, 2007


I never made the assertion that male on male pederasty would result in a greater punishment than male on female, that was you, and that's called "Burden of Proof". The only thing I've been doing is asking you to back up your argument and clarify it. I established already that I've read the spurious links you linked to, and yet all you have to respond to my challenge is "you don't know anything omg"?
Let me know when you learn how to debate, make a point, or argue. Your empty rhetoric skillz may be all sorts of hardcore old skool or whatever, but they're still just empty fluff.
posted by eparchos at 11:11 PM on January 25, 2007


This boy's life is ruined for no good reason, dark times indeed.
posted by IronWolve at 11:20 PM on January 25, 2007


Poor eparchos, you must be VERY bored. Okay... First, the essense of my point was said better by Foucault. Remember I suggested him to you above? In case there are no decent libraries or book stores out there in your wilderness either, he's all over Amazon.com.

As for the issue of whether "male on male pederasty would result in a greater punishment than male on female", what planet are you posting from? Is there a United States of America there? Did Bush just get reelected because he's all for "defending marriage"? Ever heard of Anita Bryant? To quote the Wikipedia article on her "Anti-gay efforts":

In 1977, Florida's Dade County (now Miami-Dade County) passed a human-rights ordinance that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In response to this, Bryant led a highly publicized campaign to repeal the ordinance. The campaign was waged based on "Christian beliefs regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality and the perceived threat of “homosexual recruitment” of children and child molestation."

As for your accusation that I conflate homosexuality and pederasty (or pedophilia), I was reporting what others say. Such as, oh, Anita Bryant:

Indeed, the concerns over homosexual recruitment of children inspired the name of Bryant's political organization, Save Our Children. Among Bryant's assertions during the campaign were “As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.”

Maybe on your planet oodles of Americans get up in arms against straight teachers because they might teach their kids how to be hetero. As for me, I came out publicly as a bisexual and got politically and sexually active in my very early teens, when Anita Bryant had just gotten started, so I grew up knowing that "male on male pederasty would result in a greater punishment than male on female". I have also known people who have been so engaged, all kinds -- man-on-boy, man-on-girl, woman-on-girl and woman-on-boy. (Though I must emphasize that I'm talking ancient history here, my life got terribly boring at least a decade before I discovered the Internet in 1994. so I'm afraid I can't help bust anybody or set anybody up for blackmail.) That is, I have knowledge from experience, in some cases first-hand personal experience, of what I'm talking about. Do you? What in the fuck do you know about any of this except how to contradict whatever I say?

But hey eparchos, don't give me any credit for having any idea what I'm talking about. Tell ya what, try it out for yourself: why don't you make a video of yourself poking a 15 year old girl and another with a 15 boy, post them both to Youtube, and see which gets the biggest "punishment."

(Haven't you made a big enough fool of yourself yet? Things must be VERY dull out there in the "nukular" test site.)
posted by davy at 12:22 AM on January 26, 2007


Speaking of Foucault... (Dammit, I wish I'd found this earlier, it might've saved me some typing.)
posted by davy at 12:31 AM on January 26, 2007


...I grew up knowing that "male on male pederasty would result in a greater punishment than male on female"

Find ONE LINK that PROVES this point! For example, an actual case of a male on male statutory rape case equivalent to a male on female statutory rape case wherein the first defendant received a stiffer penalty than the second, and you'd have a start at making an argument. Another example of a useful, factual link would be linking to some statistics proving this.
Linking me to fiction and anti-gay activists doesn't prove that point. It also fails to prove the point which you mentioned earlier that a black person molesting a white person would result in a stiffer penalty.
You see, what you're providing here is a general idea, and I'm chalenging that idea. Waffling around pointing me to endless wikipedia articles which don't actually address that idea directly, well, it's just not doing anything other than wasting both of our time. You can go around in circles all you want, but you're not actually any nearer to proving a point.
Here's a link you should read, which is actually directly related to what I'm saying here.
posted by eparchos at 12:46 AM on January 26, 2007


^man, for all the initial promise it showed, that was one boring-ass internet argument.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:22 AM on January 26, 2007


There are some lines that should not be crossed, no matter how popular the idea is, and a jury is a final defense against this kind of wrong.

Huh? You people have some strange ideas about juries. Tell me again how great jury nullification is when they let a white victim off for doing something unspeakable to a black victim. JN was made infamous in the south.

Take it to your legislators. Don't expect a sympathetic dozen strangers to save you when the majority wants to leave you to hang. (and they can be wrongly unsympathetic, too)
posted by dreamsign at 1:23 AM on January 26, 2007


Your country fucking sucks.
posted by The Monkey at 1:31 AM on January 26, 2007


er, white perpetrator, that is.
posted by dreamsign at 1:46 AM on January 26, 2007


Look, folks - this is a travesty. At the same time that this kid was being convicted and given 10 years hard time -- a 27 year old white female teacher got 90 days in jail for having sex with a 16 year old male student.

More backstory.

The governor can't pardon him - the legislature has made sure of that. The only thing that might help him is SB37 -- tell anyone you know with contacts in Georgia to try to get this bill passed.

And get someone else to run for DA in Douglas County in 2008. This guy (McDade, not Barker) outta be strung up.

I'm a native Georgian, btw.
posted by kegill at 3:42 AM on January 26, 2007


According to yesterday's update on wilsonappeal.com, a group of Georgia State Senators have introduced Senate Bill 37 to correct the injustice of Genarlow Wilson's 10 year sentence for engaging in oral sex as 17 year old with a 15 year old. The bill essentially unties the court's hand with respect to the mandatory 10-year sentence it was forced to impose before: the court imposing the sentence has the jurisdiction, power, and authority to correct or reduce the sentence and to suspend or probate all or any part of the sentence imposed.
posted by IronWolve at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2007


Age-Cutoff consent laws are suck fucking moral authoritarian bullshit. It should be up to the individuals involved and a jury to decide whether or not a person consented to a sex act. There are people with extremely little maturity and responsibility even at age 30 who are much more justly able to be deemed "unfit to consent" than some of the 15 year olds I've seen as named the "victim" of satutory rape. What purposes to these convictions serve? Whose freedom do they protect? Not the willfully and intelligently consenting "minors" who happen to be attracted to older teens, certainly not the older teens with young loves, who are regularly charged and thrown in jail. These laws don't protect freedom, and they definitely don't protect happiness.

Don't tell me I'm supporting rape. Rape is unwillful, nonconsensual sex. There are people who are rendered mentally or physically unable to consent by pre-existing conditions; this makes sense, and there are consent laws to protect their freedom. If a judge and jury recognizes that two parties involved in a sex act, regardless of their age, they should not be forced to send people to prison due to legislative red tape. If there's some large age difference and manipulation involved, then these wrongs will be apparent to those arbitrating the case, once they get testimony from the "victim" and fully understand their level of maturity and knowledge in sexual matters. It's like they just don't want to bother investigating thee case beyond the birthdates of the individuals involved, so they just slap a limit on it.

We need a fucking "sexual consent" license, like somebody suggested upthread. It's the only way I can think of to repeal these puritanical, draconian, "the-government-is-in-your-pants" sex laws, without enabling the NAMBLA types (and sometimes being called out as one).
posted by tehloki at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2007


Hey eparchos, find me ONE LINK that proves you don't fuck dead frogs in the ear.

There is a thing called "common sense" that you, in your limited experience of the real world in the United States, have eluded meeting up with. What do you want, links to interviews with jurors saying something like "If he was a black man molesting a white girl we'd have given him 20 years"? Or maybe you don't realize that there's not likely to be a written specification for letting white "perverts" off easy? "Common sense" in this case denotes a shared understanding that does not need to be codified and enacted by any legislature because it's deeply engrained in the culture itself. Another example is that setting fire to your neighbor's unused outhouse is less likely to result in hard prison time than blowing up a church with 150 Methodists in it: we all know this already, written rules are irrelevant.

Essentially you're arguing that there's no such thing as bigotry against blacks and/or gays in the U.S.A. and challenging me to prove that such things exist. You've got to be kidding. I know ahead of time that I will not be able to link to any current law on the books of any U.S. state stating that the race of the "perpetrator" will necessarily affect the criminal charge or severity of sentence; this does not prove that such factors are never considered, only that "we go harder on 'niggers' in America" does not need to be written down. If YOU look, and I'm sick of trying to educate you on BASIC facts of American life, you will find links supporting these facts, such as scholarly studies funded by the Federal Government pointing out that black defendants are likelier to have a harder time in the "criminal justice system" than white ones -- despite there being no written requirement for going harder on blacks.
posted by davy at 12:05 PM on January 26, 2007



Hey eparchos, find me ONE LINK that proves you don't fuck dead frogs in the ear.


I never asserted that I don't fuck dead frogs in the ear.

Essentially you're arguing that there's no such thing as bigotry against blacks and/or gays in the U.S.A. and challenging me to prove that such things exist.

No I'm not. That, my friend, is a straw man. What I am arguing is that you have not convinced me of your point, and that your argument is flawed.

You still haven't proven your point. Your assertion was that a black man committing statutory rape or child molestation on a white girl or a young boy would receive harsher punishment than if he were to do the same to a black girl, in case you need reminding.
posted by eparchos at 12:11 PM on January 26, 2007


Hey eparchos, find me ONE LINK that proves you don't fuck dead frogs in the ear.

Besides which, that's called "proving a negative", which is a MUCH bigger challenge than I've issued to you. Hardly fair.
posted by eparchos at 12:23 PM on January 26, 2007


Do frogs even have ears?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:57 PM on January 26, 2007


Do frogs even have ears?

Apparently so, they're called "tympanums" though. Dunno if that really counts as an ear, but I'd fuck it! Oh wait....
posted by eparchos at 1:09 PM on January 26, 2007


. . .
posted by nola at 2:03 PM on January 26, 2007


. . .
posted by nola at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2007


nola:
"thanks for posting stupid pictures to metafilter. i'm not sure how i could have found stupid pictures on the interwebs otherwise."
Sorry, I just had to :)
posted by eparchos at 2:11 PM on January 26, 2007


Newsflash: there are a lot of people in jail who shouldn't be.
posted by jayder at 7:07 AM on January 27, 2007


davy is the mightiest asshole troll of all!
posted by papakwanz at 8:56 AM on January 27, 2007


newsflash: there are a lot of people in jail who shouldn't be, yet we somehow managed to give a shit about one.
posted by tehloki at 8:52 AM on January 29, 2007


Okay, I was a bit obnoxious there. Sorry.
posted by jayder at 10:29 AM on January 29, 2007


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