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Genarlow Wilson's Sentence Thrown Out
June 11, 2007 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Genarlow Wilson, now 19, had his sentence reversed today and is expected to leave prison shortly. He served two years of his ten-year-sentence for engaging in consensual sex acts with a fellow teenager. Previously discussed here.
posted by macrowave (52 comments total)

 
So I don't want to sound like a jerk, but is EVERY news item worthy of a FPP?
posted by dbiedny at 1:56 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not to mention that he is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Attorney General appeals case.
posted by peewinkle at 1:59 PM on June 11, 2007


Last year, largely because of Mr. Wilson’s case, the state legislature amended the law again, to reclassify most sex acts between teenagers as misdemeanors, But the legislature declined to retroactively apply the new law to Mr. Wilson’s case.

Mr. Wilson filed several appeals seeking to have the law retroactively applied to his case, but the appeals were denied. The district attorney who prosecuted his case offered a deal to reduce the sentence provided that Mr. Wilson admit guilt and register as a sex offender, but Mr. Wilson has refused.


How Bizzare, why was the prosecutor so intent on making this guy register as a sex offender for something that was no longer a crime, and seems to have only been a crime due to a technicality.

I mean according to the article, if he'd stuck his penis in her vagina, it would have been legal, but since he put it in her mouth, he goes to jail for 10 years?

That's obviously an oversight. The only rational conclusion was that the prosecutor thought that the laws were wrong and that teenagers ought to be punished for having sexual relations with each other.
posted by delmoi at 2:01 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


B.J. Bernstein, Genarlow Wilson's lawyer.

Hee hee...
posted by spilon at 2:06 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Genarlow Wilson's Sentence Thrown Back In
posted by darksasami at 2:09 PM on June 11, 2007


Anyone else catch themselves hoping the attorney general finds himself participating in nonconsensual prison sex after getting 10 years for a parking violation?
posted by Krrrlson at 2:14 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Anyone else catch themselves hoping the attorney general finds himself participating in nonconsensual prison sex after getting 10 years for a parking violation?

RAPELOL, right?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:16 PM on June 11, 2007


No, because prison rape jokes are a boring and lazy cliche.
posted by Grimgrin at 2:18 PM on June 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Intresting:
Separately, Baker noted that Douglas County recently had offered a plea deal "that would have allowed Genarlow Wilson to plead to First Offender Treatment, which would mean that he would not have a criminal record nor would he be subject to registering on the sex offender registry once his sentence had been completed."
Essentially what they're doing is saying "just plead and you'll get out of jail, no registration, etc." and at the same time appealing in order to keep him in jail in order to put pressure on him to be released. Why?

The answer is that they could be liable for civil damages if he doesn't plead. So essentially their trying to a situation where it looks like they fucked up and have to pay.

It's extremely unethical in my view.
posted by delmoi at 2:18 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


The answer is that they could be liable for civil damages if he doesn't plead.

What?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:22 PM on June 11, 2007


The answer is that they could be liable for civil damages if he doesn't plead.

Huh?
posted by dios at 2:26 PM on June 11, 2007


No, because prison rape jokes are a boring and lazy cliche.

Why do you assume it's a joke?
posted by Krrrlson at 2:27 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


So I don't want to sound like a jerk, but is EVERY news item worthy of a FPP?

This one is.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:29 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Don't forget the Marcus Dixon case. Another gift from the state of Georgia.
posted by ick at 2:35 PM on June 11, 2007


This really is a horrible case - and it's a shame that the AG in question hasn't explained his decision to appeal - which only adds weight to concerns. Those US mefites who are worried about this can use the instructions here to email the Governor of Georgia and let him know what they think. Sadly there is no facility for us foreigners to do so (not, I expect that his office would particularly care about what non USians have to say!)
posted by prentiz at 2:45 PM on June 11, 2007


(not, I expect that his office would particularly care about what non USians have to say!)

Or non-Georgians.
posted by The World Famous at 2:51 PM on June 11, 2007


or Georgians.

The community is outraged and their repeated pleas for justice have been ignored over and over and over.
posted by ick at 2:55 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sounds like the prosecutor hates black people, just like George Bush.
posted by stevejensen at 2:55 PM on June 11, 2007


The Governer could end it all with a pardon.
posted by caddis at 2:59 PM on June 11, 2007


... which is about as likely as me learning how to spel
posted by caddis at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


posted by delmoi Essentially what they're doing is saying "just plead and you'll get out of jail, no registration, etc." and at the same time appealing in order to keep him in jail in order to put pressure on him to be released. Why? The answer is that they could be liable for civil damages if he doesn't plead. So essentially their trying to a situation where it looks like they fucked up and have to pay.

Wrong, as usual.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2007


So I don't want to sound like a jerk, but is EVERY news item worthy of a FPP?

Oops - you sounded like a jerk!
posted by ORthey at 3:25 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: EVERY news item worthy of a FPP!
(Hilton still in jail! Anna Nicole Smith still dead!)

This one is interesting tho. And yeah prisonrapeamirite? But what’s the situation if while he’s in custody he’s assaulted - and his sentence is overturned?
Unbelievable the justice system can be manipulated this way, especially for prejudices about race and sex.
Given the facts of the case imprisoning this kid is truly wrong.

Also, Hitler? Way out of line.
(It had to be said.)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:41 PM on June 11, 2007


Also, and related to issues of laws, courts and justice this was on the front of the world section of the Dominion Post in Welly this morning - and doesn't seem very much like justice.

27 months in jail for being a responsible parent, hosting a supervised teenagers party.

(I didn't want to make and FPP of it, as I didn't want to come accross as a jerk).
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:59 PM on June 11, 2007


The answer is that they could be liable for civil damages if he doesn't plead.

What cause of action would the damages be for?

Usually, prosecutors and law enforcement are immune from suit for malicious prosecution.
posted by jayder at 4:01 PM on June 11, 2007


All this race-baiting makes me think of one of the wisest lessons I ever learned about my own prejudices from Michael Scott:
Michael: Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What's he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants... he says something ordinary like... 'yo, thats shizzle.' Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.
posted by dios at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2007


Samuel Farrow, you might be interested in this thread. That way, we don't have to have that discussion again here.
posted by The World Famous at 4:04 PM on June 11, 2007


Wow - thanks for that The World Famous, ignore me...

Must be jerk day.

(Actually now I wish I had FPP'd as then at least it would have been deleted...)
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:08 PM on June 11, 2007


is EVERY news item worthy of a FPP?

Should the fact that all teenagers are facing 10-year sentences for having sex -- a fairly rarely idiotic situation, even in *human* history -- be hidden at the bottom of page 10?
posted by Twang at 4:23 PM on June 11, 2007


posted by dios All this race-baiting makes me think of one of the wisest lessons I ever learned about my own prejudices from Michael Scott:

Michael: Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What's
he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants... he says something ordinary like... 'yo, thats shizzle.' Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.

Shame on Michael Scott for using the word "he" and then shaming us for thinking he's referring to a man.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:31 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Attorney General appeals case.
posted by peewinkle at 1:59 PM on June 11


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:44 PM on June 11, 2007


In a May 5 interview on Fox News radio, Horsley boasted of having sex with animals as a young man. “When you grow up on farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule…
posted by hortense at 4:54 PM on June 11, 2007


I have no freaking idea what that Michael Scott thing was supposed to be.
posted by papakwanz at 4:57 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait, duh. Sorry. I didn't make the Office connection. I suck at life.
posted by papakwanz at 4:58 PM on June 11, 2007


“Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.”

Indeed, because the music, culture and speech styles initiated by black youth has so thoroughly been co-opted and exploited for profit.
(I was hearing “skeetin’” on the radio for some time until people figured out what it meant.)

But race baiting? I don’t know, I don’t see much else in the way of motive in this case. Perhaps the AG has something personal about this guy? Maybe he knows the girl? Maybe he’s really got hangups about sex? Not really sure why he’s being such a dick, but speculation abounds.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:12 PM on June 11, 2007


Correction: He's now 21. Oops.

So I don't want to sound like a jerk, but is EVERY news item worthy of a FPP?

Sorry. When I read the ruling I though immediately of the previous thread regarding the situation. I think it's a particularly troubling state of affairs that's worthy of discussion; I didn't mean to add needless clutter to your already busy internet day.

As a first time poster, I take note of your dissent and vow to be less obtuse when making future contributions.
posted by macrowave at 5:30 PM on June 11, 2007


Wait, duh. Sorry. I didn't make the Office connection. I suck at life.

Nah there's people who suck way more. Office. What's that.
posted by nervousfritz at 5:44 PM on June 11, 2007


But race baiting? I don’t know, I don’t see much else in the way of motive in this case.

I think the point of the quote that brought this up is that the Attorney General is black, a democrat, and has received awards from notable black american organizations. So it's doubtful that it's about race. Though really I don't see much race baiting over this going on in the media, and only two quotes above that brought it up.

Now, phrase what is agreed upon that happened this way and see if you can grasp why he might be doing this: A bunch of high school football stars get younger girls drunk at a party where one girl is basically gang-banged by a bunch of the guys and one of those guys also received oral sex from a 15yr old.

I imagine the AG thought that this would go over well both with the moral conservatives who think any sex outside of marriage is immoral, and the liberal wing who think gang-banging drunk minors is inherently rape. And I'm sure he sees this as rape. What a welcome surprise it is that the public seems to overwhelmingly be seeing this as injustice.

A website of various other minors in sex cases' testaments:
posted by kigpig at 6:18 PM on June 11, 2007


I think the point of the quote that brought this up is that the Attorney General is black, a democrat, and has received awards from notable black american organizations. So it's doubtful that it's about race.

black police showing out for the white cop.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:24 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


If I was this kid, I would get the fuck out of the country while I still had the chance. Too late.
posted by chlorus at 6:26 PM on June 11, 2007


Not to sound like a broken record, but this is the natural outcome of mandatory sentencing laws. If you are not going to allow judges discretion to sentence criminals based on all the criteria involved in a case, you're going to end up with a few people in jail for unfair amounts of time.

Of course, what's a few more children in jail if it means supporting a good sounding law so you can get votes in the next election.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:24 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did the drunk girl at the party who was gang-banged feel that she had been raped? If so, I've got little sympathy for Genarlow Wilson.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:30 PM on June 11, 2007


If you are not going to allow judges discretion to sentence criminals based on all the criteria involved in a case, you're going to end up with a few a lot of people in jail for unfair amounts of time.

Fixed that for you.
posted by Malor at 8:42 PM on June 11, 2007


If you are not going to allow judges discretion to sentence criminals based on all the criteria involved in a case, you're going to end up with a lot of people in jail for unfair amounts of time.

Which is sort of ironic, since part of the whole point of sentencing requirements is to make sure crazy judges don't mete out unfair sentences. Not that there are any crazy judges out there anywhere. Nah.
posted by The World Famous at 8:48 PM on June 11, 2007


Did the drunk girl at the party who was gang-banged feel that she had been raped? If so, I've got little sympathy for Genarlow Wilson.


Consensual, adj., with permission, with consent, without coercion

Don't bother to RTFM, just RTFP.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:16 PM on June 11, 2007


This is strange because the Attorney General thinks the girl was raped, but the girl thinks it was consensual, but maybe she was too drunk to understand consensual so it had to be rape then.

(I'm just trying to figure this one out myself).
posted by j-urb at 10:49 PM on June 11, 2007


BitterOldPunk, why don't you read the fucking Wikipedia article? I'm referring to the seventeen year old who claimed that he raped her at that party, not the fifteen year old who was happy to blow him. If you'd actually read the article the poster would have linked to you would have seen this sentence:

Mr. Wilson was also charged with rape for being one of several people at the party to have sex with a 17-year-old girl, but he was acquitted of those charges.

This explains why the prosecutor has a bug up his ass about this, but I'm guessing everyone was too busy getting hung up on the consensual sex with a minor bit to recognize there are other issues here. LOL prison rape jokes, and all that.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:03 PM on June 11, 2007


j-urb, there are two issues, here, the girl who felt she was raped, and the consensual sex act with a minor, which is statutory rape.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:05 PM on June 11, 2007


appealing this verdict is a sick thing to do.
the only way he could be more despicable is to try and slow the appeal process down somehow. is it just that it's easier to pull the wings off the fly you've already got captured, rather than trying to catch another one? I've no doubt he could be spending his time more productively.

capone went down for tax evasion charges, because that was the worst they could pin him down on. what is this accomplishing, exactly? IF he did have a sexual predator tendency, as maybe the AG or prosecutor feels, aren't they just trying to incubate a more sociopathic predator when he finally is released?
posted by Busithoth at 7:41 AM on June 12, 2007


“I think the point of the quote that brought this up is that the Attorney General is black, a democrat, and has received awards from notable black american organizations. So it's doubtful that it's about race.”

See, man, I don’t see the AG as ‘black,’ man. I don’t see people as black or white. They’re just people, man.

..or maybe it’s that black on black thing I hear so much about.
(Srsly, I didn’t know the AG was black, thanks kigpig )


“I imagine the AG thought that this would go over well both with the moral conservatives who think any sex outside of marriage is immoral, and the liberal wing who think gang-banging drunk minors is inherently rape.”

Therein lies the rub (no pun int.). The cultural element here - though not race based (at least from the AG pov) can still be driven by it politically. I’d fully agree though it’s a minor chord here (indeed, if at all relevent).
Given the facts of this case it’s pretty clearly not rape; ‘consensual’ is pretty well stressed here.
And indeed, doubtless other factors regarding social protection of the minor are here no one wants to see a kid get tagged with something sexually negative. A gangbang could be criminal sexual assault under certain conditions, certainly drunkeness and being underage would call into question whether it was consensual. Did anything like that that happen in this guy’s particular case here? Doesn’t seem like that to me.
Looks like (tactically) they’re sticking with what’s on the tape and scapegoating this kid because they can’t nail anyone else with anything.
(And I’m completely with you on how nice surprise it is that the public sees this as an injustice kigpig)


“...there are two issues, here, the girl who felt she was raped, and the consensual sex act with a minor, which is statutory rape.” - BrotherCaine

One can’t justify twisting the law to your own ends merely because one can’t make some other case stick. That path leads to vigilantism. If some guy rapes my daughter, and I know he did it (through whatever method - perhaps a video tape or some such), and whether through power or money or influence or sheer luck he beats the rap, I’ll put bullets in him myself if I lose my mind and can’t control myself or can’t live with it. I’m not going to bend the law to my will or allow it to be bent on my behalf. That is the equavalent of what the rapist and his family did to get off - and then what’s the difference between us?
The law has to be neutral and impartial, neither subject to influence by power or vengeance.
Whatever the AG’s motivations, he’s constrained to act within the law, and losing his head on this seriously endangers justice. As has been said - probably other things he can spend his time on.
Hell, first thing that came to my mind was - who’s doing the videotaping? Anyone else watch it? Wouldn’t that constitute possession/creation of underage pornography (consensual or not)? Anyone who’s in possession of or who has the tape is in violation. You could probably nail anyone else who was there. Aside from the girl in question of course and perhaps Wilson, who - by implication of the consensual act - is the only guy who really would have the right. And IANAL. But you’d think the AG would find another route for prosecution of the actual violators. No, he nails this guy.
So he’s either lazy, self-seeking (and allowing himself to be driven by the aforecriticised social forces in order to advance), or I’m the smartest guy in the (Georgia) room on this (and, really, I’m just some internet dufus speculating from second hand data).
posted by Smedleyman at 9:54 AM on June 12, 2007


I misread your comment, BrotherCaine. I apologize for the snark.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:32 PM on June 12, 2007


I apologize for the counter-snark, BitterOldPunk.

Smedleyman, except the AG didn't twist any laws, he prosecuted the guy under an existing statute. While I'm sure he wouldn't be as aggressive about prosecuting it without the other issue, he didn't write that statute, a flawed legislature did. I agree that the law shouldn't be subverted in the general case, but that is not what happened here.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:15 AM on June 13, 2007


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