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February 20, 2007

Ugly debate in Wilson case

Instead of dealing with the fact that Genarlow Wilson is serving a 10-year sentence for a crime that the Georgia law now classifies as a misdemeanor subject to only 12 months imprisonment, the Georgia legislature is caught up in ugly name calling about Wilson's case.  Here's are some of the details from this news article:

A war of words has erupted over the highly publicized case of a Douglas County teenager sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual sex with a minor. Georgia Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) released a column Sunday about the case of Genarlow Wilson, the day after he figured prominently in a CNN piece about Wilson....

Johnson, in an interview Monday, said Wilson is "choosing martyrdom," rather than take a plea deal.  Johnson dismissed [Wilson lawyer] Bernstein's criticisms.  "She's hired a publicist, got a Web site and is raising money," Johnson said of Bernstein. "As long as she can use any — whether it's the bill, or whether it's a press conference or whether it's an op-ed — to generate publicity and go on national TV, she will.  She is trying this case in the media because she lost it in court."

February 20, 2007 at 09:48 AM | Permalink


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» Genarlow Wilson Update from SexCrimeDefender
Another case of justice miscarried is being played out in Georgia where Genarlow Wilson has been sent to prison for a decade for consensual sex with a girl not much younger than himself. He has been there for over 2 [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 20, 2007 11:18:57 AM

» Genarlow Wilson Update from Sex Crimes
I haven't been posting too much about this case, but there are plenty of other places covering it. Sentencing Law Policy details the ugly debate in the Georgia legislature about the case and leads us to a long ESPN Magazine [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 20, 2007 7:32:09 PM


Interesting development. I am interested if anyone has any insight into the article's suggestion that Genarlow is being offered a plea deal of 5 years to serve (apparantly if he drops further attempts to contest his conviction). As I understand Genarlow's case has run every possible legal course (except maybe federal filings), I would be curious how this would be accomplished under Georgia law. In my jurisdiction it would be unheard of to strike a different plea bargain at this stage of the game.

Posted by: Steve Smith | Feb 20, 2007 11:23:57 AM

While I appreciate the plight of Genarlow Wilson, I would love to see more on the thousands of other young men in situations such as this. There are few legal challenges and media attention for the rest of them. Perhaps if this fight was going on everywhere, there would be more incentive to change these laws and the concept of mandatory minimums.

Posted by: rukidding | Feb 21, 2007 8:48:43 AM

The real problem is Georgia raised the age of consent from 14 to 16 several years ago. If the age of consent was still 14, then Wilson would have only been tried for raping the 17 year old, and would most likely have been found guilty and sentenced to more than 10 years. The jury had to find him guilty of something after seeing the video, and they choose the lesser charge. Why don't y'all get one of the juriors to give their opinion on this site? Without a jurior's opinion otherwise, this is my belief.

What if the teens had brought the party across the state line over into SC? Anyone want to speculate on what SC would have charged them with? There was no Romeo clause in SC then either.

Posted by: mrcleanisin | Apr 3, 2007 11:05:53 PM

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