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June 27, 2007

Genarlow Wilson to remain in prison, despite ruling that his sentence is unconstitutional

Howard Bashman notes reports from the AP and from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a state judge has now ruled that Genarlow Wilson is not eligible for bond pending the state's appeal of a ruling that his sentence is unconstitutional.  As previously detailed here and here, lower court has already ruled that Wilson's original sentence was unconstitutional, although that ruling due to be review by the Georgia Supreme COurt in the fall (details here).

I do not quite understand why executive officials in Georgia believe it is necessary and appropriate — or even lawful — to keep Wilson in prison when the last state judge to review this case has declared Wilson's sentence unconstitutional.  I understand that the Georgia Attorney General regards the lower court's ruling as problematic.  But given that the AG apparently recognizes that Wilson presents no risk of flight or dangerousness, shouldn't he agree to Wilson's release pending appeal.  Indeed, might one argue that it is unconstitutional for the Georgia AG to continued Wilson's imprisonment under these circumstances?

June 27, 2007 at 01:28 PM | Permalink


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From AP:A man who had consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 is not eligible for bail while appealing his 10-year prison sentence, a judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling is likely to mean that 21-year-old Genarlow Wilson [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 27, 2007 10:52:37 PM


But given that the AG apparently recognizes that Wilson presents no risk of flight or dangerousness, shouldn't he agree to Wilson's release pending appeal.

This has to be correct, but does the AG concede this?

Posted by: | Jun 27, 2007 1:39:15 PM

I do not belive for a minute the AG's assertion that he is worried about the lower court's ruling setting a bad precedent. Lower court rulings don't set precedent; only appellate court rulings do. This would be a perfect place to exercise discretion and let the issue die: an emotionally satisfying outcome (if you believe the prosecutors' "regeret" that they "had to" pursue the case) with no long-term damage to the AG's view of the law. Frankly, the significant risk here for the AG is that the decision may actually get affirmed. Now THAT would be precedent - and a real problem for the AG.

Posted by: | Jun 27, 2007 2:48:53 PM

The AG's assertion about bad precedent is legitimate. If the AG thinks that the case stands for a bad principle that could be asserted against the government in future cases, that is a good reason for trying to smack it down now, even if the decision isn't binding authority in other cases. The 2:48 commenter is correct to note that this may backfire, but that doesn't mean that the AG's concern isn't legitimate.

Posted by: | Jun 27, 2007 4:25:21 PM

Aside from the concern about bad precedent, I think the key point is not that the conviction was found unconstitutional. Rather it was the sentence. His conviction was not vacated, thus restoring him to pre-trial status. He remains convicted of the crime, just with a different sentence. This is what leads to the denial of an appeal bond.

Posted by: Gideon | Jun 27, 2007 9:28:01 PM

The same Georgia that apparently has lots of resources to expend arguing why it thinks Mr. Wilson should stay in prison cannot find the time to investigate why it appears that the following is true:

The innocent Teresa Fargason is sitting in prison, framed by the police for the murder of her 6-year-old daughter, which was in fact committed by then-police officer James Glover.

How can it be worth the state's resources to fight a big fight to keep someone imprisoned for a consensual sex act, but not worth their resources to find out if the police really framed someone for a murder? (And, without going into details in this post, this really does appear to be the case.)

Perhaps they are waiting for Mr. Glover need to murder another 6-year-old girl?

Posted by: William Jockusch | Jun 28, 2007 5:26:48 PM

I think you were fucked. What I mean is that you got screwed. I am now working on my doctorate and i was a college athlete, so what you decided to have some fun! I'm not going to lie, you are a cute guy but you have had your life ruined! I am on your side give me a call if you need some help, I will try. 208 859 8642, it's my cell, I'll be by it unless i'm in class


Posted by: Carlie | Jul 14, 2007 12:30:47 AM

This is for anyone that believes Fargason is innocent. This is her first appeal. I challenge anyone to show me wher she said then that a former police officer had done it. If that was the truth she would have said it then. She came up with this after his former attorney, (by the way that has been disbarred)told lies about him. If you were at that trial you would feel different. It is easy for you to sit in Ohio and make claims that you cannot back up. click on the link and read the case before you go spouting off.

Posted by: Cheryl Wood | Feb 25, 2008 7:12:48 PM

http://www.lawskills.com/case/ga/id/2090/ Sorry here is the link. I don't think it posted before.

Posted by: Cheryl Wood | Feb 25, 2008 7:21:25 PM

http://vlex.com/vid/20393839 Here is another one you may want to research. You are saying someone is a murdere on the word of this woman

Posted by: Cheryl Wood | Feb 25, 2008 7:31:57 PM

Whatever happened to this case I wonder? I'd like to see a follow up article on this. Where we can debate and discuss the aftermath of this entire debacle.

Posted by: William S. | Feb 23, 2009 12:38:24 PM

Hi, ok, I'm just adding to this just so people who are mixed up know a simple fact. I don't believe I've ever heard Ms. Fargason state that Mr. Glover was in fact the killer, just that he had evidence he was withholding from the courts that could prove her innocence. Secondly, she's stated in a Court TV/Tru TV Investigator's interview that she did not know who committed the murder and wants to see justice done. I do believe in the investigators correct assumption that she perhaps did not recieve a fair trial and needs a new one in a new jurisdiction to at least ascertain proper guilt or innocence. As for Glover, I would prefer if he'd actually come forward but seeing as no one can locate him, it does not look so well on his character. I'm not proclaiming guilt or innocence to anyone, but I find it hard to place blame solely on an individual based on crude evidence and a hard lack of forensics. At least that's my take on that case.

Posted by: Kaiya | Jul 10, 2009 5:12:27 AM

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