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July 20, 2007

Report on Genarlow Wilson argument in Georgia

The AP has this article providing the basics of today's argument before the Georgia Supreme Court in the Genarlow Wilson case.  Here are a few snippets:

Attorney General Thurbert Baker argues that the order to free Wilson, if upheld, could be used to help free some 1,300 child molesters from Georgia prison.  "We urge you to look beyond the confines of this case," Senior Assistant Attorney General Paula Smith told the court's seven justices Friday.

Wilson's lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, said that Wilson's decade-long mandatory sentence violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.  "Every day that a defendant spends in jail is a precious day in their life," Bernstein said.

The justices seemed to be wrestling with how to provide Wilson relief under the law. "We have a responsibility to enforce the law," Justice Robert Benham asked.  "Should we do that at the expense of fairness?"

How Appealing has more coverage of the argument at this link.

July 20, 2007 at 05:17 PM | Permalink


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Wilson will probably lose at the Supreme Court. IMHO, the habeas judge clearly exceeded his authority. He has a plea deal on the table that substantially amounts to time served and an opportunity to avoid the sex offender registry. He should take it. His lawyer seems to love the attention that this case is bringing. Her ego (she had a big story today in the Atlanta paper) is going to cost her client many extra years in jail if he refuses the deal based upon her advice.

Posted by: Scott Forster | Jul 20, 2007 10:59:01 PM

Having been an inmate in Federal prison, I have seen first hand those, like Genarlow, who are serving sentences that are far too harsh for their crime.

That said, every choice has a consequence and Genarlow, like myself, reap what we sow. Now before I receive a deluge of comments related to the fairness of the sentence, let me say...I'm not commenting on fair.

I took my experience and turned it into good. Through the Choices Foundation (a non-profit I established http://www.chuckgallagher.com/foundation.php) I speak to young people about the effects of the choices they make. Genarlow's sentence may be unfair, but he made a choice that today he's paying a huge price for. Perhaps if young people understood that every choice has a consequence...they might think twice.

The other day at a presentation before a group of young folks a young man said, "It ain't deceipt if you don't get caught!" My role as an ex-con and Motivational Speaker is to turn attitudes like that around. At what point will young people understand that we are accountable for our actions?

Posted by: Chuck Gallagher | Jul 22, 2007 10:43:08 AM

life has consequences. but when it comes to that man the verse changes into life has punishments.

Posted by: elizabeth palacios | Oct 23, 2008 8:45:41 PM

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