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Thread: Genarlow Wilson

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    Default Genarlow Wilson

    Sad story. Where the hell is Jesse Jackson when you need him?

    Tons of links on the 'net, here's a couple:

    www.wilsonappeal.com

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/etick...ry?page=wilson
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    Where's anybody with a sense of justice?

    I could see this if he were 18 or older, but he was 17.

    I have to question if he would have received the same punishment if he were white? Come on, a white kid with his grades? He would have had a suspended sentence at best and then his record sealed at 18.
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    That is messed up. Probably would've gotten out sooner if he'd killed her.

    Dylan needs to write a song!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    I have to question if he would have received the same punishment if he were white? Come on, a white kid with his grades? He would have had a suspended sentence at best and then his record sealed at 18.
    Yep!
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    You know, I forsee dark times ahead for this country. Not from terror, but from anger resulting from stupid shit like this.

    If the kid had held up a quickie-mart, he'd be out of prison by now. All he did was screw his girlfriend and evidently she gave him head, which is illegal in Georgia under anti-homosexuality laws. What was the DA thinking? What was the Judge thinking? Where is the WISDOM of putting this kid in PRSION for TEN YEARS?

    It makes a joke of the leagal system, if the system's joke then you cannot expect reasonable people to respect the system, it's laws and it's government. I'm not talking about the Tim MacVay's of the country or the guy who hasn't paid his income taxes since 1976, I'm talking about losing the respect of the average citizen. It's not war, taxes or the deficit that will lead to unrest, it's thoughtlessly stupid acts like this.

    I can't single out Georgia either, you can find men and women in jail all across this country for violations of technicalities. Where's the governor? Why can't he grow some balls and pardon him? If I were governor I would dedicate Saturday mornings to review cases like this with the state AG, and then issue pardons.

    The system failed this kid in so many ways it makes me ashamed to be an American.
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    Evidently the Gov. in Georgia has no pardon powers. They were taken away a few years back. Seems Georgia governors were pardening alot of kkk guys. Oh well.

    The whole thing reeks of 1950's racism. Fortunately, there are tons of people on this kids side now and his best chance appears to be having a law passed that would reduce the minimium sentence for someone his age that is convicted for the crime he was.

    FYI, Georgia Supreme court ruled against him in his appeal. Vote was 4-3. 4 white justices voted against him, 3 black judges voted for him. Go figure.
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    Court Hears Appeal in Teen Oral Sex Case
    Wednesday, June 06, 2007
    ATLANTA —

    In 2003, 17-year-old Genarlow Wilson was an honors student, standout athlete and homecoming king preparing for his SATs with an eye toward college. But that all changed after a New Year's Eve party involving alcohol, marijuana and sex.


    Wilson, now 21, is serving 10 years without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl that night. He was charged with rape for being one of several male partygoers to have sex with a 17-year-old girl, but was acquitted.

    Wilson's sentence has been widely criticized, even by members of the jury that convicted him and the author of the 1995 law that put him behind bars.

    "The law was designed to protect kids against really, really bad people doing very bad things," said the sponsor, former state Rep. Matt Towery, a Republican. "It was never intended to put kids in jail for oral sex."

    On Wednesday, Wilson's legal team will again try to free their client as a Monroe County Court hears a claim that Wilson's constitutional rights are being violated.

    The lawyers will argue that his legal counsel during his 2005 trial was ineffective. Among other things, his lawyer did not subpoena the 15-year-old to testify. The petition also argues that the sentence was grossly disproportionate.

    Wilson's appellate lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, compared the case to the recent rape case involving Duke University lacrosse players, saying prosecutors in both cases overreached.

    Wilson has served more than 27 months in prison. His case has become something of a cause celebre, largely because of the legal loophole that ensnared him.

    If Wilson had had sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old he would have fallen under Georgia's "Romeo and Juliet" exception. But under the law in 2003, oral sex between teens constituted aggravated child molestation and carried a mandatory sentence.

    Wilson's case shows how a law designed to go after child sex predators can have unintended consequences and criminalize consensual sexual activity between teens, said Karen Worthington, director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory Law School.

    Georgia lawmakers in 2006 changed the law to make consensual oral sex between teens a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year behind bars. Offenders do not have to register as sex offenders, as Wilson will be required to do.

    But the state's top court ruled the 2006 change couldn't be applied retroactively to Wilson's case. An attempt earlier this year to pass a bill that would provide a remedy for Wilson has stalled.

    The effort was complicated by a homemade videotape showing the New Year's Eve party. On it, a 15-year-old girl can be seen performing oral sex on Wilson. It also shows Wilson and other male partygoers having sexual intercourse with the 17-year-old.

    Prosecutors argued that the 17-year-old was semiconscious and not capable of consent. But a jury that watched the tape disagreed and acquitted Wilson of the rape charges.

    Despite that acquittal, Douglas County District David McDade told WXIA-TV in March that "six young men basically gang raped a 17-year-old." McDade did not return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

    Wilson's most vocal critic has been Georgia's top Republican senator, Eric Johnson, of Savannah.

    "This was not two star-crossed lovers on a date," Johnson wrote in an opinion piece opposing the bill written to help Wilson.

    The five other male partygoers took plea deals. Wilson's case was the only one that went to trial.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    ATLANTA - A former high school football star who became a national symbol for the extremes of getting tough on sex offenders was ordered released from prison Monday by a judge who called his mandatory 10-year sentence for consensual teen sex "a grave miscarriage of justice."

    But the joy felt by Genarlow Wilson's family rapidly turned to disappointment as Georgia's attorney general announced he would appeal, a move that will keep the honor student behind bars for now.
    Wilson's sentence was widely criticized as being too severe, even by members of the jury that convicted him and the author of the 1995 law that put him behind bars.

    His case became a cause celebre that grew from local blogs and TV stations to national news shows and editorial pages. Some supporters, including former President Jimmy Carter, have said it raised questions about race and the criminal justice system. Wilson and five other males charged in the case are black, as are the two teenage girls involved.

    "As far as I'm concerned, this case is a throwback to Southern justice," said state Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta Democrat.

    Wilson, homecoming king of his school, has served more than two years of a mandatory 10-year sentence for aggravated child molestation. He was captured on videotape having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2003 when he was 17.

    If the sentence stands, he would also be placed on Georgia's sex offender registry.

    At the time of his crime, Wilson would have faced just one year in prison if he had sexual intercourse with the girl. The "Romeo and Juliet" exception in Georgia law also would have allowed him to avoid the sex offender registry.

    Lawmakers last year voted to close that loophole. But the state's top court said the new law could not be applied retroactively to Wilson, now 21.


    Opponents of Wilson's release said it could open a floodgate for other cases. Georgia prisons currently hold 189 inmates who were sentenced for aggravated child molestation when they were 21 or younger.

    Of those, 56 percent were white and 44 percent black, state figures show.

    Black community leaders planned a protest outside Attorney General Thurbert Baker's office late Monday. Baker, who is black, is now pushing to keep Wilson in prison, arguing that his sentence is valid.

    In his notice of appeal, Baker argued that Georgia law does not give a judge authority to reduce or modify the sentence imposed by the trial court. He said he would seek an expedited ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court. And he noted that a plea deal is on the table that would release Wilson in a maximum of five years and also remove him from the sex offender registry.

    Not good enough, said Wilson's lawyer, B.J. Bernstein.

    "It is really ridiculous when you consider that we had a judge that just said it is a misdemeanor that carries no sex offender registration," she said.

    "It is extremely, extremely disturbing that the attorney general would take this action now."

    Bernstein said her office was seeking bond for Wilson, which would allow him to leave prison while the appeal is pending.

    The judge's ruling Monday threw out Wilson's 10-year sentence and amended it to misdemeanor aggravated child molestation with a 12-month term, plus credit for time served, and he would not be required to register as a sex offender.

    "The fact that Genarlow Wilson has spent two years in prison for what is now classified as a misdemeanor, and without assistance from this court, will spend eight more years in prison, is a grave miscarriage of justice," wrote Judge Thomas H. Wilson, who is no relation to Genarlow Wilson.

    "If this court or any court cannot recognize the injustice of what has occurred here, then our court system has lost sight of the goal our judicial system has always strived to accomplish ... justice being served in a fair and equal manner," the judge wrote.

    When the judge's order arrived Monday morning, Wilson's lawyers applauded and hugged his mother, Juannessa Bennett, who wiped away tears.

    "I just feel like a miracle happened," Bennett said.

    After the notice of appeal she looked stricken.

    "It's heartbreaking," Bennett said.

    Wilson's prominent supporters included Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who declared he would boycott Georgia until Wilson was free, and Carter, who wrote a letter in support of Wilson to the state attorney general.

    The court battle over Wilson's fate also drew comparisons to the rape charges leveled against Duke University lacrosse players last year, with critics saying prosecutors in both cases overreached.

    Wilson was also charged with rape for being one of several male partygoers at a hotel to have sex with another 17-year-old girl, but was acquitted. The party was captured on a videotape that was played for the jury.

    The five other male partygoers took plea deals in the case. One of them has been released from prison and is now in college.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    Thanks for those updates Voivod! WTF is the Att. General thinking? Haven't they got their pound of flesh yet. And where the Hell is Jesse Jackson?
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    12.15.17 @ 11:35 PM
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    I think any guy on these boards would have gladly received a bj from a girl at a party during their teenage years.

    That's the whole POINT of going to parties when you're a teen, to get friggin laid! Most of the time it doesn't work, and you go home empty handed.

    This dude is being sent to jail for getting lucky. He was just doing his duty as a red blooded male, for chrissakes. I wonder about that prosecutor dude who condemned Wilson. Could he honnestly swear that as a teenager he would've turned down a girl who wanted to go down on him?

    Something's fishy.
    Little Dreamer

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    Looks like the government found another reason to keep him in prison over a consensual blowjob...

    ATLANTA -- A U.S. district attorney issued a statement on Wednesday declaring the Genarlow Wilson videotapes as child pornography.

    This statement came just days after a CBS46 investigation raised questions about the distribution of the tape.

    "The videotape at issue constitutes child pornography under federal law and should not be knowingly distributed, received, or possessed outside of law enforcement and judicial proceedings," said U.S. District Attorney David Nahmias in a statement released Wednesday.

    Wilson was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.

    The videotape is of the party where the sex act took place and was used as a primary piece of evidence Wilson's trial.

    The statement also advised that anyone in possession of the tape outside of law enforcement should return it to police or destroy it immediately.

    A Georgia judge had ordered Wilson released from prison on June 11, but appeals from the state attorney general have kept him from being released.

    Several influential people, including former President Jimmy Carter and Rev. Al Sharpton, publicly supported Wilson's appeals and state lawmakers voted to close the loophole that led to his 10-year prison term.

    Numerous rallies have been held by community leaders in attempts to have Wilson freed from prison.

    There have also been attempts to have a special session of the Georgia legislature called in order to reconsider a bill written by State Sen. Emmanuel Jones that was specifically designed for young men like Wilson.

    The bill, which would make the 'Romeo and Juliet' provision of Georgia's sex offender law retroactive, did not get enough votes during the regular session.

    Wilson is awaiting a hearing that could allow bond to possibly change his sentence.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    This dude is being sent to jail for getting lucky. He was just doing his duty as a red blooded male, for chrissakes. I wonder about that prosecutor dude who condemned Wilson. Could he honnestly swear that as a teenager he would've turned down a girl who wanted to go down on him?

    Something's fishy.
    IMHO, I think it's simple as black & white...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- The courtroom was packed with supporters and cameras Friday as Georgia's top justices heard arguments over whether a young man serving a 10-year prison term for consensual oral sex with a fellow teenager should be freed.

    The long punishment spurred angry protests and led the state to change the sentencing law.

    A state judge in June ordered the young man freed, but because of an appeal by the state attorney general, Genarlow Wilson remains behind bars.

    The Supreme Court justices will decide whether the state judge's order freeing Wilson should stand.

    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?"

    The 1995 law Wilson violated was changed in 2006 to make oral sex between teens close in age a misdemeanor, similar to the law regarding teen sexual intercourse. But the Supreme Court later ruled the 2006 law could not be applied retroactively.

    Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation following a 2003 New Year's Eve Party at a Douglas County hotel room where he was shown on videotape having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Wilson was 17 at the time.

    The state Supreme Court had declined Wilson's appeal of his conviction and sentence, but the justices agreed to hear the state's appeal of a Monroe County judge's decision to reduce Wilson's sentence to 12 months and free him. The Monroe County judge had called the 10-year sentence a "grave miscarriage of justice."

    Former state Rep. Matthew Towery, the author of the 1995 law, submitted a friend of the court brief supporting Wilson's release.

    "The General Assembly never intended for the Child Protection Act's harsh felony sentences designed to punish adults who prey on children to be used to punish consensual sexual acts between teenagers close in age," Towery's brief said.

    Bernstein argued that the law's changes in 2006 marked a "tectonic shift" in how Georgia views voluntary consensual teen sex. She also noted the rarity of legislation that softens punishment.

    "The new reality is that teen sexual experimentation is commonplace in an era where the media bombards teens with sexual imagery," she wrote.

    Baker countered that it is well established that criminals are subject to the penalty in place when the law is violated. To apply legislative changes retroactively would invite chaos, he argued.

    "It potentially affects countless others who may be in the prison system or on probation or who have completed their sentences," Baker wrote.

    Outside court, satellite trucks and Georgia State Patrol cars lined the streets, reflecting the attention the case has drawn. A New York-based hedge fund manager volunteered to help post $1 million bond for Wilson, and hundreds of supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, held a rally earlier this month demanding Wilson's release.

    Wilson rejected plea offers, including one that prosecutors said would have allowed him to avoid being listed on Georgia's sex offender registry.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    This is a sad story!!!!
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

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    FORSYTH, Ga. — Two prison guards escorted him from the Burruss Correctional Training Center here. Wilson shook their hands, broke into a wide grin, hugged his mother, Juannessa Bennett, and then picked up his little sister, Jiaya, 9, and held her.

    Just hours earlier, the Georgia Supreme Court had ordered his release, calling his 10-year prison sentence "cruel and unusual punishment" under the state and federal constitutions.

    With his mother and attorney by his side, Wilson told reporters he harbored no bitterness and still believes in the justice system β€” especially now that he's been freed.

    "I was waiting to see it for myself before I took anyone else's word for it," Wilson, now 21, said of his release. "It felt unreal just to sign the papers to actually let me know I was leaving."

    Wilson's four-year legal odyssey has inflamed racial tensions in Georgia while capturing the nation's attention.

    Black civil rights leaders alleged race and class have been at play in the case, which sparked protest marches and demonstrations in Douglasville, where Wilson was prosecuted. Douglas County prosecutors, meanwhile, have vehemently denied race played a role, noting all the defendants and victims in the case are black.

    The case stems from a drug- and alcohol-fueled New Year's Eve party Wilson attended at a Douglasville hotel in 2003. Wilson was charged with raping a 17-year-old girl at the party, but was acquitted. He was ultimately found guilty of felony aggravated child molestation for receiving oral sex from the 15-year-old girl, a crime that carried a minimum 10-year prison sentence under state law at the time.

    Four other male youths at the party pleaded guilty to child molestation of the 15-year-old and sexual battery of the 17-year-old. A fifth pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. Their party was captured on a profanity-laden and sexually graphic video filmed by one of the male youths.

    Since Wilson's conviction, the former Republican state lawmaker who authored the state Child Protection Act in 1995 has repeatedly insisted it was never his intent to lock up teenagers involved in consensual sex acts. Last year, the Legislature changed the law to make similar acts a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in prison.

    The Supreme Court noted that legal change in the 48-page opinion it issued in Wilson's case Friday morning: "For the law to punish Wilson as it would an adult, with the extraordinarily harsh punishment of ten years in prison without the possibility of probation or parole, appears to be grossly disproportionate to his crime," wrote Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, who sided with the majority in the court's 4-3 decision in favor of freeing Wilson.

    In ruling Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the June 11 decision of Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson, who ordered Wilson freed from prison. Judge Wilson, no relation to Genarlow Wilson, also ordered his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. But the Supreme Court said the judge erred in resentencing Wilson "for a misdemeanor crime that didn't exist when the conduct in question occurred." The court said Judge Wilson should instead set aside Wilson's sentence altogether. Judge Wilson did not respond to a message left at his office Friday.

    Veda Cannon, the mother of the 15-year-old girl in Wilson's case, declined to comment. But in an interview in June, Cannon said Wilson should never have been criminally charged and imprisoned for receiving oral sex from her daughter. Cannon said the sex between her daughter, Wilson and the four other teens was consensual and regrets she didn't ask prosecutors not to charge them. Critics have pointed out, however, that the age of consent in Georgia is 16.

    Cannon's daughter, now 19, has declined requests for interviews about the case. She graduated from high school before joining the Navy to pursue a career in nursing, her mother said. She has a 2-year-old son, Cannon said.

    Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, whose office prosecuted Wilson, issued a statement Friday, saying "while I respectfully may disagree with the court's decision, I also must respect their authority as the final arbiter in this case."

    Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who had appealed Judge Wilson's decision to the Supreme Court, also issued a statement Friday.

    "I hope the court's decision will also put an end to this issue as a matter of contention in the hearts and minds of concerned Georgians and others across the country who have taken such a strong interest in this case," read the statement.

    Back at the prison, Wilson was asked if he had apologized to the girls from the party. He responded: "No. From Day One, I said β€” not just me β€” but all of us, we made decisions that I felt could have been better. But I felt like we have all learned from that experience. All we can do is move forward. You can't step back."

    Before this incident, Wilson had never been in trouble with the law and was an A and B student at Douglas County High School, where he played football, ran track and served as homecoming king. Wilson said he now plans to go to college and major in sociology.

    A reporter asked him where the welcome-home party was going to be. Wilson paused, then said: "There is not going to be any more parties for a while."

    Everybody laughed.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

 

 

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