Genarlow Wilson Ordered Freed

Back in January, I wrote a post called “Southern Justice: Travesty Squared in Georgia” about a black teenager named Genarlow Wilson who was given an incredibly harsh sentence for a technical infraction of the law because a prosecutor got pissy when Wilson wouldn’t accept a plea bargain arrangement and forced him to go to trial. Voices were raised in Genarlow’s defense, including ESPN’s (Wilson was a well-known high school athlete). One commenter wrote:

It’s disgusting. I can not see any way, shape or form that the interests of the state of Georgia are served by throwing away Genarlow’s youth and opportunity to become a vibrant contributor to the state. All his situation does is reinforce some unfortunate stereotypes that the state is backward and misgoverned. No one with a conscience can look at this case and conclude that justice has been served.

Well, today a judge ordered Genarlow Wilson be freed.

A judge today ordered that Genarlow Wilson be freed from prison, where he has spent more than two years for receiving consensual oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.

Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson also amended Wilson’s felony conviction to a misdemeanor without the requirement that he register as a sex offender.

Wilson’s lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, appealed to a judge Wednesday to free him from prison, arguing that his 10-year prison sentence and inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry is grossly disproportionate and violates the Constitution.

Bernstein also pointed to how the Legislature changed the law since Wilson’s conviction to make similar acts a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in prison. Wilson, now 21, has been locked up for more than two years.

“It truly is cruel and unusual punishment,” Bernstein told reporters last week. “It is wrong when the Legislature has passed the law to make this a misdemeanor with no sex offender registry [requirement] and instead the state is trying to keep this young man in prison for 10 years and on the sex offender registry.”

The prosecution is still arguing that the law doesn’t allow his release, and there’s no word yet from the Georgia AG’s office on whether or not the state will actually release him or appeal the decision.

Let’s hope they let it lie. This travesty of justice has gone far enough.

2 responses to “Genarlow Wilson Ordered Freed

  1. T. Livingston

    I have followed this case up here in Atlantic City,N.J, ever snice it came on CNN news channel. I was flipping through and saw a vidoe tape so i stop to see what it was and I was shocked by what I saw happening on the tape. I was more shocked that under age childern can rent a room with no one questioning their age and such a large out of control party went on all night with loud music even though it was New Years Eve. I then was shocked to hear that Genarlow had been convicted for consenuasl oral sex with a girl who was 15 year old and he was 17 year old. Honestly I don’t see a problem for a 15yr old and a 17yr old dating, I understand we are not just talking about dating, but do we even know what our childern are doing when we are not around. So to prosecute this young man and sentence him for 10yrs and then make him register as a sex offender made me so mad that i reached out to all my family and my friends and told them about this story and had them sign his lawyers website page in supoort of Genarlow being released. He should have been released when the law was amended, that Senator down in Georgia was on some high horse and tried to make Genarlow an example and that’s jsut not right. For the prosecutor I think he just did what he was told. Get a BACK BONE if you didn’t agree that he should have been charge for such a harsh crime then work something out were both sides can live with. I am happy that some one finally looked at this case with some brains and saw it for what it was to teenagers being teenagers!! This young man needs to walk out of prison now, not sit there so see if some AG wants to take it futher like they said LET IT GO!!!!
    Genarlow and his family has been in my prays, my family and my friends prays ever since I heard about this story!!!

  2. Pingback: Genarlow Wilson 2: Release Delayed, AG to Appeal « Mick Arran

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