Like the Duke Rape Case, we have another case of prosecutors run wild. Like the Duke Rape Case, we have the uneasy intersection of sex and race. Like the Duke Rape Case, justice is long overdue.
Enough already: Georgia needs to free Genarlow Wilson. Now.
It boggles the mind that a teenager could be sentenced to TEN years in prison for getting a consensual blow job from another teen.
Here's the background:
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.
I have blogged about this outrageous case before when I asked about appropriateness of "Ten Years for a BJ?". Later, I pointed out that is how this case has become highly and tragically politcized, "GOP Rep. Blocks Bill To Free Genarlow Wilson".
I admire the tenacity of Genarlow Wilson's attorney B.J. Bernstein. Ms. Bernstein and her legal were were in court again today fighting to free Mr. Wilson:
Wilson, clad in a white prison uniform, watched the hearing begin Wednesday morning. His 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.
The judge will make his decision in the next few days. We need to keep the pressure on.
What can you do to help free Genarlow Wilson?
If you want to know more about the case, check out Mr. Wilson's website.
Thank you very much for your continuing support of Mr. Wilson and his legal team.
I spoke to B.J.. The Judge will issue the decision on Monday, June 11th. The Attorney General Thurbert Baker is opposing Mr. Wilson's appeal. Justice Baker can be contacted here.
B.J. also asked me to share the website my5thc.com, which educates teens about their legal rights. The website features a video with Mr. Wilson.
The petition link is slow but it does work. Thanks again.