Friday, October 26, 2007

Genarlow Wilson is Freed!

It was a close call (4-3), but the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that Genarlow Wilson's 10-year prison sentence for receiving oral sex from a 15-year old, when he was 17, was "cruel and unusual punishment." As a result, Wilson shall be freed immediately.
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote in the majority opinion that the changes in the law ''represent a seismic shift in the legislature's view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants.''

Sears wrote that the severe punishment makes ''no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment'' and that Wilson's crime did not rise to the ''level of adults who prey on children.''

I can't say it any better than TalkLeft: "If you believe in justice, the best news you are likely to hear today is this." The Wilson case was a travesty from day one, merely amplified by the state's dogged pursuit of keeping Wilson behind bars for as long as possible -- even as public outrage grew. It is fortunate that justice appears to have finally won out.

Also worthy of note, Chief Justice Sears is rumored to be on the short-list for a potential Democratic Supreme Court nomination.

The opinion (and dissent) of the court is available here.

No comments: