Genarlow Wilson Is Still In Jailby Doug Mataconis
By now, Genarlow Wilson’s story should be familiar to everyone. At 17 he was convicted of having consenual oral sex with his fifteen year old girlfriend and, because of the absurdity of Georgia’s sex offender laws, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Earlier this month, the judge in charge of his case reduced Wilson’s conviction to his misdemeanor and ordered his immediate release. Wilson had already spent two years in prison, and that would’ve seemed to have been the end of it, except the Georgia Attorney General filed an appeal.
Yesterday, Wilson learned that he would not be released while that appeal is pending:
Genarlow Wilson, whose 10-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old when he was 17 was voided by a judge earlier this month, is not eligible to be released on bail while the state appeals his sentence, a judge ruled today.
The ruling, which came just days after investors announced they’d post a $1 million bond for Wilson, likely means Wilson will remain in jail for several more months. The Georgia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear his case in October.
The order, issued by Douglas County Superior Court Judge David Emerson, canceled the bond hearing that he originally set for July 5.
In his Wednesday ruling, Emerson cited a Georgia law that prevents trial courts from granting bail to people convicted of certain crimes, including aggravated child molestation, when the original sentence exceeds five years, as is the case with Wilson.
“As the court has no authority to grant an appeal bond in this case, there is no need for an evidentiary hearing on the defendant’s eligibility for a bond,” Emerson wrote in a three-page order.
It would appear that the Judge didn’t do anything wrong here. He simply doesn’t have the authority to release Wilson on appeal because of the type of the crime he was convicted of committing. The fault lies with the Georgia legislature for writing an absurd law, and with a prosecutor who continues to pursue a case that really ought to be dropped by now.
H/T: Brendan Loy