Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want…No principle … can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom … a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man's ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.”     Lysander Spooner

June 28, 2007

Genarlow Wilson Is Still In Jail

by 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

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  1. [...] Star Georgia Student Got 10 Years For Blow Job, Sex Offender Status, Now Refused Bail Judge Cancels Bond Hearing in Teen Oral Sex Case Judge Rules That Wilson’s Particular Sentence Makes Him Ineligible for Bond Release Genarlow Wilson is shown here at the age of 17. A judge threw out his 10-year sentence for aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2003. (Wilson Family Photo/AP Photo) By BRITTANY BACON June 27, 2007 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. Wilson’s attorney B.J. Bernstein released a statement after the ruling saying she will file an appeal with the Georgia Court of Appeals. Before Emerson’s decision, Bernstein told ABC News that she was hopeful that her client would be released pending appeal because "this is a unique situation in which the court already has granted habeas relief and ordered Wilson free." Bernstein did not immediately return a call Wednesday to comment after the judge’s Wednesday ruling. Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, whose office originally convicted Wilson, was also unavailable for comment. ‘Grave Miscarriage of Justice’ On June 11, Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Wilson ordered Genarlow Wilson released. Judge Wilson had called the original sentence a "grave miscarriage of justice" in court papers, and replaced it with a 12-month misdemeanor sentence, plus credit for time served. According to the judge’s decision, Wilson would not be required to register as a sex offender. The one-time high school honor student and star athlete, now 21, had served more than two years of his mandatory 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex in 2003 from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. But just 90 minutes after the judge’s June 11 ruling, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker filed notice that he would appeal the decision before the Georgia Supreme Court. Baker said in a statement that the judge had overstepped his authority and that an appeal was necessary "to resolve the clearly erroneous legal issues created by the order." Baker said in a news release that he would "seek expedited treatment of the appeal so that all legal impediments to Wilson’s case can be resolved without undue delay." ABC News: No Bail in Teen Oral Sex Case The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Genarlow Wilson Is Still In Jail [...]

    Pingback by Star Georgia Student Got 10 Years For Blow Job, Sex Offender Status, Now Refused Bail - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum — June 28, 2007 @ 8:41 pm

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