Breaking: Justice For Genarlow Wilsonby Doug Mataconis
This morning the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that Genarlow Wilson’s ten year prison sentence for having consenual oral sex with his 15 year old girlfriend when he was 17 constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment,” and ordered Wilson released immediately:
Georgia’s State Supreme Court has ruled that Genarlow Wilson’s 10-year sentence for having consensual oral sex when he was a teenager is “cruel and unusual punishment” and ordered him freed.
The state court announced the ruling Friday morning.
Wilson is being held in prison for having consensual oral sex when he was a teenager, despite a judge’s ruling that he should be freed.
Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.
He has served more than two years of a mandatory 10-year sentence.
The text of the Court’s opinion, in PDF format, can be found here.
Update: Further details from the Washington Post:
The 1995 law Wilson violated was changed in 2006 to make oral sex between teens close in age a misdemeanor, similar to the law regarding teen sexual intercourse. But the state Supreme Court later upheld a lower court’s ruling which said that the 2006 law could not be applied retroactively.
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.”
Exactly the way this should have turned out to begin with.