Another must read story, but unlike the refuge soccer story, this one is just depressing. Wright Thompson at ESPN wrote about Genarlow Wilson, an athlete from the state of Georgia who was, by all accounts, completely screwed by the judicial system. As a 17 year old (being recruited to play football at schools like Columbia and Brown), he received oral sex from a 15 year old. The age of consent is 16.Once, he was the homecoming king at Douglas County High. Now he's Georgia inmate No. 1187055, convicted of aggravated child molestation.
When he was a senior in high school, he received oral sex from a 10th grader. He was 17. She was 15. Everyone, including the girl and the prosecution, agreed she initiated the act. But because of an archaic Georgia law, it was a misdemeanor for teenagers less than three years apart to have sexual intercourse, but a felony for the same kids to have oral sex.
Afterward, the state legislature changed the law to include an oral sex clause, but that doesn't help Wilson. In yet another baffling twist, the law was written to not apply to cases retroactively, though another legislative solution might be in the works. The case has drawn national condemnation, from the "Free Genarlow Wilson Now" editorial in The New York Times to a feature on Mark Cuban's HDNet.
It seems like everyone involved with this case believes he doesn't deserve his sentence, even those who sentenced him. The article depicts the scene in the court:The trial finished that afternoon, and the jury came back with "not guilty" on the rape but "guilty" on the aggravated child molestation.
He looked at the forewoman. She was crying, seeming to understand they'd just undone a promising future. Indeed, when the jurors found out there was a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, several were incensed. The prosecution told them to write a letter, then moved on to the next case.
Genarlow Wilson put his head in his hands and wept.
This whole situation is just f'd up, but what really pissed me off was this:The position of Barker and the district attorney, McDade, who refused to comment, is that Wilson is guilty under the law and there is no room for mercy, though the facts seem to say they simply chose not to give it to Wilson. At the same time this trial was under way, a local high school teacher, a white female, was found guilty of having a sexual relationship with a student -- a true case of child molestation. The teacher received 90 days. Wilson received 3,650 days.
I highly suggest you read the whole thing. When I have some time I'm going to try to find the contact info of some relevant politicians so I can express my support of Wilson. If someone else finds it first, go ahead and post it.