LEGAL BRIEFS: BREAKING NEWS!
The Associated Press is now reporting that a judge has declared that Genarlow Wilson should be released from prison. Many of you may be familiar with the case of Genarlow Wilson (Black), who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for receiving oral sex from a 15-year old girl, when he was 17 years old. Yes, 2 teens engaged in consensual sex led to one of the teens being labeled a rapist! But, Georgia state law said that Mr. Wilson committed an aggravated sexual act.
Genarlow Wilson was a good student, an athlete, and had never been in any legal trouble—before this incident. Yet, he was sentenced as though he were a rapist. In addition to the 10-year sentence, Mr. Wilson was to be put on a sex offender registry FOR LIFE! His lawyer has been arguing that his sentencing was unconstitutional and grossly disproportionate to the crime.
After Mr. Wilson received such a ridiculous sentence, the Georgia state legislature changed the law, so that no one would ever again receive such a stiff sentence (under these circumstances—not to be applied to pedophiles).
Mr. Wilson has been appealing his case and trying to get his conviction overturned because the crime he was convicted for was reduced to a misdemeanor. However, this occurred AFTER he was sentenced. Despite the change in the sentencing guidelines for the sexual contact, Mr. Wilson—now 21 years old—was told he still had to serve a 10 year sentence according to the previous guidelines.
Intense media scrutiny of the case and pressure from the community likely led to today’s recommendation.
The judge changed Mr. Wilson’s sentence to 12-months with credit for time served. Since Mr. Wilson has already served 2 years in prison, he should be a free man!! The judge’s decision included this: “The sentence is void.”
If the state files an appeal, Mr. Wilson will probably not be able to get out of jail. The state has 30 days to appeal the judge’s decision. Hopefully, Mr. Wilson will be walking out of jail today!!