Georgia Supreme Court Orders Genarlow Wilson Released
Atlanta, GA (October 26, 2007) - This case has been extremely controversial in Georgia. While no one does or should tolerate true sex offenders, what happened to this young man was wrong. The district attorney crossed the line by sending DVD's containing videos of the inicdent to lawmakers as they debated the 2006 law change.
ATLANTA -- The Georgia Supreme Court Friday ordered Genarlow Wilson released from jail.
In a split 4-3 decision the court upheld a Monroe County judge's ruling that Wilson's 10-year prison sentence constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment."
Wilson was convicted in 2005 of aggravated child molestation for engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15-year old girl when he was 17.
Under the law at the time the crime was punishable with a ten year sentence and registration as a sex offender. That law was changed in 2006 to make crimes such as Wilson's misdemeanors punishable by no more than a year in prison and no sex offender registration.
The change in the law was not retroactive and did not apply to Wilson.
Writing for the majority Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote in the decision that changes in the law "represent a seismic shift in the legislature's view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants."
There's no word yet on when Wilson will be released from prison.