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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Friday, October 26, 2007 10:41:37 PM(UTC)
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Genarlow Wilson was released from prison Friday, after spending more than two years behind bars for a teen sex conviction.


"I've got a new life," Genarlow Wilson tells reporters after being released Friday.

"At times I dealt with adversity ... my family and myself, we finally get to deal with happiness now," Wilson said, with his mother and sister at his side.

The Georgia Supreme Court earlier Friday ordered that he be released, ruling 4-3 that his sentence was cruel and unusual punishment.

Wilson, 21, was convicted in 2005 of having oral sex with a consenting 15-year-old girl when he was 17.

Wilson said he first heard about the possibility he'd be freed Friday when someone told him word was out on the radio.

"I'd seen it coming, but I didn't exactly know when," he said. "I'd just stopped trying to figure the courts out and stopped trying to put a date on it."

Wilson said he was looking forward to spending time with his family and plans to enroll in college to study sociology.

"You will not be disappointed," he told his supporters. "I plan on succeeding in life."

Wilson also said he doesn't regret rejecting a plea offer that could have freed him from prison months ago -- but would have required him to register as a sex offender.

"I'm glad I stayed down for my cause," he said. "I accepted the situation that I got myself into, but I never accepted that label."

Wilson's attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said earlier Friday she was working to gain his quick release.

She said Wilson's mother, Juannessa Bennett, was "overjoyed" at the court's decision.

A spokesman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker said there will be no further appeals.
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* Georgia Supreme Court's order

Friday's decision came after a protracted legal battle that has galvanized international attention and drawn the involvement of civil rights leaders. Partly as a result of Wilson's conviction, state legislators changed the law to make such consensual conduct between minors a misdemeanor, rather than a felony.

"The release of Genarlow Wilson by the Georgia Supreme Court is a significant victory in redressing the reckless and biased behavior of the criminal justice system that now operates in many states across the union," the Rev. Al Sharpton said.

"The bad news is that his young life was so unfairly interrupted with time that no state court can recover for him," Sharpton added. "This is why the Justice Department and federal government must review state courts that willfully and almost without pause violate the civil rights of people, particularly young black men around this country."

Wilson was an honor student, a football star and his high school's homecoming king before his conviction.

At the time of Wilson's conviction, Georgia law made the crime punishable by 10 years in prison. Changes in the law made such conduct "punishable by no more than a year in prison and no sex offender registration," the Georgia high court noted.

But those changes were not made retroactive, so they did not apply to Wilson.

The high court upheld the decision of a Monroe County judge. In a 48-page opinion, the court said the "severe" punishment Wilson received and his mandated sex offender registration make "no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment."

The case revolves around a 2003 New Year's Eve party outside Atlanta when Wilson engaged in the sex act with the girl.

Under the now-changed Georgia law, Wilson was convicted of felony aggravated child molestation. He was acquitted on a second charge of raping a 17-year-old girl -- who prosecutors maintained was too intoxicated at the party to consent.

The 10-year sentence was mandatory under the law.

In the decision, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote 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."

"Although society has a significant interest in protecting children from premature sexual activity, we must acknowledge that Wilson's crime does not rise to the level of culpability of adults who prey on children," the court's majority found.

"For the law to punish Wilson as it would an adult, with the extraordinarily harsh punishment of 10 years in prison without the possibility of probation or parole, appears to be grossly disproportionate to his crime," the majority opinion concluded.

The dissent noted that the Georgia Legislature had made clear that the changes in the law were not to be applied retroactively.

Writing for the dissenting justices, Justice George Carley said, "The General Assembly made the express decision that he cannot benefit from the subsequent legislative determination to reduce the sentence for commission of that crime from felony to misdemeanor status."

The majority countered that it was not applying the 2006 amendment retroactively, but instead factoring that "into its determination that Wilson's punishment is cruel and unusual," the court said in a news release.

The court said this kind of decision is unusual: "The majority opinion points out that this court rarely overturns a sentence on cruel and unusual grounds. But twice before, it did so following a legislative change."

The Monroe County Superior Court judge also ruled that Wilson's punishment was cruel and unusual and voided it on constitutional grounds.

The judge reduced the sentence to one year and said Wilson should not be put on Georgia's sex offender registry, as the old law required.

Wilson's jubilant attorneys had hoped that ruling would free him from state prison. But shortly after it was handed down, Georgia's attorney general announced he would appeal that decision, a move that kept Wilson behind bars.

The Georgia high court said unanimously that the decision to deny Wilson bail was correct.
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Wilson's plight drew pleas for his release, including from former President Carter, himself an ex-Georgia governor, and even some jurors who convicted him.

Legislation that would make the change in Georgia's child molestation law retroactive to free Wilson failed to win approval earlier this year.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:27:56 AM(UTC)
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What is he up to these days?
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Offline 4PackGirl  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:52:39 AM(UTC)
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i think i remember seeing this on some show. if it's the one i'm thinking of, he was punished FAR beyond what he should have been & i'm happy he had someone to fight for his release.
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Offline Cheesey  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:02:39 PM(UTC)
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Yeah.....2 teens having sex.....why didn't they send HER to jail too?
I don't agree with kids having sex......but JAIL??? Come on.....thats unreal.
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Offline Formo  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:31:06 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yeah.....2 teens having sex.....why didn't they send HER to jail too?
I don't agree with kids having sex......but JAIL??? Come on.....thats unreal.


Yup. What a waste of our tax dollars, to put a teen in jail for having CONSENTUAL sex acts.
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Offline Cheesey  
#6 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:10:42 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yeah.....2 teens having sex.....why didn't they send HER to jail too?
I don't agree with kids having sex......but JAIL??? Come on.....thats unreal.


Yup. What a waste of our tax dollars, to put a teen in jail for having CONSENTUAL sex acts.

Common sense flies out the window.
Had it been rape, THEN nail the guy. But 2 kids under age messing around...........gee, what a SHOCK!
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Offline walleye  
#7 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:39:08 AM(UTC)
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For consentual ORAL sex. WOW !
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Offline Cheesey  
#8 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:32:23 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
For consentual ORAL sex. WOW !

I had a girlfriend that thought "oral sex" meant TALKING about it!
NOT kidding!!!LOLOL!!!
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Offline walleye  
#9 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:34:43 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
For consentual ORAL sex. WOW !

I had a girlfriend that thought "oral sex" meant TALKING about it!
NOT kidding!!!LOLOL!!!


LOLOLOLOLOLOL :thumbleft:
If thats the case i get alot of oral. thats funny cheesey how long ago was that? +1
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Offline Packers_Finland  
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:36:20 PM(UTC)
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Wth? Almost every guy gets a taste of the good stuff here before they turn 16. Shouldn't be illegal.
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Offline walleye  
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:40:41 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Wth? Almost every guy gets a taste of the good stuff here before they turn 16. Shouldn't be illegal.


with the Wife. :blackeye:
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Offline Cheesey  
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:52:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
For consentual ORAL sex. WOW !

I had a girlfriend that thought "oral sex" meant TALKING about it!
NOT kidding!!!LOLOL!!!


LOLOLOLOLOLOL :thumbleft:
If thats the case i get alot of oral. thats funny cheesey how long ago was that? +1

It's kind of a funny story. Long, but worth it.
I was 18 years old, and baby sitting my 2 nephews for my brother and his wife, Penny. A woman came to the door (she had a baby in her arms, which i THOUGHT was hers of course) she asked for her Aunt Penny (my sister in law) Looking at the woman, she looked to be in her early 20's. She was REAL cute. And she was kind of giving me the "eye". Well, when Penny and my bro came home, i told her her niece (Cindy) came asking for her. I asked if she was married and if the kid she had in her arms was hers. Well, Penny said "NO! My niece was baby sitting, and she's only 13!" (Trust me.....she did NOT look 13!!!!) Anyway.......she liked me, and we went out for a couple months. She was hot for me.....but believe it or not, i was a GOOD BOY. We kissed, but thats as much as i would give her.
Now......after we stopped seeing each other, my sister in law came to me one day and said "AL......I asked Cindy how FAR you two went while you were seeing each other. I asked Cindy if you guys had oral sex, and she said yes." I stopped Penny and said "NOOOO!!! We NEVER did ANYTHING but kiss!!!" Penny started laughing and said "You know, i was kind of shocked when Cindy said yes, so i asked her if she knew what oral sex was, and she said "Yeah....it means talking about it"........then i told her what it REALLY meant, and she said "OHHHH! NOOOO!!!! We never did that!!!"
So I and Penny had a good laugh!
Pretty good story, hey? And 100% true!
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Offline walleye  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:56:45 PM(UTC)
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Very goog story Cheesey!!!
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Offline Formo  
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 7:00:22 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
For consentual ORAL sex. WOW !

I had a girlfriend that thought "oral sex" meant TALKING about it!
NOT kidding!!!LOLOL!!!


LOLOLOLOLOLOL :thumbleft:
If thats the case i get alot of oral. thats funny cheesey how long ago was that? +1

It's kind of a funny story. Long, but worth it.
I was 18 years old, and baby sitting my 2 nephews for my brother and his wife, Penny. A woman came to the door (she had a baby in her arms, which i THOUGHT was hers of course) she asked for her Aunt Penny (my sister in law) Looking at the woman, she looked to be in her early 20's. She was REAL cute. And she was kind of giving me the "eye". Well, when Penny and my bro came home, i told her her niece (Cindy) came asking for her. I asked if she was married and if the kid she had in her arms was hers. Well, Penny said "NO! My niece was baby sitting, and she's only 13!" (Trust me.....she did NOT look 13!!!!) Anyway.......she liked me, and we went out for a couple months. She was hot for me.....but believe it or not, i was a GOOD BOY. We kissed, but thats as much as i would give her.
Now......after we stopped seeing each other, my sister in law came to me one day and said "AL......I asked Cindy how FAR you two went while you were seeing each other. I asked Cindy if you guys had oral sex, and she said yes." I stopped Penny and said "NOOOO!!! We NEVER did ANYTHING but kiss!!!" Penny started laughing and said "You know, i was kind of shocked when Cindy said yes, so i asked her if she knew what oral sex was, and she said "Yeah....it means talking about it"........then i told her what it REALLY meant, and she said "OHHHH! NOOOO!!!! We never did that!!!"
So I and Penny had a good laugh!
Pretty good story, hey? And 100% true!


YES!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!! +1 million!

I don't remember which relative of mine it was, but there was a relative (older woman) that overheard us talking about oral sex. She asked what it was, and jokingly, one of us said, 'When you talk about sex.'

She bit. I couldn't believe it. I think a few weeks later someone told her what it REALLY meant. And she felt silly. HAHA!
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#15 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 7:27:42 PM(UTC)
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I think these types of laws are good to have, but they need to viewed differently per case. The spirit of the law is to prevent 40 year olds from preying on younger teens. I know for a fact that this happens and its really unfortunate because once something like this is on your record. It causes hell for you for the rest of your life, no matter how consensual it was.
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