Georgia’s Supreme Court frees Genarlow Wilson

Oct 28, 2007 Georgia’s Supreme Court frees Genarlow Wilson


Bill of Rights (From public domain.)

Congratulations to Genarlow Wilson for having finally been released from prison for good after originally having received a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence for having had conensual oral sex with a fifteen-year-old when he was seventeen-years-old. The Georgia Supreme Court’s October 26, 2007, opinion in this case is here.

The Georgia Supreme Court’s 4-3 majority opinion is based on a finding that Mr. Wilson’s ten-year sentence is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual, including when considering that the state legislature subsequently decided to remove such a mandatory minimum sentence, even though the amended statute provided that it would not be retroactive.

Mr. Wilson’s ultimate sentencing victory clearly was not a shoe-in, in part considering that the victory was achieved only by a four to three majority. Thanks to the state supreme court judges who voted in the majority.

Jon Katz.

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