Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Genarlow Wilson ordered released

Before my highly anticipated post on the use of expectation in decision making, I thought I'd pass along what I think is some great news (if a bit old) - last week a Superior court judge ordered the release of Genarlow Wilson. For those of you who are not familiar, Wilson was sentenced to ten years in a Georgia prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl when he was 17. After his trial, the Georgia legislature changed the penalty for his crime to a misdemeanor, and at the time consensual intercourse was also a misdemeanor. The law was applied so harshly in part because he was accused of raping another girl and refused to plea to that charge. He was aquitted of rape but convicted of statutory rape and the jury was not allowed to know that a mandatory 10 year sentence was required.

Understandably there was a great deal of outrage over this case, and he got coverage in ESPN, the New York Times and even from Mark Cuban. He is still in jail pending the Attorney General's appeal, but this decision is a big step towards his freedom. This Volkh Conspiracy post discusses the legal reasoning and chances of it being upheld on appeal.

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