Monday, June 11, 2007

Catch 22

Are we here to serve the law or is the law here to serve us? The answer seems to be the former in the community of prosecutors in Georgia. The law that put Genarlow Wilson in jail would, if it could be applied equitably, jail half the teens in America. The folks who cobbled the legislation together never intended it that way. Like many attempts to protect the Children, it was influenced too much by emotionalism and too little by thought. In fact upon further thought, the law was changed, making Mr. Wilson a prisoner of a mistake.

A CNN poll today shows that 88% of respondents agree that the sentence given the 17 year old who had oral sex with a girl two years younger was inappropriate and so did the judge who threw out the sentence today, but Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has other ideas which have more to do with procedure than justice and the former honor student will remain behind bars. A plea bargain has been offered that, rather strangely, would allow him to go free and without the predator stigma if he pleads guilty to something to which the law no longer applies.

Most people, nearly everyone in fact, agrees that the kid is not a sexual predator and should not have a lifetime of being a semi-outlaw and ten years in prison so maybe we should have a bit less abstract rhetoric about activist judges and a little more about bad law, poorly administered. We are constantly reminded that there is a difference between the law and justice, but that's not something we need to accept without protest.


Intellectual Insurgent said...

This case is SO sad and SO tragic for many reasons. The AG who appealed the judge's order to release him must be a Bushbot neocon.

nolocontendere said...

I seem to remember that Georgia has a rep for being particularly sniffy about different forms of physical pleasure than the missionary position. They ought to enter the 20th century any time now.

Capt. Fogg said...

Maybe the promise of Democracy is just a cruel joke. It can't be anything else when more than half the country thinks legend is more dependable than science and justice is based on how angry you are.