Genarlow Wilson and Scooter Libby: American Justice in all its Glory

Genarlow.jpg  Scooter1.JPG

17 years-old

consensual sex with a 15 year old

convicted of aggravated child molestation 

28 months in prison and counting 

56 years-old

outing a CIA official (allegedly) 

convicted of lying and obstruction of justice 

sentence commuted by the President (zero jail time)


The contrast in justice for young Genarlow Wilson, and Scooter Libby is quite astonishing.  Anyone who is not familiar with Genarlow's case can find the details by visiting Why Is Genarlow In Prison?.   

bush.jpgThe President, who gained a reputation in Texas for being tough on crime, now seems to think shame and humiliation is punishment enough.  "The reputation (Libby) gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged," Bush said. "His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation."

All the while Genarlow Wilson continues to spend the best years of his life behind bars for receiving oral sex from a teenager at a New Year's Eve party.  The victim has repeatedly maintained that the sex was consensual. 

Click here to see a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding Genarlow's conviction at Wikipedia

Genarlow was a good football player with a 3.2 GPA and a clean record at the time of the incident. He was scheduled to take the SAT on the day of his arrest.

genarlow5.jpgOn Wednesday, June 13, Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson ordered the release of Genarlow, calling his eleven year sentence a “miscarriage of justice.” Judge Wilson also amended his felony conviction to a misdemeanor one, thus exempting him from sex offender registration

See an excellent legal account at Georgia Law Blog.

But I tuned in to Ernie and Jay MidDay on Tuesday (don't ask why) and heard Genarlow's lawyer B.J. Bernstein explaining new developments in the case: 

First, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker appealed the ruling. 

Then, a bond hearing was set for July 5 to decide whether Genarlow would be released while his appeal was pending. 

Last week Monroe County Superior Court Judge David Emerson canceled the hearing.

Judge Emerson ruled that Genarlow Wilson is not eligible for a bond while the State's appeal of his grant of habeas corpus is pending.  Wilson's lawyers filed an emergency appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court.

If you have ever wondered why African-Americans are skeptcal of the Judicial System.  If you have ever thought about how black folks cheered the O.J. verdict while others were outraged.  If  you reflect back on why the Rodney King verdict sparked civil unrest in Los Angeles.  Think of Genarlow Wilson and Scooter Libby.  Think of how Genarlow is spending Independence Day in a Georgia State prison, while Scooter is enjoying his freedom with his family.

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