Court Rules 10 Year Sentence for Consensual Oral Sex is “Cruel and Unusual”

You may recall the case of Genarlow Wilson, who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole because a 15 year-old gave him a blow-job (Wilson was 17 at the time). Today, the Georgia Supreme Court ordered him released.

“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,” Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote in a 4-3 majority opinion.”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 opinion said.

He had been convicted of “aggravated child molestation” because in Georgia oral sex is more than a mere “immoral or indecent act.” If they’d just had sex (no oral), the maximum statutory sentence would have been 12 months.

~ by Gabriel Malor on October 26, 2007.

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