Friday, June 8, 2007

The Criminalization of Sex

American injustice, served cold:

When he [Genarlow Wilson] was a senior in high school, he received oral sex from a 10th grader. He was 17. She was 15. Everyone, including the girl and the prosecution, agreed she initiated the act. But because of an archaic Georgia law, it was a misdemeanor for teenagers less than three years apart to have sexual intercourse, but a felony for the same kids to have oral sex.


The trial finished [...] and the jury came back with [...] "guilty" on the aggravated child molestation.

He looked at the forewoman. She was crying, seeming to understand they'd just undone a promising future. Indeed, when the jurors found out there was a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, several were incensed. The prosecution told them to write a letter, then moved on to the next case.

And look what the prosecutor of the case, Eddie Barker, thinks about it:

Barker thinks five years is fair for receiving oral sex from a schoolmate.

Fair? Are you fucking kidding me? In what fantasyland is this punishment reasonable and how does this punishment serve justice? What wrong was corrected? Can barker even answer these questions without resorting to, "Well, I was just doing my job." You know what? The Nazis said the same shit.

Or could it be because of this?

The first time the Supreme Court voted on Genarlow's case, it was 4-3. The four judges who voted against the black teen were white. The three judges who voted for him were black.

Seems like this case is knee-deep in race issues. Consider this:

At the same time this trial was under way, a local high school teacher, a white female, was found guilty of having a sexual relationship with a student -- a true case of child molestation. The teacher received 90 days. Wilson received 3,650 days.

But there's some good news. CNN reports that the case will be reviewed and a decision on whether or not Wilson will be given back his freedom will be be issued Monday.

You can follow the case here.

This is yet another reason why mandatory sentences are bullshit. The blanket application of punishment doesn't take context into account, and then people who have wronged no one are charged with a crime. Not to mention that criminalizing sex between consenting minors itself is completely unreasonable. What purpose does this serve? Who is being protected? The consenting minors?


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