Thursday, June 14, 2007

Too Bad Genarlow is Not Elijah

Elijah Dukes is all kinds of scuzzy.

Cheats on wife.

Has a baby with woman other than wife.

Has sex with a teenager.

Fathers child with teenager.

Has borderline incestuous relationship.

Commits borderline statutory rape.

Still, Genarlow Wilson, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a 14 year old when he was 17, would trade places with Elijah Dukes any day. Simply because Elijah Dukes lives in Florida.

It just goes to show the vast difference in statutory rape laws from state to state.

Although Elijah Dukes is 22 years old, he will not be prosecuted for fathering the child of the 17 year old foster child of his step grandmother - no matter how deplorable you may consider Dukes. Florida's statutory rape laws consider consent and difference in age.

In contrast, Georgia's laws are much more straightforward. There is no consideration of consent or age disparity. Indeed, the law that was changed that Genarlow Wilson was convicted under was only revised to address the different types of sexual acts. Genarlow Wilson was convicted for performing oral sex, but wouldn't have been convicted as harshly for having intercourse. The law was not revised to account for age disparity or consent. And note that sex between a 17 year old and a 14 year old is still illegal in Georgia. It's just been revised to a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony.

The Georgia Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, insisted today that he had to appeal Genarlow's release because his release could potentially affect 1300 offenders convicted under the same law that Genarlow was convicted under. Theoretically, all those prisoners would have the right to appeal their sentences.

Indeed, Judge Thomas Wilson was not exhaustive in the justification of his release of Genarlow Wilson. The judge agreed with Wilson that his punishment was "grossly out of proportion to the severity of the crime." However, Judge Wilson was not precise in stating exactly say why. Is the sentence disproportionate because age disparity? Consent? Because someone else convicted of the same crime got a different sentence? Just because the statute was later revised? As a result of Wilson's vague order, the state of Georgia potentially faces a great deal of uncertainty when dealing with the other thousand plus prisoners who might challenge their sentences under the statute.

1 comment:

DP said...

Someone needs to beat Elijah Dukes ass before Jason Whitlock pins all his ills on ALL of Black America.