Baker speaks on Wilson appeal

Now, this…I don’t understand:

I have attempted to bring the defense lawyers and Douglas County prosecuting attorneys together in hopes of reaching a resolution. As recently as this past weekend, the Douglas County District Attorney’s office offered Wilson’s attorneys a plea deal that would have allowed Wilson to plead to first-offender treatment, which would mean he would not have a criminal record nor would be subject to registering on the sex offender registry once his sentence has been completed. The plea deal could also result in him receiving a sentence substantially shorter than the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for which he was originally sentenced, possibly leading to his release based upon time already served. Wilson, through his attorneys, rejected all of those offers.

That was written by Thurbert Baker, who is defending his decision to move forward with an appeal. If this is the case…why the hell would he not take that?

37 comments

  1. ToddH says:

    What is interesting is the judge’s ruling is nearly identical in outcome to the one that Baker says was offered to Wilson and his attorneys. So, if that is the case, why does Baker appeal the ruling when the prosecutors offered the exact same outcome already?

  2. griftdrift says:

    To avoid precedent. Baker is saying you can’t reduce a sentence while ruling on a habeas petition. As to that constitutional question? Well, that’s beyond my knowledge.

  3. Romegaguy says:

    Key phrase is “possibly leading to his release based upon time already served.”

    It’s possible I might win the lottery tomorrow night but not likely.

  4. AG Baker’s job is to defend the law of the State of Georgia. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence (as sad as it is). We are a country of laws, not men. You can feel sorry for Wilson and be grateful that a Republican legislayure fixed the dumb law.

  5. griftdrift says:

    And then promptly spent the entire last session calling Wilson a “predator” and worse including standing on the floor of the Senate telling tall tales. You really do want to have it both ways don’t you Senator Johnson?

  6. griftdrift says:

    No it’s not and you know it. You also on these very pages accused said same jury of misconduct by somehow construing they actually convicted on the rape.

    Your statements are on the record and there are some of us who will not allow you to squirm around them. God bless, you really have some gall to come on here and act like you are some sort of hero.

  7. Know Nothing says:

    grift,

    Don’t worry, it’s am imposter. Why in the world would the real Eric Johnson say those things knowing that most people on here have access to a Lexis-Nexis search.

  8. Burdell says:

    I know this is the first I’ve heard of a plea-deal that does not include the sex-offender registry. Seems like we’re getting conflicting stories from each side.

    Which is precisely why it needed to be settled in court, as it was today.

  9. liberator says:

    Baker’s job is not to defend the laws of the state of georgia,his job is to uphold the Constitution. Laws of the state of georgia often conflict with the Constitution. This law was ruled to violate the “Crual and Unusual Punishment” provision of the Constitution. Baker should therefore stop his foolish appeal!

  10. UGA Wins 2006 says:

    Wilson has been repeatedly offered a deal that he and his lawyers refuse to accept. They are intent on beating the system. So all of his cohorts have been out of jail for many months, or years while he still sits there. I have no sympathy for his plight so long as he refuses the offers being made to him. The Attorney General is right and I applaud his stance.

  11. Jen says:

    Why should he have to plea when the law is bullshit? Unless the State is offering a misedeamnor, I’d reject the offer too.

  12. Know Nothing says:

    UGA,

    You’re wrong. His lawyers are not trying to beat the system, they want to reduce his charge to a misdemeanor (which is what it would have been if he did the same this today). Under the plea agreement, he would have to plea guilty to a felony (which I’m sure you’re aware that there are more consequences of doing that than just legal ones) and he would effectively be serving a 13 year suspended sentance, meaning that any other infraction of the law for those 13 years, would mean he is sent back to serve the remainder of the sentance.

    Pretty harsh punishment for what the General Assembly defines as a misdemeanor.

  13. Demonbeck says:

    “Pretty harsh punishment for what the General Assembly NOW defines as a misdemeanor.”

    It wasn’t defined as a misdemeanor then. Justice is not served until he fulfills his sentence.

    We may think the punishment does not fit the crime, but we must always strive to uphold the ruling once it is handed down and the appeals process is exhausted.

  14. Bill Simon says:

    Demon…

    SO, you think those dudes who were let out of jail early because the DNA showed them to be the wrong guy should ACTUALLY be required to executed because the ruling in the normal court process (AND the sentencing) was otherwise “exhausted?”

  15. Demonbeck says:

    New evidence was not admitted in the Wilson case. The issue has come to be because the law has been changed.

    If I get a ticket for doing 38 in a 25 mph zone and they change it to a 35 mph zone later, does that mean I can get my fine money returned to me?

  16. Icarus says:

    “If I get a ticket for doing 38 in a 25 mph zone and they change it to a 35 mph zone later, does that mean I can get my fine money returned to me?”

    Only if you were having consensual sex with a 15 year old at the time.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Demon,

    New laws sometimes count as “new evidence” as this case showed. The “new evidence” is that this should not have been the crime it was originally written as, and thus the punishment would not have been as harsh.

    Are you of the mindset that the Legislature is the smartest bunch of lawmakers and whatever they write and pass should be the law of the land with no leeway?

  18. Demonbeck says:

    I am of the mindset that whatever is law when the act happens is what the accused must stand trial under.

    There are and always will be laws that we don’t agree with. We work with and try to influence and elect legislators who see things our way to amend those laws. In the meantime, however, we must abide by the laws on the books or be prepared to suffer the consequences.

    Genarlow Wilson was not marching on Selma or staging a sit-in at Woolworth’s. He is not the freedom fighter most people are making him out to be.

  19. Rogue109 says:

    I agree with Demonbeck on this one. While I feel that a 10 year sentence is excessive, the law is clear on this matter. Bill Simon’s comment that the “new law” counts as “new evidence” is patently absurd. The law is the law. Wilson is in a situation that cannot be resolved unless he (1) takes the plea offer or (2) the General Assembly changes the law.

    Bill Simons finds it all well and good that a Habeas judge has simply at his whim change a jury verdict of a trial court…that is extremely dangerous precedent which cannot be allowed to stand. It would allow Judges even more discretion to increase or decrease sentences in violation of the OCGA or even change charges.

    Hey, I’m no fan of the General Assembly but the fact is that the Habeas judge was in the wrong and Baker simply had to appeal. Whether it’s the Wilson case or some other, that kind of ruling must be disputed because, frankly, it IS against the law.

  20. Burdell says:

    Demonbeck,

    If you were sent to prison for 10 years for doing 38 in a 25, and they changed it to a 35 zone one year into your sentence, then I would argue that you should get out of jail.

  21. Rogue109 says:

    Burdell,

    If Demonbeck was convicted of simple battery and given one year to serve and the next month the General Assembly changed simple battery from a midemeanor to a felony with a minimum of five years to serve, would you be jumping up and down for Demonbeck to have his sentence amended upward to serve the additional four years?

  22. Demonbeck says:

    Well, Burdell, I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but it just doesn’t work that way.

    You can disagree with the law. You can even change the law. You can appeal the sentence, but you cannot change the sentence once the appeals are exhausted. Otherwise, every single person who ever got ticketed for doing 70 back when the speed limits on the Interstate maxed out at 55, would have an argument to sue for a refund of their fines.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    Rogue

    “The law is the law?”

    Dang…I guess you haven’t heard about this new-fangled concept called the RULE of LAW where one new interpretation of a law today can change all kinds of decisions that occured in the past, have you?

  24. Bill Simon says:

    Adding on to Grift, this is a Wikipedia excerpt on “ex post facto”:

    A law may have an ex post facto effect without being technically ex post facto. For example, when a law repeals a previous law, the repealed legislation no longer applies to the situations it once did, even if such situations arose before the law was repealed.

    But, yeah, I know, Wikipedia is written by a bunch of Commie-Pinko Left Wingers, right?

  25. Burdell says:

    Demonbeck, you are still comparing apples and oranges. The point is that the old sentence was disproportionate to the crime.

    A fine for speeding is proportionate. Probably even a very large fine. But 10 years in jail would not be.

    Nor is it for consensual oral sex.

  26. Rogue109 says:

    Burdell,

    Can you point to me where the Habeas judge has authority in the OCGA to just at his whim change a jury verdict from a felony to a misdemeanor?

  27. Rogue109 says:

    Bill Simon,

    “this new-fangled concept called the RULE of LAW where one new interpretation of a law today can change all kinds of decisions that occured in the past, have you”

    No, I haven’t. Because your comment is inane. Stare decisis and its opposite viewpoint have no applicability to the instant case. A Judge simply cannot at his whim do what he did.

    Let me say this again: I think Wilson is getting the short end of the stick. That, though, doesn’t mean that the Court can just ignore the law and do what feels right.

    But Bill, don’t worry…what do I know? I’ve only had six published opinions from the Court of Appeals on cases I’ve handled. I’m sure your seat of the pants view of the law where “anything goes” surely must be the best way of handling the Wilson case…until there is a decision made by a Judge which is just as illegal but you disagree with.

  28. Bill Simon says:

    Rogue,

    “until there is a decision made by a Judge which is just as illegal but you disagree with.”

    And, thus, the beauty of the Law. You (or I) can change your/my opinion on how the law is interpreted at will, depending on the circumstances of the particular application.

    Here’s the thing, Rogue: If the justice system operated the way you and Demon wished itran, why exactly would we need judges to make certian decisions? After all, if there is always one possible outcome that should happen, we could build a huge IF this happens, THIS is the punishment…and, it is the same result every single time.

    Thankfully, we have a judicial system that doesn’t rely soley on anally focused lawyers and power-hungry legislators to bring justice to our world.

    Oh, congrats on your published opinions from the Court of Appeals..I’d be more excited if I knew who you were…yet, for some bizarre reason, you don’t wish to reveal yourself…is that a Rule of the state bar? 🙂

  29. Demonbeck says:

    Burdell,

    Unless I am mistaken, he is serving the mandatory minimum sentence for the crime which he was found guilty.

  30. The Comma Guy says:

    It’s interesting to see how folks break on this issue. Lawyers begrudgingly accept the AG’s decision to appeal. Lay folks try to make arguments that don’t conform to the circumstances.

    ‘beck is dead on about how some folks are trying to equate Genarlow with the folks who showed true bravery and courage in the 1960’s. And all Genarlow is about himself.

    The legislature could have changed the law to benefit Genarlow twice and they chose not to do so. When did it become right in this country to allow a single judge to overturn the will of the people’s representatives?

  31. Rogue109 says:

    “Here’s the thing, Rogue: If the justice system operated the way you and Demon wished itran, why exactly would we need judges to make certian decisions?”

    Because the OCGA allows Judges to do certain things and prohibits Judges from doing certain things. We need Judges to make rulings on cases as authorized by the code…but can’t have them just change jury sentences because that is prohibited. Of course, the OCGA doesn’t mean much to you, it’s clear, so don’t worry about it.

    Peace out!

Comments are closed.