Genarlow Wilson, Part 3 for Today

I’ve been on the road. The Thurbert Baker press release is in my inbox now and here is the relevant portion:

While fulfilling his constitutional obligations to represent the state in this habeas matter, Attorney General Baker has also attempted to bring the defense lawyers and Douglas County prosecuting attorneys together in hopes of reaching a resolution in this case. As recently as this past weekend, the Douglas County offered Genarlow Wilson’s attorneys a plea deal that would have allowed Genarlow Wilson to plead to First Offender Treatment, which would mean that he would not have a criminal record nor would he be subject to registering on the sex offender registry once his sentence had been completed. The plea deal, if accepted by Genarlow Wilson’s lawyers, could also result in Genarlow Wilson 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. Genarlow Wilson, through his attorneys, rejected all of those offers. The District Attorney’s office has indicated that the plea offer will remain available to Genarlow Wilson notwithstanding the appeals process.

I realize a lot of you have invested a lot of energy in refighting whether or not he should have been charged as he was charged or even found guilty. If you wish to continue crying over spilt milk, please feel free to do so. But I think it is worth noting that Mr. Wilson has it immediately within his power to both get out of jail and avoid registration as a sex offender with the high probability that his record would be fairly quickly expunged.

I take it that his supporters would rather bitch and appeal and probably lose. It would be poetic justice if the plea deal were then withdrawn. In that case, I would hope Mr. Wilson might take action against his own attorney for what is increasingly looking like a case of attorney grandstanding.

12 comments

  1. Nicki says:

    Erick, as I’ve noted at least twice lately, I can understand why Wilson wouldn’t want to take a plea if he feels he has other options which involve his original conviction being overturned or vacated. If he feels he didn’t commit the crime for which he is charged, then he’s well within his rights not to take the plea.

    Why have you posted so many times on this subject today? It appears that “refighting” is a description better applied to you than to us readerly types who are merely responding to your topics.

  2. Erick says:

    Nicki, it’s a hot topic today. If he feels he has better options, that’s fine, but it increasingly seems like his attorney is trying to persuade a battery of judges on emotion and not on the law.

  3. Loren says:

    But I think it is worth noting that Mr. Wilson has it immediately within his power to both get out of jail and avoid registration as a sex offender with the high probability that his record would be fairly quickly expunged.

    Read the press release again. It says Genarlow “would not have a criminal record nor would be subject to registering on the sex offender registry once his sentence has been completed.” (Emphasis added.)

    Under the terms of the sentence, as I understand them, Wilson would probably be paroled now, but he would have to serve another 13 years on probation. It’s a 15-year sentence, after all. During which time he would still be on the sexual offender registry. Only around 2020, when Wilson is about 34 years old, would his name be removed from the registry, and his record expunged.

    So he does not “avoid registration,” because he would have to spend the next 13 years as a registered sex offender. And there’s no certainty that his record would be “fairly quickly” expunged.

  4. Romegaguy says:

    And let me point out from the press release “possibly leading to his release based upon time already served.”

    The word POSSIBLY really makes me believe that he would have to serve more time.

  5. MidGaDawg says:

    Loren:

    “The plea deal, if accepted by Genarlow Wilson’s lawyers, could also result in Genarlow Wilson receiving a sentence substantially shorter than the 10 year mandatory minimum sentence for which he was originally sentenced…”

    Everyone’s been throwing around that 15 year figure but where does that come from? Doesn’t this contradict that?

  6. Loren says:

    In the part you bolded, Baker (who is admittedly being unclear), probably means “prison sentence.” As in, “a prison sentence substantially shorter than the 10 year mandatory minimum prison sentence.”

    This seems to me to be the interpretation most consistent with the available information. The CNN article I linked to refers to 15 years, albeit from Bernstein. Also, that interpretation is consistent with that sentence, because Wilson’s sentence was a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, with 1 additional year of probation. A sentence of 11-serve-10, with the ten being mandatory.

    The problem is that the statements from Baker appear to use the word “sentence” to refer both to Wilson’s term of incarceration as well as his entire prison+probation punishment.

  7. dorian says:

    You know what strikes me as rather odd about this whole situation is that no one really seems offended by the fact that he was receiving fellatio from a minor or the fact that he apparently had sex with another woman who was passed out. Wasn’t all this on video? Poor Genarlo. Kids these days.

    Also, I have seen the word “racist” thrown around in regards to his sentence. You know, what would really strike me as racist would be for white people to accept this as normal behavior in the black community. I don’t think it is. I also don’t think that, if he were white, anyone would be calling for a special session to change the law as it applies to him.

    Didn’t he get a jury trial? It seems to me that living in a society where the court of public opinion matters more than a court of law is just the sort of “tyranny of the majority” type of thing we’ve all been taught to be so scared of.

  8. Loren says:

    Didn’t he get a jury trial?

    Yes, but the jury only decided whether he was guilty or not guilty. It was the judge, not the jury, who imposed Wilson’s sentence. And because of a minimum-sentencing law passed by the legislature (and which was subsequently amended by the legislature to avoid exactly this kind of situation), the judge was forced to sentence Wilson to 10 years in prison. The jury had no say in the matter, and the judge had no room for discretion.

    And that’s the problem here. The legislature took away the judge’s opportunity to exercise his discretion, and as a result, an unjust punishment was imposed. It’s the ‘zero-tolerance’ effect, only with a decade in prison as the consequence.

  9. dorian says:

    That is a point well taken, Loren. The legislature has shown nothing but contempt for the judiciary in just about every possible way they could. Limiting the court’s discretion is just one example of many.

  10. Rogue109 says:

    Nicki: Just a few thoughts from your comments:

    “I can understand why Wilson wouldn’t want to take a plea if he feels he has other options which involve his original conviction being overturned or vacated.”

    No, he has no options to have his conviction overturned or vacated. All we are yacking about is the length of punishment. Motions for New Trial has already been handled and shot down. He is convicted.

    “If he feels he didn’t commit the crime for which he is charged, then he’s well within his rights not to take the plea.”

    I understand your point…but need to point out he isn’t charged. He has already been convicted. But if you are talking about the “charge” being the offense for which he would have to plead, then I 100% understand and agree.

    Listen, people (and I’d appreciate thoughts from other attorneys, too): If he takes this deal, the amount of jail time is going to be known before anyone walks into court. If anyone here thinks the DA, AG, B.J. “And The Bear” Bernstein and Wilson aren’t going to have everything locked down and the Judge in chambers informing them what he intends to do, then you are hitting the bong really hard (no, Nicki, I’m not really saying you use marijuana).

    Remember, who is the Judge that would handle the NEW plea? Why…IT’S THE ORIGINAL SENTENCING JUDGE! And what has this Judge already made clear? THAT HE WANTS WILSON OUT OF JAIL NOW! And what else will this Judge most likely do? KEEP PROBATION TO A MINIMUM!

    This deal is the best that the DA and AG can make under the LAW and Berstein/Wilson/Their Supporters are foolish to continue to wait.

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