Genarlow Wilson = Leo Frank?

Dana Blankenhorn is at it again, this time comparing Genarlow Wilson to Leo Frank. For you Yankees and other new comers to the South, the Leo Frank saga is one of the worst stains on Atlanta’s past. According to Wikipedia, Leo Frank was a Jew who was lynched in Marietta in 1915:

Frank, the manager of a pencil factory in Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted on the basis of circumstantial and direct evidence of murdering an employee, 13-year-old Mary Phagan. The case is regarded as a miscarriage of justice by several authors.[2] The trial was sensationalized by the media, which promoted fantastic stories about orgies and rape at the factory. The Georgia politician and publisher Tom Watson used the case to build support for the renewal of the Ku Klux Klan, which had been destroyed by the federal government in the early 1870s.[3]

Shortly after Frank’s conviction, new evidence emerged that cast doubt on his guilt. The governor commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment, but Frank was kidnapped from prison by a group of prominent citizens calling itself “The Knights of Mary Phagan”, and hanged. The mob is reported to have included the son of a senator, a former governor, lawyers, and a prosecutor.[4]

Whatever you think of Genarlow Wilson’s sentence, he’s no Leo Frank. I might agree Wilson’s sentence was too harsh, but he did was he was convicted of doing. Blankenhorn’s comparison is simply ludicrous. There is absolutely no threat Wilson will be lynched, in fact there is broad support for his immediate release. Again, the comparison is simply ludicrous.

One more thing Dana, your free and easy labeling of people as racists is over the top. Just because you see a racist behind every bush doesn’t make it so. You can try to rally Georgia’s Democrats to reign down blows upon everyone you label a racist, but it won’t improve relations between the races, nor will it return Democrats to power.

UPDATE: I forgot to remind folks of this posted by Erick last week. Leo Frank certainly never had the opportunity to walk out of jail with a plea agreement.

UPDATE 2: I removed the link to Dana’s website. No need to give that guy any traffic.


  1. Rogue109 says:

    Spot on analysis, Buzz. As you point out, the main difference between the two is summed up here:

    “Shortly after Frank’s conviction, new evidence emerged that cast doubt on his guilt.”

    With Wilson, there is no new evidence and no chance of the conviction being overturned. All we are talking about is the length of the sentence.

  2. griftdrift says:

    Blankenhorn also insist on calling me a liberal (a not so uncommon disparage among some here as well).

    And people think I’m the one using various mind altering substances.

  3. memberg says:


    You’re way, way off. The main difference is NOT the emergence of new evidence.

    The main difference is that Leo Frank was made a scapegoat by a media sensationalism (thanks Hearst!) and anti-Semitism and lynched, while Generlow Wilson had a normal trial and all the media support in the world.

    In fact, I don’t think there is any fair comparison between the two cases.

  4. Rogue109 says:

    Memberg: You think I was writing that there was a comparison? I agree….there isn’t any comparison. Looking at it from a LEGAL standpoint, though, was where I based my comments. I think we are on the same page but I may not be scripting it as such. Thanks for the comment…

  5. memberg says:

    I know you don’t think they’re the same…

    I’m not thin-skinned, but I don’t like to let the misappropriation of Jewish issues go unchecked, e.g. I’m against comparisons of Darfur to the Holocaust.

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