aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, June 11, 2007
Genarlow Wilson: justice undone
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has blocked Genarlow Wilson’s release by filing an appeal:
Jubilation turned quickly to anger Monday after Georgia’s top prosecutor vowed he would fight a judge’s order that would have set free Genarlow Wilson, a Georgia man serving a 10-year prison sentence for a consensual sexual encounter he had as a teenager.
Wilson’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said her client would not accept a proposed plea bargain that would get him out of prison because it would require Wilson to plead guilty to a felony.
A judge ruled Monday that his conduct should have been punished as a misdemeanor.
“We’re going to keep fighting,” Bernstein told reporters at a news conference at the state Capitol. [...]
Monday, acting on a petition filed by his attorneys, Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson ruled that Genarlow Wilson’s punishment was cruel and unusual and voided it on constitutional grounds. The judge reduced the sentence to one year and said Wilson should not be put on Georgia’s sex offender registry, as the old law required.
Still today the DA said:
“Six young men basically gang-raped a 17-year-old and had repeated sex acts with a 15-year-old,Ã¢â‚¬Â� Mr. McDade said in a television interview last year. “‘There’s no member of the legislature that I think would condone that behavior.’”
Clearly this DA has not accepted the not-guilty verdict of the jury; he and State Senator Eric Johnson continue to call it rape despite the jury verdict:
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Here’s what it was in the minds of the jurors. We know; we talked to them.
MARIE MANIGAULT, JURY FOREPERSON: When we viewed the tape, there was absolutely nothing in there that showed us that he in any way encouraged this person, even invited the person to come.
The only way to justice for Genarlow is for this nation to shine a spotlight on this case and this state. For today there is no justice in Georgia.
LATER: The AJC says, Justice mocked again in Genarlow Wilson case:
It’s not just wrong, it’s a senseless outrage… How are the citizens of Georgia helped by making a teenager with no prior record remain in prison for a decade because of a poorly drawn law? How is justice served?
My kind of happy meals
My friend Sam sent an email, “remember those ‘family’ meals?”
Indeed I do.
He and I spent a decade together waiting tables in some of the finer New York restaurants of our era, and together we savored that hallowed restaurant tradition known as the family or staff meal:
It’s the time when people who make and serve food for a living finally get to take a busman’s break and feed themselves. In European kitchens, such meals tend to be sit-down affairs, a final civilized huddle before the hordes arrive. In America, the meals can take wildly different forms, too often that of warmed-over takeout - “a lot of hot wings thrown in a pan,” as Christopher Monaco, an expediter at Per Se, put it.
There are notable exceptions, like Chanterelle in SoHo, whose staff meals are so elaborate they yielded their own cookbook. And in the empire of [chef Thomas] Keller, recently named restaurateur of the year by the James Beard Foundation, their importance takes on an almost religious intensity, a feeling that they are as integral to his restaurants’ success as a preternaturally perfect brunoise.
I was gone before Keller came on the scene, but I am among the lucky few to have had a number of family meals at Karen and David’s table. Though I was never brought on as permanent staff, I count at least one of their alumni among my lifelong friends.
Judge overturns Genarlow sentence
A Georgia judge on Monday voided a 10-year sentence for Genarlow Wilson for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 and instead gave him a 12-month misdemeanor sentence with credit for time he has already served.
The state is likely to appeal the ruling from Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson. Wilson, who has already served more than 27 months, is expected to remain behind bars while that appeal proceeds.
Now 21, Wilson is serving 10 years without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty in 2005 of aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl during a 2003 New Year’s Eve party involving alcohol and marijuana. Although the sex act was consensual it was illegal under Georgia law.
Finally, after months of embarrassing pressure from the media, politicians and human rights groups, someone has stepped up and seen how ridiculous that sentence was. And although the state can appeal this ruling, it certainly seems like more would be lost in terms of money, reputation and respect if Georgia didn’t do anything and everything in their power to let this one go.
LATER: The appeal has been filed.
Governor prays for rain in Macon
This is the kind of government action many in Georgia think is enough:
As Georgia’s drought continues, Gov. Sonny Perdue and close to 300 people appealed to a higher authority for help Monday.
Perdue, State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, some Central Georgia farmers and others gathered at the Georgia Farm Bureau headquarters in Macon to pray for rain. [...]
Perdue says faith is what will lead the state out of the drought crisis.
Via Gay Orbit, “It’s no coincidence that the forecast is actually calling for rain this week.”
Probability of success in Iraq: 26%
AJC’s Political Insider:
A University of Georgia researcher has determined that the world’s most powerful nations - including the United States - have had only a 39 percent success rate in military actions since World War II.
And based on her calculations, the current war in Iraq has a 26 percent probability of success - with an estimated duration of 10 years.
The study by Patricia Sullivan, an assistant professor at the university’s School of Public and International Affairs, looked at 122 interventions in which the United States, the Soviet Union, Russia, China Britain or France fought a weaker adversary.
Ethics update: links are not endorsements
I link for many reasons. Sometimes endorsement, sometimes commentary, sometimes merely to document and record for my own future reference the source of the material I’m referencing. If I do not explicitly add clarifying text that indicates an endorsement, A LINK IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT. I will sometimes choose not to link to a source. That choice may be commentary, but the choice to on occasion use the absence of a link for commentary does not infer that any other choice to link is an endorsement.
The addition may be word-smithed in the future, but you get the point. It captures the essence of what I intend.
LATER: I added the line, “The paragraph above also applies to quotes.”