“Genarlow Wilson, honor student and football star, had consensual sex with a fellow teenager. What happened to him next was a crime.” Once the target of recruiting efforts by Ivy League coaches, the Douglasville, Ga. native is now twenty years old and Inmate No. 1187055 at Burruss Correctional Training Center, an hour and a half south of Atlanta. His crime? Sex with a 15-year-old girl, when he was 17. “Everyone, including the girl and the prosecution, agreed she initiated the act.” The operation of Georgia law was what you might call Draconian: “Just two years into a 10-year sentence without possibility of parole, he peers through the thick glass and bars, trying to catch a glimpse of freedom. Outside, guard towers and rolls of coiled barbed wire remind him of who he is.” (Wright Thompson, “Outrageous Injustice”, ESPN E-Ticket magazine, no date posted; Wilson appeal website; Chandra R. Thomas, “Why Is Genarlow Wilson in Prison?”, Atlanta magazine, no date posted; Sherry F. Colb, “The Harsh Wages of Sin: Why Genarlow Wilson is Languishing in Prison”, FindLaw, Jan. 10; Doug Berman, Jan. 24).
More: Georgia lawmaker has introduced bill that would allow for more lenient resentencing in Wilson case ((Alyson M. Palmer, “Ga. Bill Takes Aim at Sentencing That Resulted in 10-Year Term for Teen Sex”, Fulton County Daily Report, Jan. 29).