Obama calls for justice in sex case

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ATLANTA - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Saturday that the jailing of a young man for 10 years for having consensual sex with another teenager is an injustice.

Barack Obama: Candidate heard Happy Birthday to You sung by the SCLC audience. He turned 46 Saturday.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Barack Obama: Candidate heard Happy Birthday to You sung by the SCLC audience. He turned 46 Saturday.

"How is it Scooter Libby isn't behind bars and we've got a young man in jail right now sentenced to 10 years for something that isn't even a felony?" Mr. Obama said during a speech at an awards banquet for the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization founded by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for obstructing justice in a federal probe of the leak of a CIA officer's name. President Bush commuted Mr. Libby's sentence, calling it excessive.

Mr. Obama called for justice for 21-year-old Genarlow Wilson, who remains in jail even though a judge overturned his sentence. Mr. Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation after he was shown on videotape having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. He was 17 at the time.

The judge called the sentence a "grave miscarriage of justice," but Mr. Wilson is still in jail waiting for the state Supreme Court to hear the appeal of his case.

The long punishment has prompted angry protests and led the state last year to change the 1995 sentencing law used in his case. The new law makes it a misdemeanor rather than a felony for teens close in age to have oral sex, but the Supreme Court ruled the change could not be applied retroactively.

Mr. Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, spoke during the SCLC's First Ladies Awards honoring Coretta Scott King, the late wife of the slain civil rights leader. He heralded the work of women during the civil rights movement.

"The men are good at getting up front and being in front of the microphone, but, as my wife reminds me, it was the women who did all the work," he told the packed ballroom.

He told the audience that the American people are "hungry for change."

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sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 08/05/07 - 01:14 am
0
0
Of course Obama is right.

Of course Obama is right. Can't wait to see all the conservatives that expressed on this forum the same outrage over this injustice in the past show up today and say so as well...

WhiskyDick
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WhiskyDick 08/05/07 - 06:31 am
0
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Here's your first

Here's your first conservative piping in. Genarlow Wilson was the victim of the Democratically controlled state legislature in Georgia. Scooter Libby was the beneficiary of a Republican president. Injustice plays on both sides of the aisle.

Ushouldnthave
0
Points
Ushouldnthave 08/05/07 - 08:44 am
0
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"isn't even a felony"? Obama

"isn't even a felony"? Obama should check again. Child molestation is a felony. I can't have faith in a candidate who wants to legalize and legitamize adults having sex with children. I don't know about Illinois, but Georgia has taken sexual assault of children who cannot "consent" (in ANY state) seriously.

rj1960j10
14
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rj1960j10 08/05/07 - 09:02 am
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this is all politics. the sob

this is all politics. the sob doesnt even know this kid or his case. give me a break.

nate59
0
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nate59 08/05/07 - 04:12 pm
0
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Time for American to follow

Time for American to follow the money trail for all our senators and congressman /women, pastor and minister. We need to trail the money of the president Bush and Cheney.

SunDown
2
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SunDown 08/05/07 - 09:59 pm
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Why is this an injustice, why

Why is this an injustice, why does Obama Osama care, because the young man in question is black and Obama Osama is pandering, what a liberal pimp.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 08/06/07 - 01:47 am
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0
RJ1960J10, do YOU know this

RJ1960J10, do YOU know this kid or this case. GIVE ME A BREAK.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 08/06/07 - 01:48 am
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0
SEVEN, you are always

SEVEN, you are always commenting on race. Is it about race to you?

bone
23
Points
bone 08/06/07 - 06:18 am
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white teacher just received

white teacher just received 10 years in prison for consensual sex. quid pro quo: let 'em both out.

whitescorpion
2
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whitescorpion 08/06/07 - 07:30 am
0
0
intheknow... with respect, I

intheknow... with respect, I have a right to my opinion, if I didn't feel it, I wouldn't say it. In my opinion if the young man in question was white then this would not have been a story. I honestly feel it's another case of a politician pandering.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 08/06/07 - 07:32 am
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Does not matter what race.

Does not matter what race. This law was not meant for these type of offenders.IMO

whitescorpion
2
Points
whitescorpion 08/06/07 - 07:36 am
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intheknow... all I'm saying

intheknow... all I'm saying is, that if this kid was white, then Obama Osama wouldn't care less. In all honesty he couldn't care less anyway, for the third time he is pandering. As for the legality of this case and this kid, I don't have any answers. I can say this... I don't believe this kid is as innocent as some make him out to be. Do I believe he deserves to spend ten years in prison, no. Do I think society will be worse off for punishing this dumb kid in such a manner, yes. Do I care what color his skin is, of course not, I am not a liberal.

bone
23
Points
bone 08/06/07 - 08:17 am
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the tragedy is that if he HAD

the tragedy is that if he HAD NOT been prosecuted as proscribed by law and if he HAD been white, there would be a hue & cry from the blacks. because he was found GUILTY (and those of you who believe he was innocent of taking advantage of the 17 year who was gangbanged can stop reading here) of a sexual crime against a young girl he was punished according to the law. could he have possibly thought thru this act and avoided the punishment? his actions are what led to his arrest and conviction. i don't buy the "kids do it all the time" garbage, either: the presence of drugs, alcohol, and orgies in a hotel room are not things that we should excuse as normal.

whitescorpion
2
Points
whitescorpion 08/06/07 - 01:03 pm
0
0
bone... there is a lot of

bone... there is a lot of truth in your words. I do think perphaps that this kid has been "over punished." Initially I was just musing over Osama Obama having anything to say about it, as if he gives a rats [filtered word].

jade
12
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jade 08/06/07 - 01:46 pm
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bone, the 15 year old girl

bone, the 15 year old girl could have thought thru her actions as well. it was CONSENSUAL, after all. i realize that alcohol was involved, but you could just as easily use this as an excuse for the guy's actions. what if the girl had been 17 and the guy 15? then SHE would have been convicted of "child molestation". also, apparently if they had had intercourse rather than just oral sex, he would have gotten 12 months max, as opposed to 10 years. where's the justice in that? you seem determined that the girl should be the victim in this case. what i'm about to say might unfairly characterize your argument, but it almost seems like you think teenage girls are incapable of making their own decisions; rather, they should be looked after by guys, and wilson was obviously negligent in his duties.

t of i
25
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t of i 08/06/07 - 08:17 pm
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Two things disgust me. One,

Two things disgust me. One, is the law that has allowed this particular miscarriage of justice. Two, that Obama is running for President and dicussing this. This, while it warrants concern and attention, should not be on the mind of someone wanting to take on the reponsiblility of being the President of the United States.

bone
23
Points
bone 08/06/07 - 08:49 pm
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0
i guess my understanding is

i guess my understanding is from a guy's perspective, jade. no offense, but a few girls in a room with a bunch of drunk horny guys are going to be pressured in subtle & not so subtle ways to do things that they would probably not do in calmer circumstances. yes, i do think men in society have a duty to be protective of women. i'm sure that strikes you as chauvinistic, but there are physical facts of size & strength that are common to women which give the majority of men an advantage. intellectually, spiritually, mentally, whatever - i'll give you equal or better. but physically? i wasn't at the scene and neither were you: your perspective is a girl would be able to look at her surroundings and make a logical determination that sexual activity is a good thing to do? my perspective is that, no matter what, these guys were willing to say/do anything to coerce sexual activity. a plea bargain was available (and still is) for this kid; he chose to gamble in court and lost. i think his sentence is a monument to stupidity - HIS. let him rot unless he comes to his senses and takes the plea bargain that everyone else took. i have no pity - another ignorant thug off the streets.

jade
12
Points
jade 08/06/07 - 09:52 pm
0
0
the fact remains that the

the fact remains that the reason he was convicted was because of the 2 year age difference, and that is what is so ludicrous about this whole case. if the girl had been 16, jail would not even be a possibility. what if they were 2 college students? this type of thing happens every weekend - do all the drunk horny guys at parties deserve the same fate as wilson? i understand your point about the likelood of girls being coerced into sex in situations such as these, but you can't just selectively apply judgement, which is what happened here. i assume if you think his punishment is appropriate, you would also think it's appropriate if the girl was 16 or 17?

bone
23
Points
bone 08/07/07 - 03:52 am
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again, jade, his fate was at

again, jade, his fate was at least partially determined by his choice to not accept a plea deal. the romeo law is b.s. in this case, too: this girl (and the 17 year old who consented while half-drunk to have sex with multiple partners) was not involved with wilson except at this party. there's no boyfriend/girlfriend situation here. how about i throw out one more irrational reason? maybe this sentence will curb some of the rampant promiscuity among a certain race of teens that seem incapable of controlling their urges & have no societal values with which to guide them. or it could backlash since if you are a stupid kid who gets bad legal advice & receives a harsh mandatory sentence you'll get some political notoriety.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 08/07/07 - 04:13 am
0
0
What " Race of teens seems

What " Race of teens seems incapable of controlling their urges"?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 08/07/07 - 04:35 am
0
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good point intheknow, ALL is

good point intheknow, ALL is the answer. Teens are sacks of hormones with no brains and should never be considered capable of adult decisions. The comparison of Genarlo Wilson to Scooter Libby in front of the SDLC by Obama was race pandering. It's called politics. The heat and confusion his statements caused was the exact reaction he wanted.

bone
23
Points
bone 08/07/07 - 04:45 am
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0
gee, i don't know, intheknow.

gee, i don't know, intheknow. why don't you do a little research and let me know whether asian, hispanic, african-american, or anglo-american teens seem to have a high rate of teen unwed pregnancies? (hint: in GA it isn't a race beginning with the letter "A").

intheknow
16
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intheknow 08/07/07 - 05:20 am
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Bone, BOne, BONe, BONE. Are

Bone, BOne, BONe, BONE. Are we going to play the percentage game again? Let try this again. Since their are more " White " in Georgia or any state you wish to pick. The simple math will tell you that there are more ' White " teenagers having babies. Now lets play the number game. 10% of 100=10. Now 10% of 1000=100. So, it cost more to feed 100 than to feed 10. So, if you need to think the way you do to make yourself feel good, then all means do so. Remember I am a Social Liberal.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 08/07/07 - 05:21 am
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pt great post@5:35am

pt great post@5:35am

TheTruth
1
Points
TheTruth 08/07/07 - 05:50 am
0
0
Let him rot! Don't do the

Let him rot! Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Why doesn't the SCLC concentrate their efforts on educatiing young men and women on the consequences of underage sex. You call yourself Christians, yet condone child rape? Don't ever ask me for support. The leadership of the SCLC needs to be canned. This issue and the call for recognising and supporting Michael Vick shows the lack of respect for the law that the SCLC has. Shame on you!!! You need to go back and read your bible particularly sections on God's take on sodomy.

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 08/07/07 - 06:32 am
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The title of the story is

The title of the story is "Obama seeks justice in sex case." Mr. Wilson has already received justice. What he is actually seeking now is mercy.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 08/07/07 - 07:30 am
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trueleadership, the law you

trueleadership, the law you talk about, says that a person is presumed innocent, until proven guilty. i guess that part means nothing to you? as far as michael vick is concern.

ConcernedCitizen1
1
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ConcernedCitizen1 08/07/07 - 07:56 am
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According to "bone" "white

According to "bone" "white teacher just received 10 years in prison for consensual sex. quid pro quo: let 'em both out."
Does he really think that consentual oral sex between a 15 year old and a 17 year old is equivalent to a teacher having sex with a student? Is he trying to make the point that the justuice system is fair because a white adult teacher got the same jail sentence as a teenager who had sex with ANOTHER teenager? His comment is a prime example that issues of race remain the shame of America.

heffner
0
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heffner 08/07/07 - 08:43 am
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This is a legal issue. The

This is a legal issue. The law changed AFTER Mr. Wilson was convicted. Our Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, correctly challenged the Superior Court's decision to release Mr. Wilson on the basis that the court had no jurisdiction in the matter AND that when the law changed it clearly was not retroactive. Releasing Mr. Willson would effectively change the law, which would then cause the potential release of hundreds of sexual offenders. The way I look at this - if this were my 17 year old daughter that he had sex with while she was drunk and passed out (for which he was acquitted) or my 15 year old daughter that he had oral sex with - would I be so quick to give him a Get Out of Jail Free card? No, I would not. Mr. Wilson is being portrayed as a nice young man - perhaps he is - but his actions that night were despicable and evidence that he is a sex offender. At the moment, all he has to do is to admit to his crime and the plea deal will have him released from jail very soon. Senator Obama is pandering here.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 08/07/07 - 08:58 am
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I have heard people say

I have heard people say 'ignorance of the law is no excuse' but this is usually applied to adults. At 17, Wilson was still a kid. Those pushing for him to make everyday of his 10 year sentence should think about the fact that at 17 they didn't know all the laws of the land either. If they did, there would be no need to hire lawyers when the need arises. This kid got caught up in doing what every other 17 year old does. He experimented with sex. The girl experimented with sex. They got caught and now everybody wants to get involved in their business. The kid did wrong, but so did the girl. Sure, you say alcohol was involved at a party in a hotel room. My question is, why were the girls there in the first place? Answer: They went there to have sex. Race doesn't have anything to do with it; maturity does. Every guy on here trying to crucify Wilson knows that at 17 you were either trying to do the same thing or lying and saying that you had already done it. The biggest problem in this case was and still is the law. Because it was so jacked up from the beginning, Wilson is supposed to serve 10 years for oral sex, but could have only received a year for intercourse!

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