A long, tortuous jouney reaches completion. Genarlow Wilson is a free man.
This morning the Georgia Supreme court ruled Wilson's sentence invalid under the Constitution of Georgia's "cruel and unusual" clause - bringing to a conclusion the four year odyssey which Georgians may wish to forget. However, a young man sacrificed nearly four years of his life and for this fact alone there are many things we should never forget.
It should have ended with the legislature. Seeing the insanity of the previous law, in the spring of 2005, that esteemed body moved quickly to adjust the law which snared Wilson. But as law making bodies can be wont to do, the leaders of Georgia only completed half the task. They did not include a retroactive clause to seek justice for Genarlow Wilson. The residents of the Hill must not forget that they are elected by the people to complete all the work before them. Not simply what is convenient.
It should also be remembered the task of the legislature was made more difficult by a lack of leadership from those in charge. Instead of quiet leadership to correct a grievous error, some chose the moment to grandstand and spray scurrilous tales to inflame the passions of the 'good people' of Georgia. With these acts, these leaders dishonored themselves and dishonored their duty. They must not forget when the oath of office is taken, it is a reflection of the three words on the Great Seal of Georgia; Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.
And lest we forget the original act, the young people of this state should remember that all actions have consquences. At times, as in Genarlow Wilson's case, the consequences do not reflect the circumstance but consquences will be applied nonetheless. Foolish acts bring repercussions. A few moments of immaturity and recklessness can ruin a life. No one should have to suffer as Wilson did but neither should anyone enter into circumstances where the possible outcome is tragic.
Unlike Genarlow, many are never saved. Many never have a chance for a life renewed.
To read the many strange twists of the Genarlow Wilson tale, please go here.