I like what Cuban said. Kudos to him. Hopefully this guy gets out soon somehow.
"It's disgusting," Cuban wrote to ESPN in an e-mail. "I can not see any way, shape or form that the interests of the state of Georgia are served by throwing away Genarlow's youth and opportunity to become a vibrant contributor to the state. All his situation does is reinforce some unfortunate stereotypes that the state is backward and misgoverned. No one with a conscience can look at this case and conclude that justice has been served."
This is exactly what happened to Marcus Dixon, a big time DL recruit who spurned several southern powers to go to Vanderbilt. Marcus' case was a much more of a national story since it was on HBO, CNN, Oprah, MSNC, espn etc. I don't know how many of you guys saw the HBO Real Sports piece on the Dixon case, which happened to win an Emmy but Marcus' prosecution was so blatantly racist that it was infuriating. The alleged victim was a virgin white girl who's father was a prominent racist in town so I guess that what led to the initial rape charges but that claim was so flimsy that the jury barely considered it. Prior to Marcus, no high school boy or girl had EVER been charged with child molestation of a classmate less than three years his or her junior. Never. In the history of Georgia, Marcus was the only one in prison for consensual sex with a girl less than three years younger.
Besides Marcus, the people I felt most sorry for was Marcus' parents,, who happen to be white. They took so much crap from some people in town. If you watched the piece then you saw how their property was vandalized by some racists. For those not familiar with the Dixon story, here's a thorough synopsis:
"There is an 18 year old African American honor student -- Marcus Dixon -- in Rome, Georgia who is spending ten years in prison for having consensual sex with a white classmate who was just three months shy of 16 yrs old at the time they had sex. Although a jury acquitted Marcus of rape and three other counts of violent acts, the prosecutor also charged him with "aggravated child molestation." Consensual sex with a virgin fits into the technical reading of this Georgia statute. The statute has never been applied to consensual sex between two teenagers with less than three years age difference, until now. What follows are the general details.
In February 2003, Marcus Dixon, was a senior in high school. Marcus is not your typical senior. He had a 3.96 grade point average, a 1200 on his SATs, and was all state in football. He was offered scholarships to every major school in the South but chose Vanderbilt University because he felt they were the best academically. In essence, this alone, made Marcus a star. Think about it, how many all-State football players carry a 3.96 grade point average? How many high school kids at all have a 3.96 and a 1200 on their SATs? Statistically speaking, not many. This alone set Marcus apart from the other seniors in his class.
Marcus was born in Rome, Georgia a rural town about 70 miles outside of Atlanta that still carries much of the prejudices and complications of the deep South. Marcus' biological mother is a drug addicted career criminal who has been in and out of prison since Marcus was a baby. His biological father never had anything to do with him. Most kids born into this situation have little or no chance of succeeding. Yet Marcus defied the odds. When Marcus was ten years old, a local white family became his legal guardians. Why is this relevant? In a town where many still believe that blacks and whites should not mix, this family took Marcus in and raised him as their own.
Again, most children born into Marcus' situation barely survive. Marcus is the exception. Beyond all the odds and probabilities he is a star. So what happened? How did this star come crashing down?
It started in February 2003. Marcus had sex with a girl just shy of sixteen. She was a virgin. She is also white. Two days later, she accused Marcus of rape. Some speculate she made the accusation because she was afraid of her admittedly racist father. Regardless of the reasons, a jury of nine white jurors and three African Americans took only 15-20 minutes to determine, after hearing all the evidence, that Marcus did nothing wrong. The jury decided that the incident was no more than two teenagers having consensual sex. Based on the girl's own testimony, it is amazing they ever brought charges against Marcus. And yet, in the rural town of Rome, Georgia, where there is still some KKK rumblings, 9 white and 3 African American jurors found her story to have absolutely no basis in fact. So why is Marcus in prison? How is it possible that a high school boy who had consensual sex with a classmate is in prison for ten years?
Marcus was indicted under six different statutes under Georgia law. Four of the statutes include use of force. He was acquitted on all charges that included force. The jury was very specific. It was not even close. It is not that they had reasonable doubt...they had no doubt - the sex was consensual. The girl was not there against her will.
The prosecutor, in what can only be perceived as an act of complete disregard for the law, facts and justice in general, included a charge of "aggravated child molestation". Under Georgia law, if anyone (age of the perpetrator is irrelevant - he could be 15) has sex with a minor (under 16) that results in an "any injury", he is guilty of "child molestation". The jury deliberated for hours on this charge. In the end, technically, this situation fell under the purview of the statute as written. Marcus, admittedly had sex with the girl, she was under 16 (by three months), and, again admittedly, she was a virgin. It was the fact that she was a virgin that resulted in the Guilty verdict. You see, she sustained an "injury" as a result of intercourse. Technically, he is guilty.
The absurdity of charging a high school boy with child molestation for consensual sex with a high school girl is beyond description. In essence, every girl in Georgia that loses her virginity before 16 can charge the boy with aggravated child molestation. By definition, he is guilty, even if he is younger than the girl. Taken to further extremes, if a teenager gives another teen a hickey (technically an "injury"), he or she is guilty of aggravated child molestation the way this statute was drafted. Clearly, this was not the legislative intent. In fact, no high school boy or girl has EVER been charged with child molestation of a classmate less than three years his or her junior, until Marcus. Never. In the history of Georgia, Marcus is the only one in prison for consensual sex with a girl less than three years younger.
While the jury found him guilty, they had no idea of the consequences. They assumed Marcus would be released immediately. In the jurors own words, the look of horror across their faces when the judge sentenced Marcus to ten years minimum could be seen by everyone. They never knew the consequences. They could not fathom that a boy could go to jail for consensual sex, and certainly not for 10 years with no possibility of parole. And yet he has.
Why the prosecutor charged him under a statute that was clearly designed to apply to adult sexual predators of minors is beyond understanding. How the judge could allow the charge to stand is unconscionable. What their motives or rationalizations, one can only speculate. This is the kind of injustice that we Americans like to think is reserved for third world countries. "
How does Marvin Gaye's father get 6 year in prison for killing his son, but this guy gets 10 years from having sex with someone 2 years younger?
the "justice" system that we have in our country has all sorts of inconsistencies/flaws and outright injustices built into it
$$$, race of victims, the high number of cases that do not even see a courtroom because of plea bargaining, "revenge" factors
we could be here forever talking about individual cases; i think it is a systematic problem that is too overwhelming for politicitians to address.
if they do try to look to some changes that would benefit society as a whole (such as rehabilitation while in jail/prison for drug addicts), they get charged with being "soft on crime/criminals". which can cause them to lose elections. so many go in the opposite direction--- "i will be tough on crime"
so we get some people who are doing time for the most insane "crimes"; most of these folks plea bargain (cut a deal) because the public defenders that they are assigned do not want to have to prepare a case because they are overloaded already. needless to say, most all are poor...
"We can set aside his sentence," Barker says. "Legally, it's still possible for us to set aside his sentence and give him a new sentence to a lesser charge. But it's up to us. He has no control over it."
"Well," Barker says, "the oneperson who can change things at this point is Genarlow. The ball's in his court."
the punishment for this promising young man was far to severe, and the whole getting head is more punishment than sex is flawed reasoning.
he does not deserve to be punished this hard. yes the Red States are more conservative and wish to maintain good Christian values, but don't send a guy to jail for years because of a little action. educate him or something. show that you are compassionate, not merciless.