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Old 06-11-2007, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Justice: Genarlow Wilson is Free

I just saw this today, and it pleased me very much, especially since I had read this story a while back.

EDIT: I have to explain for people reading this after the 11th of June... Originally that first link was to a story about him being freed. Now the very same link leads to a story about him remaining in prison after an appeal (a story like the one my later post linked to, when I said "Unbelievable!"). Anyway, my original post no longer has the same meaning, but maybe it will make sense with this update.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:33 PM   #2
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Along with that, there's another case of a teacher who was convicted for exposing her class to pornography when a bunch of pop-ups started... popping up (her computer's firewall was disabled unbeknownst to her). They're giving her a new trial because the computer expert who testified against her gave false testimony.

It's either a slap on the wrist or overkill when it comes to sentencing in some courts.

Spoiler:
The stupid boxer short thread will probably get more attention than this one.

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Old 06-11-2007, 12:41 PM   #3
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Wow, that's harsh. Or, rather, good (the releasing). The poor kid.

Just one thing bugs me, though. "In yet another baffling twist, the law was written to not apply to cases retroactively" - Baffling? Am I missing something? Laws not applying to cases retroactively is a good thing - or so I thought. I can understand that it might frustrate some people in this case, but I would be appalled to see any sort of law apply to past cases.

It's most obvious when a law is passed that tightens regulations - you don't want to suddenly have to spend more years in prison than when you got your sentence - but the reverse is just as problematic... what if, to pick an extreme example, someone decided to pass a law that would make sexual offences (real ones - not this) not a crime? What about the families that thought themselves safe from the people they were told would be in jail for the rest of their lives? Suddenly knocking on their door...

Hum, anyway. I was taught laws never get applied retroactively - pretty much with the above reasons. I'm a bit taken aback... did I misunderstand something? I get the feeling I'm missing some crucial piece of information about legis- and judicature as a whole.

Help?
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:19 PM   #4
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I remember reading him. I'm very happy he's been released. The legal system is so baffling sometimes.

Also, I don't know much about law, pinkgothic, but that example is silly. It's unfair for someone to sit in prison for an extended period of time for a law that no longer exists. Think about it this way, why should George, who committed some hypothetical crime five years ago, have to sit in prison for another five years when Bill, who committed the same crime a month ago, receive no punishment whatsoever for the very same crime George is still in prison for (and will be in prison for five more years). It seems to me that retroactive laws only make sense.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:51 PM   #5
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Unbelievable!
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:14 PM   #6
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If there was ever any doubt, this petty and cruel act of sabotage makes it clear who the real criminal is. Thurbert Baker should be kicked out of office, and if any harm has happened to Wilson in prison Baker should be held personally, and legally, responsible.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:23 AM   #7
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Fuck this shit. I hate America sometimes.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:39 AM   #8
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It's funny that his lawyer's first name is B.J.

But, yeah, this is ridiculous as is the view on sex in the US. Not long ago a news show showed a video of some guy getting beaten up, and I'm sure they received very few complaints about that. Had they shown uncensored footage of, say, a nude beach, I bet people would be up in arms.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie68 View Post
Along with that, there's another case of a teacher who was convicted for exposing her class to pornography when a bunch of pop-ups started...
The worst thing here is that the pop-ups were installed inadvertently by the original teacher (the convicted was a sub) when that person installed a Halloween screen-saver. All a mistake!

Wait, the worst thing here is that the original defense attorney was late in submitting the hard drive to the prosecution and all of this was discovered by pro analysts after the trial was over!
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkgothic View Post
Hum, anyway. I was taught laws never get applied retroactively - pretty much with the above reasons. I'm a bit taken aback... did I misunderstand something? I get the feeling I'm missing some crucial piece of information about legis- and judicature as a whole.

Help?
I, too, have been always told that law is applied retroactively only in special circumstances. Wikipedia agrees: "Generally speaking, ex post facto laws are seen as a violation of the rule of law as it applies in a free and democratic society. Most common law jurisdictions do not permit retroactive legislation (...)".

Maybe it's not viewed that way in the US (law) culture, though? After all, the American jurisdiction is traditionally quite different from most European ones, judging (ha!) from all the TV & Film legal dramas I've seen, at least. Eg. heavy reliance on past precedents during the trial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiwak View Post
It's unfair for someone to sit in prison for an extended period of time for a law that no longer exists. Think about it this way, why should George, who committed some hypothetical crime five years ago, have to sit in prison for another five years when Bill, who committed the same crime a month ago, receive no punishment whatsoever for the very same crime George is still in prison for (and will be in prison for five more years).
To my mind it's as simple as "because he was sentenced for ten years". In a symmetrical situation, would you be in favor of retroactively penalizing Geroge if what he comitted wasn't considered a crime back when he had done it?
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