‘Cause I’m a lawyer, dagumit.
In response to this story*, I did exactly what the author invited the readers to do (and made easy to do by creating a wonderful link to the website of the governor of Georgia). Please read the story–it’s short and easy to follow. Here’s my two bits to the governor (feel free to plagiarize if you want an even easier way to say something):
The attorneys for the State of Georgia who continue to pursue additional prison time and/or the official label of “sex offender” for Genarlow Wilson make a mockery of the legal profession and make the State of Georgia appear to be either completely ignorant of what justice is (which I know it is not), or, worse, willing to to use the power of the State in furtherance of far more disturbing impulses than those which occur at a party between a 17 year old young man and a 15 year old young woman. It would be a travesty regardless of the young man’s race, but doing this to a young black man in the South adds fuel to the fires of racism that are still burning, sometimes violently, in every community in the United States, despite much continuing work against them.
I urge you, as the governor of the State of Georgia, to quickly and decisively end the inexcusable pursuits of your subordinates who threaten to further erode the barely existent confidence of the African American community in the American system of “justice.” You and your officials aren’t just acting for Georgia in this case–in the minds of African Americans accross the country, what you do with this young man will be painted on every prosecutor, every police officer, and every state official for every state in the union. It will either be another reason for distrust and bitterness or a small reason to hope that we are becoming just.
*Caveat: I have not fact-checked the linked story, mainly because it came through yahoo news and not just a blog somewhere. If you want to do more digging before doing anything, cool. I’d appreciate any update on the facts, myself.