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charlie, computer cat

November 2018



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charlie, computer cat

Just.... bizarre

From The Magistrates Blog:

in Georgia, a seventeen year old boy has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment for the heinous crime of consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl. There is to be no possibility of parole.

His website is at http://www.wilsonappeal.com/index.php - at least it seems from there that the law has been changed now but still. Crazy, crazy.
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As I understand it, his conviction is because the law was changed and then retroactively applied to him. But I don't know what developments have emerged in the past couple of days.
Other way round, as far as I can see. They changed the law so that this would now only be a minor misdemenour but refused to make the change retroactive.
See also the comment thread here,
Yeah... it's a byproduct of two issues in the US

a lot of sex laws haven't been well-designed based on modern beliefs that oral sex is normal and okay. Older US beliefs were generally that oral sex was evil no matter who did it and should be illegal even within marriage. So, oral sex is often a harsher crime. This is slowly changing. It's kind of funny that today's youth think of oral sex as something much lighter and less serious.

a general idea that young people shouldn't be having sex.

I fully agree that below a certain age, kids need protection from older people. If this were a 17 year old having sex with a 10 year old, I wouldn't be sympathetic to the 17 year old. But we often set the ages fairly high for consent and the age differences low... and that's a problem.

Oh, and a third problem - mandatory minimums. The idea is that some things are so awful that no circumstances could possibly mitigate them. Thus mandatory minimums to prevent judges from going too light on people. It's designed to keep powerful people from being able to get overly light sentences. But it doesn't work - they just plea bargain. Really, it's designed to look good. I don't think you can safely say - there are never mitigating circumstances. I strongly believe you always need the option to have a human determine if this is a valid time for an exception. This is why I tried to encourage that thinking in Support - if you think an exception might be called for, ask an admin, because no rule is so absolute that an exception won't even be considered. Let a human say no if the exception is uncalled for, but let a human make the choice based on the full situation. Sadly, people want to bind judges. I get that because not all judges are good or trustworthy, but I'd rather err on the side of letting guilty people get light punishments than letting innocent people get harsh ones.

I don't run the world. :/
Mandatory minimums always makes me think of the West Wing episode. I definitely agree that there should always be a point where a person can step in and say "No, in this case it's not appropriate". I think being a programmer re-enforces that because it's amazing how often you see what seems like a set of individually logical rules come out with a bad decision.
Isn't it hard enough as it is to teach men to perform cunnilingus, and here they're trying to discourage it? Sheesh . . .