Cases that led to the abolition and reinstatement of the death penalty came from the Supreme Court of Georgia. Nine years ago the Georgia justices broke new ground for gay rights by striking down a law criminalizing sodomy. In 2003, the court settled a power struggle between the governor and state attorney general.

The case heard by the court Friday is unlikely to show up in a law school textbook. But the fate of Genarlow Wilson had people — well, reporters, anyway — forming a short queue outside the state Judicial Building more than two hours before the justices appeared at the bench.

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