Judge Makes A Virginia Man Get A Vasectomy In A Plea Deal
A Virginia judge has ordered 27-year-old Jessie Lee Herald to two years in prison for child endangerment. According to court records, the father of seven or eight children by six different women was driving on a suspended license when he was involved in a hit and run accident while his 3-year-old son was in the car last December. Herald’s car hit an embankment causing it to roll off of the road. He then fled the scene on foot with his bloodied child passenger. After being on the run for over a week, Herald finally decided to turn himself into the authorities.
Prosecutors offered Herald a lesser sentence in the case if he agreed to one condition. He would have to get a court ordered vasectomy. The plea deal states that Jessie Lee Herald has exactly one year from the time that he is released from prison to get the vasectomy. He must pay for the procedure out of his own pocket, and is not allowed to reverse the vasectomy while he is on probation. In exchange for his acceptance of the plea deal Herald was sentenced to a 20 month prison stint, and five years probation.
Assistant commonwealth’s attorney Ilona L. White spoke about why she decided to offer this unusual deal.
White said her motivation in offering the vasectomy option to Herald stemmed from concerns raised at sentencing hearings in earlier cases about how many children have been traced to him from different women.
“It was primarily due to the fact he had seven or eight children, all by different women, and we felt it might be in the commonwealth’s interest for that to be part of the plea agreement,” White said of the vasectomy provision.
This is a very sticky situation. In my opinion it truly crosses the line of ethics. This guy has a long criminal history, and is guilty of creating children that he may not be willing to take care of physically, financially, and emotionally. That is a crime that he will have to answer for when he meets his maker. I don’t think any judge or jury should have the final say so in what a person chooses to do with their reproductive organs.
We aren’t living in some ancient society where a state can tell us if we can have kids or not. This can open up a can of worms that I don’t think this world is ready for. Instead of ordering the man to stop making children, how about ordering him to take care of the ones that he has already created in an attempt to relieve the burden from the taxpayers who are not only paying for him to live rent free for the next two years, but also supporting his children in some way.
What Do You Think? Should Courts Be Allowed To Tell People Not To Reproduce?