A Virginia man has agreed to have a vasectomy as part of a plea deal to shorten his prison sentence in a child endangerment case by about five years.
None of the charges against Jessie Lee Herald, 27, involved a sexual offense.
Shenandoah County assistant prosecutor Ilona White says she came up with the idea for the unusual condition after a judge in a previous case expressed concern that Herald had fathered seven children with six different women.
He needs to be able to support the children he already has when he gets out,” she said, adding that Herald and the state both benefit from the deal, first reported by the Northern Virginia Daily.
Herald’s attorney, Charles Ramsey, says he had some hesitation about the deal but was obligated to pass it along to his client. He says it was a difficult decision for Herald, who is serving four years in prison.
The agreement requires Herald to undergo the operation within a year of being released from prison and prohibits him from having the vasectomy reversed while he is on probation.
Herald will have to pay for the vasectomy, which can cost from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. Ramsey said the reason for giving his client a year to get the surgery was to give him time to come up with the money.
Critics are saying this is “forced sterilization”. Virginia is known for this kind of punishment. Some 8,000 people deemed genetically inferior or deficient were forcibly sterilized in Virginia from the 1920s to about 1970.
What do you think about this punishment?
Honestly, I don’t think it’s that bad of an idea. I am so sick and tired of not just dead beat dads, but dead beat moms as well. Maybe they should think about doing this to women as well. Stop the problem before it even happens. Because in the end, the innocent children are the ones who become victims. At the end of the day I plea to all people out there seriously think with one head over the other. That way we won’t have to have these “out of the box” type of punishments.
And that’s today’s helping of The Online Dish with Maggie.