Judge Lets People Who Can’t Pay Fines Donate Blood Instead

There are a handful of judges who try to think up creative ways to punish people besides just making them pay a huge fine or throwing them in jail. Some of them usually make them do something humiliating to teach them a lesson but one circuit court judge in Alabama has come up with a creative way to make sure convicted defendants pay a meaningful debt to society besides entertaining us with their punishments that flirt with the concept of “cruel and unusual.”  

Judge Marvin Wiggins, a circuit judge in the rural Alabama town of Mario, has been allowed defendants in his court to give blood to a local blood bank if they can’t afford a fine, according to the New York Times. 

A blood drive set in front of the court house got a large influx of extra donations from Judge Wiggins’ offer. He reportedly told his courtroom of defendants waiting to go before him, “If you don’t have any money, go out there and give blood and bring in a receipt indicating you gave blood.” The only reason you should object to such a nice and generous gesture is if the judge was some kind of vampire.

Here is audio of the judge telling people to go donate blood to get out of jail:

Wiggins’ offer seems to stem from the rising tide of municipal violations that have gotten more than out of hand for people who can’t afford to pay them. Court fines have become a hot button issue since some have gotten so large and out of control that they’ve become something akin to a modern debtor’s prison. The HBO comedy news show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” dedicated a large chunk of his show last March to explore the rise of municipal violations and how that ridiculous fees from private companies that help municipal courts collect unpaid fines have racked up thousands of dollars in additional fines for small fines for violations such as speeding and driving without a seat belt. 

For instance, 17-year-old Hali Wood of Columbiana, Alabama received a ticket for driving without a seat belt in 2014 and a $41 fine but because she couldn’t afford to pay it, the court slapped her with additional fees and eventually arranged for her to make payments through a private probation company that ordered her to pay $35 a week or serve time in jail. She eventually racked up thousands of dollars in debt for a $41 fine that added up to an mark up of approximately 85 percent. Do you know how much blood you could get for that kind of money? I’m talking “Evil Dead II’’ amounts of blood. 

Source: MSN