Alabama Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins suggested that poor people in his courtroom who couldn’t pay their fines could sell their blood or go to jail.
“For your consideration, there’s a blood drive outside,” Wiggins said, according to the New York Times. “If you don’t have any money, go out there and give blood and bring in a receipt indicating you gave blood.” For those who did so, Wiggins agreed to reduce their fines by $100.
The judge offered a threat at the end, saying, “The sheriff has enough handcuffs” for those who neither pay nor give blood.
While Judge Wiggins has refused to speak about the issue, NYU medical ethics professor Arthur L. Caplan said, “What happened is wrong in about 3,000 ways. You’re basically sentencing someone to an invasive procedure that doesn’t benefit them and isn’t protecting the public health.”
Further proving how pointless the judge’s order was, the blood of those who were compelled to give was quarantined and most of it was discarded. Those who returned with the receipts have not received the $100 reduction the judge promised either.
For more on this, read the article from AllGov.com titled: “Alabama Court Will Take Blood in Lieu of Cash for Offenders Who Can’t Pay Fine.“