Alabama Judge Is Trading Jail Time For Blood Donations
For the sake of the childhood game, we ask: would you rather, blood or jail? For many Alabama offenders, the answer may be blood. Marvin Wiggins, the judge accused of making weird blood-bargains with offenders, was recorded just shy of a month ago laying out the options. “There’s a blood drive outside,” said the jude. “And if you don’t have any money and don’t want to go to jail, as an option to pay it, you can give blood today.”
Jail time for a parking violation is ridiculous, but for offenders short on their fees and not up to sleeping on a hard cot behind bars, donating blood isn’t such a bad offer. Hey, it’s for a good cause right? The Southern Poverty law Center (SPLC) didn’t think so. Once the tapes reached them, they had a field day firing ethical complaints against the judge. Cruel and unusual punishment was the most name-dropped offense amidst endless constitutional infringements. Essentially, Wiggins was handing out ‘get out of jail free cards’ with the small caveat of a pint of A, B, and O – and insane amounts of ethical negligence.
It’s one thing for judges to bribe criminals holding minor offenses, a little bit of cash can get you out of your overnight. The judiciary system is riddled with these kinds of incidents, it’s an unfortunately common ethical breach. But asking for blood? That one doesn’t exactly fit the greedy, morally inept character we’re picturing. If you want to cut Wiggins some slack, the blood-jail trade could be taken as a charitable gesture – but that’s being way too nice. The story gets so much worse.
Wiggins promised a $100 rebate on fees for the exchange of a donation, many of which didn’t pull through. Then, the blood bank that had been stationed outside the court that day, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, allegedly sold HIV-positive blood to a local hospital. Forced donations plus reckless donor testing plus even more reckless distribution of blood and plasma equals a big ethical no-no.
The strange incident brings a whole new meaning to the notion of bad blood. Sadly, the finding was just another shocking discovery coming from recent law enforcement policies. Parallel this with cops intentionally fining poor residents, drawing them into endless cycles of fees to bolster cash flow, illegal jailing, and general mistreatment, and you have evidence beyond evidence for why we desperately need criminal justice reform.