Give me blood, cash, or jail time, Alabama judge orders defendants

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Medieval, just in time for the Holidays.


What’s the problem here? He didn’t actually drink the blood, did he? It’s for injured people, probably, right?


I’m trying to wrap my head around what society would consider acceptable for a defendant who has committed a crime and doesn’t have the money to pay a fine…

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“drug offenders”? Isn’t IV drug use a bar to donating blood?


He’s lucky. The judge could have ordered him to donate a kidney.

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That seems like a second problem right there. I can only imagine that the quality control people for the blood supply chain are turning a cool shade of purple at the idea of a picked group of druggies and similar being given a very, very, strong incentive to tell whatever lies they need to get that receipt and stay out of jail.

Judge probably feels all warm and fuzzy about it; but unless pathogen screening has gotten a good bit cheaper, he might well have done less damage by personally pissing in the blood supply.


Only if you answer honestly. And do you really want to get sent to jail?

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Well that seems entirely reasonable and in no way disgustingly creepy… oh wait, no. That other thing,


Oooooo. . . “a pound of flesh!”

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You think most people who can’t afford to pay their fines are druggies? States that require drug testing for public assistance find about a 1-2% positive rate.


If the penalty for a small crime (e.g. loitering) is just a fine, then it’s just a fine. It’s not “a fine if you’re rich enough, and jail time if your poor.” That would be giving some people a greater punishment than others simply because they committed the sin of being poor.

(I can’t quite get what you’re views are with your leading question.)


I don’t think that poor people in general are druggies; but we are talking about a courtroom whose occupants have been specifically selected for(among others, article is a trifle light on numbers) drug charges.

It seems reasonable to suspect that such a population might contain more drug users than average; and that the people in the room too poor to pay would also be more likely than average to have used drugs.

It’s not the being poor that makes me suspect drug use; it’s the being in court on drug charges. I suspect that the rate of innocence is higher than it should be; but I’d be surprised if the cops are performing purely at chance.

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Weird. Resident in the UK my blood would not be good enough for the US system because of mad cows. And yet they’ll take blood from drug users?

Capitalism: Discrimination based on how much capital one has.


Or, shortened, “Capitalism: Discrimination made legal.”

And if you can’t/don’t/won’t pay? Then what? And, no I’m not really into sending these folks to jail, but I don’t know what should be the answer…

If you can but won’t pay, you’re in contempt of court, and you are jailed for that (not for the original crime).

If you can’t pay at all because you’re too poor, then we ask ourselves what the value is of attempting to inflict further punishment on people who have nothing at all.

Remember, these are all for minor infractions that simply result in fines (most of which are already aimed at controlling the disadvantaged, like loitering or jaywalking laws), not for actual crimes that carry jail time.


Sorry… I’m a bit short on blood today, judge… will happily give you my stool to sit on though.


He didn’t go full-medieval, though.

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