Metzenbaum scissors

Prosecutors, defendant agree to get snippy

A Virginia man has given new meaning to the phrase “cutting a plea deal.”

Jesse Lee Herald pleaded guilty earlier this month to felony child endangerment and felony hit-and-run for fleeing the scene of a crash in December. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges against Herald for failing to secure medical attention for a child: the hit-and-run occurred with his 3-year-old son in his car.

The catch? Herald, the 27-year-old father of seven children with six women, agreed to get a vasectomy.

The prosecutor told the Post she came up with the idea after reviewing Herald’s criminal history. Herald’s lawyer said his client accepted the “unusual offer… based on his desire to get home to his family as soon as possible.”

Reaction to the plea bargain has been mixed. Some said it recalled the 1924 Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act, which was repealed 50 years later. Others pointed out Herald volunteered for the vasectomy and that “prosecutors and defendants have wide latitude to set the terms of a deal.”

What say you? If you were Herald’s lawyer, what would you have thought about the deal? If you were Herald’s prosecutor, would you have offered it?

One comment

  1. dailyrecord@list.law.umaryland.edu

    In answering your questions am I supposed to assume that I am a Virginia prosecutor or defense lawyer? That might change things, since this is a very “Virginia” story (and not in the “Yes, Virginia, there is . . . ” sense).

    The story quotes Herald’s lawyer as saying Herald “accepted” the deal, and then, as if to make the case stronger, quotes “others” as saying he “volunteered” for it. Which is it? Those are not the same thing. Either way, one wonders about the voluntariness of Herald’s consent. It would be interesting to see that conversation. As for this story coming out of Virginia, “plus ca change . . . . “

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