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Man agrees to vasectomy for less prison time

The punishment is supposed to fit the crime, but some judge's rulings sound more like social engineering.

The Roanoke Times brings us the tale of Jessie Lee Herald, 27, who has agreed to get a vasectomy to reduce his prison sentence by 5 years.

Herald, who has fathered at least seven children by at least six women, was sentenced to one year and eight months for child endangerment after a hit-and-run crash that injured one of his children. The 3-month-old boy was not seriously injured in the wreck.

At least six women wanted to have his baby. (Shenandoah County Jail)

Herald's uncle said his nephew works as a roofer and in a poultry plant and has financially supported some of his children. But, like a good country song, no one seems to know how many children call Jessie Lee "daddy."

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"I don’t think even he knows," the uncle said.

The deal for a reduced sentence was a "no-brainer," said Herald's attorney.

Steve Benjamin, past president of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said he had never heard of such a thing, but a vasectomy should not be part of plea negotiations.

"Sentencing conditions are designed to prevent future criminal behavior," Benjamin said. "Fathering children is not criminal behavior."

I agree with Mr. Benjamin, but some may say it depends on how the kids turn out.

Herald will pay about $1,000 for the surgical procedure when released from prison, his attorney says, but can have it reversed once he is off probation.

Hopefully he will have lost his lady-killer looks by the time that happens.

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