News reports state that a Hamilton County judge ordered a man to get a Covid-19 vaccine to receive a reduced sentence. Judge Chris Wagner is not the only one to use vaccination as a means for those in trouble to receive a reduced sentence. The vaccination condition and other requirements were offered to Brandon Rutherford, age 21, who pleaded guilty to possession of an illegal substance. If the man gets a Covid-19 vaccine in two months, he will receive two year’s probation for his low-level felony.
Other judges used the Covid-19 vaccine in a sentence
Common Pleas Judge Chris Wagner is not the only one to use the Covid-19 vaccine for a sentence. In Franklin County, Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye used vaccination as a condition of probation. Those who want to get out of prison earlier need to be vaccinated. In Cuyahoga County, other two judges offered defendants reduced probation if they got vaccinated against the new coronavirus.
Unvaccinated people are required to wear a mask inside Judge Wagner’s courtroom
The judge asked anyone not vaccinated against the Covid virus to wear a mask inside the courtroom. This is how he realized Brandon Rutherford was unvaccinated. The judge asked him why he was unvaccinated and explained that the fentanyl he was carrying is much more dangerous than any Covid-19 vaccine available. Rutherford can refuse to get vaccinated and receive a different sentence.
Judges create probation terms, and they do not always follow certain guidance. In case the sentence is appealed, then the probation terms can be addressed by the Supreme Court. However, Brandon Rutherford does not have a future hearing.
Recently there has been a surge in daily cases of Covid-19 infections, and in many states, such as Texas and Florida, hospitals are overwhelmed.