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For the general good shall we say.
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) — 19th JDC Judge Fred Crifasi reportedly offers offenders an alternative to completing community service, vaccinate.
Attorney Ashley Greenhouse said Judge Crifasi gave her client the chance to get a full vaccination instead of finishing the last four hours of the court-mandated community service.
"He was like if you show me the evidence of it, we'll reset the case," Greenhouse said. “If you come back and show me you're doubly vaccinated, fully vaccinated, I'll give you credit for those hours. ¨I think he was very careful because he didn't force the suspect to get vaccinated¨
The judge has reportedly offered the deal to other people appearing in his courtroom for varying amounts of mandatory community service. WAFB has contacted Crifasi's office for clarification on the deals and who all qualify, the judge has not responded.
East Baton Rouge district attorney Hillar Moore said his office supports the deals and says he would like more judges to offer vaccinations rather than community service.
'What do you want someone to do now? Do you want them to pick up trash on the side of the road or possibly perform services for charities, or do you want someone to do something for themselves and protect others," Moore said.
Defense attorney Franz Borghardt said the offer will help offenders meet their demands at a time when community service is difficult to enforce.
“We are now entering a period where we are seeing an influx of Covid positive tests, so the ability to do community service is also affected by the ability to do that,” Borghardt said.
He said the offer meets legal requirements as the judge does not demand the vaccine.
"It's discretionary, it's optional for the defendant," he said. “If the defendant says, 'Hello, I don't want to do this, I want to do community service, you should know that yourself. If you're already vaccinated, it's even better. I don't think the community is losing this, in fact I think there is a strong argument that the community is winning."
"Look, I think there's a lot of good things that people can do community service for, but right now I think it's a good idea," Moore said.