Criminal Justice: Jail or Sterilization?

Nancy Hernandez, 21, is a long way from being Santa Barbara's mother of the year. Estranged from her husband, by whom she has one child, she has lately been living with another man, by whom she has a second child. Not only is her lover, Joseph Sanchez, a narcotics addict, but last month Nancy pleaded guilty to the charge of being in a place (Sanchez's apartment) where narcotics were unlawfully used.

Those facts bothered Santa Barbara Municipal Court Judge Frank P. Kearney. But did they justify his sentence of six months in jail, or probation if Nancy submitted to sterilization?

To...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!