MONTGOMERY, Alabama (Reuters) – Judge Les Hayes once sentenced a single mother to 496 days behind bars for failing to pay traffic tickets. The sentence was so stiff it exceeded the jail time Alabama allows for negligent homicide. Marquita Johnson poses for a photo on the street where she was arrested at a police road block in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., September 26, 2019. Picture taken September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry Marquita Johnson, who was locked up in April 2012, says the impact of her time in jail endures today. Johnson’s three children were cast into foster care while she was incarcerated. One daughter was molested, state records show. Another was physically abused. “Judge Hayes took away my life and didn’t care how my children suffered,” said Johnson, now 36. “My girls will never be the same.” Fellow inmates found her sentence hard to believe. “They had a nickname for me: The Woman with All the Days,” Johnson said. “That’s what they called me: The Woman with All the Days. There were people who had committed real crimes who got out before me.” In 2016, the state agency that oversees judges charged Hayes with violating Alabama’s code of judicial conduct…. Read full this story
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