I’m staying apolitical (though it’s soooo hard to do), but what say you?
SALT LAKE CITY — A district judge in Oklahoma has generated new controversy by sentencing a teenager to 10 years of church attendance, even though the judge admits it’s not constitutional.
Religion News Services reports Judge Mike Norman gave Tyler Alred, 17, a 10-year deferred sentence for DUI manslaughter. Alred was driving a pickup truck that crashed and killed a passenger in December 2011.
In deferring the sentence, the judge not only ordered Alred to a decade of church attendance, but also required him to finish high school and welding school.
Alred’s attorney and the victim’s family agreed to the terms of the sentence.
The ACLU in Oklahoma calls the church requirement a “clear violation of the First Amendment.”
Judge Norman, who has recommended church as part of sentencing in some past cases, admits the church attendance part of the sentence won’t hold up legally but doubts either side in the case will appeal.
He says the sentence was the right thing to do.