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SC judge rules DWI penance is to read the Bible - Should this be allowed?

Here's the full article - ROCK HILL, S.C. —

A South Carolina woman whose drunken driving seriously injured two people has been sentenced to eight years in prison, substance abuse counseling, and to read the Bible.

The Herald of Rock Hill reports reported Cassandra Tolley's attorney said she was thankful for the task and has started working on her assignment to read the Old Testament book of Job and write a summary.

The Bible segment's dominant theme is the question of why God allows good people to suffer.

A legal expert says is the sentence by Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles is rare. University of South Carolina law professor Kenneth Gaines said judges can't arbitrarily add anything they want to a sentence, but if the defendant consents it's not an issue.

Answer Question
 
SabrinaMBowen

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 2:39 PM on Jul. 2, 2012 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • For some of this this would be torture.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 2:03 PM on Jul. 7, 2012

  • First, I don't think it should be allowed. Second, it's stupid. Making her study a chapter about god allowing people to suffer when she did what? Made people suffer! Next thing, she'll be convinced she wasn't at fault because god was working through her. Or she'll think, "Gee, what I put those people through wasn't nearly as bad as what I'm reading!" Also, as someone already mentioned, will it keep her from driving drunk again? Probably not as much as another couple of years onto a jail sentance would.
    Koukla12905

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 9:27 AM on Jul. 4, 2012

  • What a horrendous punishment.
    MamaK88

    Answer by MamaK88 at 6:24 PM on Jul. 3, 2012

  • I lived in SC for 17 years, I now live in NC. Just cause you live in the Bible belt doesn't make you religious. I think that most of our leaders and heads of state thrive on religion so to speak because it is popular in these areas more so than other parts of the country. SC is a red state through and through. If this is the sentance addendum that she agreed to uphold then there is no debate here. She didn't see anything wrong with it so why should we? If he had added that as a part of her sentance and she, as an athiest or buddist etc and she contested and was punished for it... THAT is where we would have a debate or a story that made national headlines.
    VanessaMomof2

    Answer by VanessaMomof2 at 1:33 PM on Jul. 3, 2012

  • meooma, you crack me up 70% of the time. Tehehe
    Kword

    Answer by Kword at 10:43 PM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • Don't 70% of people incarcerated turn to God?

    meooma

    Answer by meooma at 4:56 PM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • confused


    Don't know how that will help her issue of intoxication...

    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 4:13 PM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • No, that's weird
    Amgrl210

    Answer by Amgrl210 at 3:52 PM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • "Well, the sentence has absolutely nothing to do with separation of church and state. But I don't see the point to it "

    This has everything to do with separation of church and state. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Therefore, a judge, whose job it is to ensure that citizens uphold state laws, (such as drinking under intoxication), cannot sentence someone to read a religious book.

    I'd imagine this would be disputed if the judge sentenced a Christian defendant to reading a passage in the Quran.
    ABeaverhausen

    Answer by ABeaverhausen at 3:35 PM on Jul. 2, 2012

  • I think it was more like a comment that the judge made. It's not legally binding, but if the woman agrees to do it and wants to, great for her.
    Kword

    Answer by Kword at 3:06 PM on Jul. 2, 2012

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