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Drunk-Driving Teen Sentenced to 10 Years of Church Attendance as Part of His Probation

Posted by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM
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Drunk-Driving Teen Sentenced to 10 Years of Church Attendance as Part of His Probation

November 16, 2012 By 44 Comments

Last year, 17-year-old Tyler Alred drank some alcohol, got behind the wheel, crashed his car, and killed his passenger. A tragedy all around and Alred undoubtedly deserves a punishment.

 

Tyler Alred

 

 

But Judge Mike Norman‘s ruling is simply ridiculous: He wants Alred to attend church for the next ten years as part of his probation. Already, legal analysts are cringing:

 

Randall Coyne, a professor of law at the University of Oklahoma, said the church-attendance condition probably wouldn't withstand a legal challenge but that someone would have to file such a challenge.

 

"It raises legal issues because of (the separation of) church and state," he said.

 

Coyne said defense lawyers in other cases have successfully challenged orders that their clients attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings because of AA's spiritual component.

 

"This young man may feel like this is a just punishment as far as he's concerned," he said.

 

The problem arises in how to enforce it and what should be done if he were to fail to attend church, Coyne said.

 

No word on which brand of bullshit Alred has to listen to for the next decade.

 

Alred may not care about this at all - he doesn't have to go to (a literal) prison, after all - but the principle behind this ruling is just begging to be changed. You can't force someone to go to church as payback for a crime just as you can't force someone not to go to church for the same reason.

 

What happens if Alred becomes an atheist sometime in the next few years and doesn't want to attend church anymore?

 

Is there a "wrong" church to attend? What about Fred Phelps' place or somewhere like that?

 

Would an open atheist have received the same "punishment"?

 

And how is the judge allowed to get away with this? ("It's Oklahoma" is not an acceptable answer.)

 

by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM
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Replies (1-8):
turtle68
by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

 I saw this in another group....total bullshit.  I dont even know how its legal?

Clairwil
by Bronze Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 4:21 AM

I think there are two issues here:

1. There actually seems to be favouritism going on here, with the judge giving a more lenient sentence that justified, because of the common values he shares with the killer.

2. The boy is a Christian and enthustiacally agreed to the 10 years of having to go to church, as a parole alternative to jail time.   However, what if, in 5 years time, he becomes an Atheist?

Allie428
by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 9:43 PM
Besides the obvious, it is funny that they are openly admitting church is a punishment!
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MyMyOhMy
by ImNotThatGod! on Nov. 19, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Its oklahoma. ;)

SinaiJ
by Yosaff Bridge on Feb. 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Yea, church will help... *facepalm*

Nature_girl
by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:53 PM

 Now he can learn to be a pedophile, gay, woman hating jerk and be a drunk. Awesome. NOT

3JuJu3
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:49 AM

He should attend biology classes so he can fully appreciate the sanctity of life. 

KristenFowles
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM

 While I think it's a BOGUS punishment..  If the kid believes in God, I suppose it could be a good thing.

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