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Author Topic: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years  (Read 1815 times)

Schuyler

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Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« on: November 18, 2012, 03:09:10 pm »
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/oklahoma-judge-sentences-teen-to-church-for-10-years/

Yet another example of how the U.S. is unable to separate church from state.

Let's look at the facts: the kid gets to "choose" which church he attends-- but Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "church" as "a building for public and especially Christian worship." What about a synagogue or a temple? Would there have been more controversy if this had been a sentence to a mosque?

I'm not going to get into what this kid specifically did, as I already have very strong feelings about drunk driving. I think that it's great he gets a second chance... but what concerns me is that a judge thinks that it is okay to sentence a minor to attend religious services. Is this telling society that proselytizing is okay? Or am I overreacting?

stephyjh

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Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 03:28:19 pm »
Quote from: Cedar;81453
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/oklahoma-judge-sentences-teen-to-church-for-10-years/

Yet another example of how the U.S. is unable to separate church from state.

Let's look at the facts: the kid gets to "choose" which church he attends-- but Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "church" as "a building for public and especially Christian worship." What about a synagogue or a temple? Would there have been more controversy if this had been a sentence to a mosque?

I'm not going to get into what this kid specifically did, as I already have very strong feelings about drunk driving. I think that it's great he gets a second chance... but what concerns me is that a judge thinks that it is okay to sentence a minor to attend religious services. Is this telling society that proselytizing is okay? Or am I overreacting?

I have real issues with the idea of religion overlapping with the legal system. He didn't commit the crime for lack of religion. He did it for lack of good decision-making skills. Here the standard punishment for teens committing vehicle-related or alcohol-related crimes is the loss of the license, with substance abuse counseling, probation, and usually community service.
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MordredRedeemed

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 03:33:18 pm »
Quote from: Cedar;81453
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/oklahoma-judge-sentences-teen-to-church-for-10-years/

Yet another example of how the U.S. is unable to separate church from state.

 
This absolutely screams unconstitutional to me. But, the sad truth of the matter is that most people in this country think in the mindset " 'Merca loves Jezus". You can bet that if he had sentenced him to go to a mosque he would have been kicked out faster than he could have said the sentence.
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RandallS

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 04:40:12 pm »
Quote from: Cedar;81453
Let's look at the facts: the kid gets to "choose" which church he attends-- but Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "church" as "a building for public and especially Christian worship." What about a synagogue or a temple? Would there have been more controversy if this had been a sentence to a mosque?

I think there are real constitutional issues here. Especially as I suspect the court would have issues if he selected say, the Church of Satan.
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sailor

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 04:47:50 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;81458
I have real issues with the idea of religion overlapping with the legal system. He didn't commit the crime for lack of religion. He did it for lack of good decision-making skills. Here the standard punishment for teens committing vehicle-related or alcohol-related crimes is the loss of the license, with substance abuse counseling, probation, and usually community service.

 
From a constitutional / legal basis there are real problems with this sentence.

On a somewhat practical basis, having the kid involved in an organization that promotes good values has some merit.  While a church could meet those requirements, there are others - the common ones could be Boy Scouts, DeMolay, Boys Club, JROTC.  

This kind of sentence Might stand up if church was one option among various groups to be involved with. Given just what was reported I doubt that was an option offered.

RandallS

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 07:12:47 pm »
Quote from: sailor;81475
This kind of sentence Might stand up if church was one option among various groups to be involved with. Given just what was reported I doubt that was an option offered.

I think that would greatly increase the chances of the sentence being found constitutional if challenged.
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Owl

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 08:15:48 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;81502
I think that would greatly increase the chances of the sentence being found constitutional if challenged.

 It would have been better if he had been sentenced to attend MADD meetings - I know of someone who was.
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Laveth

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 08:19:56 pm »
Quote from: sailor;81475
From a constitutional / legal basis there are real problems with this sentence.

On a somewhat practical basis, having the kid involved in an organization that promotes good values has some merit.  While a church could meet those requirements, there are others - the common ones could be Boy Scouts, DeMolay, Boys Club, JROTC.  

This kind of sentence Might stand up if church was one option among various groups to be involved with. Given just what was reported I doubt that was an option offered.


This pretty much sums up my thoughts on this. Make him spend time with a family who lost someone to drunk driving, have him do sympathy exercises, something that will stick. This just seems... warped...

mandrina

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 04:37:57 am »
Quote from: Laveth;81526
This pretty much sums up my thoughts on this. Make him spend time with a family who lost someone to drunk driving, have him do sympathy exercises, something that will stick. This just seems... warped...


I suspect by the time all the lawsuits are done, said teen will have the standard punishment for a second dwi, and the judge will be feeling persecuted.
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MadZealot

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 06:18:41 am »
Quote from: Laveth;81526
This pretty much sums up my thoughts on this. Make him spend time with a family who lost someone to drunk driving, have him do sympathy exercises, something that will stick. This just seems... warped...

 
Not only that, but hit the lad with a metric shitload of fines & legal fees.  I've heard that the first DUI in CA can cost up to $10,000.  If true, I'm good with it.  A DUI should hurt.
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sailor

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 08:50:34 am »
Quote from: mandrina;81590
I suspect by the time all the lawsuits are done, said teen will have the standard punishment for a second dwi, and the judge will be feeling persecuted.

 
Well, that's sort of the problem with this.

The kid and his parents aren't going to sue.  Any punishment would likely be tougher and destroy the kids future.

The State isn't likely to sue. The DA signed off on it (pretty sure).

The parents of the kid who died?  I doubt they'd have standing to sue.

mandrina

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 12:47:34 pm »
Quote from: sailor;81610
Well, that's sort of the problem with this.

The kid and his parents aren't going to sue.  Any punishment would likely be tougher and destroy the kids future.

The State isn't likely to sue. The DA signed off on it (pretty sure).

The parents of the kid who died?  I doubt they'd have standing to sue.


THere has to be some way to deal with this, with such inappropriate punishment.
Katrina

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sailor

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 01:33:17 pm »
Quote from: mandrina;81624
THere has to be some way to deal with this, with such inappropriate punishment.

 
I guess the residents of the state could ask the legislature to impeach the judge. They can't change the sentence though.

MadZealot

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 04:41:24 pm »
Quote from: sailor;81610
The kid and his parents aren't going to sue.  Any punishment would likely be tougher and destroy the kids future.


Punishment from whom?  The sentence has already been handed down.

What would happen if the kid simply refused to attend services?  Cited his First Amendment rights?  If the parents can't/won't sue then perhaps the ACLU could get involved.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

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Re: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 05:12:12 pm »
Quote from: sailor;81475
From a constitutional / legal basis there are real problems with this sentence.

On a somewhat practical basis, having the kid involved in an organization that promotes good values has some merit.  While a church could meet those requirements, there are others - the common ones could be Boy Scouts, DeMolay, Boys Club, JROTC.  

This kind of sentence Might stand up if church was one option among various groups to be involved with. Given just what was reported I doubt that was an option offered.

 
Um, exactly what Sailor said.

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