Oklahoma Teen Sentenced To Ten Years Of Church As Manslaughter Punishment

What separation of church and state? Oklahoma City’s KOCO reports on a teenager convicted of killing a friend in a drunk driving accident given the choice between jail and Christianity:

An Oklahoma teen convicted of manslaughter won’t get jail time. Instead a judge sentenced him to go to church. Tyler Allred was 17-years-old when prosecutors say he drove while intoxicated and killed his passenger, a 16-year-old friend.

A judge presiding over Allred’s case sentenced him to attend church every Sunday for the next 10 years. In addition to church attendance Allred must graduate from high school and take drug and alcohol test for the next year. The teen’s attorney does not plan to challenge the sentence.

  • alizardx

    How specific is the ruling with respect to what churches are acceptable? What legal position does a judge put himself in by picking one if he did? I can think of all sorts of interesting choices of church that would make the judge wish he’d come up with something rational.

    • Matt Staggs

      Oh, man, that’s a great question. Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you’ve got another member.

      • MadHierophant

        Or he gets wise and forms an orgy cult.

        • DeepCough

          There’s always “Temple 420.”

          • MadHierophant

            He can’t have drugs, according to the news report. Good thing he wasn’t given a court ordered chastity belt…

          • DeepCough


      • alizardx

        Or Church of Scientology, Church of Euthanasia, converting to Islam (which probably would get the judge a law-abiding citizen)… there are even Atheist churches, I’ve heard that some of which hold regular services (called something else for some reason)

        This is the basis of the judge’s legal problem:
        ‘The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance.

  • DeepCough

    Prison or asylum–It’s punishment either way.

  • charlieprimero

    Makes sense. Government and religion are basically the same thing.

  • Unindoctrin8ed

    There is something about a right to a trial by “a jury of our peers”. I don’t remember there being any mention of it being presided over by a robed fool.

  • InfvoCuernos

    This should be pretty easy to overturn on appeal. I know that in California, they ruled that a judge can’t sentence someone to mandatory AA classes as it calls for participants to believe in a higher power, so they offer a couple of non-religious options that someone can choose. Of course, they are much harder to find, with a limited schedule and small number of meetings, but its a moot point anyway as most of the time, participants are just going to zone out for an hour anyway, regardless of any praying and genuflecting that might be going on.

    • Haystack

      True, but the defendant in this case has no actual incentive to make that appeal. This gets him out of a prison term, so I doubt he wants to rock the boat.

      • InfvoCuernos

        True- I’d probably find a church I could tolerate for ten years if it meant keeping my ass out of prison.

  • kowalityjesus

    The United States of America, the only nation on earth where male-male rape is more common than male-female rape. Thank you for making a step in the right direction, OK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529432592 Rudi Affolter

    Surely this sentence breaks the First Amendment?