An Oklahoma judge may be in violation of the separation of church and state after recently sentencing a 17-year-old juvenile to go to church. The apparently religious Mike Norman sentenced Tyler Alred to attend the religious services as part of a probation arrangement, and even admits that he’s done this sort of thing before. While some may view this as a good criminal justice diversion, it blatantly screams ‘sponsoring a religion’ over any others. This is something that is federally not legal.
Ordering another U.S. citizen to attend a religious service as a criminal punishment is basically another way to force religion on the public. First it’s imposing this on criminals, and then what’s next? The U.S. Constitution protects citizens from this blatant religious oppression.
Judge Mike Norman should feel ashamed of himself for doling out such an idiotic sentence–especially since Tyler Alred is in trouble for killing someone while driving drunk. This teen offender is someone who needs rehabilitation and institutionalization as judgment for the crimes he committed. Forcing him to attend a Christian church isn’t going to solve anything.
Crime analyst & profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on Huffington Post or Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case. You can follow her on Twitter @TheRealChelseaH or contact her via her personal blog. Fan the Facebook page for updates on missing persons cases, issues in civil rights and details on Chelsea’s fiction works.