Today's column for the Daily Banter takes a look at a judge's ruling in a DUI manslaughter case in Oklahoma that's, to put it bluntly, illegal. The thing is, does it shine a bright light on a larger problem when it comes to what courts often order in drug and alcohol cases?
Here's a small excerpt:
"A couple of days ago the ACLU, an organization whose work I at turns appreciate and abhor, filed a formal complaint with the state of Oklahoma in the wake of a local judge’s startling ruling in a DUI vehicular manslaughter case. Back in December of last year, 17-year-old Tyler Alred crashed his pick-up into a tree while drunk, killing the passenger, a 16-year-old friend of his. In August of this year, Judge Mike Norman made Alred an offer he couldn’t refuse: go to prison for at least four years or accept a ten-year deferred sentence, meaning no jail time, in exchange for community service, submitting to regular drug and alcohol screenings — and going to church every Sunday for ten years. Needless to say, Norman’s sentence is unconstitutional. Not only is it unconstitutional, maybe most perniciously, Norman knows it’s unconstitutional...
An incidental question we’re left with in the wake of this ridiculous ruling, though, involves... the subtle proselytization at the heart of the 12-Step program which many courts have no problem ordering defendants accused in alcohol and drug-related crimes to undergo. Is it legal? Is it constitutional?"
Read the Rest Here