Teen gets sentenced to 10 years of church as part of DUII probation
MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- A 17-year-old was sentenced to 10 years of attending church on Sunday as a part of his probation for a manslaughter conviction, stemming from a fatal DUII crash in 2011.
Tyler Alred plead guilty to killing his friend in a drunk driving crash in December of last year.
On Tuesday, a judge sentenced the Oklahoma teen to 10 years of probation and attending church each Sunday.
Since Alred's sentencing the American Civil Liberites Union has filed a complaint ageist the judge, saying that such a sentence violates the teen's First Amendment rights.
The ACLU's legal director, Brady Henderson, said that the sentence is based on a false assumption, that people who go to church have higher moral fiber.
"it's not something that automatically happens because of attendance. It happens when people say 'I want to behave a certain way'," said Henderson. "And the concern is, that can't happen if a person is ordered to participate in religion."
The panel that is hearing the ACLU's complaint could take any number of actions in the case - from issuing a letter that reprimands the judge, to kicking him off the bench.
Donn Baker, the teen's defense attorney, said that he won't challenge the judge's ruling, adding that Alred already attends church regularly.