(Update: The New York Times has examined the ongoing debate over the constitutionality of the parole terms set by the judge.)
After pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter this summer, an Oklahoma teenager received an unusual sentence: He can avoid prison time if he meets all conditions of his probation–including 10 years of Sunday church attendance.
According to Oklahoma's Tulsa World, Tyler Alred, 17, "must go to church weekly as part of his deferred sentence for manslaughter tied to a DUI crash that killed his friend."
This is not the first time Judge Mike Norman has required church attendance as part of his sentences, says assistant district attorney Jim Carnagey.
And although some say the church requirement is "constitutionally suspect" or "simply ridiculous," attorneys for Alred say they do not plan to challenge the sentence, because Alred already "goes to church every Sunday."1