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WWL>Topics>>12-11 9:10am Tommy talks about a man sentenced to church

12-11 9:10am Tommy talks about a man sentenced to church

Dec 11, 2012|

Tommy talks to Marjorie Esman, the Executive Director of the Louisiana ACLU, about an Oklahoma man who was sentenced to church instead of prison

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Sega and moving on thank you David we're gonna move on now out of this story out of Oklahoma the American civil leave it liberties union not happy with the judge's decision in November. Muskogee county district judge Mike Norman stipulated that seventeen year old Tyler Alfred should attend church regularly. For a ten years as a requirement to avoid a prison sentence. The teen admitted to police he had been drinking in that crash in December last year about a year ago that killed his sixteen year old passenger and friend. The ACLU AE ACLU of Oklahoma filed a complaint with the state judicial -- conduct authorities. Saying that Norman's ruling the judge disregarded religious liberties in the federal. And state constitutions. And the executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma said in the statement it is shocking. That a judge -- so blatantly ignore the First Amendment which is. Which at a minimum prevents the government from forcing church attendance and from interfering in deeply personal matters. Of faith. The driver had been charged with manslaughter as a youthful offender and it pleaded guilty in August. By getting the mandatory church order as part of the decade of probation he averted prison time. Judge also required to teen Wear an alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet and undergo drug and alcohol assessment finish school attend counseling. And speak about the consequences of drinking and driving among other probation requirements. And the judge said if somebody wants -- appeal my decision they are entitled. To do that. -- defense attorneys and they have no intention of fight the probation terms. He said his client goes to church every Sunday this isn't going to be a problem for him he certainly wants the probation for his client. At a public collections are raised here does the judge have any right to do that. What church I mean is that line up to pick which is it up to the that the convicted person to -- or the person and admitted to the crime epic which church he wants to go to and is it all a sham because. You know a lot of people go to church and don't pay attention to what goes on and they go sit there for an hour. And then they go and do what they want after that. And Marjorie has been the executive director of the ACLU -- Louisiana joins us right now to weigh in on this as well as -- gay marriage. Good morning -- good morning I'm fine thank you so did you feel the -- Let. You know that that the clintons did to attend any authority ordered -- -- it very clear answer to that absolutely not. You know jackets but the uphold the law not violate the law and it is very clear that it did in this country. We can't order people were engaged and kind of religious practice that is just you know that that is so fundamental and it could be. Almost. You know. That week but obviously if he can reject students and -- -- I was definitely need to enact a law school but. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- On every count and getting to actually thinks that he has the right order somebody to security his own religious beliefs then. Ahmed he said that who picks church mean in this instance this young man. Go to Christian church and the judge was satisfied with that particular church but -- he didn't let a few months or more acuity what if -- were. -- -- a few words you know some religion that the judge did not. And you know -- that's the point that we're gonna ask people who a couple of minutes if you for this. What if the young man was Muslim men and he would say and and if this is on -- the record in this stands and becomes precedent. Then all of a sudden you have a Muslim. A young -- -- Muslim that runs over somebody when they drink and and drive and and kills them or their passenger in the car and he says -- -- allowed this before how much -- let my client attend mosque every week. For ten years in lieu of going to jail with the American public go forward and chances are the answer would be no one. Yeah did exactly the same thing and and Dylan and and the real issue is it that the government on in this case in the form of Jack. Has no legal right to dictate to people what their religious practices will be. And and you know well when we and that he can't really happy years ago the judge has technically Charles. He said something that was that was. So ridiculous is -- pretty laughable he said well the reason that he -- sentencing people go to church because if you don't find criminal -- church. But yours and. Well -- the thing is. Churches hospital for sinners not a museum for saints -- you probably what it is as far as the legality of this if the ACL UN and you guys come under fire a lot of times we're not to challenge this if it were OK with. The client the the convicted person and if -- were OK with the judge I mean this becomes. Lawn doesn't become president -- hey even though unconstitutional. By a lot of standards it would stand right. Well -- I didn't and ignore the point is that this is reject his job is uphold the law and he cannot relax you violate the law. In the -- Went to court made it reminded me -- we had a couple of years ago. Which rejected the peace -- pocket to look who would not parity in extra couple. You know I think it's really no different. I mean you know that July is when he is and the judge has decided that he's gonna violated and they don't have that. Any other point is a lot of times you hear people concerned about activist judges but when. The ruling goes in their favor they don't consider the judge so activist or at least in something they believe it. -- activism that's exactly right and and and illegal -- And before we let you go we've been discussing. Others Supreme Court looking at the issue of same sex marriage they agreed to do that on Friday. I'm a libertarian slash Republican money comes a financial matters. I don't care Marjorie a lot of people do they care about his vehemently I had a a lady on describe yourself as a lesbian and said she was born that way I get. Hundreds text here from people disagreeing with -- -- he's wrong and and I don't know where some money guy gets -- the feels as though they have the right to tell this lady would what she's feeling you're the you're your feelings on this in the Supreme Court and and where this is likely to head. I think it's high time the Supreme Court pick up this issue. You know is being. It one of the worst pieces of legislation that came to the Clinton years with the defense of marriage act. Which basically says that one state says that same sex couple content married then marriage has no validity. And a mistake or to the federal government. And into the paint did it. But it did -- -- and erupted dig it did give the state the right to. Allow same sex marriage. -- they do. But you know frank and if you would get married to woman in. I want our state now what am -- Virginia commonwealth of okay you -- a woman in Britain. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You marry a man in a perfectly and to get elected to this did Massachusetts whatever you can actually and you're not -- On that for different and and -- I want two cases that it -- frequency not particularly case I think it's really highlight. Com it could be the inequity of the the woman can eat when -- -- at this point. Yeah splintered now believed to treat yourself. He was in a relationship with a woman he would buyer for some forty years. Ion. You know this relationship was just like any other couple. And they went to ethnic handle legalized same sex actually went to Canada and gotten apparently in New York. On in New York -- -- -- -- and it has lost a State of New York recognize them completely. But federal government did not and so when he. He left everything ED as well normally would -- But the content Edie was nice to woman an -- on me and she had to pay 300 and some odd thousand dollars -- statement. It's -- not -- -- if he would have. You know and and that his growth plan. To let him in the interests to keep it felt council moves you know and I'm not Latin people can't just let kept. And that's one of the cases that include. -- effect that this is just pure pure discrimination based on who the from the anything -- and Ed and really go after people need to remember that bomb he hit the government. In his post to tell you what kind of person you can man didn't count me I could now call him a short man armed with brown hair curly or whatever. You know he -- actress -- And that shouldn't Indian government does. You know people -- like who you married but that's none of their business. I think people need to to recognize that debt Italy if it is the government to get out of their content deeply personal decision. -- we appreciate your time Audrey has been executive director of the greater. Of the ACLU rather Louisiana. Thank you for taking the time it was.

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