A South Carolina woman was given an unusual sentence for felony driving under the influence last month – a mandatory Bible Reading. Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles sentenced Cassandra Tolley to eight years in prison, ordered she undergo substance abuse counseling, and also ordered she read the Old Testament Book of Job and write a summary of it. Ms. Tolley was charged with felony DUI after she crashed her car while intoxicated, severely injuring two people.
According to her attorney, Tolley was grateful for the reading assignment. A pastor at Tolley's church, New Free Vision Baptist Church, believes that the sentence will be beneficial. "I think [Judge Nettles’] faith and his compassion led him to use the book of Job," Rev. Daggett Duncan told the Herald newspaper. "Job made it through, and he wants her to know she can too."
You may be asking yourself whether such a punishment can be handed down for a DUI conviction. Usually, the answer is no. A judge cannot arbitrarily add anyhting he or she wants to a sentence for DUI. However, in this case the required reading is legal because Tolley consented to it.
Source: The NY Daily News, "Jail Time and Bible Study: S.C. Woman's odd Drunk-Driving Punishment."
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