Houston Judge Drops Bible Study Alternative Sentences


A new Houston judge is trying to find a new way to punish criminals, but he has stopped requiring Bible study after protests, reports KHOU-TV. Judge John Clinton, a retired Houston police sergeant, took the bench in January. “I felt it as a calling,” said Clinton. “I'm just trying to think outside the box. Trying to mold the punishment to help these individuals, instead of set them up to fail.”

That's what Clinton says he was doing last week when he offered nine defendants to read “The Heart of the Problem” and then come back in a few months and talk with him about the book, which is a Bible study that touts itself as a workbook that provides insights for victorious Christian living. The suggestion didn't sit well with some attorneys who say the judge violated the constitution. “That is illegal, unconstitutional and unfair,” said defense attorney Dan Gerson. “We are offended, as far as preaching from the bench, especially by requiring people, or asking people that they perform religious study in lieu of serving their sentence.”

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