A 17-year-old Muskogee boy has been given a deferred sentence for 10 years. Tyler Alred was charged as a youthful offender with manslaughter. Part of the deferred sentence, Alred is required to go to church once a week for the next 10 years.
Alred was given a chance to stay out of jail for the next ten years but with that chance comes some questions about requiring someone to go to church.
"One, it speaks to maybe forcing people to do religious activities that they would otherwise not do on their own free will. So, that puts pressure on them to do something that they wouldn't normally do and I don't know why a church would want to have someone come to it under the force of government," says TU Law Professor, Gary Allison.
Last December, Alred was driving near Hopewell Park in Muskogee. He crashed and that's when a passenger was ejected from the car and died. He had some alcohol in his system when police arrived. Along with going to church, Alred will also have to graduate high school and welding school, take drug and alcohol tests for a year, wear a drug and alcohol bracelet, and take part in impact panels.
Allison says he has only seen church come up in a deal for parole.
"I do know that often prisoners seeking parole, one of the things they seek to bring in front of the parole board that they have made some server conservation to Christianity," says Allison.