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Rock Hill woman must read Bible as part of her sentence
Charlotte Observer ^ | Jun. 30, 2012 | Shawn Cetrone

Posted on 07/02/2012 5:44:51 PM PDT by gitmo

After Cassandra Belle Tolley pleaded guilty to driving drunk and crashing into a car, seriously injuring two people, a South Carolina judge sentenced her to eight years in jail followed by five years of probation and substance abuse counseling.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles also included another order in the sentence, one that’s much less common.

Tolley of Rock Hill must read the Old Testament book of Job and write a summary.

It’s a rare ruling, according to legal experts.

Similar sentences have raised constitutional concerns, but Tolley’s case is special.

“Under normal circumstances, the judge wouldn’t have the authority to do that,” said Kenneth Gaines, a University of South Carolina professor of law specializing in civil and criminal litigation. “You can’t just arbitrarily add anything you want to a sentence.

“But if she consented, it’s really not an issue. It’s critical that the defendant was in entire agreement with it.”

Cassandra Tolley

Tolley’s attorney, Amy Sikora, a York County, S.C., public defender, said Tolley was thankful for the assignment. She already has started working on it.

Nettles declined to comment. But those who were in court that day agreed his decision reflects compassion not just for the victims, but for Tolley, who after years of abuse turned to alcohol.

Tolley, 28, told her pastor and Sikora that a relative repeatedly abused her physically as a child.

On Thanksgiving Day, when Tolley was 11, Sikora said, a relative doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.

Burn scars are visible on her face.

Since moving to Rock Hill from Ohio, Tolley occasionally attended New Vision Free Will Baptist Church, where she met the Rev. Daggett Duncan.

“She’s a very, very, very humble, distraught person,” Duncan said. “Looking in her eyes, you could see the pain.”

Tolley was drunk on Nov. 12, 2011, and driving in the wrong lane on Porter Road in Rock Hill. She crashed into a vehicle, severely injuring two men.

According to the York County solicitor’s office, Tolley’s blood alcohol level was 0.333 – more than four times the legal limit.

In prepared statements read in court, the victims said the injuries have dramatically altered their lives. One of the men can’t sit for more than an hour at a time. Rods and screws were surgically implanted to support his spinal column. He relies on family to care for him.

The other man has undergone six surgeries and could lose his left foot.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: bible; court; crime
I'm not sure I would have selected Job. But I haven't heard where her head is right now.


1 posted on 07/02/2012 5:45:00 PM PDT by gitmo
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To: gitmo
I was about to make a remark regarding this woman, then I read this:

On Thanksgiving Day, when Tolley was 11, Sikora said, a relative doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.

Sounds like she has not had an easy life and NO, that is not offered as an excuse, merely an observation.

2 posted on 07/02/2012 5:50:44 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Bain Capital would not have bought into Solyndra)
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To: gitmo

Get ready for the ACLU and the God hating Left to holler cruel and unusual punishment


3 posted on 07/02/2012 5:57:44 PM PDT by eglman
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To: gitmo
That's B.S.

How long before some Muslim judge forces one of us to read and write a book report on the Koran for refusing to wear a seatbelt?

4 posted on 07/02/2012 5:59:06 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: elkfersupper

Normally, I would agree with you but there is this (from the article):

“But if she consented, it’s really not an issue. It’s critical that the defendant was in entire agreement with it.”


5 posted on 07/02/2012 6:05:21 PM PDT by PoliticalArsonist
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To: elkfersupper

This here is a Christian country. The bible is in our heritage and foundation. The koran? Not in the least.


6 posted on 07/02/2012 6:28:13 PM PDT by Copenhagen Smile (Ask me no questions, I"ll tell you no lies)
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To: gitmo

Good luck to her in her recovery.


7 posted on 07/02/2012 6:40:09 PM PDT by moovova
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To: gitmo
If she was a Muslim, an atheist, Buddhist or a pagan of some sort it would be.
8 posted on 07/02/2012 7:42:03 PM PDT by dog breath
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To: elkfersupper

Last time I checked, this wasn’t Egypt, Mohammed.


9 posted on 07/02/2012 8:25:43 PM PDT by ReconViper 1
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To: gitmo

Glad she’s reading it, but voluntary or not, it shouldn’t be part of her sentence


10 posted on 07/02/2012 10:06:26 PM PDT by Homer1
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To: stylecouncilor

SC ping....


11 posted on 07/02/2012 10:08:30 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Homer1
Glad she’s reading it, but voluntary or not, it shouldn’t be part of her sentence

Agree - there's no way that compulsion for a reduced sentence wasn't part of her "volunterring."

And as for that sentence - it's way, way too long, given why she was drunk. There are many other ways of dealing with non-malicious criminals than locking them up for extended amounts of time. This will just harm her more.

12 posted on 07/02/2012 10:40:33 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Copenhagen Smile; elkfersupper

This Nation was founded on Judeo Christian principles, it is NOT a “Christian Country”. Anyone can take a look around and see that.

I understand what elkfersupper was saying.

Oh, and welcome to FR.


13 posted on 07/03/2012 3:30:20 AM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: ReconViper 1

You haven’t read about the various jurisdictions in the US that are considering adopting Sharia Law?

“Mohammad?” Nice.

Welcome to FR. Enjoy your stay.


14 posted on 07/03/2012 3:56:33 AM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: PalmettoMason; elkfersupper
Make no mistake, this was a Christian country. Vastly Christian population, vastly Christian values, and vastly Christian culture.

In the sixties everything started to turn. Now we had better stand up and proclaim this as a Christian country and push back at every opportunity, because if we don't it will totally complete the transformation into an atheist country with strong muslim sympathies, like Europe.

P.S., Why do people only welcome me to FR when they disagree with me?

15 posted on 07/03/2012 7:07:56 AM PDT by Copenhagen Smile (Ask me no questions, I"ll tell you no lies)
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To: Copenhagen Smile

YOU make no mistake. The founders were very specific in the language they chose for the Establishment Clause.


16 posted on 07/03/2012 8:02:17 AM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: PalmettoMason
Jefferson was the primary architect of the bill of rights. He was a deist, and as president refused to even read the thanksgiving proclamations issued to him by congress. Additionally, Madison demanded that the second amendment contain the words "individual right to keep and bear arms," and yet Jefferson would not allow it for some reason.

So rather, Jefferson was very specific, and his extreme concept was not endorsed by the majority of the founders.

But that aside, I stand by my statement that this was a Christian nation in character, population, and religion, and retains the vestiges of the above mentioned conditions. Furthermore, all Christian Americans must push against the liberal forces of evil that wish to atheitize our nation completely and finally.

I suppose you join with the ACLU on the issue of removing the ten commandments from courthouses? And Perhaps you wish to see the phrase "In God we trust" removed from the currency of America? Maybe you would like to see cross-shaped memorials removed from public land.

GOD Bless America.

17 posted on 07/03/2012 8:25:16 AM PDT by Copenhagen Smile (Ask me no questions, I"ll tell you no lies)
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To: Copenhagen Smile
I suppose you join with the ACLU on the issue of removing the ten commandments from courthouses? And Perhaps you wish to see the phrase "In God we trust" removed from the currency of America? Maybe you would like to see cross-shaped memorials removed from public land.

OK, I'll play...

...And I suppose you join with Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, and agree that our troops are being killed as God's vengeance against America.

See how that works?

18 posted on 07/03/2012 1:10:35 PM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: PalmettoMason
No, I don't see how that works. You just shoved a complete red herring into the discussion.

Its alright to argue, but remember that your points have to make a modicum of sense.

19 posted on 07/03/2012 1:46:17 PM PDT by Copenhagen Smile (Ask me no questions, I"ll tell you no lies)
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To: Copenhagen Smile
This here is a Christian country. The bible is in our heritage and foundation. The koran? Not in the least.

So, federal judges or supreme court justices cannot disrupt that, right?

20 posted on 07/03/2012 2:08:49 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: PoliticalArsonist
Normally, I would agree with you but there is this (from the article): “But if she consented, it’s really not an issue. It’s critical that the defendant was in entire agreement with it.”

Defendants are easily coerced.

21 posted on 07/03/2012 2:19:26 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: elkfersupper

They could disrupt it. But that doesn’t change the fact that this nation was founded on Christianity.


22 posted on 07/03/2012 2:40:04 PM PDT by Copenhagen Smile (Ask me no questions, I"ll tell you no lies)
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To: elkfersupper

Your point is right on target but if she felt coerced, the ACLU and every other anti Christian group would be flocking to her side pro bono.

It may (just a guess) be that she really does want to clean up her life and needs some help to do it. Or she could be a total scum bag who agreed to it to get a lesser sentence.


23 posted on 07/03/2012 5:09:59 PM PDT by PoliticalArsonist
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