Judge Michael Nettles Sentences Drunk Driver Cassandra Tolley to Bible Study

| by Michael Allen

In Rock Hill, South Carolina, Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles sentenced drunk driver Cassandra Tolley to an eight-year prison sentence and a book report on the Book of Job, from the bible.

Tolley was convicted of drunk driving after she drove down the wrong side of the road and plowed into an oncoming car, seriously injuring two men. Her blood alcohol content was more than four times the legal limit.

While the 8-year jail sentence was legal, was the bible requirement a violation of church and state?

Kenneth Gaines, a University of South Carolina professor of law, specializing in civil and criminal litigation, told The Herald of Rock Hill: "Under normal circumstances, the judge wouldn't have the authority to do that … 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."