Judge orders prison inmate to write him a summary of the bible

Published On: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:00 AM
By: Sarah Weiss
Cassandra Belle Tolley
Since you are going to prison for a long time you might as well study the entire Old Testament a judge ordered a woman.

A South Carolina woman has received an unusual sentence for drunk driving which included jail time and reading the Bible.

Cassandra Belle Tolley, will spend eight years in prison and has been ordered to read the Old Testament and the book of Job, and write a summary of the books to Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles, according to the news media.

The 28-year-old received the ruling, which also includes five years probation and counseling for substance abuse after she crashed her car while drunk, seriously injuring two people.
Tolley, who has had a haunted past, it seems, is grateful for the allocation of religion, according to her lawyer, Amy Sikora, York County public defender, the news media reported.

Sikora says the 28-year-old was physically abused by a relative as a child.
A relative allegedly doused her with gasoline and set her on fire on Thanksgiving, when she was only 11 years old. Burn scars can be seen on her face.

A pastor in the church that Tolley attends to, New Vision Free Will Baptist Church, believes that the sentence will be beneficial to Tolley.

"I think her faith and compassion led her to use the book of Job," said the Rev. Duncan Daggett.
The required reading, although rare, is legal because of her consent according to Kenneth Gaines, a professor at the University of South Carolina Law which specializes in civil and criminal litigation.
"In normal circumstances, the judge has no authority to do that," Gaines told the news media. "You cannot just arbitrarily add anything you want to a sentence.