Here’s an absurd story. A judge in Ohio gave a man accused of using a stolen credit card a lower bond than he otherwise would have after quizzing him and making him recite a Bible verse. Details below the fold:
When he appeared this morning before Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge John Burlew, Hine’s attorney was hoping for a low bond for Hine and told the judge he was a churchgoer who works fulltime at a company that makes wine racks.
Because judges hear all kinds of stories from lawyers and defendants hoping for low bonds, Burlew wanted to test Hine on his claim of attending an Avondale church.
So, Burlew told Hine to recite the 23rd Psalm.
“The Lord is my Shepard; I shall not want,” Hine told the judge.
Impressed but still skeptical, Burlew told Hine if he could recite the entire passage, he would let him out of jail.
Hine then reeled off all six verses and 118 words – and even drew some applause from those sitting in the courtroom.
Burlew was true to his word and released Hine on a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond. That meant Hine had to sign a bond to promise to pay $10,000 if he didn’t make his next court appearance in the case.
Completely, absolutely and in all other ways inappropriate. A person accused of a crime who claims to be a churchgoer should carry no more weight than if they claim to be a satanist, an atheist or the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. This judge needs to be admonished, at the very least, for his actions here.
Hat tip to Howard Friedman.