I have often written about judges who seem to relish the imposition of “creative sentences” that often involve shaming or degrading acts to be perform by defendants. Scott County Associate Judge Christine Dalton in Davenport came now be added to this ignoble list. ith a lengthy and violent criminal record to his name, Pachino Hill is going to church. Dalton has ordered a criminal defendant Pachino Hill to attend church in a wildly inappropriate sentence.
Hill, 29, of Davenport was ordered by Dalton to not only attend the counseling program at the Third Missionary Baptist Church, but to attend church there on at least eight consecutive Sundays. If Dalton’s government imposed church-going program is not fulfilled, Hill could be sentenced to two year in prison for eluding police and driving while impaired.
The idea appears to have originated with Prosecutor Marc Gellerman, but it was the judge who decided that she had the authority to order church attendance. Gellerman’s proposal should be a matter for serious review concerning his own judgment and training. However, the responsibility must ultimately fall on Dalton.
Hill in no angel. At 14 years, he was charged with first-degree murder pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and terrorism. (I will ignore the use of “terrorism” charges in such cases). Hill was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
For a prior column discussing this trend, click here
For the full story, click here