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Kentucky’s Activist Judge

The Kentucky State Director for American Atheists will be on Lexingon radio this Thursday to discuss our “activist judge” in Kentucky who is offering going to church as a way for defendants to get probated in his court. Details below.

Should you wish to write Judge Caperton, here is his address: Hon. Michael Caperton, District Judge, PO Box 2424, Judicial Annex 1, 107 S. Broad St., London, KY 40741-2424.

Should you wish to write to The Kentucky Judges Removal and Retirement Commission, complaints may be mailed to: Executive Secretary James D. Lawson, PO Box 21868, Lexington, KY 40522-1868. Phone number for the Commission is: (606) 233-4128.
By Supreme Court Rule, the commission’s work comes into public view only when it imposes certain types of discipline.
The commission members are Chairman Joe C. Savage, a Lexington attorney; Circuit Judge Stephen Frazier of Paintsville; Court of Appeals Judge Paul Gudgel; Jefferson District Judge Charles Scott; Diane Logsdon Elizabethtown; and Brenda Williams of Columbia

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American Atheists Media Alert

KAGIN ON THE AIR, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY — CALLS UPON DISTRICT JUDGE
TO END “WORSHIP SENTENCING” FOR DEFENDANTS

Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director for American Atheists will be the guest live on the Sue Wiley radio call-in talk show (WVLK 590 AM) on Thursday, June 9, 2005 beginning at 11:00 AM.

Mr. Kagin, a constitutional attorney, author and founder of Camp Quest, will discuss the growing controversy surrounding District Court Judge Michael Caperton, who is offering those sentenced on drug charges the “option” of attending church services as an alternative to jail or rehab treatment. (See American Atheists Press Release on this below).

WHO & WHAT: Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director for American Atheists live on the air, The Sue Wiley radio call-in show.

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2005 beginning at 11:00 AM

TOPIC: District Judge Michael Caperton, “church/worship” for defendants

WHERE: WLVK-AM 590 Radio, Lexington, KY.

MORE INFO: http://www.wvlkam.com

American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights
of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and
addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

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AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC.
http://www.atheists.org
http://www.americanatheist.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2005

CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP URGES KENTUCKY JUDGE TO DROP
“RELIGION EXEMPTION” OVER TREATMENT

American Atheists today called upon Kentucky District Judge Michael
Caperton to stop offering those sentenced on drug charges the “option”
of attending church services as alternative to jail or rehab treatment,
saying that the policy discriminates and runs afoul of the
First Amendment separation church and state.

Caperton was described as a “devout Christian” in the May 31, 2005
edition of the Courier-Journal newspaper (“Judge lets some defendants
attend worship as sentencing option.”) The story quoted the judge as
saying “I don’t think there’s a state-church issue, because it is not
mandatory and I say worship services instead of church.” He added that
“any denomination is acceptable.”

Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists said that Caperton is
letting his personal religious beliefs spill over into the courtroom. “He is
still promoting religion and religious belief even if he masks this policy by
claiming it is ‘not mandatory,’ or talks about ‘worship” instead of what it
is — going to church.”

Edwin Kagin, an attorney and Kentucky State Director for American
Atheists said that Caperton is not only violating the Constitution
but misleading the public as well.

“There is nothing voluntary about this,” said Kagin. “It amounts
to a bribe on behalf of the court to get defendants to attend religious
services.”

Kagin said that Judge is clearly promoting religion, and putting it on
an equal footing with drug rehabilitation. “He is forcing his religion
into the courtroom where it does not belong.”

American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights
of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and
addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

American Atheists, Inc. P. O. Box 5733 Parsippany, NJ 07054-6733
Tel: (908) 276-7300 Fax: (973) 625-6901

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