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Houston Judge Suggests Christian Book Report for Convicts

A retired police officer who's now a judge in Houston is suggesting convicts read a Christian book and then report back to him.

HOUSTON -- A retired police officer who's now a judge in Houston is suggesting convicts read a Christian book and then report back to him.

Critics of Judge John Clinton, who took office in January, told KHOU-TV that he's wrongly pushing religion.

Dottie Griffith of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said Monday that a judge using the bench to coerce individuals into accepting his religious beliefs "offends the Constitution and should offend all Houstonians."

Clinton recently offered nine people the chance to avoid community service by instead reading "Heart of the Problem." Clinton says he's "trying to think outside the box" and the individuals are welcome to work with the probation department on another penalty.

Attorney Stanley Schneider says Clinton should be applauded for the innovative approach.

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