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JUDGE THROWS BOOKS AT PAIR IN NOVEL SENTENCE

SHARE JUDGE THROWS BOOKS AT PAIR IN NOVEL SENTENCE

A judge threw the book, or rather books, at a pair of drug defendants, and he's demanding book reports as part of the novel sentence.

Circuit Judge John E. Rochester said Thursday he's been imposing book-reading sentences for about nine months in his rural circuit because he's tired of seeing convicts return to prison again and again. "I'm trying to identify people who won't continue in that cycle," he said.On Wednesday, Rochester ordered Henry McQueen, 31, and Isaac McQueen, 30, to read five novels each.

The brothers, who pleaded guilty to cocaine-possession charges, have to write reports on the books and keep weekly diaries on what they are doing with their lives and what they've learned from this brush with the judicial system.

Henry McQueen was ordered to read "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, "Lie Down in Darkness" by William Styron, "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, "Bonfire of the Vanities" by Tom Wolfe, and "The Reivers" by William Faulkner.

Isaac McQueen's reading list consists of "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, "Crime and Punishment" by Feodor Dostoevski, "The Trial" by Franz Kafka, "Confessions of Nat Turner" by Styron, and "East of Eden" by Steinbeck.

The McQueens each were given suspended sentences of one year and a day, plus five years supervised probation, which the judge said could be revoked if they failed to do their book reports or keep their diaries. He also said the sentences would remain suspended as long as they hold jobs and obey the law.