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Oklahoma woman receives reduced sentence after agreeing to judge’s request to get medically sterilized

February 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Oklahoma woman receives reduced sentence after agreeing to judge’s request to get medically sterilized

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A woman in Oklahoma who was found guilty of using a counterfeit check has been granted a reduced sentence after she was medically sterilized after being given a recommendation from the judge.

Summer Thyme Creel, 34, a mother of seven, was facing a maximum penalty of ten years in a federal lockup for the crime, NewsOK reported.

However, U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot displayed leniency earlier this weekend and sentenced her to only a year behind bars, and three years of supervised release, according to The Oklahoman.

The ruling took place after Friot recommended last June that Creel undergo the sterilization procedure. He said the woman would be given a more lenient sentenced after she listened to his suggestion.

“She will receive a shorter sentence because she made that decision,” Friot stated before he sentenced Creel.

According to reports, Friot urged the woman get the procedure that would stop Creel, an admitted drug user, from becoming pregnant again after she admitted that she most likely used narcotics all seven times she was pregnant.

“Comparing the dates of Creel’s periods of use of crack cocaine and meth … with the dates of birth of her children, it appears highly likely that some of Creel’s children were conceived, carried and born while Creel was a habitual user of these substances,” the judge stated in his order.

Summer Thyme Creel is shown in this 2017 image from a surveillance video at a Hobby Lobby in Midwest City, where she passed a counterfeit check. [Photo provided]

Friot added that Creel had waived her parental rights to six of her seven kids.

Creel got the sterilization procedure performed in November.

Her lawyer, Brett Behenna. said her client openly opted to get sterilized.

“I spoke with her in detail, and she voluntarily wanted to do it,” Behenna stated.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Perry said Creel showed interest in getting the procedure before the judge mentioned it.

“Creel not only has a constitutional right to procreate … but she admits that she had an interest in an elective sterilization procedure before the court’s order of June 16th,” Perry stated.

Creel, who has a long history of arrests, entered a guilty plea last year to using a counterfeit check at a Walmart in Oklahoma. She was also taken into custody for theft.

The woman’s sentencing was postponed because she neglected to appear in court after she was arrested for another counterfeit check crime. The other times her sentencing was deferred because she tested positive for drug use. Court documents indicated Creel tested positive for meth use in December.

The Washington Post noted that the judge’s sterilization request was met with disgust from women’s rights groups.

Eesha Pandit, a partner of the Center for Advancing Innovative Policy, said the case “harkens to a legacy of coercive reproductive policies and practices.”

“For decades sterilization was used to control populations considered ‘undesirable’ — immigrants, people of color, poor people, those with mental illnesses and disabilities,” Pandit added. “Tying Creel’s sentencing to her sterilization formalizes the coercion — the threat of a harsher sentence is manipulative and dangerous, and aligns with a legacy of eugenic practices through the U.S.”

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