An Oklahoma woman convicted of passing a counterfeit check at Walmart received a reduced sentence this week after agreeing to undergo medical sterilization at the suggestion of the judge.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot showed leniency toward Summer Thyme Creel, 34, a drug-using mother of seven, after she had surgery to prevent her from becoming pregnant again, according to The Oklahoman. Creel underwent the procedure in back November after Friot suggested it in a prior scheduling order.
“She will receive a shorter sentence because she made that decision,” Friot said before announcing Creel’s sentence on Thursday, Feb. 8.
In his order last June, the judge cited Creel’s habitual use of crack cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the newspaper. He also highlighted the fact that she had relinquished parental rights to six of her seven kids and was likely using illicit drugs when she was pregnant with them.
Friot’s ordered has sparked both positive and negative reactions. The judge has defended his stance on the matter, however, arguing that the Supreme Court “has yet to recognize a constitutional right to bring crack- or methamphetamine-addicted babies into this world.”
Lynn Paltrow, founder of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, said she was “horrified” when she read Friot’s order.
“We find it highly unlikely that this judge has asked any man how many children he fathered and used that in his sentencing determination,” Paltrow told The Washington Post.
Creel faced a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for her crime but instead received one year and three years of supervised release, The Oklahoman reported. She was also ordered to pay $15,246 in restitution.
“I’m sorry for the mistakes that I made,” the mother said during sentencing.
Creel pleaded guilty to her involvement in a fraudulent check-cashing ring back in 2014.