FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

Norse God Worshipping Prison Inmate Sues Utah DOC

December 28, 2007  | 

A Utah prison inmate is suing the state Department of Corrections claiming that its policies prevent him from practicing his religion.

Michael Polk, who is serving time for aggravated assault and robbery, filed the suit in federal court accusing the DOC of denying him items that he needs to practice the Asatru religion, which is the worship of Nordic gods like Odin, Thor, Tyr, and Heimdal.

Polk's complaint says that he has followed the Asatru faith since 2005. It argues that in order to perform its rites, Polk must have a Thor's hammer, a prayer cloth, a mead horn, a drum made of wood and boar skin, a rune staff, and a sword. The complaint adds that the sword can be made of cardboard.

The plaintiff says that he asked the prison chaplain for the items that would allow him to perform the rites, but his request was refused. Later prison officials allowed him to have a small Thor's hammer pendant. The other objects were denied.

"You may purchase a towel from the commissary for an altar cloth. You may purchase the book or books of your religion and maintain them in your cell," Prison warden Steven Turley wrote in a letter to Polk.

Polk is not the only Utah inmate to file a suit against the DOC that claims the state denied him the right to practice the rites of his religion. In 2002, the state supreme court rejected an inmate's claim that the state was violating his rights by refusing to let him drink blood or partake of a sacrament supplied by a female vampire.

Request more info about this product / service / company


Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

jwpedraza @ 12/30/2007 6:02 PM

Why doesn't polk borrow a shank from another inmate if he doesn't have one already as a sword???? Shanks aren't hard to find during shakedowns.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Kentucky Chief Deputy Dead in Apparent Suicide
The second-in-command at the Jefferson County (Ky.) Sheriff's Office was found dead Monday...
DOJ Reveals Plans to Review Baltimore PD
A U.S. Department of Justice official pledged Monday to conduct a thorough, independent...
Law Signed to Curb Cop Killer's 'Obscene Celebrity'
Ignoring the chants of protesters on the block where a police officer was killed and the...
Video: Shooting of El Paso Police Officer Connected to 2 Bodies Found
Two bodies found at separate locations Tuesday are linked to the shooting of an El Paso...
Crash Kills Missouri Police Officer/Fire Chief on Way to Fire
An Alton, Mo., police officer who is also a firefighter died after a crash on Monday....

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine