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Former Polygamist Leader Gets New Trial
July 27, 2010 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Warren Jeffs, former President and Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, will get a new trial, after the Utah Supreme Court overturned today his conviction on two counts of rape as an accomplice.

News comes a month after Arizona dropped a similar case. Jeffs still faces charges of bigamy and aggravated sexual assault of a child in Texas.
posted by quodlibet (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Utah's showing him some 'big love', huh?
posted by Catblack at 2:58 PM on July 27, 2010


God help him.
posted by karminai at 3:02 PM on July 27, 2010


I detest this man, but I do think the legal groundings of the charges brought against him here were kinda shaky.
posted by doteatop at 3:07 PM on July 27, 2010




Here's hoping for the same result at retrial. This man orchestrated one rape after another.
posted by bearwife at 3:24 PM on July 27, 2010


I'd like to be a better person and not comment on how the (real) Mormon church has spent so much more money preventing me and mine from getting married, money that, if they weren't going to spend it doing actual Christ-like deeds, maybe they should have spent fighting assholes like this... something about cleaning house closer to home or something.

Yeah, I'd like to be a better person.

But I'm not.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:25 PM on July 27, 2010 [15 favorites]


It would be rad if this disgusting creep and Joe Francis were forced to fight to the death for our entertainment. Later, the winner would be torn to pieces by jackals as we sipped cocktails and ate some delightful amuses-bouche.

Texas has been trying to extradite this guy for years; I find myself in the unusual position of rooting for their success in harshly sentencing him.
posted by elizardbits at 3:27 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd like to be a better person and not comment on how the (real) Mormon church has spent so much more money preventing me and mine from getting married, money that, if they weren't going to spend it doing actual Christ-like deeds, maybe they should have spent fighting assholes like this... something about cleaning house closer to home or something.

As far as I know, the mainline Mormon church does go after FLDS and their ilk as much as they can, but obviously that doesn't excuse their anti-gay right campaigning.
posted by kmz at 3:29 PM on July 27, 2010


So what I want to know is did he do it with Tarot cards?
posted by localroger at 3:30 PM on July 27, 2010


It's also worth mentioning that it's easy to see this dude as a creep, and I don't doubt he has been a malicious influence in lots of lives – but as always it's not really worth the effort spent to wish other people harm, no matter who they are. In this case, for instance, it sounds distinctly as though Warren Jeffs is likely to spend the next ten years in jail punishing himself as much as anybody can, if the past few years are any indication.
posted by koeselitz at 3:37 PM on July 27, 2010


The justices unanimously ruled 5th District Judge James Shumate erred when he rejected a defense request to instruct jurors that in order to convict, they must find that in performing a marriage Jeffs knew unwanted sex would take place and intended for a rape to occur.

So the defense's position is that Warren Jeffs did not aid and abet in rape, he only performed the marriage. Of course he also told the girls involved that it was their duty to do what he told them-- that their salvation depended on following his orders:
advised her to pray and to submit to her husband, learn to love him and bear his children -- or risk losing her "eternal salvation," the woman testified.
If she was a grown woman, I would say following the commands of a false prophet is her own problem, but a 13 year old girl? How is this not criminal? Jeffs was in charge of her spiritual welfare and she and all the rest of the children were brought up to believe he is God's prophet on earth.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:44 PM on July 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


[A few comments removed. It is not hard to not throw random derailbait into threads, please make an effort.]
posted by cortex at 3:53 PM on July 27, 2010


In the UK, if you pressurised a child into having sex, that would be rape. That could include just threatening to embarrass them or tell tales: telling them they would go to hell would definitely count. USA child protection law is always extremely weak: for instance, I saw a documentary on the sect where a child protested to a sherriff she wanted to leave her family. At that point the child has to be taken by police and a social worker of the same sex away, asked again without threats, etc: the sherriff just let her older sister drag her back into the car and drive off. Weird
posted by maiamaia at 4:06 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


...Warren Jeffs is likely to spend the next ten years in jail punishing himself as much as anybody can.

I guarantee that I can punish him more than he can punish himself.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:29 PM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


One man's cult is another man's religion. Most religions have something morally reprehensible in past or current doctrine. It's probably best to remember this before you start bashing any particular sect or denomination. Warren Jeffs is an evil man. Extending this to all his believers, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and those pesky people in Utah is a slippery slope. Next the finger is pointed at Catholics and Republicans! It's actually harder to stop than it is to find the next example. The United States was founded by religious zealots and it was pretty common for a 14 year old woman to be married to an older man for much of this country's history. Sure, right thinking individuals have attained enlightenment, but you don't have to go back too far in most people's family trees to find the scandal.

On other words, Let he who is without sin cast the first sinner off the Earth Turtle (or something like that).
posted by cjorgensen at 5:19 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


coolguymichael: “I guarantee that I can punish him more than he can punish himself.”

I'm sure you can. But I guarantee that you'll do more harm to yourself than you'll do to him in the process.
posted by koeselitz at 5:57 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most countries/states have some exception to consent laws for married couples. It's one of the weird absurdities of sexual consent legislation in general.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:59 PM on July 27, 2010


But where do adult notions of consent come into it? A 13-year-old is widely considered by lawmakers to be incapable of granting meaningful consent. Shouldn't the fact that he knew statutory rape would take place be enough?
posted by Pomo at 7:30 AM on July 28, 2010


1. Marriages in the US are void if one of the spouses is below the required age, which is 18 in most states (with some exceptions with parental consent).

2. All states in the USA have abolished the marital rape exception.
posted by miss tea at 7:34 AM on July 28, 2010


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