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Polygamist Leader or Polygamy on Trial?

Polygamist or Polygamy on TrialPolygamist Leader or Polygamy on Trial?

A Man's Rights Have Been Violated
Should it Matter that they are the Rights of a Polygamist Leader?

By now I am sure that the majority of my Readers have heard about the Polygamist Leader, Warren Jeffs, who was sentenced to Life in Prison for what a Jury of his "peers" say was sexually assaulting his two Wives. The sexual assault charge is based solely on the fact that the Wives are underage. Jeffs, who has represented himself throughout his entire trial, is requesting a chance to be retried on the premise that his Religious Rights were Violated during the trial. He has so far been denied this request. Funny how we don't see the ACLU running to assist this man who has been an obvious victim of both Police Brutality and Courtroom Misconduct, but I guess they have an ethical line when the case does not include Atheists or Illegal Immigrants.  

Using a handwritten note, Jeffs sent a request to the courts from a Texas hospital. The Request was for his Trial to be retried. Jeffs was being treated in the hospital after falling ill while fasting in jail.

Jeffs is a 55-year-old Spiritual Leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon Congregation, NOT to be confused with Mormons who are associated with the Church of Latter Day Saints, like Presidential Candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. The Church of Latter Day Saints does NOT support or endorse Plural Marriage in any form. Many Fundamentalist Mormons do still practice Plural Marriage and this is the primary reason they have splintered from the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is also important to note that while Fundamentalist Mormons practice Plural Marriage many do NOT support or endorse any marriage involving incest or children. Jeffs Fundamentalist Mormon Congregation maintain the belief that Polygamy is written in their Biblical Texts as a way to be closer to GOD and they do support and endorse Marriage involving boys and girls considered under age by societies law, but of age in their teachings. The two Wives Jeffs was convicted of sexually assaulting were ages 12 and 14.

Jeffs argues that he deserves to be retried based on the premise that his Religious Rights as a Fundamentalist Mormon were Violated. He often argued and disagreed throughout his First Trial with loud outbursts claiming that the Judge, Prosecution, and Texas Court in general was trampling on his Religious Rights as a Fundamentalist Mormon by even trying the case. Jeffs has also claimed in his handwritten appeal motion that the evidence used to convict him was seized improperly.

If Jeffs is right, and this evidence was obtained improperly, then it should have never been admissible in Court. This would entitle him to at the very least a retrial, his best case scenario would be he be set free with all charges being dismissed. The evidence included audio recordings of Jeffs and his Wives in intimate settings. The Prosecution twisted much of the "getting to know each other" discussion in the bedroom into what he described to the Jury as "instructions to teenage girls on how to sexually satisfy a man". Jeffs has also asked the Courts for another hearing on the evidence since the original Trial Judge ruled against him.

Jeffs' Fundamentalist Mormon Congregation has approximately 10,000 followers in North America, and has been condemned by the mainstream Church of Latter Day Saints Mormon Church, as well as some other Fundamentalist Mormon Congregations. They have been accused of Promoting Marriages between older men and girls.

Much of the evidence used against Jeffs was seized in a dramatic 2008 raid on the Congregation's home "Yearning for Zion Ranch", located in rural west Texas. During this controversial raid the authorities carted out boxes of Jeffs personal documents and property. The worst of it was when they sent in Child Protective Services (CPS) to "temporarily" remove hundreds of children from their homes and families without a court order of any kind.

A point working in Jeffs favor is that Legal Experts agree that the evidence gathered in the raid could be disallowed because it was based on a false report. Jeffs never disputed the charges against him during trial, only repeatedly argued that he had the right to his Religious Beliefs, which center on the conviction that Plural Marriages are the only way to Heaven. However, because Texas Rangers raided the YFZ Ranch after a San Angelo domestic violence hotline received a call from an "Anonymous Person" claiming to be the "Child Bride" of a 49-year-old Fundamentalist Mormon Congregation Leader. The call turned out to be a False Report made by a woman in Colorado.

Besides the obvious misconduct and prejudice shown by the Courts in this case there are a few facts that you have to consider before you decide if another Trial would really make any difference. After all, it is average people like YOU and me that will most likely sit on another Jury, if selected. Think about this:

Does the fact that Jeffs is a Polygamist Leader make the fact that he Married one, or more, girls who are underage any more or less Morally Wrong or Right then a man without any Religious intention that engages in sex with a child?

Does any level of Government have the Right to restrict who, or how many, people a person marries? Remember that at this time Fundamentalist Mormons are not asking that anyone other then their Church and their GOD accept their "Spiritual Unions" or Marriages and they do not apply for multiple Marriage Licenses from the state or file taxes as a person with Multiple Wives.

Polygamy seems to be in style in Hollywood! Tremendous success has been seen with Television Shows like Big Love and Sister Wives. How would you react if Fundamentalist Mormons who practiced Plural Marriage moved into your neighborhood? Knowing that they would stand with you and even die to protect your Religious Freedoms, could you do the same for them if the town tried to run them out?

Was Warren Jeffs tried by a Jury of his "peers"?

Do you think Jeffs was convicted because he married someone who was younger than him, or because he married more then one person?

How do you feel about Polygamy?

[Original Story]

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