Andrew McCullough's Blog

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Polygamist leader guilty

September 25, 2007 -- Today Warren Jeffs, the leader of a polygamous offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) was found guilty of "rape as an accomplice" for allegedly forcing a 14 year old girl to marry her cousin (age 19), resulting in sex. Upon hearing of the verdict, the present Utah Attorney General was quoted by KSL radio and TV as saying:

"This verdict is a victory for the many victims who have been hurt by Warren Jeffs and have been too afraid to speak out. Everyone should now know that no one is above the law, religion is not an excuse for abuse and every victim has a right to be heard. Let this verdict be a warning to anyone else who believes that forcing young girls to marry older men is acceptable and without consequence. The State of Utah will continue to be vigilant in pursuing anyone who breaks the law, no matter where they live or what they believe. Today's verdict is just the beginning of a long journey to seek justice for all."

Certainly that statement makes it clear that this prosecution was not about a single victim of "rape"; but is part of a concerted effort to destroy a culture which has been part of Utah since the days when the "mainstream" LDS Church also approved of the practice of polygamy. I want to make it clear that I do not condone child abuse; and this may well have been a case of that. What it was NOT, was rape, as that term is commonly understood. I was surprised by the verdict; and I will be more surprised if it stands up under appeal. If there is child abuse going on, it can be fought without resorting to ridiculous "legal fictions" such as the one bought today by the jury. Crimes should not be tolerated; but reasonable prosecutions will be sufficient to eliminate them. And, in the end, the State, which has tolerated polygamy for over 100 years, needs to back off its current morality crusade, lest it sweep up a few more Republican office holders.

It is time for new Attorney General who will not use his power to destroy those who believe differently than he does. See my website to find out more about me and my little campaign to make this change.


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