Friday, May 09, 2008

Talking Back to Western Attorneys General

From the Deseret News;

ST. GEORGE — "The attorneys general for Utah and Arizona agreed Thursday that Texas was right in its removal of hundreds of FLDS children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, more than a month ago."
Yes, and Texas still wants us to believe there might be a Sarah too. Similar statements of sincere belief were made by justice systems all over the country right up until the point that DNA evidence freed people from death row. Don't think a Bureaucracy's highest ranking officer is going to get there or stay there by saying "well dang, I think we/they really went overboard" when referring to their department or a similar one from which they may need cooperation in another state.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard - "There was one person with control over the whole structure and kids were getting hurt."

Yes, and that one person was? You've already had the trial and determined "kids were getting hurt?" I'm not aware of a child that has come forward and said they are getting hurt. He goes on to say;

"I think they are rapidly coming to the conclusion that it's an inherently dangerous place and there aren't adults there who are sufficiently powerful to stand up to protect the children,"

But Terry Secrest just said that the mothers "All seem strong and independent." Excuse me, but just how strong and independent do you need to be?

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff chimed in;

"Shurtleff said the Texas raid on the FLDS people occurred because 'some polygamous leaders have put their people in harm's way.'"

There it is again. Confidently talking as if there was a crime and a guilty party. It would be one thing if there was a dead body and they were confidently seeking a suspect or holding one and talking up their guilt however, there is no crime. What Texas saw when they entered the YFZ Ranch is not Prima Facie evidence of a crime. I'm reminded of the Monty Python "Bring out your dead" bit in "Holy Grail" where the dead body protests the exaggerated reports of its demise. Most out there in the world around us still think the Texas CPS saw a crime, they did not. It remains significant that existing law enforcement agencies could not find a crime to prosecute and it's now about a month and a half later. Instead Texas punted to a special prosecutor. Shurtleff continues;

"Instead of cooperation they've engaged in manipulation, distortion and lies. It's unfortunate so few are giving a bad name to so many."

Again, guilt before a crime has been found. Typically when you're in an argument with an unscrupulous opponent, they quickly try to divert attention from their own misdeeds, by accusing you, of what they just did. The above statement is a perfect description, of Texas. All this bravado is discounted by his next remark;

"We assure you we do not plan a raid (here) to end polygamy. We are not going to do that. I don't care how many talking heads on TV tell us to 'cowboy up' and be like Texas, we don't believe that's the answer."

Interpretation? "Between you and me, Texas flew off the handle and we're not going to do that here in Utah." This next bit is good;

"And yet, many members in the audience, which included hundreds of people from various polygamous groups, said they were not convinced their lifestyle is safe from prosecution."

Ya think? I'd be a little nervous too when politicians do what they do best, which is talk out of both sides of their mouth and wait to see how the chips fall. When they fall, they won't remember saying the things that reassured you. Shurtleff continues;

"'We didn't make the law,' he said. 'I can't enforce that law (against polygamy) except as an additional crime with something else like child abuse. You're not protected in that. You stand up and say you're proud to be a polygamist and people look down on you. Well, you made your choice. I'm telling you it is a crime. I don't know how to answer you when you ask, what will we do when we get more resources?'"

No, you can't, because it is an impossible law that would fall apart if tested in court. When the Supreme Court of this country has struck down "cohabitation" laws, how do you define Polygamy for the purposes of prosecution? You can't. He in fact, admits this in another article written about the same meeting;

The Salt Lake Tribune - "My belief is that the somewhat ill-conceived bigamy statute needs to be revised," he said. "It is outmoded [and] I doubt it would stand constitutional scrutiny at this time."

So when Mark declares it is a crime, and says he won't prosecute, he's saying it's not a crime. When he gets more resources what he will do as they did in Texas is single out Polygynists and persecute them. Tax evasion, welfare fraud, child abuse. Remember that if you live together in a group, your CPS knows if it rounds up and keeps a large enough number of people, they will find something. Texas tells us that they will move quickly to secure custody and delay procedurally forever until they can rake through every shred of evidence collected when they DIDN'T know of a crime, until they do find a crime.

The Arizona Attorney General said;

"(T)he 1953 Arizona raid on Short Creek, the historical name for Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., was a 'severe mistake.'"

Decoded? "We're waiting to see how Texas turns out, and when we come for you we won't make the mistakes they did."

"(Don) Timpson, along with several members of the audience, called for Utah and Arizona to decriminalize polygamy and to 'come out and get to know us.'"

That's what we need to get done. Legalize it. That means though, that Polygynists will have to toe legal lines to practice what they preach. I'm all for it. Just as long as we can do the same things monogamists do, polygynously.

Mark Shurtleff says, wait until after the election;

The Salt Lake Tribune - "As in previous years, some audience members asked the attorneys general for help in pushing for decriminalization of polygamy, which they said would do more to open the closed communities than any prosecutorial action.
Shurtleff's advice: 'Wait until after the election' to bring up any such proposals."

Translation, I'd rather not deal with this in the upcoming election cycle. Wait 'till next year. The last thing I need is another special interest group complicating the agenda.

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