Sunday, May 04, 2008

Texas has to prove that a FLDS man has TWO underage wives, not one.

Yes, I've been saying that, one of the columns reprinted over at Ave Maria Gratia Plena is what I've been harping on for a while. Either the columnist is reading my work (smug self congratulations) or it is actually more likely that it's simply so obvious other people notice without my help. My daughter has occasionally kicked me under the table for similar self important sins of ego in Sunday School.

I like these quotes from the second article the "Coffee Catholic" refers to today:

"I need to remind you that the State of Texas still recognizes common-law marriages where no official ceremonies are required?" (Tom Avant writing for the Abilene Reporter News)

We HAVE A WINNER. I haven't opened my fat gob on this subject because I didn't know for sure. I did strongly suspect it judging from the fact that no arrest warrants have been issued. If it were true that the state needed to see its official sanction for compliance with its laws then there would already be a warrant. They're not being nice, they can't issue a warrant. So let's see what that means they're looking for.

A lack of permission on the parents part. Namely that the parents were extorted into giving a child in marriage (a child always means daughters in reality).

A lack of willingness on the part of the child. This is the crucial element in the conviction of Warren Jeffs. Elissa Wall was said not to be receptive to the advances of her "common law" husband Allen Steed. I will take this time to point out once again that Allen Steed hasn't been convicted of anything. He has to rape Elissa for Warren to be guilty of something. Why has Allen not been convicted of anything? Hmmmm? What if he NEVER is?

And here is what they ACTUALLY have to prove, which is why all the DNA, if no one comes forward to cast a pall of doubt on the willingness of the wife in question or of parental permission. They have to prove within the framework of their statute of limitations and jurisdiction that an older (more than three years older than his bride) FLDS man had two wives in some verifiable legal construction and that at the same time, one of them below the age of consent. They cannot possibly be operating on the idea that they saw that crime. They in fact only assert they saw pregnant girls.

"Did you know that records show that, at the time of Jesus' birth, women could marry as young as 9 and men as young as 14 or 15? Did you know that many historians believe that Mary could have been between 13 and 15 when Jesus was born?"

Yes, an iron clad proof can be made from the 66 books of "protestant" canon that King Josiah was 13 to 15 years old and married to TWO wives.

Sphere: Related Content


John said...

You mention DNA tests as being crucial if an "offense" cannot be proved by witness testimony.

You probably missed the NY Times article on DNA testing of FLDS. It quoted an expert, Dr Einum as follows:

(begin quote, NY Times, 4/22/08, DNA Is Taken From Sect’s Children

One DNA testing expert said the state’s goal of establishing lines of parentage, a key point in determining whether, as the state has argued, the sect has girls 15 or younger marry, is likely to be complicated by interrelated blood lines. Such lines are often found in an isolated group in which many of the people are related through a common forebear.

“It’s going to take longer than a typical paternity test,” said Dr. David Einum, the laboratory director at Identigene, a Salt Lake City company that does family testing.

“The sheer number of samples and relationships here along with this potential for interrelatedness will entail more testing and more advanced analysis,” said Dr. Einum, who said his laboratory was doing no work on the case.

Because of the group’s isolation, Dr. Einum said he thought it was likely that the parents of any given child were related by a common ancestor, and that any man examined as a possible father could share genetic traits with many other men in the group. The sect split off from the mainstream Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, decades ago after the Mormons disavowed polygamy in the late 19th century.

But even when family lines were established, he said, genetic testing would not illuminate anything about a central question in the state’s investigation: the age of mothers when they gave birth. That will depend on verification and records from the community.

(end quote)

I don't know enough to say that the DNA testing will be fruitless for prosecution, though that is what I suspect.

At the least I suspect that far more rigorous DNA testing than is being conducted now (and more expensive too) will be needed to prove lineage or underage marriage.

Hugh McBryde said...

Thanks John, I had thought that was the case, but did not know for certain. I'm glad you did the research on it. That's what friends are for.