Monday, January 12, 2009

Brent Hunsaker, ABC 4, Nails it.

It's a test case.

KTVX - "After years of investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Crown's prosecuting attorneys in British Columbia charged the leaders of two polygamist groups (one is F.L.D.S., the other a splinter group) with one count each of polygamy.

Just one count each. A test case.

Backed by a strong anti-polygamy law, section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code, B.C. District Attorney Wally Oppal argues he doesn't have to look for crime within polygamy, polygamy itself is the crime. His case may well hinge on proving that polygamy by definition is abuse. Whether the man is kind or mean, principled or ruthless, polygamy is inherently abusive of women and children.

That is very different from the approach of Shurtleff and Goddard. The question is, which is the better?

If Oppal succeeds, it could open the door to hundreds of prosecutions in Canada. Even the mere threat of such prosecutions could lead to a mass exodus of polygamists from Bountiful -- that's what they call their community in the Creston Valley of British Columbia.

And where do you think all those Canadian polygamists would end up? Yep. Here. In polygamist enclaves in South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and Utah.

We should pay close attention to what happens in a Canadian courtroom. It may well have irrevocable consequences for those of us in the States."

And yes, he also notes correctly it will have effects here. Either by sending Canadian polygamists our way, or by emboldening our Law Enforcement, or by pressuring us to legalize it because of our close ties. Canada in a way should be applauded. Now we'll know.

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