Sunday, July 26, 2009

Confused Time Magazine STILL getting the facts wrong.

Yesterday, John T. Floyd did a swing through the history of the YFZ case that was a primer for the novice, and one that drew believable conclusions.
Today, Time staggers drunkenly through the same facts, or stumbles blindly around them.
"Defense attorneys are trying to keep this evidence from being used in the trials because of the bizarre back story now surrounding the search warrant. The warrant was based on tips from a Colorado woman who was posing as a former member of the compound and who is now facing criminal charges for filing a false report.

But Charles Bubany, a professor who teaches criminal procedure at Texas Tech University School of Law, says the admissibility of the evidence likely will boil down to whether the judge had a reasonable belief that there was criminal activity taking place at the ranch regardless of the after-the-fact discovery of the false report. The same judge who signed the search warrant and greenlighted the raid, Texas District Judge Barbara Walther, is presiding over the criminal cases."
I would invite you to compare the two articles, John T. Floyd's is referred to below, and make your own judgment.

The writer, Hillary Hylton makes fundamental errors. One of which is to imply that Rozita Swinton is under criminal charges for filing a false report. Exactly where? Last time I checked it was only in Colorado, where they await the outcome of the Texas cases to see if they have to bust her down for a violation of the terms of her previous plea bargain, in Colorado, for additional crimes in Colorado

Also, the writer makes no examination of the facts surrounding the attempt to suppress the evidence, and claims Walther is deciding on whether or not she, Judge Walther, had reason to suspect criminal activity was occurring at YFZ. The problem is that up until Rozita's bogus "Cry for Help," the FLDS had given no indication they were involved in criminal activity. Something Sheriff Doran pointed out in testimony in May.

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CTyankee said...

...the admissibility of the evidence likely will boil down to whether the judge had a reasonable belief that there was criminal activity taking place at the ranch regardless of the after-the-fact discovery of the false report.

With all respect to Professor Bubany (and it is possible the reporter may have taken down his words inaccurately), this is simply not the test for the validity of a warrant. The judge's determination is basically a finding on the facts and is therefore not susceptible of review except in extraordinary circumstances. It would be rather pointless anyways to ask a judge to review her own finding of reasonableness.

The warrant stands or falls on its own terms: probable cause and particularity of the terms of search. And whether the officer seeking the warrant lied to or misled the judge. And finally whether the officers complied with the terms of the warrant in their search.

Why said...

I am surprised a reporter for Time magazine would misstate the law.

You would think Time would get it right.

Jam Inn said...

Hugh, Both "Texas Monthly" and CNN News have two extensive expose`s planned for the impending "Dirty Dozen" YFZ Ranch trials. Reporters have been conducting extensive interviews with local area public officials, attorney(s), law enforcement and even a few blogger's sites. These reports will be way beyond anything the "TIMES" coverage references but is probably reflective of that magazines awareness of the coming Press coverage. Haven't you gotten an call/interview?

The Pharisee said...


Nope. The media paradigm is still "Guilty, Guilty, Guilty." I don't fit that mold.

As you well know I'm from the "Raid was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG" school of thought, which precludes the use of evidence that would make the men guilty in a court of law.

It may surprise you to learn that I think they are in fact, guilty as charged. Being guilty in fact, and being guilty before the law are two different things. As citizens our innocence is best protected by legal procedure, not an unfettered police looking for the really and truly guilty.

Jam Inn said...

I understand your legal position Hugh but what would you suggest that the nine (9) teen girls do to remedy their statutory rapes, send them to the Virgin Islands for a week-end?
Assuming any "Dirty Dozen" convictions how does the FLDS Church congregation view the convicted, besides any bigamy findings, where does the church go on the age of Minors to wed, i.e. menses or legal age of 16years old. How does the Prophet say menses since he began his leadership and then say as legally dictated by the law? If he recognizes the Law then how do you remedy the practice of polygamy. Similar situation currently in Judge Lindberg's Court, follow the trust laws of the Prophet's trust me revelations? Willie's already back away from his Child Bride pledge and now is of Public record that he doesn't speak with any church authority, he now says it's up to individual family(s) consciences which again avoids adherence to the Law.

The Pharisee said...

Since Texas no longer has any guardian ad litems or attorney ad litems involved with the 9 teenage girls, then they are doing what they want to do about it Jam.


I understand perfectly and agree with the Rule of Law but it cuts both ways. These girls WANTED to have sex with their "Over Age" "husbands." The fact that Texas says LEGALLY they can't "want" that is relevant, but only if you do not change horses in the middle of the stream.

For me to be asked to care that Texas Law as broken in the case of those technical victims, I must in turn see that the technical approach to the discovery of those genuine crimes was legitimate.

It just wasn't.

Hence my concern is all of us. What saves the FLDS men in this case, is what keeps us all relatively safe from the biggest monster that could invade our homes and beds. An unfettered Government.

Frankly, if they would just register to vote and practice Jury Nullification the FLDS could make the point too, that the law in this case is a pure form of tyranny. The local community narrowly defined as the FLDS themselves like it just fine the way they are living with a few exceptions.

Local rule is best. Without a real outcry we don't have any business barging in to find out what's going on there.

Jam Inn said...

Hugh this invasion of Schleicher County and the community of Eldorado, some how got dropped from your technical equation, just who's rights are you preoccupied with, first and foremost? Look at the YFZ Ranch enclave with it's twin fenced, guard tower and Temple building? To Mormon's more than other Christian communities this is a signal of "Zion" is coming to this World, the End-Time is near and everyone of the FLDS congregation has to get aboard the Land of Refuge before it's too late. This to me, being of a non Mormon faith, is remindful of Reverend Jimmy Jones and the Peoples Temple in Guyana and you recall that a U.S. Congrssman and over 900+ believers died from that scenario. This escalating move into Texas and Prophet Warren's dictations are quiet alarming when you read his revelations and realize his congregations actions.

Hugh, Warren S. Jeffs drove around the United States when he was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and ritualistically was offering up the country to the Almighty's destruction? You don't have any concerns other that the Laws are oberved yet a fugitive from Justice is leading his congregation into a head on collision with our country? Have you read his rantings or are you above informing yourself of an supposedly ill gotten domestic threat evidence? Mormondom has a history of violence of arms from the Battle of Crooked River, MO to the Mountain Meadow Massacre, UT.

The Pharisee said...

Whose rights? Yours and mine primarily. We do not live in a society capable of what was posed by "The Minority Report."

I too would like to detect and prevent crime before it happens, but we're really not capable of that. Police in a free country are mostly tied to finding crime after it happens and cleaning up after it. Justice is occupied with punishment and secondarily (but importantly) the accompanying prevention that just punishment promotes.

For us to be as free as we can be, not some idealistic unattainable freedom, but as free as we can be, police must be restrained. That produces occasions where cults seduce people into self destructive acts. It is indeed sad. What is sadder and more outrageous are the atrocities of dictators and despots. An avenue to despotism is as I maintain unfettered force in maintaining order.

The best of all possible worlds is a restrained police and an orderly, consistent justice system. In that world there will be rape of all kinds, murders and encouraged suicides of all kinds, but less than in other worlds we might inhabit if we err on the side of prevention too strongly.

Warren Jeffs is either loony toons or a prophet or a charlatan. In the first and last case you need not worry about his curses. If he is prophet indeed, you had better heed him. I personally think he is loony or a con artist myself, but it is his privilege to be one as long as he doesn't get caught fair and square. This is America, and that's how we roll.

Jam Inn said...

NO, Hugh sorry but I don't buy that an allowance has to be given to a self destructive sect, like it's some force of nature. Congressman Leo Ryan is the only serving American Legislator to be assassinated while conducting his office on the tarmack in Jonestown, Guyana, along with some Press and People's Temple members. Texas has it's own history with the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas and this time we have gotten out in front of it and arrested the ringleader. This time we don't sacrifice more innocent followers to the rantings of a 'End Time' preacher bent on his own personal infamy. Google : Jonestown, Congressman Leo Ryan and The People's Temple. The trend-line with the FLDS Church faction is that it is still escalating upward and I am opposed to a '"Do Nothing" approach. Do you know that
the Temple was built to withstand Hurricane forces and is a veritable fortress if needed? The weapons found on the YFZ Ranch were stored within the Temple.

Individual Freedoms and Constitutional Rights can be maintained and a rogue religious leader can be brought to Justice.
Jimmy Jones got an engraved invitation to slaughter his congregation and Vernon Howell(David Koresh) and Bernie Lazar Hoffman(Tony Alamo) turned out completely differently because these religious fanatics can be dealt with successfully if placed in check before things escalate too far. Hugh our Pledge of Allegiance says, "...with Liberty and Justice for all" and not a discerning few. The National Anthem, likewise, ends with,"...the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". We Americans must be prepared to take full measure, expend our treasure to preserve our Civil Liberties, including FLDS Church congregation members, everyone!

duaneh1 said...

Jam Inn, It seems that Jim Jones was provoked into mass suicide becasue of the visit by the congressman and his entourage, granted he was already edgy and paranoid, the visit and his perception that Jonestown would never be left alone is what probably motivated him to committ mass suicide.

The branch davidians were not a suicide cult, in retrospect you could argue that fighting back against the feds mano el mano was suicide but that wasn't their original intent, the final assault by the Feds and subsequent fire by flash bang grenades led directly to their deaths. Heaven's gate was definately a suicide cult. Alamo's group is looney but not a suicide cult, he also has had a history of run-ins with the law.

The FLDS is fundy Mormon with roots back to Joseph Smith, no history of Mormons committing mass suicide. The firearms that FLDS members owned were few in number especially in such a large community. My Dad is a gun collector and has quite a collection of rifles, pistols, and a few shotguns, probably more than what FLDS members possessed. Nothing was "escalating" at YFZ, they were peaceful and weren't disturbing or bothering anyone including the Eldorado locals.

All their kids are back and locals have noted that YFZ members are not seen in the town, so they are doing everthing they can to avoid the Eldorado natives in the forseeable future.

Why said...

CNN interviewing bloggers - please, please tell me this isn't true?

What happened to reporters finding facts instead of reporting rumors.

I guess shouting sex cult gets the ratings up.

Though I think the true story - which is a massive Gov't cover-up is a pretty interesting story too.

Maybe someday a book will be written on how this happened and why.

Why said...

I can be 99% sure the FLDS teachings will not lead any mass violence like Jones Town. They already have been tested:

1. They had their prophet jailed.
2. They had their children taken.
3. They had their land taken.

No violence happened in these extreme situations - I don't know what else they could do to the FLDS members.