Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On FLDS Appeals

When do you suppose that in this day of speech recognition software, HD Video, and general automation of everything in the office, that the transcript of Raymond Jessop's trial (and subsequent conviction) was finally given to the defense, so that they could appeal.
If you said "hasn't happened yet, you'd have been right, up until this month. It's finally in the hands of the defense, as of this month. Remember when he was convicted? November, of last year. Barbara, you wouldn't be dragging your feet for any reason, would you?
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

"You're Lying"

Not a diplomatic thing to say, right? I'd said a few other things prior to that, a bit more diplomatic, like "you're equivocating." Now if it was someone I didn't care about, and wanted to go away, what's to lose? But it's not, it's one of the closest friends I have, that I'm talking to.

The conversation with my old friend is over scripture. As usual, when it comes to controversial doctrines any of us don't wish to accept as true, the first human reaction (and it's mine too) is to run for a dishonest dodge and to hope our partner in argument/conversation doesn't notice, or isn't willing to push it.

It goes like this:

"My favorite subject," says I.

"I don't agree," says the friend.

"The Bible Says!" (says I) "And what the Bible says, is that women are 'saved in childbearing.' "

The retort at this point has always been, whenever the subject comes up, that the Bible was written by men, and on other occasions "men are fallible" is thrown in. To date my friend has always hidden behind those words while resorting to assurances that "scripture is the inspired Word of God" and I have always, let it drop.

Today I venture farther and say "that makes no sense at all, if God is in the mix, you would agree that God can draw a straight line with a bent stick, right?" Not new stuff, not even my words, but it's pretty much the refutation in a nutshell.

God is not a controlled variable in the experiment. In saying that on riding over a rough road, you'll feel the bumps, you can claim if Superman carries your car over the road, it will be smooth sailing. The only question is, will Superman carry you?

Since we do not know the mind of God, we do not know if he's going to smooth the road or not. We just know that he can, in being all powerful, and as believers, conservative believers, we assert that he has in fact, carried the car, smoothed the road or drawn a straight line with a bent stick.

This is not without it's challenges. For instance, one could find within the alleged Word of God such gross and inescapable contradiction, that it would be fairly safe to discard the "Word of God" as a fraud. But barring the discovery of gross contradiction, and instead only explainable apparent contradictions, you're left with a 50/50 proposition. If there is a God (which both of you agree there is), then did he or didn't he?

So we are stuck with the point that it doesn't matter how fallible men are, or even that it was men writing the Bible and that they could color it to favor men. God has all power, and he can pretty much get any result he wants. God is, stuffing the ballot box. The fix is in. God is in control, it only matters what God did.

This is the point at which all opponents who do not become allies in the discussion of men and women's roles on Earth and with one another, start to cheat. In this case, my friend became angry. Not just a little angry, a lot angry, and still, I forged ahead.

"You're LYING," I said. After a predictable loud dust up, I threw in "equivocation" and "lying" again several times for good measure, and resolutely held on to my position. "You're trying to color (spin) the argument," says I. "It does't matter one whit at all that men sin, or are sinners or make mistakes or couldn't put together a true statement if their lives depended on it. It doesn't matter that they're sexist, it's THE BIBLE. WE say WE believe it and it SAYS and that's it."

This took a while because there was loud shouting and an accusation that I was trying to be Bill Clinton, declaring what "is, is" and a variety of other desperate attempts to keep the discussion from going forward. It isn't even a discussion any more, my friend is running and I'm chasing after them. Pounding it in. Right or wrong I have reached an "enough is enough" point in our long discussion of this topic, and I'm not going to have another word said on the subject, without nailing down where the real point of tension is, even if I have to create it out of thin air.

Suddenly, there it is, just as it is in every discussion before with the most resolutely "Bible Believing" Christians. Figuratively, my friend picks up the Bible, and gives it the heave; "It's INSPIRED," they say, "NOT INFALLIBLE."

It has long been my contention in the discussion of Plural Marriage that couples theory, monogamous marriage, and egalitarianism is so ingrained, so pervasive in Christianity today, even in it's most conservative branches, that when it comes to what to let go, opponents of Plural Marriage will let go of anything, absolutely anything they have to, to hold on to that egalitarian ideal.

Where I forced the choice amidst the dust throwing and screaming of my friend, was "Scripture or YOUR vision of Marriage" and the answer came. "My vision of marriage."

"Fine," I said, "we now know what we're talking about. You don't believe the Bible. That's all I needed to know. Our problem has never been about Marriage, it has been about the Word of God, " and in essence I promised to keep the conversation there, and not on marriage. Perhaps not even there. We've barely exchanged any words since then.

I've presented the above as a narrative, with what appear to be direct quotes. The names have been changed (except for me) to protect the guilty. The quotes are largely paraphrased. I note my friend may have a different version of the story to tell.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Last of the Mohicans?

Some days are like being Elijah, in the cave.
From Free the FLDS Children:
"As some of you have already noticed, I have ceased to moderate the FLDS.WS website blog. That decision was not made lightly, and it is with deep sadness that I found this necessary, chiefly because during the past two years I have come to know and greatly respect all of you.

This is especially true of the children and parents of the FLDS. You are, without a doubt in my mind, some of the strongest group of people’s I have ever met and I proudly count you among my friends.

With or without my voice on the website, I will continue to support and defend your right to practice your religion as a fundamentalist Mormon.

I will also continue to support and assist those who need my help, notwithstanding my decision to withdraw from the site on a regular basis.

Take care of the 'Little Angels' and give them a hug from me,

'Grandpa Bill' "
It would seem Bill Medvecky has at least gone into "Semi Retirement."

Not me, not now, I'm still here. I imagine that we will hear from Bill once in a while.

Of necessity covering the FLDS moves more and more to the back burner. This blog did not come into being to champion the FLDS, and it will stay, or some form of expression will stay here (God Willing) for that reason and others. There are several rather momentous brewing developments that I will let you know about, as they materialize, providing they do.

I want to cover politics a bit more, especially in view of the upcoming election, and I've hinted at that several times.

I'm done moving. (I won't say WHERE to, only that I had to go back to Montana to GET my RV).

I've got a Job. (I'm not going to say where either).

Moving the FLDS to the back burner is not an abandonment of the FLDS. There are less and less FLDS men to try for one thing, and at some point Texas will run out of them. More and more the FLDS fight will center on appeal, the extradition (possible) of Warren Jeffs from Utah to Texas and Warren's seeming certain and eventual victory over his conviction in Utah.

I will cover these things avidly and keep you as up to date as I can.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me?

Things are really bad, when you think 17 years in jail, is good.
From the San Angelo Standard-Times:
"(Eric) Nichols said Schleicher County has done its duty in presiding over three trials.

'The trials have been a tremendous burden on this county,' Nichols said.

FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said Nichols was sore because he didn’t get 'as stiff a sentence' as he wanted, compared with the 75-year and $10,000 fine sentence an FLDS member received for the same charge out of Tom Green County.

'I think it was easily exploited in Tom Green County,' Jessop said, claiming that the FLDS presence was sensationalized.

Floyd West, a rancher in Schleicher County who has attended every day of court, said he is a neighbor to the YFZ Ranch and is disappointed with the sentence.

'I felt it was a slap on the wrist,' West said. 'I felt like he should have gotten a lot more.' "
Oh, you mean like the deferred probation your state gives out to teachers that jump little boys Floyd?
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Verdict Soon on Abram Harker Jeffs? Yes, after a short Deliberation.

Typically, it didn't take long, and he's been convicted of Bigamy I hear.

The Defense was spirited by comparison to previous trials, but not enough. I believe the FLDS needs to be pushing the concept publicly of Jury Nullification, but they're not. In addition, the short defense presentations amount to an admission of guilt in terms of perception. Here's last night's San Angelo Standard-Times article:
" 'You’ve heard all the evidence you’re going to hear' for the guilt or innocence phase of the trial, 51st District Judge Barbara Walther told jurors before dismissing them for Monday evening.

Jurors looked at documents sacred to the FLDS throughout Monday afternoon as the prosecution tried to place Jeffs and the alleged victim at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Schleicher County at the time of the alleged offense.

The alleged assault of the 15-year-old girl when he was 34 allegedly occurred around May 12, 2006.

'I think this is the first time the jury has laid eyes on a priesthood record,' lead Prosecutor Eric Nichols told Texas Ranger Danny Crawford while Crawford was on the stand testifying to what each document was and what it said as the redacted documents were projected onto a screen for the jury."
Actually, copies of the Priesthood Records got out, and Eric knows that. Perhaps presenting them here is now a way to say that people have them now, because he used them in Trial. Right Eric.

To his credit, Brandon Hudson took a few jabs at the evidence in trial, and the fact that some witnesses are being paid. We can be sure we don't know the full extent of the payment issues between Texas and it's various "experts."

Sentencing is next. I imagine that will not take long either. The Bigamy conviction provides a platform for appeal of the length Abram's sentence, if it long, like the others. There will be appeals on the bigamy convictions on their constitutionality. Perhaps after sentences are adjusted, the convictions will be overturned just in time for a "timely" parole based on the average sentence of other "First Time" offenders.

My current thought is that after the heat dies down and FLDS men have spent some time in jail, there will eventually be a reversal of the evidence inclusion. My hope is that it's sooner than that.

Willie Jessop weights in today's edition of the Times:
"FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said afterward he believed the state at last publicly has made the case a religious matter.

'For the first time, they’ve admitted it’s about religion,' Jessop said.

Jessop also stressed deprivation of rights, in the raid and in the trial, as an issue of prime concern.

'Disregard your first, fourth, fifth and sixth amendment rights, and anyone is in danger,' Jessop said. 'We need to have judicial notice of what’s happening.' "
This case, if not reversed, as I have stated for over two years, is a danger to us all. The only victims at YFZ in the eyes of the law are technically victims, there was and still is no "outcry," there are no defections from "Stockholm Syndrome" sufferers suddenly "waking up." The supposed "Victims" are now all adults. Those underage "supposed" victims whose "assailants" have not yet been convicted will be adults soon. I think there's only one anyway, and it may be proved she was not a victim.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Whoops, I did it again (That Polygamy Show)

My first appearance was apparently a "ratings success," so we did it again.

This time was a bit more challenging as the "Skype" link kept dropping out. None of us are really sure why. The first guest I believe is "Rebecca," a "polygamy educator." Then we have a long discussion (the hosts and I).

LORD willing, I will be on again soon and moving to different subjects.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Towering Man, Early End, Manute Bol Dies

Manute Bol
Seven foot Seven inches tall. Manute played for ten years in the NBA.

The proximate cause of his death was Kidney Failure, brought on by Stevens–Johnson syndrome an auto immune disorder that can have behavioral causes or other more innocent origins. For instance, it can be brought on by ibuprofen usage.  In Manute's case it seemed to be kidney disease, which he treated with drugs, which then apparently brought about the SJS and then finally caused renal failure.
CNN - "Bol, who was listed at 7-feet-7 inches tall and 225 pounds, played for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat in his 10-year career.

The native of war-torn Sudan was known during and after his career for his charity work for his home country.

'He was a wonderful person. He would always talk about the civil war going on in Sudan, because he was sending all of his money back to Sudan,' Charles Barkley, Bol's teammate on the 76ers and an NBA analyst for TNT, told CNN's Don Lemon. 'I can honestly say I never played with a better person,' Barkley said.

'He never forgot about the Sudan. He would talk to us about it all the time. ... The world is not a better place today; It's worse because we don't have Manute Bol,' he added.

In 2004 after he was nearly killed in an auto accident, Bol told Sports Illustrated, 'God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart, so I would look back.'
Bol donated his NBA earnings to charity, according to the article."
In his early days, Manute looked like a human spider, or an invader from another world, as tall and thin as he was.  The "other world" was the Sudan, he was a "Dinka" tribesman.
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Missing Missoula Man Chris Spurgin, found dead (UPDATED)

Following up on a story I posted earlier in the week.
The Missoulian - "Missoula County Sheriff Mike McMeekin said the man, identified as Chris Spurgin of Missoula, was located by ground search crews near the top of Lolo Peak at 9:20 a.m.

'They located his skis first, and then found his body nearby,' said McMeekin, who said the cause of Spurgin's death was as yet unclear.

Search and rescue crews from Missoula County, together with a helicopter search crew from Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, spent all day Thursday searching for the man, who was first reported missing on Wednesday night after he failed to show up at work (in the Radiology Department of St. Patrick's Hospital). Search and rescue crews from Ravalli County joined the effort on Friday."
Chris was 38 and single. To my knowledge, never married and had no children. His skis were found at the top of a ledge. He apparently took them off to look over the edge, and fell.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP Spills Again.

You saw it here first (I hope): More →

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Man Missing since Tuesday

Near Missoula.
KECI - "Missoula Search and Rescue teams are looking for a man reported missing after a hiking trip in the Mormon Creek area south of Missoula. A caller reported the man missing around 1 am Thursday morning. Search teams went out at day break. We’ll keep following the story and let you know what happens."
His truck is still parked where he left it and his cat hasn't been fed at home.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Extradtion of Warren Jeffs from Utah to Texas, by no means automatic

Will Elissa Wall repeat herself and drop charges in Utah (after a new trial)?

Brooke Adams points out this little gem:
77-30-19. Procedure if prosecution pending in this state.

"If a criminal prosecution has been instituted against such person under the laws of this state and is still pending the governor, in his discretion, may either surrender him on demand of the executive authority of another state or hold him until he has been tried and discharged or convicted and punished in this state."
If Warren compels a new trial in Utah (and I think he will), Elissa is faced with pulling out the same old saw she used in Arizona.

"I am dropping the charges so that more serious ones in Texas can be prosecuted."

Ultimately I think Warren's extradition will depend on how fast he gets his new trial, how quickly Elissa demurs and then whether or not the appeal of the raid evidence is heard in Texas.
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Jeffs leaves Arizona Jail, back in Utah

He's in Draper.
The Salt Lake Tribune - "The Mohave County Sheriff's Office in Arizona flew Jeffs, the former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to Utah and handed him over to authorities at about 10:45 a.m. (MDT), according to a Sheriff's spokeswoman."
Next, the extradition fight. Judge Conn said he had to go back to Utah. He just never stops being right.
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An Inconvenient Affair

Yup, Al Gore's "cooling" with Tipper was due to "warming" elsewhere. More →

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Monday, June 14, 2010

See? I ruled AGAINST the prosecution (let's go home) UPDATED

Walther gets in her ruling for the defense.
More or less by ruling against the prosecution's request to move the trial. At least for today. We don't have a jury yet and we won't have one today it seems. (The updated story says yes we do.)
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "The motion to move the court came while Nichols argued that after calling 325 people as jurors, only 31 people were found eligible, and at that rate of individual questioning they were approving one out of every 10, meaning they would not find the necessary 36 people after interviewing the remaining 37 that had been seated from a second pool of 100 people called in addition to those of the original 325 who had excuses.

The defense argued for remaining in Eldorado.

'There is no reason to simply cut loose the people we have today,' defense attorney Brandon Hudson said.

Walther denied the state’s motion, so the individual questioning continued."
Walther knocked off early Friday, and will seem to quit on time today.

I wonder.

When we're not pressuring the defense and wearing out the Jury, Walther seems to be able to get home for dinner. When the trial starts though, it has been her pattern to stay late. Could this be a tactic?
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Buster Johnson and a Round Up of comments on the Jeffs Dismissal

Three smaller Arizona newspapers and the San Francisco Examiner covered the dropping of charges against Warren Jeffs. Their slightly different perspectives from what you heard in the rest of the media, are interesting.

First, the Kingman Daily Miner. It's a relatively dry piece. Of note is the fact that Erin Taylor tried to contact Matt Smith, but he was unavailable for comment. I know of no one in the press who has claimed to have spoken with Matt since the dismissal. David Bell (below) also tried to contact Matt by phone and e-mail.

The "San Francisco Examiner" writes a piece from AP wire sources, but oddly gets a detail that other MSM outlets didn't emphasize:
"Judge Steven Conn granted Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith's motion to dismiss the four charges of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor. The charges stemmed from two arranged marriages between teenage girls and their older male relatives. They were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled on the same set of facts."
Jim Seckler of the Mohave Daily News also doesn't appear to have been caught by the Spin Machine prior to writing his short article. Nothing new here except one thing. Jim makes mention of the State of Texas and their extradition effort but accurately reports on the evening of the event, that Warren will be returned to Utah. Other media outlets leave the impression that Warren may go to Texas from Arizona, Jim does not.

Failing to contact Matt Smith, David Bell of the Lake Havasu News-Herald gives him a tap on the shoulder by letting him know that he, David Bell, will get his comment somehow, and he does so, by getting Buster Johnson on the phone:
"Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, R-Dist. 3, who has campaigned for more than a decade for reform in the polygamous FLDS communities of Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah, said the dropping of charges in Arizona is likely to put the county in a bad light.

'I’m embarrassed for the county. It looks like once again we dropped the ball,' Johnson said. 'While I don’t have the information Matt has, to compare to the reasons why he decided to drop the charges, the taxpayers did pay for the incarceration when it was a Utah’s responsibility.' "
I get the vague impression that Buster didn't know this was coming. That would be the "I don't have the information Matt has" remark. Normally (but not always) this is political code speak for "we didn't discuss this....Matt."  You comment in public in such a way as to let your coworker know that you'd like to know before you got blindsided, so that you can toe the company line. Brooke Adams reported on this first remark by Mr. Johnson, but not on the next one.

Buster takes a jab at the complainants:
"I believed, and the County Attorney believed at time, that we had grounds to file charges. I’m curious why the victims are saying they won’t testify here but victims will in Texas."
First, the "code speak" interpretation. "Easy Matt, I've got your back buddy," since he is now directing fire away from Matt Smith, and instead towards Elissa Wall and company. Here's the rest of the interpretation: "The witnesses are the problem and it appears we were too tough on them, why is Texas not going to be tough on the witnesses?" That's a rock in a sock swung at Texas people, and it's calling Elissa Wall and the other witnesses, liars.

Chris Lujan, a candidate for Arizona AG, spoke with Daily Miner reporter Suzanne Adams:
" 'It's not surprising that the charges (against Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs) were dismissed. When they lost the witnesses, they lost the case,' he said. It's hard to get witnesses to testify about the abuse they may have seen or experienced, Lujan said."
Except as Buster noted, they will testify in Texas. (Too hot in Arizona?) Texas has had no trouble trying cases without any real witnesses.

I'd like to also point out that the "with prejudice" explanation in the "Examiner" story is revealing. It means that the facts don't support a conviction, as they stand now. Those facts need witnesses to bolster them and make them believable. The witnesses do not wish to testify (now, at least) according to Matt Smith. Since the case cannot be retried on the same set of facts, dismissing the charges with prejudice means nothing other than the witness are in fact, unbelievable, since their return to the stand doesn't help the case.

If the facts don't change, Elissa's testimony can't carry the case because Elissa is a liar, it's as simple as that.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Just Happened with Warren Jeffs (and is Sun Tsu smiling?)

I promised "more" later. This will be a long post, as I will quote all the motions and filings made in the last week. They're short, but there are a few of them. The press is neglecting to mention their content and therefore their meaning.

First, Matt Smith's motion to dismiss, With Prejudice, which I shall "Fisk."
"The State of Arizona, by the Mohave county Attorney, hereby moves the Court for an order dismissing the Two Counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor in cause number CR-20078-0743 and the Two Counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor in cause number CR-2007-0953, all the charges being Class 6 Felonies, for the reason that the two victims in these cases no longer desire to proceed with prosecution in the State of Arizona for the following reasons:

(1) The Defendant has already served more jail time in Arizona than he would receive even if he was convicted of all the crimes charged;"
Correct me on this first point (someone) if I am wrong, but this goes back to February when Judge Steven Conn first uttered these words. (I'm not wrong about the preceding, but may be wrong about what comes next): As we will later learn from these filings, Warren Jeffs was only in the physical custody of the State of Arizona, he was actually being housed in Arizona, for convenience of prosecution.

This would mean that when Judge Conn stated that Warren had already served enough time (back in February), he was taking rather proactive stance, choosing to regard time served (in legal fact) in the Custody of Utah, as time served in Arizona. This put a lot of pressure on Arizona since before they would have been able to imprison Warren for whatever length of time he was sentenced, provide he was convicted in Arizona. Something that will now never happen.

If true, Judge Conn had clearly signaled Arizona that he thought their case was something he didn't want to step on in his new shoes in their "hate plig barnyard." Put another way, Judge Conn was disgusted with the prosecution and had already begun to take sides. This is a drift you can see if you start at the beginning of the public filings at Mohave County's site, and read through them.

This is rather significant stuff for another reason, as yesterday's highly slanted article in TIME magazine inadvertently lets us know:
"In June 2005, days after being indicted in Arizona on the charges of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor, Jeffs fled the Colorado City, Arizona, area, home to a large FLDS community. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. Fourteen months later, he was arrested outside Las Vegas, Nevada, and began his journey from court to court and jail to jail."
These are the "Crown Jewel" charges. The charges that led to Warren Steed Jeffs being placed on the FBI's ten most wanted list. There were no crimes, they have all been dismissed. These last two cases with prejudice, as requested by the prosecutor.
(2) "The State of Texas has much more serious charges against the Defendant that involve the Defendant being the direct perpetrator of the crime, and both Texas and the victims want the Defendant to face these more serious charges as soon as possible;"
This is the purest of spin. It's ugly too. I have stated (and will stick by it) that if we were the proverbial mouse in the corner, the conversation instead, went like this:

Matt (to the witnesses/complainants): "You're unbelievable."

Complainants: "Why thanks Matt."

Elissa: (Winks) "And I'm back on the market, I changed my Facebook Status to 'Single.' Want a signed copy of my book?"

Matt: "It's not a compliment, I'm dismissing the charges and won't file them again. I never want to SEE you again."

Complainants: "You can't drop they charges, we're dropping the charges, um, because, um, Texas wants Warren, and um, that's what we want, um, MORE, yeah, that's the ticket."

Matt: "I was hoping you'd say that, now get out."

(Ok, I filled in a few blanks, but you get my drift.)

Next point 3:
"The State of Texas has already started extradition proceedings against the Defendant;"
Um, Warren isn't in the custody of Arizona. Oh well, this is probably proof that Matt is a good lawyer, and knows who he is working for, he's going to try.
(4) "The Defendant, Warren Jeffs, had significant medical problems while incarcerated in the Mohave County Jail, and the State believes that he should be transferred to another facility as soon as possible;"
This smacks of sour grapes. But it's true Captain Obvious, if Arizona is not going to prosecute, it's time to stop spending money on everything but safe and secure transport, ASAP.
(5) "Some of the State's witnesses no longer desire to testify in the State of Arizona due to the above-mentioned circumstances;"
Um, could this be because they may be pleading the 5th in a related matter very soon?
(6) "It would be impractical and unnecessary to spend taxpayer money on this Defendant under all the above mentioned circumstances;"
Yes, we know, thanks again Captain Obvious.

Now, back to the real Meat of the Motion (Apologies to Henry Glover and Lois Mann):
"The State requests the dismissals in Cause No. CR-2007-0743 and CR-2007-0953 to both be With Prejudice."
Prejudice is "opinion." If Matt had dismissed "Without Prejudice," he would mean he wants to take this up again, but the time is not right. He however, moves to dismiss With Prejudice meaning he never wants to hear about this case again and furthermore, he's asking the Judge Conn to solemnify that opinion, so that no one else can either. Like Texas' evidence collection methods were earlier ruled "Guilty," and Matt concurred, Matt Smith is now saying that Warren is "Not Guilty." Without trial. The motion could delete all the numbered reason Fol-de-Rol in between and just be condensed to this last statement, and the case numbers being dismissed. If Matt wanted to sink Elissa's ship, he could just say she didn't want to testify anymore.
"Defense Attorney, Michael Piccarreta, has been contacted and does not oppose this Motion or Order."


This is significant, because a hearing involving "unbelievable" witnesses was to be held the next day, and Hoole and King (Elissa's representation) were bailing on him. Matt waited until the last minute, just as he did in February, and caved. Good for him. He does work for somebody. He owes them the effort, but he caves completely, just as he did before when the jig is up. Shades of Sun Tsu.  (The General says that best strategy ends up with your opponent, surrendering without a fight.)

There is of course the page attached to this motion, the actual order, which is the real deal, and Judge Conn signs it, but not before removing an offending piece of text:
Upon motion of the Mohave County Attorney, and good cause appearing; IT IS ORDERED dismissing the charges of Two Counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Cause No. CR-2007-0743 and Two Counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Cause No. CR-2007-0953 With Prejudice, and exonerating the bond, if any, and quashing the warrant, if any, in this matter. SFC (initialed strike out by Judge Steven F. Conn)

Though your Modern Pharisee is not a Judge or Lawyer, this was either superfluous language, or an attempt to remove Judge Conn from the case. Since the court is done with a defendant when the Bond is exonerated, Warren would have been literally afoot in Arizona, with Texas wanting him. Arizona could have then detained him for extradition. At least that's the way I read it. Judge Conn is no dummy and was having none of that. He makes this clear in a separate order:
"The State has filed a Motion to Dismiss in each of these cases asking that all charges be dismissed with prejudice. Counsel for the Defendant, unsurprisingly, has indicated that he has no opposition.

The Court signs the Order Dismissing Charges as to each cause number.

The Court enters this separate Order to address what may appear to be a separate issue regarding extradition to Texas. The Court does so because the State indicates in its Motion to Dismiss that the Sate of Texas has already started extradition proceedings against the Defendant and because counsel for the Defendant has submitted in each of these cases a pleading entitled Non-Waiver of Extradition to Texas. The Court believes that under A.R.S. 31-481, the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, extradition proceedings cannot be initiated against the Defendant while he is in the State of Arizona and that he could not waive extradition to the State of Texas even if he wanted to. Under the Agreement the temporary custody which Mohave County assumed over the Defendant was only for the purpose of permitting prosecution on the charges contained in the untried Indictments which formed the basis of the detainers. Once those untried charges have been resolved, he must be returned to the sending state, in this case the State of Utah, and he cannot be held to answer a Fugitive Complaint filed in the State of Arizona alleging that he is a fugitive from the State of Texas. Any such proceedings will have to be inititiated through the State of Utah.

IT IS ORDERED directing the Sheriff to transport the Defendant back to the appropriate correctional facility in the State of Utah pursuant the Interstate Agreement on Detainers."
Several times, I have read articles that said, while Warren was in Arizona, that he was in custody in Utah, serving a sentence there. Judge Conn seems to be concurring with the notion that Arizona's custody is only physical, and he says, that Warren is on Loan from Utah, and he has to go back, per the Law. Warren can't even opt to waive extradition to Texas. That's a Utah decision, as they have had him all along, legally. Again, I point to the curiosity that Judge Conn said Warren had already served enough time in Arizona.

According to the Judge, apparently, Warren was serving it in Utah. It is not unprecedented that inmates in one State, serve that time while physically in another State. I will omit Piccarreta's filing about extradition, it's redundant in view of the Judge's concurrence. It is linked in the above ruling by Judge Conn.

Next, Michael Piccarreta's last word:
"Defendant, Warren Jeffs, does not object to any dismissal provided it is with prejudice. Defendant does object to some of the reasons provided by the State as the State has directly omitted the fact that one of the complaining witnesses has been implicated in the creation of false evidence that was introduced at Mr. Jeffs' trial in Utah. In addition to involvement in the creation of the false evidence, the complaining witness and others may have been involved in an ongoing cover-up and conspiracy."
Now we're talking. Is Judge Conn a member of the "Tin Foil Hatters" by allowing this on his record without comment? He took umbrage at Matt Smith's Faux Filings, he takes none here. Piccarreta clears his throat for the FLDS and for Warren Jeffs and states for the record that there probably is conspiracy involved. Who and what this conspiracy involves, that's a matter to be discovered, but there is a conspiracy.
"Defendant believes that the prosecution was ethically obligated to dismiss the cases with prejudice and believes that the prosecutor fulfilled his ethical duties by so doing. An additional reason for the dismissal was that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction in either of the cases especially in light of recent developments. Defendant has and will oppose any attempts to extradite him to the State of Texas due to the constitutional infirmities and the legal inadequacy that may occur in the Texas criminal justice system."
This is Piccarreta saying "Thanks Matt," and "Nice Try."
"Further, due to the ongoing religious intolerance and religious animosity direct toward the Fundamental Church of Latter Day Saints by the State of Texas, the fairness of the Texas criminal justice process cannot be assured."
"There ain't no Justice" (TANJ) in Texas, they're religious bigots up to the level of the Statehouse. Well, that's the way I read it.
"There are additional legal and factual inadequacies in these cases against Mr. Jeffs which defendant beleives led to their dismissal with prejudice, but the defendant supports the County Attorney's decision in fulfilling his ethical duties and obligations in dismissing these prosecutions.

No really, thanks Matt, have a nice day.

What really happened? The lead cases that led to Warren's inclusion on the FBI's 10 most wanted list have now completely collapsed. Frankly I don't know of any Fugitive on that list, that when apprehended, was not convicted (barring their death before prosecution). It's an odd category, and I'll have to research it, but it seems unprecedented or at least rare to me.

That collapse is directly tied to Warren's "successful" prosecution in Utah. Elissa Wall wants him in Texas, for dang sure. She might escape or delay perjury charges in Utah if Warren is busy in Texas. Warren is going to back to Utah, and this matter will be continued there, even if we are delayed in knowing the truth because Arizona threw the case over the side to protect her.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

A man has to know his limitations. (If it was all Bush's fault, it's all Obama's fault.)

After watching Peggy Noonan blow the analysis of the Obama Presidency, someone says it loud and clear.
I'd have said it myself, but I've been busy, and besides, who'd listen? Nevertheless, here it is in a nutshell:
The Washington Examiner - "It was a surprisingly simplistic argument that, unfortunately for President Obama, has become a nihilistic genie who cannot be put back into a bottle. Having let forth the argument that the president is literally responsible for anything bad that happens during his administration, it’s a bit hard now for the public to be persuaded that it’s really not Obama’s fault that oil is spewing into the ocean off American shores."
The fact is, it isn't Barry's fault, but that's the liberal/progressive argument of big Government. Government can do this for you, it can do it quickly. It can do it nimbly. Big Government can do it the right way and we need them to do it.

Whatever "it" is, Big Government can do it. Provided you let US (liberal progressive Democrats), be your Big Government.

Well, it can't. Assuming Barack Hussien Obama is the best possible man for the Presidency at this point in time, and the best selection ever for that office, there is one fly in the ointment.

He's irrelevant.

That's the Conservative argument in a nutshell. Government, while necessary, can't do it all, and in fact can do surprisingly little. Except make an even bigger mess of things.

A man has to know his limitations. All men do. Particularly Presidents.

The author is Matthew Sheffield. Hat tip to "Instapundit."
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

More on the Warren Jeffs dismissal

Folks, I have been VERY busy, just figure I'm working close to 16 hour days and it's very "hands on." I blogged during my only breaks yesterday, one of which was at Little Big Horn. Thus I have scads of analysis on the tip of my tongue (as it were) but have been unable to share it. I haven't been able to read all the docs filed at Mohave County.
The Deseret News though, makes it clear what really happened:
"Judge Steven Conn dismissed the four charges of sexual misconduct with a minor after prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday requesting the dismissal. The charges were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled."
And there you have it. All the twaddle and spin you are hearing on the news, like what I heard on the Radio (CNN) is just smoke, though dangerous misleading smoke it is.
The Salt Lake Tribune - "(Arizona Judge Steven Conn) has dismissed two cases pending against Warren S. Jeffs in Arizona and ordered that he be sent back to Utah, a move that abruptly ends the state's prosecution of the polygamous sect leader and potentially puts Jeffs on a faster track to face more serious charges in Texas.

(The Judge's) ruling came after County Attorney Matt Smith filed a motion Wednesday asking that the cases be dropped so that Texas can proceed against the 54-year-old Jeffs -- something Smith said both Arizona victims want."
The truth the case is dead. More on that later. The charges were dismissed "with extreme prejudice." This is not about what the "victims want." Arizona is making sure there will never be a trial. The victims can go whistle "Dixie" if they choose, they were not consulted, they were TOLD. There won't be a trial if they change their minds, come up with new evidence, have a vision from the Almighty or any other scenario that is proposed.
The San Angelo Standard-Times - "Mohave County, Ariz., Attorney Matt Smyth (sic) filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss sexual misconduct with a minor charges against the former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Arizona poured well more than 1,000 man hours into the investigation and prosecution of Jeffs and case dismissal comes with disappointment.

'I would say it is with a lot of regrets,' Smith said. 'We certainly wanted to have our day in court here in Mohave County, but I have to give a lot of respect to what the victim’s wishes are.'

Smith explained that the victims understand that Jeffs has already spent more time in jail in Mohave County than he could be ordered to serve if convicted on both counts and given the maximum sentence. He said neither of the victims, Elyssa (sic) Wall nor Susie Barlow, wants to go through the pressure of additional trials under those circumstances."
Bull Feathers Matt. Don't lie. Among other things a key is understanding that Warren had already spend more time in Jail than he would if convicted, in Arizona.

Another factor? It would be the Elissa Wall is no longer a credible witness.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Arizona drops all charges.... (UPDATED)

Or so I hear. (And I heard correctly.)
I predicted this.
"Furthermore it looks as if the charges now might be dropped, Judge Conn is rumbling the prisoner has been in jail longer than he would sentence him for his crimes." - Modern Pharisee February 8th, 2010.
I was roundly ridiculed for this prediction, but it is fairly simple to understand. Regardless of the reasons being given, once Matt Smith and Arizona looked at YFZ evidence, and it was suppressed, every argument Arizona made was subject to the objection that it resulted from looking at YFZ evidence. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that, but it does take a clear eye.

Right now I am at Little Big Horn (no, really, I am, this picture was taken there today). Will Walther be a symbolic Custer? Thanks "Toes" for linking to the order. It was hard to do with my "Palm" dying on power, out in the middle of the prairie.

She also points out the other little ditty, which was that Judge Conn said no to Texas. Warren is going back to Utah, where he will likely either be released, or extradited from Utah to Texas. We'll see.
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Yet another lesson in Semantics, Abram Harker Jeffs Trial begins

As I have observed before (here or elsewhere), it's what you call it. The San Angelo Standard-Times isn't trying to prejudice the Jury, they're just naming the statute violated. (I note that when I just tried not name the motion granted at Wikipedia, I got run off.) The headline on the story reads:
"Sexual assault of child trial set to begin today." The story goes on to mention Abram could get 99 years and recalls the basic outline of the raid narrative:
"Evidence gathered against the FLDS men came from an April 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Schleicher County. Law enforcement personnel searched for a woman who had called saying that she was being abused at the ranch. The authorities now believe the call to have been a hoax.

More than 400 children were put into protective custody from the ranch during their search, but they were returned weeks afterward at the order of an appellate court.

Authorities collected trailer-loads of evidence, papers, records from various buildings on the ranch. The state also collected DNA evidence, which has been used at each trial to show that the accused men fathered children by their underage victims.

FLDS defense counsel has tried to suppress the evidence gathered from the ranch on grounds that the search warrant was improper. Defense lawyers also have tried to quash indictments against the FLDS men because they say the grand jury selection process didn’t represent Schleicher County’s Hispanic population proportionately."
And again, the phrase repeated in the media like a mantra; "Authorities now believe the call to have been a hoax." Once in a while a reporter slips up and says "the call WAS a hoax," but no one will do the reporting.

It's like make-up. De-emphasize that which you don't find attractive, accentuate your best points. Anyone reading the San Angelo Standard-Times article, who is also part of the unsequestered jury, will "know" that Abram Harker Jeffs is charged with pulling his phallus out of his pants, and beating a baby girl with it. The fact that she is now an adult, didn't assist in the prosecution, and won't isn't in the headline.

The reasonable speculation that the call may have actually been arranged, is also not in the article.

If Abram's trial goes much longer than any of the others, I will be surprised, though I am hearing rumors of some new wrinkle. Most of the "wrinkles" so far have been set ups for later appeals.

How, as a God Fearing Juror, can you NOT convict a man charged with using his penis as an assault weapon against a "child?" That's why they named the crime the way they did. It's inflammatory and prejudicial. Ask "Booger Red."
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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Blown Tire

A tire does an imitation of a grass skirt
Right next to Fort Plain.
Just in time, for Church. Only God has this sense of humor
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