Saturday, May 03, 2008

Why wouldn't call for FLDS asset seizure equally apply to Catholicism?

I was surprised to see Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey calling for seizure of all Texas assets of the YFZ Ranch as a next step in Texas' biggest ever child welfare boondoggle. That's not just putting the cart before the horse, it's putting it in front of a bus.

Let's consider what would happen if Casey's notion were applied more widely to religious groups when abuse arises among their leadership. In all seriousness, why wouldn't the same logic suggest seizing the assets of the Catholic Church? According to them, “The marriageable age is fourteen full years in males and twelve full years in females, under penalty of nullity (unless natural puberty supplies the want of years)." See the Catholic Encyclopedia. That's far younger than any marriage alleged to have occurred among residents of the YFZ Ranch.

Meanwhile, literally thousands of priests allegedly committed sexual abuse of minors, but President Bush met the Pope at the airport and the nation cheered as he said "God Bless America" Comedian Bill Maher recently declared (probably accurately if somewhat bombastically) that "if the pope, instead of a religious figure, was the CEO of a chain of nationwide day care centers who had thousands of employees who had been caught molesting children and then covering it up, he would have been in jail." (Jail, by the way, is where Warren Jeffs is - the question is whether to jail or seize children from his parishioners)

So if the Pope supports marriage of girls as young as age 12, and presides over an organization riddled with child molesters and people who covered for them, why isn't what's good for the goose good for the gander?

Where is the call to seize all Catholic Church owned property? Will that be Casey's next column?

* * *

Meanwhile, lots of news cropping up nearly every day now regarding the YFZ raid, and thanks to Grits commenters for linking to a bunch of it:

First, here is the official public notice for DFPS legal proceedings against FLDS parents, published in the Eldorado Success. Whatever your opinion about the case, read every name and pray for the kids.

One month after the massive state raid on the YFZ Ranchin West Texas, the Salt Lake Tribune tallies the topline numbers from the case:
599 DNA samples collected;
464 children in state custody;
16 group shelters caring for the children;
One warrant canceled;
No charges issued.

Some of the primary source documents are coming out on which DFPS allegations were based. A "Bishop's Record" was released yesterday that amounts to a census of every family living at the YFZ Ranch. (See various analyses of the data by readers in Grits' comments.) Can this really be the biggest "smoking gun" the state has? Even if individual abuse cases can be made, the data to me just doesn't justify seizing every kid on the Ranch.

In other important news, the warrant against Dale Barlow was finally dropped yesterday, even though Texas Rangers visited him in Arizona weeks ago. The Inspector Clusoe-like investigators at DPS say they're "still investigating" whether the phone call was a hoax, though the likelihood it's not is near zero.

Speaking of support for the warrants, now it turns out authorities already knew their suspect Dale Barlow wasn't at the ranch when they first went in, having spoken to him by phone. To me that casts tremendous doubt on whether authorities really executed the original search warrant in good faith. The Denver Post reports that, according to information included in a court filing by FLDS attorney Gerry Goldstein:

"Prior to executing the initial warrant, (Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran) was advised that Dale Barlow was in Arizona and not on the premises sought to be searched. In fact, prior to entering the premises Sheriff Doran actually spoke to Dale Barlow in Arizona by cellphone, confirming his driver license number and the fact that he was in Arizona," the filing says.

Barlow advised the sheriff that he did not know Sarah Jessop, he had not been to Texas in more than 20 years, nor had he ever been to YFZ Ranch, according to the filing.

If provable, that's a critical fact. A pro-raid attorney at FindLaw wrote recently, "Absent clear evidence that the state fabricated the call or misled the judge who granted the initial search warrant, neither of which seems remotely plausible, the entry cannot be faulted on constitutional grounds. " But these revelations indicate the state had reason to believe their information about Barlow was flawed long before they ever entered the ranch.

Amidst all this, in what's perhaps a back to the future moment, the feds are concluding their investigation of FLDS in Utah and Arizona without pursuing criminal charges (though state charges involving deposed FLDS head Warren Jeffs are still going forward). After a years-long investigation, though:

The U.S. Attorney's Office said it did not develop enough for subpoenas, search warrants or indictments.

"The fact that everyone may think something's going on ... ask Elliot Ness how easy it was," Tolman said. "He knew, and he knew Al Capone was involved. It still took quite a bit. It takes a lot, and it takes a concerted effort. Even though everyone may be clamoring, it doesn't make for a federal case."

Given that Texas' search warrant was based on a hoax (which nearly everyone acknowledges except the Inspector Clusoe-like Texas Rangers who say they're "still investigating"), and the state can find no complaining victim, that perhaps gives us a clue of what Texas' investigation may look like several years down the line.

In other odds and ends, if the state of Texas is looking for an expert witness, I think we have a volunteer. The Common Room continues to be an excellent source on the topic, as is the new Free the FLDS Children (non-FLDS affiliated). The blogger at Modern Pharisee, too, is getting pretty animated about the subject. See also a couple of recent articles on the topic by Houston criminal lawyer John Floyd. At blog648, a father discusses the incidence rate of broken bones in his family compared to FLDS.

170 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, Grits - sometimes I get a headache reading your ramblings and trying to follow your logic. Have you ever been checked for obsessive/compulsive disorder?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Let me know if you have any specific questions, otherwise I'll try and use smaller words to help you out. ;)

doran williams said...

Too Shay!!!

doran williams said...

"The (John Jay) Report found accusations against 4,392 priests in the USA, about 4% of all priests."

So far, there have not be any allegations against any named individuals at the YFZ Ranch, which puts the Catholic Church way ahead of the Fundamentalist Mormons in this competition.

I haven't had the time to count the number of men named in the Bishop's Records who may have had sex with women under the age of 14, and who were the functional equivalents of priests or bishops. If anyone else has made that count, let us know. Then we need to know the total number of men above the age of 18 at the Ranch, and the total number who filled some role as priests or bishops, in order to compare the per centage numbers between Catholic priests and bishops, and men of similar office at YFZ.

As to your question, Grits, as to why seizure of Catholic assets would not be order if seizuer of YFZ assets are, the answer, I suggest, is that most Catholic churches are not really good places for game hunts. I've never seen any reports of deer, turkey, hogs, or exotic game running free in a Catholic Church.

Concerned From the Uk said...

LOL@Grits

Keep up the good work man, I love your forum, I'm always disappointed when I come and there's nothing new about this case. Don't worry too much about the discombobulated anonymous posters, Flora didn't go that far is School.

Anonymous said...

The big problem with the catholic abuse cases is most of them didn't come to light until after the criminal statute of limitations had elapsed. Asset seizure, at least in Texas, requires a felony.

You probably only need to bulldoze a few pedophile churches to really put people on notice. Landlords are no longer ignoring it when their rentals become crack houses.

jerri lynn ward said...

Why not target Southern Baptists and others for teaching their children that homosexual behavior is sinful and that practicing gays are in rebellion against God?

After all, children raised like that may grow up to be abusers who beat up gay people as a result. Given that school systems in places like California are actually forcing gay tolerance curricula upon children over the objections of parents, I don't think that it is too far-fetched for CPS social worker types to think that teaching religious objections against homosexual behavior to children is child abuse worthy of removing children from religious families.

beowulf1723 said...

"Why wouldn't call for FLDS asset seizure equally apply to Catholicism?"

Perhaps because the RCC is the only religious organization, at least that I know of, where the spiritual head is also a head of state.

Interesting that the Pope's visit coincided with the raid.

Meanwhile, it looks like the head of DFPS (what a Newspeak term!) has his own problems with abuse charges.

Dave In Texas said...

When sexual abuse of children becomes part of the doctrine and litany of the Roman Catholic Church -- or the Baptists -- we'll talk about seizing church property.

Beowulf, why exactly is it interesting that the Pope visited the US about the time of the Eldorado raid?

Do you think the Pope is also part of the Great Texas Department of Family Protection Services?

David said...

Oops. That should be 'Great Texas Department of Family Protection Services Conspiracy?'

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, I'd like to point out there is clearly a cesspool of abuse here. The FLDS construct is yet another way for old men to retain power and enslave youth, and that's putting rather too fine a point on it. These are some awful pigs, people, even by the piggy standards we accept from more established sects.

That some Catholics and Baptists and Hindus (and portions of every belief system, ever) have all worked out elaborate constructs to practice oppression does not offer us an excuse to pass on any specific abuse.

This is not said uncritically. This whole thing feels a little like good ole Salem, Mass to me, too: the outsiders are here? Light the torches! find the keys to the dungeon!

But these are children, and they are being abused. The standards for intervention are different -- and they should be. The burden of proof on the state is much lower -- and it should be.

Someday, perhaps, we'll evolve. In the meantime we shouldn't ignore compounds devoted to inbreeding with children just because, hey, the Catholics suck.

Anonymous said...

Why not confiscate all the assets of Planned Parenthood? It is getting harder by the day to think abortion isn't child abuse and the irony is the extremists are often pro-choice.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:06, if those were the facts and not the spin, you might have a decent argument.

Even reviewing the Bishops records, (and I'm not suggesting they are accurate enough to be considered as evidence in a court of law, but they should be accurate enough to determine risk of abuse) I would have expected to see pervasive indications of abuse. I expected to see entries of older men with hoards of younger wifes ( 14- 17 yr olds) attached to their name. I didn't see evidence of this.

While sex with underage girls (or boys) may be a crime, there are few (if any) signs of perversion going on at the compound. All evidence indicates that these people believe in sex for procreation purposes only. To be perverted, it should be evident that they derrived pleasure from sex with younger girls. With as many as 40% (if you use CPS's current numbers) of young girls available, why didn't the men have many more young "brides" while they were available and young? They were saving these young lass' for what purpose, since they common external belief is they are sexual perverts?

I also expected to see many (if not all) of the men over age 50 to have a teen bride. Most girls in their teens were married to men in their early 20's (and all teen girls were of age to be married with parental consent). A great number of married teen girls were in monogamous marriages. Certainly more than the number of teen brides married to men over age 50.

The evidence supporting CPS's intervention is minimal, the evidence for continuing custody of all the children is tenious, the evidence for mass condemnation and persecution is absent. The rumors are only that, rumors. It's time these kids went back home, and it's time CPS had some restraints imposed upon them in the form of good law, not bandaid law.

William said...

Anon at 2:03, have you met any of these old men seeking to gain power just to molest young girls as soon as they hit 13? These pigs as you call them aren't, and even if they are they still deserve the same treatment as anyone else, where is it our place to decide when the government can discriminate. A good reference would be http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24351336#24351336

That's the walkthrough given by men to the ranch, or the dungeon as you so put it.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Dave writes: "When sexual abuse of children becomes part of the doctrine and litany of the Roman Catholic Church ... we'll talk about seizing church property"

You mean like the church doctrine cited in the post that 12 year old girls are of marriageable age? By DFPS' logic, that doctrine is abusive on its face if anyone follows it.

I also found it interesting the timing of the Pope's visit, not because I think it's related but because it pointed out precisely the moral disconnect cited in this post. It highlighted the irony of the media hype surrounding much-less provable abuse allegations against FLDS.

To 2:06, simply saying there's a "clearly a cesspool of abuse" doesn't make it true, and certainly not provable. Ask the feds! No one's giving a pass to "any specific abuse." OTOH, no "specific abuse" has yet been alleged, and the supposed abuse that caused the raid was a hoax. By comparison, abuses in the Catholic church are pretty well documented.

lowery.shirley said...

"But these are children, and they are being abused."

I am still waiting on proof. This marriage situation is interesting. One man in his late 60's has a 79 year old wife. That sounds more like a support group. The tug of war over Dale Barlow goes on and on. TX DPS wants to make him part of this and the sheriff keeps saying that business with Mr. Barlow has concluded and he is not a person of interest.
Abused kids have the opportunity to speak out. Disgruntled kids have the opportunity to claim abuse.
It isn't happening. A whole lot of people are trying to make them into victims and that is scary. Their lives have been a nightmare since the raid that was based on what people thought they knew.

Anonymous said...

The FLDS members were fearful of gonvernment and outsiders. At least now they have learned there was nothing to fear. Everyone on the outside only wants to help and always tells the truth.

Dave In Texas said...

You mean like the church doctrine cited in the post that 12 year old girls are of marriageable age? By DFPS' logic, that doctrine is abusive on its face if anyone follows it.

Oh good Lord! You realize this item from the Catholic Encyclopedia cites a 1901 text which cites even older church policy -- that tied marriageable age to the laws of the country involved.

The 14 for males; 12 for females cited is drawn from English common law.

Marriageable age in the Catholic church today - as in the Baptist or Episcopal , etc. is the is dependent on state law.

Not so in the FLDS congregation at Eldorado.

So do you still want to make silly comparisons?

Anonymous said...

I would argue that the silly comparisons being made in this case are those that compare what these families lived as part of their culture as abuse to what they are going through right now.

I will grant a distinction between illegal and abuse, as they are two different words, with two different meanings, and completely different consequences. To try and compare the two or link the two is silly.

Many of these children will have nightmares about these days for years to come, none of the parents will ever stop having them. From this day forward, the abuse these parents will protect most vehemently against will be the abuse of the government.

Anonymous said...

I wonder...the Bishop's records that were released might not contain records of wives that were under 17 that have given birth because of the nature of that evidence, rape of a minor.
Only 45 pages were released and numbers do not total the entire population at the ranch.
And it will take weeks to go through all the evidence.
And the Feds cannot step in until Federal law has been broken. Now if evidence that minors were transported across state lines for sex - that could be Federal laws.

Anonymous said...

www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Prayers-for-the-Captive-FLDS-Children

Betty Lou Thelma Liz said...

No way are the bishop's records a full reflection of the entire population of YFZ in April 2008.

For instance, where are the records for Willie Jessop and Merrill Jessop?

Grits, you might want to check the work of your commenters before you cite them.

They missed an obvious underage marriage.

Leroy J. Steed, 40
Elizabeth Luverne Jessop, 16 (wife)

Ann Marie Curling said...

Grits, thanks so much for mentioning my blog/site Free the FLDS Children (http://www.flds.ws), it plans to become a major child/parent advocacy group in the future for all children and parents involved with CPS. I also appreciate all of your work here, you're doing a masterful job. And don't let those that call them ramblings get to you (tongue in cheek). Thanks once again, and keep up the great work!

W. W Woodward said...

I’ve just finished reading Kenneth C. Davis’ America’s Hidden History, and found a parallel to the FLDS prosecution/persecution in the trial and conviction of Anne Hutchinson of Boston, Massachusetts in 1637.

Ms Hutchinson, who was several months pregnant, spoke out about the areas of the Puritan faith with which she did not agree. As a result she was tried for what amounted to be heresy, judged “not fit for our society”, and banished from Boston. (1)

Not long after Anne Hutchinson’s trial, the Puritans of Boston also decreed prohibitions against Roman Catholics, Quakers, and other “sects” such as Anabaptists. All were banned under pain of death. (2) The Puritan fathers believed that the banishment of Anne Hutchinson – Along with the execution of Quakers, and the banning of Catholics in Massachusetts – would end dissent and bring about God’s blessings on the colony. (3)

During Anne Hutchinson’s trial and during her defense she made the statement; “Therefore take heed what yee go about to doe unto me. For I know that for this God will ruin you and your posterity, and this whole state.” (4)

This might be a prophecy the State of Texas, as well as some of the folks who are ready to throw all the adult members of the FLDS under the jail, would do well to heed today. Of course, we are all infinitely more sophisticated and enlightened in this day and age.

All you people who think you’re doing God’s will in judging and condemning the FLDS need to remember that you shouldn’t try to tell an omnipotent God what he/she/it can and can’t do.

(1) America’s Hidden History p.59
(2) p. 78
(3) p. 79
(4) p. 59

W. W Woodward said...

Also, Grits you might find this interesting and some what familiar sounding. Anne Hutchinson gave birth to a malformed fetus some time after her trial and banishment.

The God fearing folks who disagreed with and banished her made statements to the effect that God was punishing her and that she deserved the results of her pregnancy.

Do we never learn?

kbp said...

Anon 2:42
"Certainly more than the number of teen brides married to men over age 50."

The allegedly incriminating "Bishop's Records" show us;

Nephi Jeffs 38
Elizabeth Jessop 16

Lehi Alred 28
Rachel Alred 16

Abram Jeffs 35
Suzanne Jeffs 16

Leroy J. Steed 40*
Elizabeth Jessop, 16

***************************
In response to some comments here, I'd like to mention that Grits post telling that the Bishop's records "...amounts to a census of every family living at the YFZ Ranch" may or may not be accurate. The records are for various times, most 2007.

***************************
*Hat Tip to Betty Lou on the last record there, which I certainly had overlooked.
My apology, my fault, not the fault of any others here.
That's one benefit of a civil discussion!

kbp said...

Dave in texas
"When sexual abuse of children becomes part of the doctrine and litany of the Roman Catholic Church -- or the Baptists -- we'll talk about seizing church property."

Have you read any Bible ever?

kbp said...

WW W
"Ms Hutchinson, who was several months pregnant, spoke out about the areas of the Puritan faith with which she did not agree. As a result she was tried for what amounted to be heresy, judged “not fit for our society”, and banished from Boston."

Considering what the Bible does say about all conduct that may be violations of the law in this mess, it's more like burning them at the stake for observing parts of the Bible all others decided are unacceptable today. Similar to a re-write in an effort to allow or promote "prosecution / persecution" in a manner the majority has decided would be approved of by you-know-who.

All interesting - paints a picture of the political settings - but not of any value in looking at how laws apply to the case.

Dave In Texas said...

Have you read any Bible ever?

Why, yes, kbp, thanks for asking.

But the topic was the sophistry of comparing sexual assault of minors in the FLDS and the Roman Catholic Church.

One (FLDS) has polygamy (what we normally call 'bigamy' and sexual assault of minors as part of t heir doctrine. The Catholic church does not.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

One (FLDS) has polygamy (what we normally call 'bigamy' and sexual assault of minors as part of t heir doctrine.

Bigamy, yes. Sexual assault of minors, no. I am not aware of any FLDS doctrine requiring that girls be minor when they 'marry.' Are you?

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I asked this question in the previous FLDS post, not realizing this newer one was up- so just in case somebody who could answer it missed it.

TXB said, regarding the young men married to teenagers: "Being the first or only wife would be a defense only if they complied with the parental consent law as noted above. "

I understand this is the law in Texas. Is the way marriage to 16 year olds works in every state, and
would this be true if they'd legally gotten married outside of Texas? (I have no idea if this is the case, but then, neither does the state of Texas).

Dave In Texas said...

You're right, headmistress. Sexual assault of minors may not be doctrine of the FLDS. It does appear to accepted practice.

blog648 said...

The thing that we should all be concerned about here is that the state of Texas has come very close, in fact dangerously close to criminalizing a belief. These people are being vilified in the press for what they believe, or at least what people think they believe, and not for any acts that have been charged or proven. CPS has justified taking the children based on what they (CPS) think the FLDS believe, not on anything they actually did, or can prove they did. CPS convinced Judge Walther to sign off on removing all the children based on what abuses CPS thinks the FLDS might commit in the future, based on what they think they believe.

They have successfully made the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a de facto illegal religion.

Think about that. Here in the United States of America, an illegal religion.

Actually it's not the first time it's happened in America. But who would have thought such a thing could happen here in this country in this century? Certainly not I.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Dave, you write, "Marriageable age in the Catholic church today - as in the Baptist or Episcopal , etc. is the is dependent on state law."

That's also true for FLDS, whose position on these topics dates to before 1901. You're talking in circles. I don't notice any support for your position in the Catholic Encyclopedia article I linked to, which doesn't say the ages mentioned are specific to England. The church says they're ready at puberty, but also so says they should follow secular laws. Those positions don't contradict each other.

The Catholic Church says girls are ready for marriage at puberty for one simple reason: The alternative is a lot of unwed mothers. Marriage is a religious sacrament. Acquiescing to laws of the state is a matter of convenience, but God decides when girls are ready to have children, not legislatures.

My point isn't that Catholics should be prosecuted (except for specific cases of abuse), but that when you start making unfriendly anti-religious assumptions in order to target FLDS, they tend to cut both directions.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Also Dave, couldn't you argue (if you want to rely on the most unfriendly possible assumptions, like you do with FLDS) that although not "doctrine," it was long an "accepted practice" to tolerate child molestation in the Catholic Church? How many of those 4,000+ priests are still employed today by the Vatican? Catholics tolerated a lot more cases of abuse than FLDS, by a longshot.

Maybe when he gets out of jail, the President can meet Warren Jeffs at the airport.

Anonymous said...

Grits, Charles Kiker here:

Blog 648 cites his children's record of broken bones. I was talking to Gary Gardner at Joe Moore's funeral. Gary had five kids and six broken bones, including a broken nose and broken jaw. The latter two clear evidence of child abuse. I think Texas should eliminate the statute of limitations on child abuse retroactively and charge Gary with two counts. It wouldn't be any problem to get convictions in Swisher County. With Judge Self presiding the sentences could run consecutively and that should put Gary away for life.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Charles again:

About Catholics, it's not feasible because there are too many of them, just as there are too many Baptists. But take the Amish, there are not very many of them and they have valuable assets. They are clearly subversive to the American way of life, driving around in buggies and wearing long beards and the women wearing long hair and long dresses. I say let's get rid of them.

Now to bloggers who don't know me, before you get your panties in a wad I will make it clear that I'm being facetious.

kbp said...

Dave in texas (lower case 't')
Previous AND last comments
"When sexual abuse of children becomes part of the doctrine..."
AND
"... topic was the sophistry of comparing... part of t heir doctrine..."

The Bible argument is not one I use, you brought it up.

I can't wait for you to point out any specific parts of the New or Old Testament that condemns any for being in a plural marriage that involves a girl that has reached puberty.

The "sophistry" is that we have seen no evidence that such conduct took place at the ranch. Using any religion, any that follows the Bible as their "doctrine", to establish moral guidelines for this case is hypocritical.

You may want to read the Bible again.

kbp said...

Grits
"Maybe when he gets out of jail, the President can meet Warren Jeffs at the airport."

HEADLINES:

Dubya I meets Dubya II

kbp said...

This one should stir the fires!

kbp said...

International Sex Slave Trade?

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

If you can prove a felony offense that triggers the forfeiture law, then sure, go for it. All should be treated the same.

I am more interested in filing on Bishops that did not report child abuse, not that I think that it will happen. By the Church moving these pedophiles from parish to parish, they put a huge number of children at risk.

kbp said...

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff; "...Texas child protective services officials have said in court that the children on the YFZ Ranch were growing up in a culture that lends itself to abuse. Shurtleff said he can't reach the same conclusion."
"Let's say you're a 6-month-old girl, no evidence whatsoever of any abuse. They're simply saying, 'You, in this culture, may grow up to be a child bride when you're 14. Therefore we're going to remove you now when you're 6 months old,"' he said. "Or, 'You're a 6-month-old boy; 25, 30 years, 40 years from now you're going to be a predator, so we're going to take you away now."



Just for political humor;
"[U.S. Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid is full of crap," Shurtleff fumed in a TV interview."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

KBP, the Startlegram article is the same one that I linked to from a "pro-raid attorney" in this post. However, it was clearly written before revelations about the pre-raid confirmations concerning Dale Barlow. She thinks it improbable authorities knew ahead of time Barlow wasn't there, and in fact we now know the Sheriff had such knowledge.

I'm kind of surprised the Startlegram reprinted it given the new information out this week. Her arguments are a little dated.

kbp said...

Grits,

Thanks!

I go through so many articles that it is difficult to keep track of them.

You have been THE source for many articles.

This may be another you have posted, but it did not show me as registered as I try to comment there. Something I do always if I see inaccurate information.

Thanks again for all the efforts you've made to keep YOUR readers up to date on what is fact versus fiction.

Dave In Texas said...

We'll just have to agree to disagree, Grits.

I don't see the equivilency you and others here between the bigamy and apparent sexual assaults on minors girls in the FLDS and the sex scandals in the Catholic Church.

The sexual assaults of children by Catholic priests are horrible and the hierarchy dealt with the scandal abysmally.

But priests and ex-priests have been sent to prison for their crimes and that's as it should be.

Various dioceses have paid out millions of dollars in damages in civil suits. And they should pay for the decades of hiding the problem and putting more kids at risk.

But no where did church officials or the laity defend priestly sex abuse as a legitimate part of their faith.

The FLDS may not like to think of 'spiritual unions between adults males and underage females as sexual assault. But that appears to be the result under Texas law. We'll see what happens in court, I suppose.

And KBP, I took up your suggestion and looked in the New Testament.

There, in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

And Paul the Apostle in his letters to Timothy delivers his famous view on marriage.

He's not all for it, you remember, but if the Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons of the faith are to be married, "...they should be the husband of one wife...".

Fred said...

Tekle v. US (9th Cir. 2006) 457 F.3d 1088

Ninth Circuit Rules that Handcuffing and Pointing Guns at 11-Year-Old Child During Warrant Execution Supports Civil Liability Claims

Child abuse?

Fred said...

The US Supreme Court ruled that an anonymous tip cannot generally supply the reasonable suspicion required to justify an investigative detention. Florida v. J.L. (2000) 529 US 266.

Jeff Culbreath said...

"Maybe when he gets out of jail, the President can meet Warren Jeffs at the airport."

You know, my respect for this blog just went down about 85% with that remark. Equating Warren Jeffs with Pope Benedict XVI? That's just malicious.

At most, 4% of Catholic priests who served between 1950 and 2002 were accused of child sexual abuse. Accused. The rate of abuse among public school teachers is likely MUCH higher - between 6% and 10% of public school children have reported sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher or school employee.

Many Catholic bishops were certainly negligent, and some criminally so. A very small number were even complicit. The vast majority of cases were due to the incredible stupidity of opening the doors of the priesthood to homosexual men after the liberal "reforms" of the Second Vatican Council.

One of the first things Benedict did as Pope was to reaffirm the traditional ban on the admittance of men with homosexual tendencies to the seminaries. He has also disciplined numerous abusers, including the much revered head of Legionaries of Christ, the allegations against whom have not been proven but were serious enough to merit censure.

The Pope is a genuinely holy man who has never been suspected of any kind of sexual impropriety. Warren Jeffs is a deranged lunatic who is behind bars where he belongs. To suggest moral equality between them is reprehensible.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Re: the Pope and Jeffs - your criticism is fair, and I'm sorry to reduce your respect for the blog. That said, I was being facetious to make a point, and declared in a previous comment I was NOT saying what's happening to FLDS should happen with the Catholic Church.

However the scale of Catholic abuse scandals far dwarfs anything alleged at the YFZ Ranch, and should not be minimized. In addition, the papal ban on homosexual priests has nothing to do with pedophilia. The two ideas are simply unrelated. Gay people are not all pedophiles, and vice versa.

In addition, I don't really give much credit to the comment that Benedict "disciplined many abusers," given how many remain in the Church's employ "allegations against whom have not been proven but were serious enough to merit censure." I don't think the church under the last Pope, or this one, demonstrated a particularly stern attitude toward child molesters in their employ, and I'm not alone in that view.

William said...

"The Pope is a genuinely holy man who has never been suspected of any kind of sexual impropriety. Warren Jeffs is a deranged lunatic who is behind bars where he belongs. To suggest moral equality between them is reprehensible."

One could say

"The pope is a former nazi, who now leads the catholic church which shuffles child-rapist priests around so they stay under the radar of the law. Warren Jeffs is a holy man who was wrongfully arrested and convicted in an unprecidented trial, determined mostly by hearsay"

See, by being subjective, you can swing the bat both ways, I personally don't agree with either statements, and think it's a fallacy to say either one.

TxBluesMan said...

fred said:

"Tekle v. US (9th Cir. 2006) 457 F.3d 1088

Ninth Circuit Rules that Handcuffing and Pointing Guns at 11-Year-Old Child During Warrant Execution Supports Civil Liability Claims

Child abuse?"


Uh, fred?

You did know that this opinion (457 F.3d 1088) was withdrawn, right?

See Tekle v. United States (9th Cir. 2006) 511 F.3d 839

Fred said...

tx, thanks for the update. No, I didn't know. Same result though.

Tekle v. United States (9th Cir. 2006) 511 F.3d 839

CONCLUSION
Viewing the facts and drawing all inferences in Tekle’s favor, we conclude that the alleged facts show a violation of Tekle’s constitutional rights. We further conclude that a reasonable officer should have known that it was constitutionally excessive to use such force and to use the handcuffs in the manner alleged against an unarmed eleven-year-old child who was fully complying with the officer’s requests.

Fred said...

BTW, I agree with those who think the FLDS v Catholic issue is reaching for controversy. While Grits is arguing the domino theory, and rightfully so, I think, it is too easily sidetracked. There is likely a better choice to argue it. My vote would be for Planned Parenthood, but that went nowhere. :)

Jeff Culbreath said...

"That said, I was being facetious to make a point, and declared in a previous comment I was NOT saying what's happening to FLDS should happen with the Catholic Church."

I appreciate the clarification, though it falls short of a retraction.

"However the scale of Catholic abuse scandals far dwarfs anything alleged at the YFZ Ranch, and should not be minimized."

The Catholic Church and the FLDS are apples and oranges when it comes to scale. You might say that an elephant has more pimples on its nose than a chipmonk, but just one pimple can totally distort the nose of a chipmonk.

"In addition, the papal ban on homosexual priests has nothing to do with pedophilia. The two ideas are simply unrelated."

That is untrue. Over 90% of all abuse cases in the United States during this period involved adolescent boys. Contrast this to what happens in third world countries. When there is sexual impropriety among priests in the Philippines or South America, it typically involves an adult mistress, not a teenage boy.

While not all homosexuals are pedophiles - indeed most are not - homosexual men have a far higher *rate* of child sexual abuse and molestation than heterosexual men. Homosexuals comprise a small minority of the population (1% to 2%), but they constitute one third of all child molesters.

According to one Justice Department study, there were 150.2 boys molested for every male homosexual offender, constrasted with 19.8 girls per male heterosexual offender.

Etc., etc. There are mountains of data on the subject for anyone interested in the truth.

"In addition, I don't really give much credit to the comment that Benedict 'disciplined many abusers,' given how many remain in the Church's employ ..."

You must have some knowledge I am lacking, then. How many abusers remain today in the Church's employ?

"I don't think the church under the last Pope, or this one, demonstrated a particularly stern attitude toward child molesters in their employ, and I'm not alone in that view."

I must concede that this is true of the last Pope. It has been a puzzle for many. One researcher said that JP-II habitually dismissed allegations of homosexuality in the priesthood due to his experiences in his native Poland. Apparently it was the custom of the Nazis, first, and then the Communists, to ruin the reputations of their enemies by false allegations of homosexuality. I don't know, but it was definitely a salient flaw in his papacy.

As for Benedict, who has been Pope for three short years, he has probably done more in three years than his predecessor did in twenty.

Jeff Culbreath said...

"BTW, I agree with those who think the FLDS v Catholic issue is reaching for controversy. While Grits is arguing the domino theory, and rightfully so, I think ..."

I think our blog host is correct about the domino theory, and I've been making the same argument myself on different grounds.

"... it is too easily sidetracked."

Apparently so.

"There is likely a better choice to argue it."

Indeed. We ought to start with the Texas foster care system (or that of any state), and move on to the public school system, where sexual abuse is endemic. Hopefully the at-risk children in these organizations will be rescued by Texas authorities any day now ...

TxBluesMan said...

fred, fred, fred….

Such a nice try….[in re Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000)]

Unfortunately, it is also so wrong in its application to this case. J.L. stated that an anonymous tip, in and by itself, was not enough to justify a search. That is not what happened in this case.

Please look at the following cases.

United States v. Alverez, 451 F.3d 320 (5th Cir. 2006), which showed that the law enforcement corroboration of the anonymous tip was sufficient to support a finding of probable cause.

United States v. Arjona-Martinez, 66 Fed. Appx. 525 (5th Cir. 2003), which showed that the law enforcement corroboration of the tip was sufficient to support a finding of reasonable suspicion for the subsequent stop of the vehicle.

Blevins v. State, 74 S.W.3d 125 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2002), which showed that the law enforcement corroboration of the tip was sufficient to support a finding of reasonable suspicion for the subsequent stop of the vehicle.

doran williams said...

Fred, did you see what just happened? It appeared to me that Txbluesguy made one of his trade-marked off-the-cuff, poorly researched statements of the law, only to have you show he was incorrect. Is that what happened?

doran williams said...

tx, please don't stop with the head-notes of those cases. Tell us what the corroboration was in each case.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Jeff, I didn't "retract" my comments because I don't regret them. I only clarified what I meant.

Honestly it disturbs me a bit to see you downplaying Catholic church abuse, comparing to public schools, etc., to try to minimize what happened. I won't quibble with you about how many of the thousands of priests identified are still working for the church. Comparing the percentage to some huge number - the stars in the sky, perhaps - you'd likely find a way to downplay it. But the super-aggressive approach to the FLDS case is sure something no one in either the church or civil authorities ever tried with Catholic priests, under the last Pope or this one.

I'm similarly unimpressed with your argument that I should give Benedict credit because, instead of going after individual allegations of abuse or ousting bishops who'd covered for abusers, he opportunistically used the issue to purge homosexuals from the clergy who may or may not have molested anyone, whatever (you say is) the relative likelihood. That's using the cloak of "reform" to further an anti-gay agenda that doesn't actually address specific abuse cases, and it earns him no favor with this writer.

My overall point was made precisely by the facetiousness of the comment that offended you, and I stand by it in that context: Many FLDS critics, particularly on the left and (a certain faction of) the Christian Right, take a cynical, essentially anti-religious attitude toward the group (or anti- any but their own), combine it with unfriendly assumptions about strange people, and convince themselves as the Houston Chronicle columnist did, of the righteousness of positions that are fundamentally unjust. However, as William put it, "the bat swings both ways."

BTW, if you didn't see it, there was more discussion along these lines (Christianity's culpability in values not dissimilar to FLDS, not catholicism) in this post.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Once more...

In looking at the Bishop's records CPS submitted in court, I was struck by how many of the family members were not in Texas in 2007, but were in Idaho, Short Creek, or Hildale (I am assuming Short Creek is Colorado City), and some 'elsewhere.

This renders it ever more plausible that some marriages happened outside of Texas (indeed, we know they did, since the community has only been in Texas since around 2004, give or take a year).

So.... Might they have been married out of state? and if they were, what does this do to Texas Blues' claim that the marriages to 16 year olds (and we have yet to see a single marriage younger than that) are only 'legal' with parental consent if they complied with Texas law requiring they be the first or only wife, and the parents have filed all the paperwork and legal notice TBM has told us about before?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Good question, headmistres!!!

The kind of question a good lawyer might have asked BEFORE seizing all the kids.

kbp said...

I had asked if marriages in other states would effect the Texas case in a previous comment or two, but not in such a detailed manner.

Another question that had crossed my mind concerns what I'll call "spiritual divorces". Such are evidently very easy in that church. I wonder if any had "spiritual divorces" from their other wives before marrying 16 YO's.

That looks like a possible way to beat the Texas law.

kbp said...

Dave in texas;
And KBP, I took up your suggestion and looked in the New Testament.

There, in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

And Paul the Apostle in his letters to Timothy delivers his famous view on marriage.

He's not all for it, you remember, but if the Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons of the faith are to be married, "...they should be the husband of one wife...".


The act that created Jesus is what would be recognized as illegal today, as would many others you'll find. I did not say I see it as sin.

Then Paul the Apostle approved of polygyNy for all men except the church leaders, if you except "mia" to be translated as ONLY meaning "ONE"... but then it can also be translated to mean "FIRST".

You'll always lose by trying to condemn the conduct of the FLDS using the the Bible...

kbp said...

Can't recall if it has been linked here, but even if it has the Local Crank has a good blog worthy of another link or two!

Fred said...

Doran, yes that is what happened. And did you happen to notice you asked him "what law enforcement corroboration"?

LOL. That answer should be interesting. Frankly, I still suspect the "16-year-old"caller knew someone close to the raid and that is why that entire investigation is hush-hush. Is it any wonder the media can't find her?

Fred said...

Clarification: by 16-year-old caller I mean "33 year old Colorado resident Rozita Swinton who was good at acting."

TxBluesMan said...

doran,

You don't read very well anymore, do you?

If you look at the post on the withdrawn opinion, all I stated was that it was withdrawn, not that the basic information was bad.

And since you requested it, here is the information on Alverez. You're a lawyer, you have the cites, you can look up the others.

Alverez, the police received an anonymous tip on drug dealing. Their corroboration established that address was correct, that they had sold drugs from that location in the past, and that they had kept both drugs and paraphernalia at that location in the past. The court noted "Taking the information presented in the affidavit as a whole, the tip hardly required any additional corroboration because it fit with the preestablished pattern of criminal activity. Nevertheless, the tip was sufficiently corroborated."

Gee, doesn't that sound suspiciously like the amount of corroboration in the FLDS case?

I guess that doesn't bode well for your pedophile friends.

Fred said...

Tx is clearly getting desperate.

David said...

I don't need scripture to condemn the practices of the FLDS that involve bigamy and sexual assault on minors, KBP.

But how you can interpret Paul's message to endorse polygamy is simply amazing.

Dave In Texas said...

And TxBluesMan, I admire your perseverance. And your patience.

Fred said...

tx, you discredited yourself.

Readers should read for themselves if tx's quote is representative of the opinion. Interesting reading. United States v. Alverez, 451 F.3d 320 (5th Cir. 2006)

Here is an actually relevant quote from the opinion:

Evidence obtained pursuant to "objectively reasonable reliance on a warrant" will not be suppressed "even if the warrant is subsequently invalidated." United States v. Cherna, 184 F.3d 403, 407 (5th Cir.1999) (citing United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922, 104 S.Ct. 3405, 82 L.Ed.2d 677 (1984)). An officer's reliance on the warrant is not objectively reasonable and, therefore, not entitled to the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule if: (1) "the magistrate or judge in issuing a warrant was misled by information in an affidavit that the affiant knew was false or would have known was false except for his reckless disregard of the truth;" (2) "the issuing magistrate wholly abandoned his judicial role;" (3) an officer "relies on a warrant based on an affidavit so lacking in indicia of probable cause as to render belief in its existence entirely unreasonable;" or (4) the warrant is "so facially deficient — i.e., in failing to particularize the place to be searched or the things to be seized — that the executing officers cannot reasonably presume it to be valid." Cherna, 184 F.3d at 407-08 (internal citations and quotations omitted).

kbp said...

David or Dave in texas (?),

One of you two (or same?) were responsible for having used scriptures here.

Sorry if I confused which, if you are not the same person.

I do not approve of sexual assault on minors.

and...

Regarding Paul's message, that is the response I anticipated from any that would use it TRY and point out the scriptures do not approve.

Any would need to read much more than just that message to understand it, including a bit of Greek translation.

TxBluesMan said...

fred,

Do you even know what you are looking at?

That is an internal quote from the Cherna case, note from the Alvarez case. It goes to the standard that the court uses to review the denial of a suppression motion.

The court upheld the August 24 warrant, after applying this standard and finding that the police were credible and their corroboration supported a finding of probable cause.

The quote I cited was on the January 28 warrant, which, as was shown in the quote, was also found to have supported a finding of probable cause.

Some of the convictions of Alvarez were overturned on other grounds, some were upheld, but required new sentencing hearings, again, on other grounds.

The findings on the warrants and that there was probable cause is clearly on point in this case.

Absent a showing that the officers intentionally deceived the judge, which there is no evidence to support, the warrants would be good.

If you have some such evidence, please share it with us.

Jeez, Fred. If you don't understand the law, don't argue legal points.

At least with Doran, I don't have to explain how to read case law, even though he is usually on the wrong side of the argument.

kbp said...

TBM
"Absent a showing that the officers intentionally deceived the judge, which there is no evidence to support, the warrants would be good."


If there is any accuracy to what Goldstein claims, it sure looks like the arrest warrant for Dale Barlow was intentional BS, which then leaves Sarah's anonymous calls in need of corroboration.

Imagine reading about Sarah's calls, followed by the Barlow communication, as the definition of "good faith" in Texas!
;)

Fred said...

tx, bull. You wrote "And since you requested it, here is the information on Alverez."

I quoted Alverez, which quotes Cherna, to point out your misrepresentation. Do you know how to read an opinion? The link is to Alverez, the quote is from Alvarez, which quotes Cherna.

The basis for the Alvarez warrant was nothing like the present FLDS case. They already had proof of prior sales and drug trafficking before they got any anonymous tip. There was mucho other evidence to support the anonymous tip in Alvarez. Here, there is none, and not only is there none, there is some evidence LE knew it was bogus because they knew Mr. Barlow was not in the state (and I'm betting they knew about Swinton too, or someone closely involved knew, but they didn't expect the media to break it down).

An officer's reliance on the warrant is not objectively reasonable and, therefore, not entitled to the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule if: (1) "the magistrate or judge in issuing a warrant was misled by information in an affidavit that the affiant knew was false or would have known was false except for his reckless disregard of the truth;,"

Since they didn't even attempt to corroborate the reliability of of the anonymous tip, as was done in Alverz, it was "reckless disregard of the truth" even if they had no knowledge that Swinton was a hoax.

Don't get all high and mighty because of your a sloppy cite and bad representation and inability to read an opinion.

Alverez doesn't support your position at all.

This, I think, is the foundation of Goldstien's writ.

Temple used for sex with young girls, officials say

"In a court motion filed by Goldstein seeking relief from the search warrants, he said FLDS members “James Jessop, Rulon Keat and Luke Jessop were present and praying as officers drug them out of the way to gain entry to the temple. Officers were also observed firing weapons into the woods on the northwest corner of the temple as they entered the temple gates.”"

Back to the child abuse by police.

doran williams said...

To kbp: Is there any Biblical or historical "evidence" of Mary's age at the time she married Joseph?

Dave In Texas said...

Didn't mean to confuse anyone, KBP. I hit the wrong button again.

I would never hold myself out as an expert on scripture. You asked for a verse to support the Christian viewpoint of monogamy. I found one.

The Bible is a profound and complex work -- but there's enough contradictions to confuse anyone -- such as the two creation stories in Genesis.

But Greek translation or otherwise, I still believe your suggestion that Paul can be interpreted as condoning polygamy is 10 ways from wrong.

So, I have to ask: Are you really trying to say that the Bible supports polygamy? I understand there are those who interpret that to be the case. That doesn't make it correct.

kbp said...

Star-Telegram staff
does better without help from Marci Hamilton.

kbp said...

Doran,

The estimates are 12-15 YO, FWIW, from many studies.

kbp said...

David in texas,

"...So, I have to ask: Are you really trying to say that the Bible supports polygamy? "

Not for...
"Bishops,
Presbyters and
Deacons
"
hah hah!!

...but, my position was that it does not condemn it.

I'd actually have to ask you what "Bible" you're talking about, or is it the Gospel, if you want to read parts from either that support polygyny?

Christoph said...

"One (FLDS) has polygamy (what we normally call 'bigamy' and sexual assault of minors as part of t heir doctrine. The Catholic church does not."

Dave, the Catholic Canon recognizes marriage starting at 12 for females, 14 for males, unless they start puberty younger. Then marriage can start younger too.

I think we should step back from seizing churches' assets because of their doctrinal beliefs, which is what your position boils down to.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Re: the age of the Virgin Mary when she gave birth. There is no reference in the biblical canon, but in one of the apocryphal books, The Protoevangelium of James, it was said Mary was 12 when she was married and that Joseph was an elderly widower.

While traveling in Turkey some years back, Kathy and I did an extensive tour of Christian religious sites (including visiting five of the seven 'churches of the apocalypse' from the Book of Revelations, which are all in modern Turkey.) I can't remember offhand at which religious site, but we saw an amazing collection of floor to ceiling murals depicting Mary's life as portrayed in the Protoevangelium, and I remember vividly the scene of elderly Joseph and the 12 year old maiden at their wedding.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

On religious doctrine and polygamy, I agree with KBP that the New Testament does not forbid it except for specific classes of people. But God INSTRUCTED Abraham to engage in polygamy, and taken as a whole the Bible contains many affirming references to the practice.

Those who want to hang their hat on Paul's epistles to Timothy to insist on monogamy must also then cleave to Paul's stance that girls should marry at the youngest possible moment and spend their lives raising children and running the household. By DFPS' definitions in this case, anyone obeying Paul's instructions in that regard today might well be guilty of per se child abuse. (There was a longer discussion of the biblical basis for plural marriage here.)

kbp said...

Thanks Grits

Funny you mention the Book of Revelations.

21:12
"And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve TRIBES of the children of Israel"

Warning: I'm uncertain of what gates Judge Walthers wants any to teach the belief of.

kbp said...

One side of the story never told in what should have been 8 individual suits, or at least separate of other families.

doran williams said...

Grits and kbp:

Careful about pushing this Biblical review too hard. Most Christians I know have very little knowledge of the entire Bible, don't understand what they do know of it, and tend to get really out of sorts when people press them about the conflicts between the Bible and the dogmas of various modern Christian sects. We don't want their heads to explode, do we.

kbp said...

The way it's done in Texas?

Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the 60-day hearings that begin May 19 are to review service plans developed for each child, check medical care and hear how the children are faring in foster care.
“This is not going to be a redo of whether abuse or neglect occurred,” Crimmins said.
Walther determined at a two-day April hearing that the 464 children removed from the YFZ Ranch were at risk of abuse because of their parents' support for polygamy and underage marriage.

kbp said...

Doran,

My position on the topic is simple; do NOT try to use scriptures to condemn those that actually follow them.

In the courts, it helps neither side, but the irony associated with why many of the laws are in place makes for interesting discussion at times.

kbp said...

Grits

You have my email on Footnote 1.

After reading that Patrick Crimmins stated; “This is NOT going to be a redo of whether abuse or neglect occurred,” what are your thoughts on there being quite a few PRIVATE communications between Judge Walthers and the CPS/Sheriff/Political "hang 'em all" gang?

I have speculated Walthers has been a part of the plan from within the intitial five days following the Sarah call.

TxBluesMan said...

Fred,

LOL @ your interpretation and your lack of reading ability.

I clearly indicated that the Cherna quote was included in the Alvarez case. Go back and look at my post, where I pointed out that it was an internal quote from the the Cherna cased, note[d] (my fault, I had a typo, but it should have been clear from the context) in the Alvarez case.

You speak of evidence that Ranger Long intentionally deceived Judge Walther. Where? You allude to it being in Goldstein’s motion, but then you reference a April 9th Ft Worth Star-Telegram article that states the basis of his motion was due to the Temple being a “religious sanctuary” and spoke of First, not Fourth Amendment rights. You are probably speaking of another motion that he filed, but it wasn’t the one cited in the Star-Telegram. Shoddy work. The motion you should have linked to was from the April 26th Colorado Springs Gazette, which speaks of the motion filed by Goldstein on April 24th.

Even that motion does not support your contention that Judge Walther was deceived. Goldstein claims that “prior to executing the initial warrant,” the Sheriff spoke with Barlow by cell phone. This, although not conclusive, tends to indicate that the warrant had already been issued. Had Sheriff Doran spoke to Barlow before the warrant was obtained, as a good attorney, he would have so indicated that fact in his motion, because that would support his position. If the warrant had already been issued, where is the deception? In addition, the affiant was not Sheriff Doran, but Ranger Long. Do you have anything that shows that Ranger Long knew of this prior to submitting his sworn affidavit and obtaining the warrant? I didn’t think so.

Based on the case law that you are citing, you have to show one of the following:

1. That the judge was misled.
2. The judge completely abandoned her judicial role.
3. The affidavit was so lacking in probable cause as to render belief in it unreasonable.
4. The warrant was facially deficient, by not describing the place to be searched, etc.

You can’t show that the judge was misled, she obviously did not abandon her judicial role, the affidavit was not lacking in probable cause, and it was not facially deficient.

The affidavit tracks the Alvarez affidavit as to probable cause.

The anonymous caller had provided information about a possible sexual assault of a child by Barlow, his age, and that the premises was guarded by means of fences and a guard tower. They confirmed that Barlow existed and his date of birth, that he had previously been convicted of sexual abuse of a child, that there was a medical clinic on the ranch, that the doctor was licensed, that the property was fenced and had a guard tower.

This tracks Alvarez almost point by point.

You make unsupportable allegations without an offer of proof – it wouldn’t even get in the door.

Fred, to use your words, don't get all high and mighty because of your a sloppy cite and bad representation and inability to read an opinion.

kbp said...

TBM

Your comment does resemble a defense motion prepared by the prosecution!

How could the Sheriff's call to Barlow “prior to executing the initial warrant,” the "indicate that the warrant had already been issued"?

and

Could the Sheriff have "intentionally deceived Judge Walther" by withholding information he acquired in that call, if such call was prior to the "initial warrant[s]"

TIA

;)

kbp said...

Sorry, should read;
“...warrant,” theN "indicate "?

and

Sheriff may have withheld information from Ranger Long, so Long did not intentionally deceive.

TxBluesMan said...

kbp said:

How could the Sheriff's call to Barlow “prior to executing the initial warrant,” the "indicate that the warrant had already been issued"?

Easy. The warrant is issued by the judge, and then executed by the officer. IOW, the process is like this.

A cop gets information, and prepares an affidavit. They then take the affidavit before a judge, are sworn in, and sign the affidavit.

The judge then looks at the affidavit and determines if, within the 4 corners of the affidavit if there is probable cause to issue a search warrant.

If the judge finds that there is probable cause, then the ISSUE the warrant to the officer.

The officer then has 3 days in which to EXECUTE the warrant, not counting the day of issuance nor the day of execution (basically they get 5 days).

So Ranger Long could have obtained (been issued)the warrant, then Sheriff Doran could have made the call, and then the warrant could have been served (executed) by raiding the ranch.

It that is, in fact, the timeline, then there is not Cerna misconduct that would invalidate the warrant.

Could the Sheriff have "intentionally deceived Judge Walther" by withholding information he acquired in that call, if such call was prior to the "initial warrant[s]"

No. The Sheriff did not obtain the warrant, Ranger Long did, and to show deception, you would have to show Long's deception.

Fred and Doran will probably disagree on this last point, but they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why not seize the assets of the state agency that is responsible for this raid. It seems to me that the reason for the raid on the FLDS and not the Catholic Church is because of who is more vulnerable here. If you were a po-dunk state agency in need of attention who would you go after?........ a mediocre cult settlement, or, the richest and most powerful church in the world? Hmm, let me think about that...andy

kbp said...

CATCH 22?
...a valid copy!
The Canadian teenager was among 463 children under 18 years old who were taken into custody during a raid...
snip
The girl's parents told their lawyer that their daughter had come to the YFZ compound from the Canadian FLDS community of Bountiful, B.C., a few weeks before the April 3 raid, to visit her grandmother.
snip
Child Protective Services indicated they may be willing to let the Canadian go home if they could obtain A VALID COPY OF THE GIRL'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE, the lawyer also said.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

The Richard Barlow mentioned in that trib article, kbp, looks like the Richard Barlow on about page 39, if memory serves, of the Bishop's records. Names of his first wife and children match, as does the number of children he claims to have by two of his three wives.
Which looks like evidence he did indeed tell the truth about his children's names, ages, and parentage to CPS.
In 2007 all his children and wives were still living in Short Creek. I bet they wish none of them had moved now.

Grits, where did God instruct Abraham to be polygamous? I know his wife Sarah demanded it, but I don't recall that God did. As I recall, God instructed him to treat Hagar and her son right after the deed was done, but Abraham wasn't acting on God's instructions when he took Hagar.

As I understand it the Bible, like Plutarch, sometimes tells us what people did without actually stating that this approved behavior.

Many of the OT kings did take on many wives, but they did this in violation of the Law:

“When you are come unto the land which the Lord your God gives you, and shall possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shall say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me…But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses…Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away…” (Deut. 17:14, 16-17).
(verses 18 and 19 say that the King should write down these words so he not forget the Law).

Matthew 19 also speaks of the two becoming one flesh, and from the order of Creation we have one husband and one wife.

If we are going to apply biblical principles to the discussion (and I am not sure why), while I think it can be shown that there is a strong indication God did not approve of polygamy, I don't think there's any biblical evidence to support removing the children of polygamous parents merely on the basis that they are polygamous.

And so on to a point I think more pertinent- I am trying to figure out how CPS' Crimmins can talk about how the state is not going to do a 'redo' of proving child abuse, as though that's something the state has actually done. Is he seriously claiming that the individual parents NEVER get to prove to the court that they were not and are not abusers and should have their children returned on that basis? How can that be?

On what basis did Ranger Long swear that there were beds in the temple used for the purposes of sex by overaged men with under-aged girls? The 'informant' had never been to the ranch, never been in an FLDS temple at all.

kbp said...

Thanks TBM
Then the call between the sheriff and Barlow would have had to taken place on April 3rd, between the time the warrant was issued and that time in which the raid started.

If Goldstein's information is accurate, it looks as if at the very minimum the Sheriff executed the warrants knowing the information on the affidavit that created the "probable cause" was questionable or inaccurate before executing them. Of source that would have ruined the 5 days of planning to save poor Sarah from a life threatening situation.

GOLDSTEIN: “Moreover, prior to executing the initial warrant, (Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran) was advised that Dale Barlow was in Arizona and not on the premises sought to be searched. In fact, prior to entering the premises Sheriff Doran actually spoke to Dale Barlow in Arizona by cell phone, confirming his driver license number and the fact that he was in Arizona.”

If you're accurate on the "you would have to show Long's deception", it would be very simple to make every search & seizure legal. Just provide limited hearsay to another who will act as the affiant.

Christoph said...

Grits,

In this post you've linked to Modern Pharisee's writings on the FLDS issue.

I'm not going to say he doesn't make some good points because he does.

However, he also believes that there are no laws in any state which stop an adult from having sexual relations with a younger girl, that you can, with parental permission, marry 13-year olds in states other than Texas and bring them to Texas where these marriages will be recognized, that Texas recognizes Common Law (Informal) marriages for people under 18, and that paedophilia is not a profound sin, that it's merely a "bad idea".

I've been debating him here on these issues in response to his post here.

Some choice quotes and you're welcome to read his post and our debate for context:

"I think it is not a profound evil. I think it's a bad idea."
(Hugh McBryde a.k.a. "Modern Pharisee" regarding sex with pre-pubescent children.)

"We have no laws in any state that prevent a man of any age from having legal sexual relations with a younger girl."

"Even if I am wrong you can go to other states and marry legally a 13 year old and bring her back to Texas."

I've proved conclusively in my latest comment that this last statement isn't true.

Are you sure you want to link to him? It's your call. I thought you might be interested in some of the details of his ideas, which, in theory, he's entitled to, but which also sicken my stomach, at least where pre-pubescent children are concerned.

I gather his thing is if the Bible doesn't specifically prohibit it, he isn't going to either. Therefore, he sees premarital sex as a profound evil, but doesn't place paedophilia in the same league.

His view on paedophilia and whether this is or isn't evil is outrageous. Lawfully allowed, but disturbing as Hell.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Headmistress, the quote from Matthew is a bit symbolic and ambiguous, but the Deuteronomy quote appears to be on point. Good catch. Honestly, I have no dog in the fight. I was thinking (without having looked it up this morning) of the instruction you mention that Abraham treat Hagar and her offspring as his wife and son, but it's certainly correct that their initial union was suggested by Sara. Still, whatever Abraham's initial motive, it does seem as if God preferred he live in a plural marriage rather than dishonor Hagar. (Perhaps God approves of plural marriages situationally, i.e., depending on the circumstance?)

There are also as you mentioned many examples of polygamous marriages throughout the Bible, beginning at Gen. 4:19, but for the most part those marriages are not condemned by biblical writers.

Finally, I agree it may distract somewhat from the civil and human rights questions to engage in a discussion of biblical principles, but OTOH much of what's happening here IMO frankly results from religious bigotry by small-town Christians against another other faith tradition. The point of this post, and the digressions into church history and theology, are simply to say that FLDS critics could stand to take the beam out of their own eye before seeking to remove the mote from their brethren's. If Mary gave birth to Jesus today at age 12, the Bible story would have to be rewritten to include DFPS seizing him from the "child bride" and Joseph's prosecution as a child molester.

And Bluesman, you're arguing that it isn't deception if the officers create a chinese wall so the Ranger delivering the false information doesn't know that other officers deceived him. That won't stand up. Your best explanation requires three "could haves," but there's a simpler explanation: She WAS misled.

In addition, IMO the warrant WAS too broad because it named no specific place to be searched. I've never heard of a warrant that broad since American Revolutionaries overthrew King George. There may have been PC to look for Sarah or Dale Barlow, but not for a general house to house search.

Christoph said...

My previous comment notwithstanding, I give Modern Pharisee credit for publishing my comments and debating them in an intellectually honest way. It's his actual opinion on what I consider to be one of the most profound evils in the world that I find disturbing, something I haven't hidden from him. The exact word I used was "denounce".

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Grits, I just wondered if you knew a verse that I'd missed, which does happen. Glad to know this isn't one of those times.=)

"it does seem as if God preferred he live in a plural marriage rather than dishonor Hagar. (Perhaps God approves of plural marriages situationally, i.e., depending on the circumstance?)"

I am not sure approves is the right word. It looks to me more like God saying, "You made your bed, now lie in it." Abraham is not permitted to neglect the responsibilities he took on by treating Hagar as a wife in the first place just because he and Sarah don't like the consequences of their shortsightedness.

" but for the most part those marriages are not condemned by biblical writers."

Neither are they ever spoken of approvingly that I can tell. Lot also got drunk and slept with his daughters, and the Bible doesn't specifically condemn that event, but I think it's clear neither the drunkenness or the incest were approved of.

"much of what's happening here IMO frankly results from religious bigotry by small-town Christians against another other faith tradition."

Agreed, only I'd probably put it as 'short sighted small-town nominal Christians' because that would make me feel better.

" If Mary gave birth to Jesus today at age 12, the Bible story would have to be rewritten to include DFPS seizing him from the "child bride" and Joseph's prosecution as a child molester."

Well, that's a big IF (I don't believe she was 12, and even if she was, it's highly unlikely she was married at an unusually young age for her society, and 12 would be unusual for ours), and, of course, she could honestly testify that no consummation of the marriage had occurred (at least up until the births of Jesus brothers and sisters)- and if they based their case on Jesus, then Joseph would be exonerated when the DNA evidence came back.=)

Kbp: "it would be very simple to make every search & seizure legal. Just provide limited hearsay to another who will act as the affiant."

And that is genuinely disturbing. It also brings us back to the question as to how Ranger Long was able to testify so specifically that the beds in the temple were used for sex between 'men over 17' with girls 'under 17,' when we now know the informant had never even been to the ranch. What was his basis for that claim? Somebody told him that somebody had told them that they'd heard it said somewhere that somebody knew of a time that had happened, only it wasn't in Texas and it wasn't an FLDS temple and it wasn't an adult with a minor, and it wasn't sex, but it was kind of sort of like that?

That's what some of this stuff sounds like. What remedy do these people have? Are they ever going to get the opportunity to defend themselves, or is that farcical mass hearing sufficient to brand them child-abusers forever?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Christoph, thanks, I'd only just ran across Modern Pharisee through another blog and didn't know about those bizarre views. I'm glad you took the time and energy to engage him on it, and appreciate you providing links to those discussions.

That said, when I'm rounding up blog coverage on this or other topics, I hope NOBODY views a link as an endorsement of any particular view or a given site's content per se. I link to MANY people and sources with which I don't necessarily agree, in part to provide others access to a range of opinions, many of which I don't share. And often, as in this case, I don't know what other kooky things somebody may have written.

Actual pedophilia is an abomination, and I hope I've always been clear on that distinction. If MP supports it he's not remotely a credible voice, and it was my mistake to link to send him traffic.

Christoph said...

"Agreed, only I'd probably put it as 'short sighted small-town nominal Christians' because that would make me feel better."

And only because that would make you feel better, headmistress, zookeeper, because the intellectually honest thing to admit is they are Christians, unless you somehow are the arbitrator on who is or isn't a Christian, and what sins disqualify someone from being a real Christian (theirs) as opposed to being a real Christian (your sins pass this test).

Anyway, the Bible allows for polygamy, young marriages, etc. As a matter of religious freedom, I support these in most cases.

But your religion is still wrong, your Bible contradicts itself and nature, relentlessly, and you can argue over it all you want because you can pretty much "prove" anything with it.

I'm more swayed by the Constitutional guarantees which were breached and the clearly written Texas statutes violated.

I respect your right to your religion does not equal I must respect your religion. And don't get on a high horse, headmistress. I began my comment pointing out who you disrespected these people's Christian religion.

TxBluesMan said...

kbp,

I disagree.

The presence or absence of a person who is named in a Search & Arrest warrant does not necessarily negate the probable cause, nor does it indicate that the other person(s) or things sought will not be there.

I have seen the results of numerous Search & Arrest warrants where the subject to be arrested was not at the location, but the evidence that they were locking for was.

A warrant is not an all or nothing proposition.

Christoph said...

Grits, in fairness, I can't definitively say Modern Pharisee supports paedophilia. He says it isn't forbidden from the Bible and, therefore, isn't inherently evil. Whereas a 47-year old virgin getting a hand job for the first time from a consenting adult is a profound evil.

I don't understand this reasoning, but I suppose the second part of it at least is Biblical.

Personally, I wouldn't link to his blog because I think the potential for him to go off the deep end with his statements is high and one could get tarnished by it. He has a right to free speech — not necessarily credibility from a trusted source such as yours.

kbp said...

Crimmins said;
“...This is not going to be a redo of whether abuse or neglect occurred,”.
(posted above also)

Without a copy of the ruling, or I believe it's actually the Temporary Order from April 21 or 23*, I do not know how one could determine if what Crimmins tells us is PROCEDURE or just a PLAN!
*(SEE footnote 1, PAGE 10 OF PDF)

Fred said...

Tx, you are conflating the issuance and the execution. They are two different things. The execution must also be reasonable per Duncan v. Barnes, 592 F.2d 1336 (5th Cir.1979) and its progeny.


Two special issues were put to the jury: (1) whether the officers acted in good faith and with a reasonable belief in the validity of the search warrant; and (2) whether the officers acted maliciously, arbitrarily or capriciously in conducting a search pursuant to the warrant. The jury answered the first special issue affirmatively but failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the second special issue.
.....
The jury finding on the first special issue that appellees acted in good faith and with a reasonable belief in the validity of the search warrant did not immunize appellees from liability for the manner in which they executed the warrant, if such manner of execution violated the Constitution. Furthermore, the evidence was adduced at trial from which a reasonable jury could have found that appellees' execution of the warrant was malicious, arbitrary or capricious.


Both the issuance and the execution must be constitutional. Alverez doesn't help you at all.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

"And only because that would make you feel better, headmistress, zookeeper"

LOL! Um, yeah. That would be why that's what I said instead of offering any other reasons. It was supposed to be funny, for the non-humor impaired.

As for the rest of your diatribe, whatever.

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

We'll have to agree to disagree on Walther being misled. I don't think that she was, and I don't think that Doran called Barlow until after the warrant had already been issued. That is the simplest explanation, not that there was an intent to deceive her.

Time may tell on that issue.

You could very well be right that the warrant was too broad. I don't think so, but I wouldn't put any money on it either way.

kbp said...

TBM
"The presence or absence of a person who is named in a Search & Arrest warrant does not necessarily negate the probable cause, nor does it indicate that the other person(s) or things sought will not be there."

In this case it should have indicated to the sheriff that Dale B. had NEVER been to the "SINGLE HOUSEHOLD" where the anonymous caller claimed to be in a life threatening situation at FIVE DAYS EARLIER.

TxBluesMan said...

Fred,

Instead of using a Circuit Court case, why not go for a Supreme Court case?

Let’s see, we can use Los Angeles County v Rettele, 127 S. Ct. 1989 (2007). Oh wait. On almost the same facts, that officers were unreasonable in securing the premises, the Supreme Court said that in executing a search warrant, the risk of harm to both the police and occupants is minimized if the officers routinely exercise unquestioned command of the situation. The 4th Amendment allows warrants to issue on probable cause, a standard well short of absolute certainty. Valid warrants will issue to search the innocent, and innocent people unfortunately bear the cost.

Of course in your case they were searching the wrong place – but didn’t they search the correct place in the FLDS case?

Or we could look at another Circuit Court case. Let’s look at United States v. Alverez-Tejeda, 491 F.3d 1013 (9th Cir. 2007) dealing with a claim of an unreasonable search. Gee, in this case the DEA officers intentionally caused a traffic accident in order to impound the car and seize the drugs. It was found reasonable.

Or we could look at a 5th Circuit case. Let’s look at Mason v. Lowndes County, 106 Fed. Appx. 203 (5th Cir. 2004) dealing with a search where the information from an informant was incorrect. If the appellants don’t offer evidence that the officers deliberately tried to mislead the judge at the time the warrant was issued, that there is no constitutional violation. Not only that, but the burden of proof to prove the alleged misconduct is on the challenger of the warrant, and that warrants and the affidavits supporting them are presumed valid.

Do you really want to continue this?

I can find twice as many strong cases that support the search as you can find weak cases that don’t.

TxBluesMan said...

kbp,

Have you ever known a convicted felon to lie to law enforcement?

Why should Doran have automatically assumed that Barlow was telling the truth?

The credibility of a felon is always at question, so there is no reason that the Sheriff should have believed a word that Barlow said.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Didn't Barlow's parole officer confirm his whereabouts?

kbp said...

"...Walthers mislead..."?

- Politicians passing laws to get 'em.

- Sheriff planning raid for FOUR YEARS

- Multiple warrants worded just right for SEX crimes

- West Texas Army storms in with leader knowing perp is not there?

- Immediate steps taken by 12 CPS workers to round up & haul off 463 children

- Prosecutor knowing of case has press releases of details (limited though!)

- 14 Day Hearing, w/Media Doc, takes custody "en masse"

- Cell phones confiscated

- Plan A, B & C nursing is questionable

- Temporary Order is either out-of-order or something smells fishy there

- Temporary Order must be a secret (sealed? Sources say it can't be shared)

- Individual hearings, but condemnation of beliefs is a 'done deal' forever?

I'm starting to speculate Walthersis taking part in the efforts to mislead.

Am I the only one?

Christoph said...

"Am I the only one?"

Nope. Although also I'm willing to allow for the possibility she's a moron on due process and civil rights issues, as many Texas lawyers seem to be.

kbp said...

TBM
"Have you ever known a convicted felon to lie to law enforcement?"

If I were ignoring the previous records that indicated he was on probation in another state, it would be much simpler to classify that felon as a liar whenever he opened his mouth.

But, then to classify him as a felon, I'd have to at least recall one of those records I'd dug up on him.

kbp said...

Lets be civil now!

;)

Fred said...

The good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply if the warrant affidavit contains a false statement that was made intentionally or with reckless disregard for its truth. See Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 155-56 (1978). If an allegation of intentional falsity or a reckless disregard for the truth is "established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence," the we must then excise the offensive language from the affidavit and determine whether the remaining portion would have established the necessary probable cause. See Franks, 438 U.S. at 156-57; United States v. Alvarez, 127 F.3d 372, 374 (5th Cir. 1997). Note that the initial burden here is upon the defendant to prove that false information was given intentionally or recklessly. See United States v. Wake, 948 F.2d 1422, 1428-29 (5th Cir. 1991) (discussing the "defendant's burden in challenging the truthfulness of factual statements made in an affidavit supporting a warrant"). If the defendant fails to meet his burden, or if the affidavit would have sufficiently provided probable cause without the false information, the warrant did not violate the Fourth Amendment and the evidence should not have been excluded. [United States v. Cavazos, 288 F.3d 706, 709 (5th Cir.2002)]

Uncorroborated anonymous tip defeated search warrant

Anonymous tipster to the police was completely uncorroborated and could not be relied on for a search warrant. Harper v. State, 2008 Ga. LEXIS 19 (January 8, 2008):

Fred said...

Tx, you keep citing cases that have independent corroboration. In Alverz they had already made drug buys before the anonymous tip! And they had a mound of confirmation of the anonymous tip. Cite one case from the SCOTUS or Fifth Circuit that is based on an anonymous tip without any corroboration and I'll admit to being wrong.

Texas has already admitted it has a problem with probable cause. The only question is how much of a problem that is.

Already linked elsewhere.

Fred said...

Anonymous tip was insufficient in this case. United States v. Crandell, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65962 (D. N.J. September 7, 2007):

The question presented is whether an anonymous tip that "a black male with dreadlocks and blonde tips[,] wearing a tan shirt and blue jeans" was carrying a gun in the small of his back is, without more, sufficient to justify a police officer's stop and frisk. This Court finds that it is not. The stop and frisk violated Defendant's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The fruits of the stop and frisk, namely a handgun, were tainted by the unconstitutionality of the stop. Defendant's motion to suppress the evidence seized after the stop shall be granted.

http://fourthamendment.com

Jeff Culbreath said...

"Honestly it disturbs me a bit to see you downplaying Catholic church abuse, comparing to public schools, etc., to try to minimize what happened."

Who's downplaying the abuse? 4% is 4% - no more, no less. It's an abomination, to be sure, but it's also a too-convenient stick for certain non-Catholics to beat the Church with, and that's what's going on here.

I'm essentially agreeing with your slipperly slope logic, except on one point. If abuse is truly the criteria, the Catholic Church is not next in line after the FLDS, not even close. The authorities have much bigger and more dangerous fish to fry, beginning with the public schools. The point is that child abuse seems NOT to be the motive behind the FLDS raid: rather, it appears to be a pretext for cracking down on religious groups that do not conform to mainstream cultural norms. In which case the Catholic Church may well be next in line, especially in light of the sex abuse scandal which was very public and provides a convenient cover.

"I won't quibble with you about how many of the thousands of priests identified are still working for the church."

That isn't a quibble, Grits. It is central to your argument about the Catholic Church being potentially targeted by authorities due to children being at risk for abuse. We agree that it makes a good pretext for a raid, if the state is to be believed with respect to their motives. But you apparently think the danger of abuse is much greater than it actually is. Although I oppose the FLDS raid for the same reasons you do, there is enough information about this tiny sect to conclude that their children are in greater danger, proportionally, of abuse by their elders, than are Catholic children of abuse by their priests. Hence the repugnance of your comment about the Pope and Warren Jeffs.

So how many of the 4,000 priests accused from 1950 to 2002 are in the employ of the Church today? You might want to read through the list.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-A.html

By far the majority are deceased, jailed, laicized, or otherwise removed from ministry by church authorities.

"I'm similarly unimpressed with your argument that I should give Benedict credit because, instead of going after individual allegations of abuse ...."

Who said that Benedict hasn't gone after individual allegations of abuse? I gave you one prominent example: the link above will give you others. It may be done too quietly for your tastes, but the Church has no need to seek headlines.

"... or ousting bishops who'd covered for abusers,"

Granted, he hasn't done this.

"... he opportunistically used the issue to purge homosexuals from the clergy who may or may not have molested anyone,"

In the first place, no priest has been removed from ministry simply for having homosexual tendencies. It is possible to have same-sex attractions and to be a good priest. That doesn't contradict anything I have said previously. "Possible" does not mean "likely" or recommended. Teaching and living the homosexual lifestyle are different matters entirely. What the Holy Father has done, once again, is to reaffirm the Church's ban on admitting men with homosexual tendencies to the seminaries. Those who are already ordained are, well, ordained, and ordination is a sacrament which, like marriage, cannot be rescinded.

"Opportunistically?" I see that we are not to expect even the pretense of objectivity from you. Homosexuality - and dissent from the Church's teaching on sexual morality - are the root of priest-sex abuse scandal in the United States. For those lacking common sense perhaps the statistics will persuade. There was nothing opportunistic about the Pope's action here: in fact it was long overdue.

"That's using the cloak of 'reform' to further an anti-gay agenda that doesn't actually address specific abuse cases, and it earns him no favor with this writer."

Sorry you don't agree, but the reform is essential and we are already seeing the fruits of it. More homosexual clergy = more abuse; fewer homosexual clergy = less abuse. There's more to it, of course, but homosexuality in the clergy was a major contributor to the problem.

"My overall point was made precisely by the facetiousness of the comment that offended you, and I stand by it in that context:"

But the facetiousness only works if one presumes moral equivalency between Warren Jeffs and Pope Benedict. And that's obviously offensive.

"Many FLDS critics, particularly on the left and (a certain faction of) the Christian Right, take a cynical, essentially anti-religious attitude toward the group (or anti- any but their own), combine it with unfriendly assumptions about strange people, and convince themselves as the Houston Chronicle columnist did, of the righteousness of positions that are fundamentally unjust. However, as William put it, 'the bat swings both ways.'"

Quite so, and well said.

Anonymous said...

Some analysis of the method of holding property needs to be looked at here.

The FLDS hold all their real property in a trust (the United Effort Plan (aka UEP)), which is not controlled by any current FLDS members currently (courtesy of a Utah Court). I don't think you can attach the trust anymore for current FLDS actions. The trust is a defendant in lawsuits involving prior acts though.

The Catholic Bishops each have their own diocese incorporated individually - some very few priests work for the Vatican, most work for dioceses or religous orders. The Catholics could reduce their liability by using the PRCC (Polish Roman Catholic Church) method of holding property: have each parish or other organization hold its own real property separate from the diocese: this would limit how much money could be lost in a law suit to only the minimized diocesian properties and maybe the local parish/organization properties. BTW this parish holding issue appears to be the main issue separating the PRCC from the CC.

TxBluesMan said...

Fred,

This case has independent corroboration.

You just don't want to see it due to your political support of the child abusers.

kbp said...

Certainly, or they'd not have know Dale was a liar due to being a felon when he told them he he had not been to Texas since 1977.

;)

Christoph said...

For what it's worth, and I don't think it's worth a whole lot, Modern Pharisee isn't publishing my last comment (submitted twice) where I decimate his contention that Minnesota and Missouri allow marriages to 13-year olds with parental permission. He's refused to provide proof of this despite several challenges on another thread.

This is the comment in question, which he hasn't published as of this moment:

(Thread in question where MP isn't publishing my last comment)
 

#########
Having been "kindly" proven conclusively and spectacularly wrong, after I denounced you, why do you continue to:

"...contend that in parts of this country you can do so when the girls is 13. You might want to check statutes in Minnesota, and Missouri."

The minimum age of marriage in Minnesota with parental permission is 16, 18 without:

2007 Minnesota Statutes
517.02 PERSONS CAPABLE OF CONTRACTING.

Every person who has attained the full age of 18 years is capable in law of contracting marriage, if otherwise competent. A person of the full age of 16 years may, with the consent of the person's parents, guardian, or the court, as provided in section 517.08, receive a license to marry, when, after a careful inquiry into the facts and the surrounding circumstances, the person's application for a license is approved by the judge of the juvenile court of the county in which the person resides. If the judge of juvenile court of the county in which the person resides is absent from the county and has not by order assigned another judge or a retired judge to act in the judge's stead, then the court commissioner or any judge of district court of the county may approve the application for a license.
History: (8563) RL s 3553; 1927 c 166; 1949 c 374 s 1; 1963 c 795 s 1; 1967 c 506 s 1; 1973 c 725 s 72; 1981 c 58 s 1; 1995 c 189 s 8; 1996 c 277 s 1

The minimum age of marriage in Missouri is 15, 18 without:

Missouri Statutes
Issuance of license prohibited, when--parental consent, when required.

451.090. 1. No recorder shall, in any event except as herein provided, issue a license authorizing the marriage of any person under fifteen years of age; provided, however, that such license may be issued on order of a circuit or associate circuit judge of the county in which the license is applied for, such license being issued only for good cause shown and by reason of such unusual conditions as to make such marriage advisable.

2. No recorder shall issue a license authorizing the marriage of any male under the age of eighteen years or of any female under the age of eighteen years, except with the consent of his or her custodial parent or guardian, which consent shall be given at the time, in writing, stating the residence of the person giving such consent, signed and sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths.
#########
 

... yet he wants me to email him* for some reason. I decline.

My first comment on his site was in part to get clarification on his views, my second to denounce him, and others to debate him. Nothing he's said has changed my denunciation one iota.

I am done with Mr. Hugh McBryde.

 
* in a comment he placed in a different thread after I submitted the comment he won't publish

--
The moral of the story is you can't marry 13-year olds (except under an extremely unlikely set of circumstances in New Hampshire where one gets both parental permission and a judicial waiver) in the United States and don't believe quacks who say otherwise.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesman, political support for child abusers? Please! I thought we'd walked you back from that ledge.

I appreciate the enthusiasm, folks, but PLEASE try to keep the conversations civil and productive. Thanks! :)

Christoph said...

Final, final comment on MP's lunacy... he's gleefully discovered there have been a few marriages of under 15-year olds in New Jersey in recent years. Consequently, he updated his Blogger "label" or category to "My (not so) Bad" when he had it nearer the mark the first time.

Whether any of these under 15-year olds in New Jersey are 13, he doesn't know. I acknowledged here 13-year old females can get married in New Hampshire, under extremely improbably circumstances.

My point, expressed crystal clear on his site, is no state allows marriage of 13-year olds based solely on parental consent. It requires judicial approval in those states that theoretically allow it.

However, if it makes MP happy to find 13-year olds getting married, and imagine more of them than you are, there you are. The man's got his priorities.

Christoph said...

more of them than you are = more of them than there are

Fred said...

Well, apparently all the cases I cited were written by judges who really promote political support for child abusers. Bet they would be surprised to hear that.

Better if and when judges come to realize this rhetoric is an attack on due process and the Constitution rather than "for the children." At this rate, the Bill of Rights will be gone in a few more years and the children might wish they had some rights left.

Anonymous said...

If the burden of proving the warrant is faulty falls upon those served, and if complaining that it is faulty has to occur when it is issued, then;

When the sherrif learned that Dale Barlow was not at the YFZ ranch, and had not been in Tx is many years, should that not have given some pause to the sherrif prior to executing the warrant?

Further, when served with the warrant, did not the FLDS leaders denounce the vaildity of the warrant by stating that no "Sarah" of that description resided at the YFZ ranch? (complaint of false warrant at the time of service)

Additionally, did not the FLDS members prove that "Sarah" did not reside at the YFZ ranch by allowing CPS and/or LE to interview every female in that age group prior to them being removed? (Proving the warrant was faulty)

At least on the surface, it appears as if the FLDS members did what was required of them. Unless the argument is that they didn't do this in a court hearing, which they hardly had time to contact an attorney, much less prepare a motion and await the Clerk of Court to set a hearing date at some point into the future.

Christoph said...

"...and the children might wish they had some rights left.

They probably do now. They were detained too, if I'm not mistaken.

kbp said...

FOX NEWS Judge Andrew Napolitano (week or so ago)

I sense the two of us agree about Judge Walthers.

But, I have to admit he's a book seller also! Why are there so many selling books today in the media?

kbp said...

Will Rozita Swinton write a book soon?
"...The book Raising Shane, written by her foster mother Kate Rosemary,
talks about Swinton's past...."

doran williams said...

I am really enjoying the back and forth between fred and tbm; watching fred nail tbm is a lot like watching someone nail slime to the wall.

I think that if you take everything out of Ranger Long's first affidavit that does not collaborate the hoax allegation of child and physical abuse, then there is not sufficient collaboration as a matter of law.

Why don't you guys do that? Just blank out all that crap about the gate and the watch tower, and there being Sarah's on the Ranch. Maybe stick in that the Affiant, while pointing out the presence of a doctor on the Ranch, did not apparently TALK to the doctor to corroborate the hoaxter's lies about being beaten up.

And once you have blanked out all the surplusage, and maybe added some of the facts that Ranger Long should have included and would have included had he not suffered a regretable (and I'm sure, just a temporary) loss of integrity at the time he drafted his Affidavit, send it to Grits as a PDF file so maybe the rest of us can see what is left that constitutes corroboration.

But here's the thing: It doesn't matter at this stage if there was lying to the judge, if the first affidavit by Ranger Long was a work of fiction, if there was insufficient collaboration of the allegations in the hoax telephone call, or if there was truly no probable cause. Lets just assume that all these flaws in the affidavit are exposed, and that the first search and arrest warrant was not supported by probable cause and that all the fruits of the search should be suppressed.

It won't matter a bit because the motion to suppress will be heard by the same judge to whom the half-truths and lies were made, and that judge is not going to admit that she was snookered by a Texas Ranger. It won't matter what the evidence and law establish, she is not going to suppress the evidence because to do so will require her to admit that she made a grievous error. It will require her to either explicitly or implicity find that Law Enforcement in the form of Ranger Long and Sheriff Doran were liers and cheaters. It will require her to put her continuance as an elected judge at risk come next election.

No, this thing will have to be decided ultimately by an appellate court at some level, after months and years of litigation, trials, appeals, and huge costs to the State and County, as well as to the Defendants in the criminal trials to come.

Bottom line: fred is right about there not being a good affidavit to support issuance of the first search and arrest warrant, but tbm wins in the near future because the judge is going to ignore all the problems. tbm may win in the long term, given the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' proclivity for making it hard as hell for defendants to get a fair trial.

kbp said...

I anticipate Walthers will just ignore the motions.

Maybe I should say CONTINUE to ignore them!

I am not familiar with how this Family Code works, but evidently nothing required her to address motions prior to the order for Temporary Custody.

The "Bishop's Records" were allowed in.

At what point in this process would she have to rule on motions, if ever?

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

I don't mind being called out when I get close to the line, but I would appreciate it if you would do the same when those on your side of the issue do the same.

Being compared to slime on the wall is not that much different than the comment I made.

Of course, I agree with Doran's statement that the warrant will be upheld in the near term, but we differ on the long term.

Fred said...

How do you foresee the long term, tx? I see mass detention and incarceration in our future for a variety of civil "crimes."

Walter said...

I think I understand the point you are trying to make, but that doesn't give you the right to make up facts. I realize this is blogging, but I still expected some degree of integrity from you; you certainly have exhibited it in everything else I have read. So I'm floored to see the premise of your argument - that the Church approves of marriages with 12-14 year old girls, supported by reference to the Catholic Encyclopedia. What the heck is that!! I'm know it's not something adopted by, or approved by the Church.

The fact is, that is not the position of the church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official source of church doctrine. Paragraph 1625 states "The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage.." It also states they must be free from any natural or legal impediment. As far as I know, no state authorizes marriages of 14 year olds, so that would be a legal impediment.

I won't even go into the distinction between promoting the conduct as part of doctrine, and having individuals engage in conduct that is prohibited.

I can only assume you have some strong Anti-Catholic feelings. If not, then I suppose you should endorse the same thing for all major religions, because every single one of them has had multiple pastors/ministers engage in similar conduct.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

No anti-Catholic feelings at all, Walter. I precisely "endorse the same thing for all major religions, because every single one of them has had multiple pastors/ministers engage in similar conduct."

And just like the way the state handled criminal prosecutions and child abuse with other religions, with FLDS they should target perpetrators and NOT broadly persecute non-offenders based solely on their religious beliefs.

doran williams said...

Tx, what I had in mind was the green Slime I use to fill up holes in my bicycle tires. It seemed an appropriate reference, since what you have been doing is trying to caulk the holes in the State's case.

As it apparently will make you feel better, I hereby amend the comment to read: "...watching fred nail tbm is a lot like watching someone nail green jello to the wall."

kbp said...

Special Prosecutors?
Looks like the plan is to push the blame as far away from the house that created it as possible.

If I were in that DA's office, after seeing the mess the CPS & Walthers is a BIG part of, I'd have begged for a Special Prosecutor also.

Not sure how Texas operates, but in most states the next step is a Grand Jury for the Special Prosecutors to blame.

TxBluesMan said...

Thanks Doran, I feel so much better now.

kbp,

I think you may be surprised at the Grand Jury process in Texas, where if the DA wants to, he could probably get Mother Teresa indicted.

Doran & Fred, step in if I leave something out on the GJ process.

The only people allowed in the Grand Jury are the DA, the jurors, the witness, the bailiff, an interpreter (if needed), and a court reporter (only when the accused is being questioned).

Only the DA and a juror may ask questions. Technically, an attorney for the accused may address the grand jury, but only with the permission of the DA, and I am not aware of this ever happening, though I suppose it might have.

If the accused is questioned, his attorney has to wait outside of the grand jury room.

There is (other than if the accused is questioned) no record of the grand jury proceedings, other than an indictment or no bill.

Note that in Texas, the accused does not have a right to appear before the grand jury.

If I may, I also started a blog, at http://coramnonjudice.blogspot.com/, that I would like to invite you to visit - it's not as good as the one Grits has, but it does have a different slant on things.

Doran, Fred, y'all are invited too.

kbp said...

Thanks TBM

Kansas has a GJ, but it is not so readily available to the DA's office and has greater tools for investigation of the cases.

Texas sounds like they have one similar to most states, except I have read of a few in which the DA is not allowed in, only their hand picked witnesses.

Transcripts? Who needs records? ;)>

Most I've read of require an average of about 3-5 minutes per case to get an indictment.

TxBluesMan said...

kbp,

It boggles the mind of some of the out-of-state people that I talk to.

I was having a discussion with a crim. just. professor who just could not understand our grand jury process.

He was appalled...lol

kbp said...

TBM

Can a defendant demand a Prelim. Hearing after a GJ?

TxBluesMan said...

A person that has been arrested for a felony can request an examining trial to allow a judge to determine if there is enough evidence to send to a grand jury, but once the grand jury has indicted him, the next stop is the actual criminal trial.

kbp said...

Same LINK as above on Special prosecutors.

"...The case volume had the potential to burden the Tom Green County District Attorney's office, which has jurisdiction for felony cases in a five-county area with a combined population similar to West Valley City."

Is this DA's office limited to traffic tickets or what?

I've said before, the DA's office was in on this. The local prosecutor has already been in the media, keeping it short always, but well aware of what is going on.

The prosecutor does not want there to be any question about ethics in this mess they were definitely involved in from the start.

Sheriff "violate civil rights" "four years planning" Doran is not smart enough to have left out the charges that follow breaking ribs on a pregnant 16 YO (threatening a life by putting her in the hospital???) and ONLY going after Sexual Assault of a Child in those first warrants. That SEX charge ONLY + CPS involvement distanced the blame from the DA's and Sheriff's office.

Spread the blame a few steps at a time and it will be minimal for any involved when they're done.

DA lays out the warrant plan over 5 days then hands off to;

Sheriff, who has been organizing a 700 man army to break the doors down and hand it off to;

CPS, which brings in 12 workers to patrol for evidence of those bad beliefs to then hand it off to;

Judge Walthers, who gives the evidence free "en masse" condemnation and then hands it back to;

DA's office, which looks it over and immediately unloads all the mess to;

Special Prosecutors, who will line up select Media Doc type witnesses so they can hand it over to;

Grand Jury members who would indict a ham sandwich in 60 seconds flat.

At that point ALL can blame the PUBLIC that serves on that jury.

TxBluesMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TxBluesMan said...

Nah, the system in Texas as far as prosecutors.

District Attorneys prosecute felonies in District Court.

County Attorneys prosecute misdemeanors in County and Justice Courts.

City Attorneys prosecute tickets in City Court.

Criminal District Attorneys function as both District and County Attorneys, and if there is a CDA, there is not a DA/CA.

Clear as mud, right?

Then, if the DA/CDA is unable to prosecute the case for whatever reason, the trial judge can appoint a special prosecutor. The AG's Office has plenty of lawyers and investigators, whereas a small county like Tom Green does not. It more about the logistics than the blame.

Plus, the AG would like the case.

-----

Coram Non Judice

kbp said...

????????????
Plus, the AG would like the case.
????????????

Nobody complained of being a victim.

Most all young "spiritual wives" I've read of stayed true to their husbands.

The opening move was to take 450+ children.

No reports of the group harming others in any way.

blah, blah, blah...

If the AG really "likes it", I'd have to assume he has the 'short man syndrome'.

TxBluesMan said...

Ah, kbp, you don't understand Texas, do you?

You don't have to have a victim complain on Bigamy, or for Sexual Assault of a Child for that matter. Both are a crime against the peace and dignity of the State.

As to short man syndrome? Probably. I would imagine that a person in a wheelchair could have short man syndrome, but he's a great AG.

Besides, the opening move was the criminal violations by the members of the FLDS.

kbp said...

My wording to keep the board clean ("short man") backfired, but I'm certain you knew what I meant!

I'll add that if there was a crime, it should be investigated and prosecuted, using all the evidence they can find without violating anyone's rights.

I still have difficulty imagining how someone would like prosecuting the possible cases here.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"the opening move was the criminal violations by the members of the FLDS"

Huh?!!

Where have you been, bluesman? The opening move was a hoax phone call by a mentally disturbed woman in Colorado.

doran williams said...

txblue seems to be partial to mentally deranged hoaxters when they operate on behalf of the State.

kbp, you might be interested to know the story about our esteemed AG being in a wheelchair.

He was, a few years ago before fooling the voters into making him AG, jogging through his tony neighborhood in Houston. As he ran underneath a large tree, God smote the tree and caused a large portion of it to fall on Abbott. He was grievously injured.

He sued the homeowner and received a huge settlement, much of it in the form or exemplary, or punative, damages against the homeowner. Don't grieve for the homeowner, as it was his homeowner's insurance company which took the hit.

Do you want to guess what one of Abbott's principal campaign themes was when he ran for AG as a Republican? You got it: Tort Reform. Or, as we thinking people refer to it, Tort Deform. He railed against huge recoveries of the type he received, as being bad for the economy, as being too generous to those damned personal injury lawyers, as being unfair to small children, as -- well, he didn't actually mention small children. But, you see what I'm getting at. Greg Abbott is a damned hypocrite. He got his; screw everybody else who might get similarly injured. So of course, he wants to pile on and get his share of the glory by beating up on a bunch of fundamentalist Mormons. They are an easy target, and Abbott picks on easy targets.

Christoph said...

Txbluesman completely discredited himself, yet again, Grits, as you pointed out:

"the opening move was the criminal violations by the members of the FLDS"

Huh?!!

Where have you been, bluesman? The opening move was a hoax phone call by a mentally disturbed woman in Colorado.


Absolutely astonishing.

He just assumes there were crimes and that is his proof. Good enough for him, good enough for Texas.

God help us.

Christoph said...

The Free the FLDS children site is a parody of anything a blog could or should be:

"This site has been created to Promote Due Process, Religious Liberty, Human Rights, Constitutional Rights, and Freedom for the FLDS Community and All Of Us! This site will only publish positive things about the FLDS. Do not doubt this site is pro-Constitution. Stories and Articles to that end will be published here, as well as Analysis, Commentary, and Editorials. Comments on this site will be tightly controlled, and those that wish to smear or speak negatively will be summarily dismissed. If you’d like to help support the FLDS in their quest to regain their children you are more than welcome to contact us here."

Notice the captions under the pictures describing Texas officials as "Gestapo", with no further explanation or analogy.

TxBluesMan said...

Grits, others,

Which happened first? Swinton's call? Or bigamy and pregnant underage girls?

Bigamy is a crime, it is documented in the Bishop's Record, dated 2007, well before Swinton's call.

The pregnant girls? Look at Ranger Long's second affidavit. Again, these sexual assaults happened before Swinton's call.

The crimes were all there, before Swinton's call.

Her call played a part, but to deny that the criminal acts of some of the members of the FLDS took place is to bury one's head in the sand, and they clearly started the entire process.

Coram Non Judice

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesman, you're basically saying Joseph Smith and Brigham Young made the "opening move" 160 years ago, which is how long polygamous Mormons have been practicing their faith in America. Nobody but you thinks they should all be prosecuted for bigamy, and really it's pretty silly to keep saying so. Ask the Utah and Arizona AGs why.

Also, no one would "deny that the criminal acts of some of the members of the FLDS" may have taken place. For all I know, you may have committed some. (Let's seize your children until you can prove you didn't!) But polygamous marriage was hardly the "opening move" in this drama, it was the massive 700 man raid based on a hoax. Further demonstrating the FLDS' un-alleged crimes didn't start the drama:

A) More than a month into the process, no one has been charged with any criminal offense, despite your repeated insistence based on nothing but media hype that widespread criminality was occurring. Where's the beef?

B) There was no cause for the authorities to be on the grounds in the first place if they knew before they went in the call was a hoax. At this point, the evidence leads me to think they did know, for reasons we've discussed. And

C) Most kids weren't abused and most adults weren't abusers, even according to the most unsympathetic accounts. For them, this definitely started with the raid and not their conduct. (As a corollary to that observation, most kids should immediately be reunited with their families. To do otherwise is to persecute religious belief.)

All you do to counter these positions are to make assumptions about unproven criminality and issue sweeping smears (e.g., anyone who disagrees with you is burying their head in the sand or suborning child molestation).

A sweeping declaration is not an argument, no matter how sincerely you seemed to have convinced yourself of the stance.

Christoph said...

For what it's worth, I'd previously criticized the "Free the FLDS Children" site at flds.ws for refusing to allow any comment criticizing the FLDS despite the fact that I personally support them.

To anyone who cares, I'm pleased to announce Ann Marie, the blogger there, has reversed her previous policy and will allow negative comments which are respectful and non-abusive to be published (all comments are moderated).

This is a positive change and I consider the site worth reading.

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

I am not the only one that thinks that they should be prosecuted for Bigamy. I seen a great number on other boards that have said the same thing.

Why would I want to ask the AGs of Utah and Arizona about this? Utah’s AG has said that part of the problem is that they have not enforced their own laws.

As to the timing of the charges?

You know, as well as anyone, that it is preferable to obtain an indictment. There is not, as far as I know, a grand jury empanelled to hear the cases. I also do not base my belief in the coming charges on media hype, but on the evidence that has been released for public information, such as the search warrant affidavits, the Bishop’s list, the public comments made by some of the wives on television, and the like.

No one has any evidence that the officers knew that the anonymous call was a hoax, despite your repeated insistence based on media hype. As you said, where is the beef?

As far as abuse? There was prima facie evidence that several have been abused, and the evidence showed that the rest were at risk.

People disagree with that, which is fine. You claim that I make unwarranted assumptions about unproven criminality. But by the same token, you make the same unwarranted assumptions that no abuse has occurred.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesman, you're putting words in my mouth. I have never, ever, ever once, in all the thousands of words written on this topic, said that "no abuse has occurred." Why do you keep saying that? Stop. It's not my position. Please argue against my actual views.

What I have said, over and over, until I'm getting tired of repeating myself, is that "Most kids weren't abused and most adults weren't abusers, even according to the most unsympathetic accounts." It's true. Texas' arguments that girl infants might be abused in 15 years or that boys may become molesters in 40 are just bogus anti-religious bigotry. That's not an "immediate" risk of abuse, and you know it.

I've also said just as frequently, even though it furthers your argument to ignore it, that the state "should target perpetrators," but someone's religious beliefs do not meet the criteria for either criminal prosecution or seizing their kids, and FLDS religious beliefs are hardly "evidence [which] showed that the rest were at risk."

On the hoax, I've only said I suspected officers knew about the hoax based on circumstantial evidence. Again, quit putting words in my mouth or overtating what I said in order to dismiss it. We know the Sheriff confirmed beforehand Dale Barlow was in AZ and had not been in Texas on the dates in question. We know Swinton got several key facts wrong which immediately clued in the Salt Lake Tribune and FLDS experts that the caller wasn't with the group - misstated holidays (they don't celebrate Easter), mispronounced the name of the town, and other discrepancies. We now know Rozita was in close contact with law enforcement after the calls to the women's shelter, meaning they had plenty of opportunities to trace them. Finally, they waited several days to go in even thoguh they supposedly believed a woman was in immedate danger or rape and beatings by her husband. That just doesn't pass the smell test. We can't know yet, as I've said repeatedly, but when I suspected the call was a hoax in the beginning, my instincts were correct, and I think they are here, too - there are too many unanswered questions that are explained most simply by law enforcement's prior knowledge.

Just saying stuff doesn't make it true, no matter how often you repeat it, especially when you're representing the opinions of others in a dismissive fashion. Argue with what I say, if you like, but it's too time consuming to have to knock down all your straw men each time before getting to the meat of the issue.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

So this 24 year old monogamous man wants his 24 year old pregnant wife : "Rulan Danial Jessop, 24, said he and his wife, 24-year-old Louisa Bradshaw Jessop, have not broken any laws, and he wants to be reunited with his family....

Louisa Jessop was one of the mothers taken into custody, because she looked like she was under age at the time of the raid.

"She is what the DPS is referring to as a disputed minor," said Patricia Matassarin, attorney for Rulan Jessop. "We have a birth certificate, driver's license, all kinds of things demonstrating her age."

Louisa Jessop's age has not prompted the state to release her from custody. She is with her daughter Amber Rose and 2-year-old son, Rulan Frederick.

She is due this weekend, and her husband would like to be there. He'd like to know his pregnant wife is in good health and not too stressed. He has not been allowed to see his family since April 3rd. "

"A writ of habeas corpus was filed on Wednesday in District Court, and Jessop was given 30 minutes with Judge Darlene Bryne on Thursday....

Louisa Jessop was not allowed to appear in front of the judge. She was not released from custody. "

It might make a difference if her first child is, oh, ten or something. The story doesn't say. But I still don't see how they could hold her and insist she's a minor under the circumstances.

W. W Woodward said...

The laws of the State of Texas are fairly clear on what constitutes marriage, bigamy, incest, and/or improper sexual relations with a child. The term “Polygamy” appears to be synonymous with “bigamy” if the multiple “marriages” are professed to be legal state sanctioned marriages. Otherwise, multiple romantic and sexual partners outside an original existing marriage would be considered adultery. And, to the best of my knowledge, adultery hasn’t been illegal in the State of Texas for several decades.

Since the mainstream idea of adultery, even though not sanctioned by most religions excepting apparently the FLDS, is not a criminal offense in Texas, what business is it of the State of Texas to interfere with an alleged act of adultery?

Question: Should an agreement with one’s spouse that one or both of the marriage partners may enter into romantic and sexual relationships outside the marriage be considered anything other than consensual adultery (an open marriage) even if the arrangement offends the religious or moral convictions of a particular state legislator or religious group?

Question: If a multiple living and sexual arrangement, consisting of one male and more than one females, is established among individuals who are of an age that has been determined capable of making “adult” decisions, by what authority does the State of Texas and its minions separate the consenting alleged adulterers from their children?

Question: Are multiple “spiritual marriages”, if not documented in a state or county register, legal marriages constituting bigamy? If not, what business is it of the State of Texas? What a person does in his/her own bedroom with the family’s Thanksgiving turkey is not an illegal act as long as the person is careful not to offend or alarm another person. (Check out Texas Penal Code 21.07) Why should having multiple romantic or sexual partners be a state concern?

Statistics would indicate that at least a few members of the State’s raiding party at the FLDS El Dorado commune have been or are presently involved in adulterous relationships. The only difference would be that members of the FLDS is using religion to justify adultery and do not attempt to hide the act while some of the 700+ members of the raiding party who may be doing the same thing are doing their best to keep it hidden from spouses, other family members, employers, and God.

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."
- - Adolph Hitler

Herr Hitler could have added, (and actually did in practice) “Especially if the people the state is targeting happen to be of a different religion, ethnicity, skin pigmentation, social status, or dress in out of style clothing.”

TxBluesMan said...

Grits,

You are correct, I shouldn't have phrased it in the manner that I did - I know that you recognize that some abuse has occurred.

My apologies.

I should have phrased it that you believe that the abuse was more limited than I believe it to be, not that you believed no abuse has occurred.

We still disagree on the need to remove all the children, but unless you want to go over that again, I'm pretty sure that both our positions are clear.

On the warrant and what the officers knew and at what time, it appears from the reports that Sheriff Doran contacted Barlow after the warrant was issued, but before it was executed, which would not support a finding that the judge was misled.

You believe that law enforcement knew beforehand, I don't think that they did. Each of us have bias that we bring to our evaluation. I work with police officers as an advocate of their rights, while you come from a position as a supporter of citizen review boards (and in a form that most officers believe are hostile to them, not that I think that you are 'out to get' the officers). This bias (on both our parts) tends to color how we look at the reports. (I am not saying that either bias is wrong, or that you are unfair, it just brings different perspectives to how we view the situation)

In either case, this will be going through the court system for awhile, so it will be awhile before we see what will happen.

Coram Non Judice

TxBluesMan said...

w.w.woodward,

Nothing in Texas law states that the bigamous marriages have to be "legal state sanctioned marriages" as is the case in a number of other states.

All that Texas has to show is that there is one legal marriage, either by a marriage license or by common law, and that the actor then 'holds out the appearance of being married' while still legally married to the first spouse. It will be fairly easy to prove, especially if the Bishop's Records were completed by the husbands.

In other words, to answer your question, yes, multiple “spiritual marriages”, even if they are not documented in a state or county register, can be legal* marriages constituting bigamy.

(Note * - no bigamous marriage is legal, even if by a marriage license, they are all ab void initio, or void from the start)

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

So, the Bishop's records prove that there is a legal first marriage?

What if there isn't?

TxBluesMan said...

headmistress,

I did not state that the Bishop's Record was prima facie evidence of a legal first marriage, but they would be supporting evidence that a common law marriage existed as far as the first marriage, and that the subsequent marriages were bigamous.

Once you establish that there was a common law first marriage, than that is the legal marriage, and all subsequent ones are illegal.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

TBM, thank-you. I just read your comment again, and see that I missed something you said that actually answered my question before I asked it, "All that Texas has to show is that there is one legal marriage, either by a marriage license or by common law..."

I had missed the 'or by common law' part, so I thought you were saying so long as there was a first legal marriage by license- and I was wondering what happens if there isn't.

The way Texas defines common law is still a bit puzzling and vague to me. How does one define 'gives the appearance' of being married? I'm old fashioned, so I think if a couple are living together they are giving the appearance of being married.
And I don't see how representing themselves as married to others couldn't be applied to others- if somebody wanted it to- to an adulterous couple who represented themselves as husband and wife when registering at a hotel or for some business conference, for instance.

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