warrensjeffs.jpegThe Salt Lake Tribune and KVOA Tucson are reporting that Warren Jeffs will appear via video link from Purgatory. I guess I should add that is the name of the correctional facility (jail) where he’s being held–but it sounds better if I were to just leave it Purgatory ;-). And, he gets to appear wearing a suit like the photo above if he wants, instead of appearing like this:


The hearing, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, 9/27/06 is essentially a scheduling hearing or as we call it on the civil litigation side, a case managment conference. They will likely discuss timetables for things like formal discovery exchanges, possibly the timing of a preliminary hearing and a trial date. There may even be discussion about Jeffs’ bail request:

From the Tribune:

Polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs will be in court for the first time Wednesday, accompanied by his lawyers for what is expected to be a routine scheduling hearing.

In two earlier hearings, Jeffs appeared in court via a videolink from the Purgatory Correctional Facility, where he has been incarcerated since Sept. 5.

Walter F. Bugden and Tara L. Isaacson, Jeffs’ attorneys, will be in court for the first time, too, to represent the 50-year-old polygamist. A third attorney, Las Vegas attorney Richard A. Wright, also has received court approval to help represent Jeffs in Utah.

During the hearing, dates are likely to be set for discovery, or when attorneys exchange evidence, a preliminary hearing and a trial . . .

On Friday, 5th District Judge James L. Shumate granted a request by Jeffs’ attorneys that he be allowed to wear civilian clothing during court hearings, rather than the green and white striped jail jumpsuit that is standard apparel for inmates.

In their request, the attorneys said photos of Jeffs in his prison uniform have been widely disseminated in the media and may unfairly prejudice potential jurors in the case. It is well-settled law that defendants cannot be made to wear prison clothes during a trial, when such garb might negatively impact jurors’ impartiality. But it is a less established concession for pre- trial hearings – and has never been addressed by Utah’s appeals courts, Jeffs’ attorneys said.

The legal team said that to not permit use of civilian clothes unfairly categorizes defendants who remain incarcerated during early proceedings, compared to those freed on bail.

KVOA TV out of Tucson raises the issue about whether or not Jeffs would be able to receive a fair trial in the Southern Utah venue where he is being held and will eventually be tried:

The setting is conservative, fast-growing Washington County, where Warren Jeffs’ church and some of its members have had previous clashes with the law.

Can Jeffs, accused of arranging marriages involving minors, get a fair-minded jury if the case goes to trial in the weeks ahead?

“There’s a real skepticism brought to bear on their claims,” said Rod Parker, who has defended members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that practices polygamy in marriages determined by its leaders.

“It’s very subtle, but it’s there,” Parker said . . .

Finding a jury that holds an impartial _ or even mild _ view of polygamy could be tough in Washington County, about two hours east of Las Vegas.

For nearly 100 years, members of the sect, which number nearly 10,000, have lived a quiet, insular life in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. Women dress in long, prairie-style dresses, and men are required to wear long pants and long sleeves.

They drive minivans and dial cell phones, shop at Wal-Mart and eat at restaurants, but typically don’t interact with surrounding communities.

Parker believes FLDS members are perceived differently than other clients he’s defended.

He represented Rodney Holm, a Hildale police officer convicted of bigamy in 2003, and last year tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Utah Supreme Court to keep a polygamist judge on the bench.

In the Holm case, questionnaires that asked about polygamy revealed a strong bias among prospective jurors, Parker said.

“I thought going into it, that being in southern Utah where people had a little more interaction with the fundamentalists, that it would be better,” he said. “We were surprised.”

Quite often Court TV will cover higher profile case hearings, such as this case. Warren Jeffs was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, along side Osama Bin Laden. I don’t know whether they plan to carry this hearing live, or perhaps tape delayed for later in their broadcast day. You can check and see at the time of the hearing if they carry it.