Warren Jeffs Trial


Well, it’s official, Warren Jeffs, Prophet–so called of the FLDS church is a convicted child molester.  I did not follow the trial on a day to day basis; however, assuming media reports to be accurate, from what I have read, the State of Texas was able to accomplish what Utah was unable to do–put Jeffs away for life for actual criminal activity on his part.

I have written highly critical previous posts about Jeffs’ Utah trial.  The reasons are clear enough in the prior posts, and I need not repeat them here.  I was also highly critical of the State of Texas’ raid and abduction of all the FLDS children back in 2008.  I remain highly critical of that initial raid, for the reasons Texas gave, and which I covered extensively in the prior posts.

That said, my defense of Jeffs in his Utah trial and my defense of the FLDS people in the Texas raid has nothing to do with my personal view of Jeffs at this point, based on the evidence presented in the Texas trial and the resulting jury’s verdict.  Mr. Jeffs belongs in prison, and life is not likely a long enough term for him, given the horrific nature of his crimes.

The Salt Lake Tribune has some very interesting posts of some of the audio recordings Texas authorities used to convict Jeffs and his delusional ramblings of how he needed quorums of wives, some of whom clearly were underaged.  The recordings are pretty creepy, even when the topic is not sexual in nature.

Jeffs has had his day in court, the evidence presented, and now he serves a life sentence as a convicted child molester.  It will be interesting to see how this impacts his control over the FLDS church he ran, and whether there will be a power play for the position of “prophet.”

I just finished watching Anderson Cooper’s 360 discussion on the Warren Jeffs story tonight in his Crime and Punishment segment.  Some how, his signature statement of how he and every contributor to his program is keeping someone or another honest just got lost in the shuffle. (more…)

In a victory for Warren Jeffs, and an even larger victory for the Constitution, both Utah and United States, the Utah Supreme Court has reversed Jeffs’ conviction and ordered a new trial.  I haven’t yet read the opinion; however the Salt Lake Tribune has a good article on the ruling: (more…)

A Utah Judge sentenced Warren Jeffs yesterday, 11/20/07 to two five years to life, concurrent sentences, for his conviction in September on two counts of rape as an accomplice. I’ve been troubled by the Warren Jeffs case since his capture, and have posted previously about my impressions of his journey through Utah’s criminal justice system. (more…)

Warren Jeffs Guilty

Pool photo by Douglas C. Pizac

A southern Utah jury convicted Warren Jeffs today on two counts of being an accessory to rape. I am very, very surprised, and disagree with this jury’s verdict. The jury was supposed to begin deliberations all over this morning because one juror was dismissed. Yet, here they have already returned a guilty verdict in just hours after they supposedly began anew. Court TV anchors and criminal defense attorneys commented that this would be their first appeal issue. (more…)

The prosecution and defense in the Warren Jeffs case have now both rested. They are giving closing arguments this morning, and the case is supposed to go to the jury this afternoon. Based on my reading of the trial testimony, I think the state has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Warren Jeffs should be acquitted. (For my prior Jeffs’ posts, see here.) (more…)

warren-jeffs.jpg5th District Judge James L. Shumate has ruled that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs must stand trial on rape charges. This is not particularly surprising given the low threshold Utah had to meet; but, I think the prosecution still has a long row to hoe to convince a jury to convict on the accessory to rape charge. (more…)

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