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Polygamist Sect Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison

Polygamist Sect Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison

 

Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on two counts of child sexual abuse.  The jury took only half an hour to send down the maximum sentence for Jeffs’ crimes, which included sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl whom he took as one of his “brides.”

Jeffs’ trial, which began with his decision to fire his lawyers and represent himself, was swift.  The prosecution played an audiotape of Jeffs having sex with his 12-year-old “bride” in the FLDS Yearning for Zion ranch’s temple.  They also presented DNA evidence that Jeffs was the father of a 15-year-old girl’s child.  Jeffs frequently interrupted proceedings with declarations that he was being persecuted for his religious faith, and at one point called down “sickness and death” on the jury.

The fate of the FLDS Church, a breakaway Mormon sect which split from mainstream Mormonism in the late 19th century over the issue of polygamy, is in question.  Jeffs is still the nominal leader, but according to Willie Jessop, a former FLDS spokesman who has publicly rejected Jeffs, the church is experiencing a great deal of inner turmoil.

“Everyone in the church has got to take a responsibility for what has taken place,” Jessop said. “In order for this to be fixed going forward, we have to take responsibility. This is a crisis for every single member in the church.”

Other polygamist groups used Jeffs’ crimes as a reason that polygamy should be legalized and regulated.  And Jeffs certainly alienated many within the church.  In prison, his access to outside contact will be severely restricted, so it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to continue to run the church, as he has done from behind bars in the past.

Related Stories:

Polygamist Sect Leader Convicted of Child Sexual Abuse

Polygamist Leader Threatens Jury With “Sickness and Death”

Polygamist’s Rape Convictions Overturned by Utah Court

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Photo from Randy Mankin via Wikimedia Commons.

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54 comments

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3:14PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

But it's a RELIGIOUS belief.

We aren't supposed to question those.

1:45PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

What a great country. This guy gets life and the mass murderer George Bush is treated as a hero.

1:22PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Unfortunately, somebody else in his twisted cult will take over as prophet and the girls will still be traded and "bred" in the name of the "celestial family."

It's like those critters in a Grade Z horror flick that multiply when you throw water on 'em.

7:30AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

"What sick f*@k was video taping him having sex with his "bride"? That person needs to be behind bars as well."

It was an audio recording, but it's unclear from the article or anything I've seen elsewhere whether he recorded it, or whether it was the girl, or somebody else, or what. :/
But yeah.. I'm not sure what you'd call that if it's just an audio recording, is it still considered child pornography or something else?
You'd think it would certainly be against some law in and of itself.

7:03AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

"Polygamy is also wrong because it gives a clear message that women are not equal to men – essentially making them subhuman."

*sigh*

From my comments in the other article on this story:

"That's what's called misguided and uninformed opinion. "
"What you have here with this supposed man of God is not polygamy, it's statutory rape and coercion, etc."
"...it's unconstitutional for it to be illegal, both on separation of church and state grounds and personal liberty/privacy grounds."
"I could go on correcting everyone, but it would be easier if people just took a little time to become informed of what they're talking about."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory
http://www.polyamory.org/

Sorry, but I get tired of hearing such misstatements constantly repeated here and elsewhere about polys, atheists, bisexuals, etc., etc.

4:27AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

What sick f*@k was video taping him having sex with his "bride"? That person needs to be behind bars as well.

10:47PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Justified!

7:39PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Good thing this scum bag was convicted and sentenced in the USA.

If he had been in Canada he would have got 10 or 15 years, and automatic release in 6 or 11 years as long as he didn't commit more crimes in jail.

Canadian government is trying to make sentences harsher on the very worst criminals (1st degree murderers, rapists, and child molesters), but people on the left here are trying to make it easier on these criminals.

5:09PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Scum, what he did to these children in the name of God, how sick. My heart aches for these girls. May he never get out of jail.

1:10PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

I think I read on one of the news sites that it ws actually life plus som many years and in Texas that means no parole. Now as long as some judge doesn't overturn the conviction because he didn't get adequate representation it should be good to go. Hope he meets Bubu in there!

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