Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wait, You Forgot Something !!

I don't know how we missed this. I mean - there's no mention of it in the Brown decision.  Everybody seems to have forgotten about it. 

A few years back, in his relentless campaign against our culture, Snortleff cooked up this cunning idea to target us further.  His battle cry was always about "the children" and the abuse he believed was rampant in our communities.  Well, he wasn't wrong about Warren Jeffs.  Warren Jeffs was having group sex with young tweens and teens. He should be killed.

Convictions of Tom Green and Rodney Holm demonstrated the State's ability to target adult polygamists, but their partners were (in some cases) minors. The "adult" bigamy statute (merely a third-degree felony) didn't give Sharkleff all the teeth he wanted.  He hit upon the idea of a "Child Bigamy" statute.  He convinced the Utah state legislature to go along with the plan.  With little resistance the bill passed, and it is now law.  Here is the language of the statute:


76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or she has a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, the actor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony


I always had problems with this move.  The "adult" bigamy statute was broad and vague enough to ensnare any polygamist, but Sharkleff had to have more. 

The first problem is that the statute singles out a religious minority for disfavorable treatment.  Why? - because if a 20-year-old guy with a wife takes a 17-year-old as a second "wife", he will serve 15 years in prison, whereas if it's just a "girl-friend"(/adultery) situation, the law must look the other way.  What determines whether the guy walks free or does 15 years is his religion.  If he is a Fundamentalist Mormon, he's done for!

The second problem is that paragraph (b) would make me a second-degree felon if my family lived in Utah.  I "cohabit" with my kids who are minors. They live in my houses.  "Cohabit" is too vague and ill-defined.  You'd have to put half the state in prison.

The fourth problem is that, despite having opportunities to use the statute on some of Utah's truly bad polygamists, law enforcement never used it.

The fourth and BIGGEST problem is that Waddoups just struck down the "cohabits" language from Utah's (dumb) adult bigamy statute, so this one is therefore equally doomed.

Maybe it won't matter.  Maybe the voiding of one statute will result in the voiding of the other one(s) spawned by it.  We'll see.
76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or shehas a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, theactor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony. - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/utah/title-76/chapter-07/76-7-101-5#sthash.KkpWJRxE.dpuf
76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or shehas a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, theactor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony. - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/utah/title-76/chapter-07/76-7-101-5#sthash.KkpWJRxE.dpuf
76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or shehas a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, theactor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony. - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/utah/title-76/chapter-07/76-7-101-5#sthash.KkpWJRxE.dpuf

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