Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Warren Jeffs' Sentence is the Best of a Bad Deal

Warren Jeffs, the leader of a fundamentalist Mormon sect, was sentenced to five years for conspiring to rape a minor. His part in the conspiracy was to order a 14-year-old girl in the sect to marry her 19-year-old cousin. Such is the nature of cults that his order, backed by a threat of damnation, was enough to make her do it. She later left the cult and has helped prosecutors make the case.

This is an iffy use of the rape law, as I have argued before. Still, the guy needed to be stopped. In prison he has tried to kill himself. He says he is not worthy of the Mormon priesthood. Perhaps some of the members of the cult who were on the edge of leaving may be freed of their thrall.

The history of extreme oppositional cults, though, suggests that most members will see this sentence as confirmation that the forces of evil, including the government, are conspiring against them.

Perhaps Jeffs himself will have a prison repentance.


Ken Lammers said...

I think that under accomplice law the conviction is solid, if unusual. In any event you have inspired my post of the day over at CrimLaw.

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