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Thread: Sister Wives

  1. #91
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Sister Wives

    I believe someone in one of the earlier pages posted case law in Utah as to what is considered bigamy. I'm wondering if their "loophole" is going to be that each sister wife has their own "apartment", so he technically isnt living with all of them. I'd take a bet (and probably win), that his primary residence is with wife #1.
    The Utah statute quoted upthread includes cohabitation in defining bigamy. The Browns are all living together, regardless of how they've created "sections" for each wife. Kody is also on record acknowledging that he cohabitates with these women in one house, as a family. However, it turns out their living arrangements are probably irrelevant unless the investigation determines they've committed other crimes, like welfare fraud, tax evasion, etc.

    "It has been our office's position not to pursue cases of bigamy between consenting adults," the attorney general's spokesman, Scott Troxel, said Tuesday. "We want to use our resources wisely."
    Utah police investigate plural family for bigamy - Yahoo! News

  2. #92
    FORT Fogey lilcountriegal's Avatar
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    Re: Sister Wives

    Quote Originally Posted by MizDaisy;4075641;
    The Utah statute quoted upthread includes cohabitation in defining bigamy. The Browns are all living together, regardless of how they've created "sections" for each wife. Kody is also on record acknowledging that he cohabitates with these women in one house, as a family. However, it turns out their living arrangements are probably irrelevant unless the investigation determines they've committed other crimes, like welfare fraud, tax evasion, etc.



    Utah police investigate plural family for bigamy - Yahoo! News
    I understand what the law says, I was just trying to predict the loophole (if one existed) that may get them out of trouble.

    Thanks for sharing the link, I hadn't heard that the investigation was over.

  3. #93
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Sister Wives

    The investigation is still in progress. As for any loophole to avoid a charge of bigamy, I doubt it's relevant since they won't be charged for bigamy alone. The last case prosecuted for bigamy in Utah was Tom Green in 2001, who was also charged with additional crimes. Law enforcement won't commit their rescources for prosecuting bigamy alone, as stated by the AG's spokesman.

  4. #94
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Sister Wives

    Warning: This post and the quotes below are long and are likely to put some readers into a boredom coma. I am posting them here in order to shed a little light on the current discourse. The State of Utah finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Prosecuting people for bigamy (absent other crimes) is feared to create a roadblock to women (and their children) reaching out to the state's agencies to protect them from abusive situations. The state's intention to tear down the "wall of silence" is not served by this type of prosecution, and it could drive practitioners of polygamy more deeply into secrecy and silence. Furthermore, a conviction of bigamy (with no other crimes attendant) could, on appeal, force a reinterpretation of the statute under other first amendment rights

    Green was convicted of bigamy, failure to pay child support, and child rape (Utah's statutory rape law). If I recall, he married all of his wives while they were teenagers and the youngest had been only 13.

    Also, while Green lost on appeal to the Supreme Court of Utah, he (or his counsel) did not choose to raise the issue of due process (as it applies to the use of the "cohabitation" statutory clause in a criminal proceeding). Chief Justice Durham wrote a separate concurring opinion casting doubt on the legality of using this adjudication of marriage statute.

    (Justice Parrish, for the majority)
    ...
    40 Most importantly, Utah's bigamy statute serves the State's interest in protecting vulnerable individuals from exploitation and abuse. The practice of polygamy, in particular, often coincides with crimes targeting women and children. Crimes not unusually attendant to the practice of polygamy include incest, sexual assault, statutory rape, and failure to pay child support. See Richard A. Vazquez, Note, The Practice of Polygamy: Legitimate Free Exercise of Religion or Legitimate Public Menace? Revisiting Reynolds in Light of Modern Constitutional Jurisprudence, 5 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol'y 225, 239-45 (2001).(14) Moreover, the closed nature of polygamous communities makes obtaining evidence of and prosecuting these crimes challenging. See id. at 243 ("Given the highly private nature of sexual abuse and the self-imposed isolation of polygamous communities, prosecution may well prove impossible. This wall of silence may present a compelling justification for criminalizing the act of polygamy, prosecuting offenders, and effectively breaking down the wall that provides a favorable environment in which crimes of physical and sexual abuse can thrive.")
    (Chief Justice Durham, concurring separately):

    62 I am constrained to concur with Justice Parrish's analysis of the application here of the "adjudicated marriage" statute and thus with the result of the majority opinion. I write separately to express my deep misgivings about the due process implications (not raised or briefed in this case) of using a statute designed to create civil liability for family support to establish the predicate for criminal behavior. Green took calculated and deliberate steps to avoid violation of the bigamy statute. He never attempted to enter into more than one civil marriage at a time, going to great lengths to dissolve, by divorce, one legal marriage before entering into another. In that regard, his behavior differs little from that of many citizens who (for non-religious reasons) set up households with new partners while still legally married to others, and remarry after divorce, if at all. It was only the action of the State, undertaken pursuant to the adjudicated marriage statute, that rendered his behavior criminal. Absent the application of a party for an adjudication of marriage pursuant to the statute, no legal marriage exists, and Green could not have been prosecuted. The analogy to the doctrine of entrapment, where a defendant is caused by agents of the state to commit acts he would not otherwise have committed, seems to me to be very strong. Here, it was only the prosecutors' application for an adjudication of marriage that created the necessary predicate for criminal bigamy, one that Green most probably, given his course of conduct, did not intend to create himself, and may not have even known was possible. Such a result strikes me as, at best, unfair.
    "Blessed is the lonesome pioneer." -- Judee Sill (1973, "There's a Rugged Road")

  5. #95
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Sister Wives

    Absent the application of a party for an adjudication of marriage pursuant to the statute, no legal marriage exists, and Green could not have been prosecuted.
    I'm not sure how this is relevant to Kody Brown. He admits he's legally married to one wife and "spiritually" married to the others. Unless the investigation finds something different, all of the women were of legal age when they entered into a relationship with him. Since the Utah AG's
    office is on record stating they don't prosecute cases of bigamy between consenting adults, the legality of Kody's marriage shouldn't be an issue.

  6. #96
    signed, sealed, delivered maude~flanders's Avatar
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    Re: Sister Wives

    okay, you guys are way too smart for me! So, are you saying that he probably will NOT be prosecuted? Darn!

    I hope they can at least nail them on tax or welfare fraud! But, I would guess they wouldn't have been dumb enough to do a show if they had been cheating the government out of money. They have to have known that they would be looked at for those things.

  7. #97
    Premium Member canuckinchile's Avatar
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    Re: Sister Wives

    Just catching the end of this show. So, does this guy just keep getting newer, younger wives? Is that how this whole thing works? It kind of skeeves me out.

  8. #98
    Dreamer VelvetRed's Avatar
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    Re: Sister Wives

    I am reading this thread because I can't believe this is happening. No, wait, I can believe it. Ugh. To be fair, when is TLC going to have a show with 1 woman and 3-? husbands?

    ACK!

    Where will TLC draw the line? Never, probably, as long as the ratings are good, which means the money is coming in fast enough.
    The Bachelor/Bachelorette series is a soap opera with unskilled actors, bad writing, and beautiful locations...it even edits the real moon!

  9. #99
    Premium Member Yeti Long Shot: Porpoheus Champion
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    Re: Sister Wives

    Quote Originally Posted by canuckinchile;4076192;
    Just catching the end of this show. So, does this guy just keep getting newer, younger wives? Is that how this whole thing works? It kind of skeeves me out.
    Yep, that's pretty much how it works.

    It is interesting to read the reactions here since I'm surrounded by polygamists and always have been. I guess these people would be considered abnormal, but I don't see an uproar or a lot of surprise, it's more like - "oh, that's the polygamist neighborhood. Hmmmm." The issue is pretty much down-played by the more common LDS and Mormon people.

    This thread is much more interesting than the show itself.

  10. #100
    A Random Foot Kitty Throw Champion, Tire Toss Champion PIMguy's Avatar
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    Re: Sister Wives

    Kody's a dog, end of story. He can wrap it up in religion all he wants, but the facts are clear. He wants to act like a single man, with the rewards and benefits that come with being married and having kids. He likes driving around in his Lexus coupe like he's a stud. He wants to court numerous women (which means he wants to date women who are not his wife, for those of you who can't crack the code). He wants the ability to upgrade to a newer model without suffering the guilt of leaving his wife and kids. My read on what he says and the look on his face is that he enjoys the idea of numerous women "wanting" him and loving him, and deep down he enjoys the jealousy and anger that the women feel. What man who truly loves a woman can say "sure she'll be hurt and upset about my new love interest but, hey, get over it. This is what I want?" What man who truly loves a woman can watch her cry because he has professed his love for another woman, and still go through with the new relationship? Of course he uses religious justification words like testimony and witness, but it all boils down to what Kody wants. And Kody wants women!

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