Don't Worry: Texas Will Get Warren Jeffs

State has a much stronger track record convicting polygamists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2010 1:20 PM CDT
Don't Worry: Texas Will Get Warren Jeffs
In this Aug. 31, 2006 file photo, Warren Jeffs appears in a courtroom surrounded by guards in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)

(Newser) – The Utah Supreme Court stunned prosecutors when it tossed out the only successful conviction against Warren Jeffs, the leader of the polygamist FLDS church. The ruling will make it extremely difficult to retry Jeffs in Utah, where the laws already make the prosecution of child-marriage cases difficult, Time reports. But don’t worry: Texas wants a piece of Jeffs too, and it’s got a much better track record, notching 12 successful prosecutions following its 2008 raid of an FLDS ranch.

Jeffs was originally convicted of being an accessory to rape for performing the marriage of a 14-year-old girl to a 19-year-old man. But the court threw that out in part because at the time, the 19-year-old hadn’t been charged, much less convicted, of the actual rape. That won’t be a problem in Texas, which has already convicted seven men on child abuse charges, all stemming from marriages allegedly performed, and blessed, by Jeffs. (Read more Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stories.)

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