More on Quasi-Official Policies of Not Prosecuting Polygamists
posted by Kaimipono D. Wenger
From a fascinating Reuters article:
The attorneys general of Utah and Arizona said in separate interviews they had no intention of prosecuting polygamists unless they commit other crimes such as taking underage brides — a practice authorities said was rampant in a Utah-Arizona border community run by Warren Jeffs before his arrest in August.
“We are not going to go out there and persecute people for their beliefs,” said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.
Adds Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff: “We determined six or seven years ago that there was no way we could prosecute 10,000 polygamists and put the kids into foster care. There’s no way that we have the money or the resources to do that.”
I can see why pragmatic considerations would weigh against broad criminal enforcement here. It kinda sounds like the widespread pre-Lawrence environment of mostly non-prosecution of stand-alone violation of anti-sodomy laws. I wonder if that’s a sign of the eventual fate of criminal bigamy laws . . .