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  1. #1
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    UT - Polygamist Judge Fights to Keep His Job

    A small-town judge ordered removed from office because he has three wives faced a hearing before the state Supreme Court on Wednesday in his bid to remain on the bench.

    Those pursuing the case against Judge Walter Steed (search) say his plural marriage creates a conflict: After taking an oath to uphold the law, he shouldn't be breaking it.

    The commission issued an order seeking Steed's removal from the bench in February, after a 14-month investigation determined Steed was a polygamist and as such had violated Utah's bigamy law.

    Bigamy is a third-degree felony in Utah (search) punishable by up to five years in prison, but Steed's attorney, Rod Parker, said Utah's attorney general and the Washington County prosecutor have declined to prosecute his client.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174341,00.html
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  2. #2
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    "There is no allegation that it's affecting his performance on the bench," Parker said. "It really is truly only about his private conduct."

    Sounds like a way for any public/elected official to rationalize all sorts of illegal behavior. As long as they don't feel that it would affect their job performance, it's okay. Wow, what a great country!

    I wonder what he would do if a polygamy case came before him.

    And why haven't they prosecuted this guy? Instead they made him a judge??? Am I missing something? Are we so desperate for judges that we'll settle for felons?

    Ugh.

  3. #3
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    Despite their protests to the contrary, many in Utah continue to turn their heads and ignore polygamy unless forced to. Authorities have known for some time that this guy is a polygamist yet he has been allowed to practice. And if you look at the area where he practices, there should be no surprise. His district is THE hotbed of polygamy. Just google the city and you won't believe what you find. There have been so few cases prosecuted in Utah, despite what is going on. I remember seeing a 60 minutes segment years ago where they were interviewing a senator....everyone talks the talk about the law and polygamy but it is widely known that most look the other way. yuk
    And while this judge is probably not in on the welfare scheme, you can bet most are. I find the whole thing repugnant.

  4. #4
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    He isn't legally married to all three. Two are his "spiritual wives". I think if he can afford three wives and the three are old enough to consent...let him have three "wives"!

    If he is openly sleeping with three women, all of whom know about each other and agree to the arrangement who are we to judge?

    If another judge has had an affair unbeknown to his wife...that's ok?? He should be tossed from the bench as well?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ
    If another judge has had an affair unbeknown to his wife...that's ok?? He should be tossed from the bench as well?
    Good point, and that is why polygamy is so hard to prosecute. In the case of Tom Green (currently in prison), he avidly went on the talk show circuit and advertised the fact that he had plural wives which was somewhat of a slap in the face to LE, however the charge they eventually got him on was statutory rape, because he had "married" one of his wifes, and consumated the marriage when she was not of legal age, and couldn't have given consent. They did that through birth records of the couples first child together, and marriage records. In some cases, the man will legally marry one woman, divorce, and marry another, divorce and legally marry another - whereas some just legally marry one time and then take the other women as "spiritual" wives. Here is a link. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1999/...ain70628.shtml Tom was obviously convicted, and faces up to 25 years in prison. Other times, they get one of the wives to testify against the man, and they can get them on a variety of charges. Warren Jeffs, is an example of this type of scenario. Jeffs has been a fugitive for the last year and a half. I think they have him on conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.

    As far as the Hilsdale judge...I too think he should be removed from the bench. I don't think he should be able to interpret the law to suit himself.

  6. #6
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    I wonder how many of those "wives" are on his health insurance policy?
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  7. #7
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    HI LInda- I have enjoyed your posts but really have to disagree with you on this. This guy is a JUDGE. He is obligated to uphold the law of the land, both on the bench and privately. He has violated the law. Secondly, we have had a lot of discussion here about polygamy. I can't remember if you were a participant in those discussions or not, so forgive me. In case you weren't, many of us read the very well researched book by Jonathan krakauer (sp!) called Under the Banner of Heaven. Big history of polygamy. There are also large groups of women who have escaped from Polygamy who are trying to rescure other women. Stories about incest and inter-marriage abound. I think I understand where you are coming from in a way....the whole Big Brother thing in terms of telling you how to live etc.. However, many of these very young women who are involved in polygamy become 'wives' at the ages of 14, 15 aned 16. There is also a huge issue about welfare fraud. The 'wives' who are not legally wed have many children and the majority collect welfare. I am not being reactionary here, this is the truth. I also read a book by a woman who was a daughter of polygamy, her father was one of several Polygamist leaders who claimed to be the true prophet. It was really eye opening. She talked about poverty and fear and enforced secrecy.
    My concern about Polygamy is that I believe it subjegates women and children. Check out Tapestry against Polygamy, a group of women who escaped Polygamy. I am usuallly pretty 'live and let live' but this thinking really frightens me.

  8. #8
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    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    Did the judge actually marry all of these women in the eyes of the state? Or were his subsequent marriages sanctified by the LDS church? If he is not currently LEGALLY married to all of these women, then he is only guilty of adultery. I'm not sure that is against the law in his state.

    I'm not for Polygamy, mostly because I think it is very strange, but if he has not broken the law, why is he forced to leave the bench?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewingDeb
    Did the judge actually marry all of these women in the eyes of the state? Or were his subsequent marriages sanctified by the LDS church? If he is not currently LEGALLY married to all of these women, then he is only guilty of adultery. I'm not sure that is against the law in his state.

    I'm not for Polygamy, mostly because I think it is very strange, but if he has not broken the law, why is he forced to leave the bench?
    What are the common law statues in Utah? Some states have laws in which if you live as husband and wife, then you are indeed married. I would also wonder how they were classified on his income tax and as I posted above- were they on his health ins.
    Under the ethics clause most states and federal government agencies follow, personnel must avoid the appearance of corruption. Therefore, if he is indeed presenting these women as his "wives" then he might be found in violation of the ethics clause.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  10. #10
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    I'm wondering about consistiency in how this is applied. If a judge is removed for breaking any law (speeding? Or does it need to be a felony?), then this guy should be removed. If a judge can commit a crime, and remain a judge, then it seems that this guy is not doing anything that should impact his job.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moab
    Good point, and that is why polygamy is so hard to prosecute. In the case of Tom Green (currently in prison), he avidly went on the talk show circuit and advertised the fact that he had plural wives which was somewhat of a slap in the face to LE, however the charge they eventually got him on was statutory rape, because he had "married" one of his wifes, and consumated the marriage when she was not of legal age, and couldn't have given consent. They did that through birth records of the couples first child together, and marriage records. In some cases, the man will legally marry one woman, divorce, and marry another, divorce and legally marry another - whereas some just legally marry one time and then take the other women as "spiritual" wives. Here is a link. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1999/...ain70628.shtml Tom was obviously convicted, and faces up to 25 years in prison. Other times, they get one of the wives to testify against the man, and they can get them on a variety of charges. Warren Jeffs, is an example of this type of scenario. Jeffs has been a fugitive for the last year and a half. I think they have him on conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.

    As far as the Hilsdale judge...I too think he should be removed from the bench. I don't think he should be able to interpret the law to suit himself.
    Tom Green is no longer in prison. He served six years. He now only has one wife. Linda, the one who he raped at 13. That guy is gross.

  12. #12
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    You cannot be an "officer of the court" and uphold the law and be a criminal while sitting on the bench.

    I feel it is his whole attitude towards polygamy and women is disgusting and degrading.

    I thought Polygamy was against the law in Utah.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcookster
    HI LInda- I have enjoyed your posts but really have to disagree with you on this. This guy is a JUDGE. He is obligated to uphold the law of the land, both on the bench and privately. He has violated the law. Secondly, we have had a lot of discussion here about polygamy. I can't remember if you were a participant in those discussions or not, so forgive me. In case you weren't, many of us read the very well researched book by Jonathan krakauer (sp!) called Under the Banner of Heaven. Big history of polygamy. There are also large groups of women who have escaped from Polygamy who are trying to rescure other women. Stories about incest and inter-marriage abound. I think I understand where you are coming from in a way....the whole Big Brother thing in terms of telling you how to live etc.. However, many of these very young women who are involved in polygamy become 'wives' at the ages of 14, 15 aned 16. There is also a huge issue about welfare fraud. The 'wives' who are not legally wed have many children and the majority collect welfare. I am not being reactionary here, this is the truth. I also read a book by a woman who was a daughter of polygamy, her father was one of several Polygamist leaders who claimed to be the true prophet. It was really eye opening. She talked about poverty and fear and enforced secrecy.
    My concern about Polygamy is that I believe it subjegates women and children. Check out Tapestry against Polygamy, a group of women who escaped Polygamy. I am usuallly pretty 'live and let live' but this thinking really frightens me.
    To be honest, I have no clue about the history of polygamy. What you have written is very interesting in a sick twisted way.

    My opinion was based solely on the concept/theory itself. I don't think I have a problem with a man having three ADULT woman as his wives, as long as they want to be.

    I don't care for people ( any people) who milk the welfare system. I don't care for pedophiles either, but we know there are an abundance of them outside the world of polygamy.

    I disagree with any adult man marrying children....it just seems wrong and disgusting. But then I look at my own grandparents who married in their young teens ( they were BOTH very young) and remained happily married for over 55 years until death. Not so long ago people seemed to emotionally mature much earlier and had far greater responsibilities. When I look at todays youth, I simply can't even imagine them successfully marrying & raising a family at that age. Although, we do know many young people today do have sexual relationships and bear children at a VERY young age. Perhaps in a polygamist relationship the other older wives help the younger newer ones. I don't have any answers ...The whole thing is just bazaar to me...sorry for rambling........

  14. #14
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    I don't think it's as simple a matter as whether or not this judge should be allowed to have 3 wives. In a televised interview he said that, according to his religion, having multiple wives paves his way to glory with God. He didn't feel man's law should override God's. That's scary thinking coming from a judge, IMO. What if my religion says the only way I can get to heaven is to sacrifice an infant? We can't have judges setting aside the law in favor of religion.

  15. #15
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    Ewwww....I just read the article. The three wives are sisters. Icky. Nasty.

    Going to shower now.

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