Polygamist Hearing Is A Circus - The News Junkie
The News Junkie: Polygamist Hearing Is A Circus

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Polygamist Hearing Is A Circus

416 Children, 400+ Lawyers, Can The Court System Handle This?:

polygamist trial

SAN ANGELO, Texas - A court hearing to decide the fate of the 416 children swept up in a raid on a West Texas polygamist sect descended into farce Thursday, with hundreds of lawyers in two packed buildings shouting objections and the judge struggling to maintain order.

The case — clearly one of the biggest, most convoluted child-custody hearings in U.S. history — presented an extraordinary spectacle: big-city lawyers in suits and mothers in 19th-century, pioneer-style dresses, all packed into a courtroom and a nearby auditorium connected by video.

At issue was an attempt by the state of Texas to strip the parents of custody and place the children in foster homes because of evidence they were being physically and sexually abused by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a renegade Mormon splinter group suspected of forcing underage girls into marriage with older men.

It looks like the entire hearing was a waste of time. I know we shouldn't rush to judgement in these early phases of the trial but it doesn't look good. I honestly wonder if the state got in over it's head here. How do you maintain order with more than 400 lawyers objecting to everything under the sun? They need to break this entire case up into groups of ten or less. That way, it would be much easier to keep the proceedings on track. I'll keep an eye on this but I can already see the entire case descending into chaos. Which, strangely enough, is exactly what the polygamists want to happen.

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