Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sorry about that

An appeals court in Texas has just ruled that the "authorities" there had absolutely no right to swoop in and confiscate over 400 children from a ranch where people accused of being polygamists were living.

"The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state offered "legally and factually insufficient" grounds for the "extreme" measure of removing all children from the ranch, from babies to teenagers."

Translation: The one phony phone call that you received just isn't enough evidence to collect basically an entire town's worth of kids, traumatizing them beyond belief, and seek to remove their parents' custodial rights, no matter how good the state's intentions were. "Feelings" aren't enough to justify warrants. Evidence is.

"The appeals court also said the state was wrong to consider the entire ranch as an individual household and that any abuse claims could apply only to individual households."

Makes sense to me. Otherwise, any burg in Texas could be subject to the same sort of confiscation, based on one family being accused of something.

I remember watching video a few weeks ago of the raid, made by some of the women who were living at the ranch. They questioned an officer about whether there was in fact a valid search warrant. The officer replied something like "The county attorney has it". The women, quite reasonably, then asked if they could possibly see the warrant authorizing the destruction of their lives, and the tactical-clad fellow informed them, "No, you may not".


This ruling comes on the heels of the embarrassing news last week that the females CPS trumpeted proudly as being underage parents were in fact of legal age to marry:

"She was one of two pregnant sect members who state officials had said were minors. The other sect member, who gave birth to a son Monday, also may be an adult, state officials have said."


"Of the 31 originally believed to be underage mothers, 15 have been reclassified as adults — one was 27 years old — and the state conceded a 14-year-old girl had no children and was not pregnant, as officials previously asserted." (Emphases mine)

Oops. Our bad.

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows my stand on child sexual abuse, and I consider forcing minor girls to marry older, lecherous men in order to have multiple children to be grade A abuse. Men who engage in such behavior should be put behind bars for multiple decades. Additionally, polygamy is illegal in Texas, and violaters can and should be prosecuted fully should they enter into multiple marriages. However, the state should make a case, get some evidence, and then go and get any exploited young women out of there, while arresting the men who are accused of breaking the law. Going in there Waco-style and scooping up every single child, with no evidence whatsoever of abuse of any of them, was only inviting serious legal trouble, and now they're getting it. Destroying the village to save it, as it were. The cops are incredibly lucky that this whole situation didn't blow up in their faces, like the Branch Davidian raid did in 1993.

"CPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins said department attorneys had just received the ruling and would make any decision about an appeal later.
'We are trying to assess the impact that this may have on our case,' he said."

Quite a bit, I would imagine, since you never had a case to begin with.

We'll keep monitoring this situation for breaking updates.

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