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A Texas State Trooper maintains a roadblock to polygamist retreat

Utah and Arizona Prosecutors Won’t Raid Polygamist Compounds

May 09, 2008 05:23 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Isabel Cowles
Hands-off pledge suggests the two states will overlook polygamy in hopes of more cooperation and trust from sects.

30-Second Summary

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Top prosecutors in Utah and Arizona announced in a Polygamy Town Meeting, attended by over 1,000 people, that they will not raid polygamist groups in their states.

The two prosecutors, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard explained at the meeting that they work differently from law enforcers in Texas, by specifically targeting polygamists “committing specific crimes, including arranged marriages of minor girls,” NPR reports.

Many of the polygamists at the meeting felt nervous that their way of life has been wrongly publicized when the Yearn for Zion Ranch (Eldorado, Texas) was raided, and more than 500 women and children were removed by Texas lawmakers.

The Polygamy Town Meeting was an opportunity for Utah and Arizona polygamists to articulate their beliefs and way of life outside of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), the sect of Mormonism to which the Yearn for Zion Ranch belonged.

Before the Texas raids, many polygamist families contemplated moving to Texas. Since Shurleff and Goddard’s announcement, however, many have decided to remain in Utah and Arizona. According to the New York Times, “Over the last month, dozens of families have come forward to cooperate with a court-appointed officer, pay their bills and sign documents that could allow them to stay in their homes [in Utah].”

Headline Link: Polygamists off the hook in Utah, Arizona

Background: Yearn for Zion raid prompts concern over polygamist lifestyle

Reactions: Utah and Arizona Polygamists safe at home

Reference: Mormonism

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