I’ve wanted to put up a quick opinion on the Texas FLDS issue and have finally found the time to do so. Here’s my opinion.
I think the whole thing stinks.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the huge raid and subsequent mass removal of children (including infants) from their mothers and fathers has all been based on a false report (aka: a prank call).
To me, that means due process was entirely violated. If abuse occurred and there was actual evidence of it, then get the proper warrant for that case and prosecute it. However, latching on to one (false) report to indict every person in that community and launch a massive fishing expedition is absurd and an anthema to the rule of law.
While Texas has split up families, at this time, the case for abuse seems to be bogged down and lacking hard evidence, with one exception: A statement in a Fox News report notes:
Of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who are in state custody, 31 either have given birth or are expecting, Azar [Child Protective Services] said.
That one statement is all the evidence and it, too, may be partially invalid based on Texas law (from the Fox News story): “Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult.” [emphasis added]
Yesterday, Texas officials stated they found some evidence of abuse but the allegations lacked details (see here and here) and seemed to be a stretch in an effort to justify their actions (the so called ‘broken bone’ evidence is already being questioned). Texas officials also came out with a statement about a pregnant teenager recently giving birth in their custody. The problem is that she may be 18 and even if 17, there may be no crime under Texas laws (depending on when conception occurred). She, too, may face having her newborn taken away from her.
In my opion, all the allegation based on their fishing expedition likely have little legal weight as they have all been ‘found’ based on a highly questionable warrant – there seems to be no legal basis for the original warrant, which throws all evidence found based upon this warrant in question. The allegations Texas CPS is coming out with (especially the broken bone stuff) smack of some serious ex post facto CYA.
From what I have seen, the original warrant seems more based on rumor and hearsay than any concrete evidence. That, in my opinion, compromises the findings resulting from a seemingly baseless raid. The way this has been handled appears to entirely disregard the Constituion and the rule of law.
To this end, I would ask you to join with Connor Boyack (he also authored the petition on the issue) and ask your Representatives and Texas Authorities to intervene in this case and ensure legal and Constitutional rights are honored.
UPDATE: This is in reference to the mother who gave birth while in custody I mentioned above: Sect mother of newborn not a minor, Texas concedes. As I said, she will have her newborn taken away:
The San Angelo Standard Times says Texas will continue to seek custody of the newborn.
Let’s see what other CYA measures Texas CPS will come up with.