Appeals Court Upholds Utah Polygamy Ban
April 14, 2016
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a challenge to Utah’s ban on polygamy, based on a technicality. The court found that the case before them was moot, as the plaintiffs no longer faced a credible threat of prosecution under the law. A Utah County, Utah prosecutor who had opened an investigation into a polygamous family issued a new policy limiting prosecution to cases of deception, or involving polygamy and another crime. That new policy excludes the plaintiffs from persecution, the three-judge appeals court panel found. “The small number of prior [Utah County Attorney’s Office] prosecutions—three in a ten-year period, at least two of which also involved charges for collateral crimes—reinforces this conclusion,” the judges ruled. The family at the heart of the case has said they will appeal.
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