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Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Sentenced!

Image courtesy of the Associated Press

It took a Texas jury less than 30 minutes to reach a sentence for polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs.  Life in prison.  That’s what he gets for sexually assaulting two underage followers he took as brides.

Life.  In.  Prison.

YES!  If the devil ever walked the earth he would probably choose to be Warren Jeffs. The man is pure evil. He is a pedophile and child molester of epic proportions. Thousands of young girls have been victimized because of this man’s lies and brainwashing. Thousands of young men have been exiled from their homes because of this man.

Working as a news producer in Salt Lake City, Utah for nearly a decade, I witnessed first-hand the destruction this man has caused to so many. Finally, FINALLY he will no longer have a stranglehold on those polygamous communities bordering that straddle the border between Utah and Arizona.

So what was Jeffs’ reaction when the verdict was read?

According to the Deseret News, the head of the Utah-based Fundamentalist LDS Church (FLDS) stood quietly as the decision of the Texas jury was read Tuesday. He received the maximum sentence on both counts.

The 55-year-old Jeffs insisted on acting as his own attorney and was convicted last Thursday.  He walked out of the sentencing phase in protest after reading a statement Friday that he claimed was from God, promising a “whirlwind of judgment” on the world if God’s “humble servant” wasn’t set free.  You know, his usual method of operation.  Except that only works on people you’ve been brainwashing since birth…  So since Jeffs refused to participate in court proceedings the jury deliberated and he was sentenced today.

During the trial, as the Deseret News reports, “prosecutors used DNA evidence to show Jeffs fathered a child with a 15-year-old and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting a 12-year-old. They played other tapes in which Jeffs was heard instructing as many as a dozen of his young wives on how to please him sexually — and thus, he told them, please God.”

“If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree,” Jeffs wrote in 2005, according to one of thousands of pages of notes seized along with the audio recordings from his Texas ranch.

After burning through seven attorneys, Jeffs represented himself.   He routinely interrupted the proceedings and chose to stand silently in front of jurors for nearly half an hour during his closing arguments. He called just one defense witness, a church elder who read from Mormon scripture.

The FLDS Church — a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism — believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. It has more than 10,000 followers who consider Jeffs to be God’s spokesman on Earth.  They have a history of being persecuted, which is why Jeffs has maintained his power over the community even throughout being jailed.  The more “persecuted” he appears, the more devout his followers.    Whether he can still wield substantial power from prison remains to be seen.

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