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Legal road ends for Warren Jeffs in Texas

Published May 16, 2012 8:14 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Barring an act of God, Warren Jeffs is set to spend the rest of his life in prison after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to hear his case today.

He didn't honestly seem all that interested in his own case. He let it languish in front of the Third Court of Appeals until it was dismissed, apparently aiming instead for the high court with a series of bizarre, though now familiar, "revelations from God" warning the judges of biblical consequences if he wasn't freed.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has generally been savvy in the courts over the years, hiring top-notch attorneys. So why the rejection of that strategy?

You could say there are mental issues at work, or point to the fact that Warren also took the "answer them nothing" approach around 2005 as lawsuits were filed against the FLDS property trust.

Or you could argue, as Willie Jessop told me for this story, that he's trying to avoid a re-airing of the damning facts of the case and confronting his own guilt.

But it also occurs to me that a release won by an attorney doesn't fit into Warren's myth-making. An opinion wrung from a government court (assuming it could be won) doesn't exactly measure up to the prison walls crumbling and Warren walking out a free man, does it?