Arguments Heard Today in Polygamist's Appeal

Arguments Heard Today in Polygamist's Appeal


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Sam Penrod ReportingThe Utah Supreme Court today heard arguments in the appeal of Tom Green, the outspoken polygamist convicted two and a half years ago of having five wives.

Tom Green has spent more than two years at the Utah State Prison, serving time for bigamy and child rape involving what he calls his five spiritual wives. Today Green's attorney formally argued why his bigamy conviction should be overturned.

The prosecution of Tom Green made international headlines in May of 2001. The case began after Green made numerous appearances on TV programs where he openly discussed his polygamist lifestyle--being married to five women and having nearly 30 children.

Green was convicted of bigamy, but his defense disputes whether the trial court properly found him in a common law marriage, when Green claimed he was never legally married in the eyes of the state--only married spiritually. Green is also hoping a recent US Supreme Court case striking down anti-sodomy laws in Texas will bolster his case to being a polygamist.

John Bucher, Defense Attorney: "What you do in your home doesn't bother anyone. There is no compelling state interest what you do in your home with consenting adults, you should be allowed to do so."

Laura Dupaix, Assistant Attorney General: "It isn't so much about who is cohabitating with who and if you have a right to cohabitate, even especially consenting adults. This case is really about a man who marries young girls and calls it religion."

The five justices of the Utah Supreme court asked numerous questions of both attorneys; however a ruling is not expected for several months.

Tom Green is also serving a life sentence for child rape for marrying his wife Linda when she was only 13-years old. Green is also appealing that case which should be heard in the state supreme court sometime next year.

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