Y'all probably heard this already (I was away from my computer when the verdict came in late yesterday afternoon).
Anyway, Warren Jeffs was found guilty of both counts, looking at 5 to life for each, with sentencing just before Thanksgiving.
My guess is that now they've found him guilty of something, they'll try him for other crimes (like a federal flight from prosecution charge) so that they can get him into ADX Florence. That might seem like overkill for such a timid looking guy, but the security has been unbelievable in St. George the last few weeks, so they definitely think he is a jailbreak risk with potentially violent followers.
I'm glad they got him, but this is really just a show trial. There's a ton of corruption and fraud at the top of the FLDS hierarchy, and that's what the authorities need to go after. No sign of movement on that front though.
It's sad too. This is a deeply ignorant, and probably mildly retarded fellow, who has been raised in a world where assuming that all your actions are faultless is encouraged. And, he lives in a society that is quite used to deciding that some people are incapable of making mistakes. This is not a recipe for success.
Lastly, the whole idea that there had to be sex involved in order for the authorities to get involved is a sad testament on contemporary America. Teenage girls make bad sexual choices all the time; Jeffs encouraged this in a particular sort of way that isn't all that uncommon in other parts of the world. That doesn't make it a good thing, but we need to recognize that this guy is probably also a statutory rapist - but no one is talking about that personality quirk. Then there is the idea that he made these statutory rapes take place; that's absolutely true, but we don't usually go after gang leaders for encouraging gang rapes - instead we think of that as part of a bigger criminal enterprise.
And there's the rub. The FLDS hierarchy is a criminal racket that engages in a huge number of bad behaviors - and no one cares, or pays attention. If The Crips run a neighborhood where they dominate girls, tell them as teenagers that they need to submit to rape, and assign a gangbanger to do it, the authorities recognize that this is part of a bigger problem and attack on multiple fronts. But, when a bunch of ignorant white folks from the rural west do it in the name of religion, we turn a blind eye to most of their activities. That's got to change.