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Polygamist Judge Ordered Off Utah Bench [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-25-06 05:11 AM
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Polygamist Judge Ordered Off Utah Bench
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Update 4: Polygamist Judge Ordered Off Utah Bench
By DEBBIE HUMMEL , 02.24.2006, 07:50 PM

A small-town judge with three wives was ordered removed from the bench by the Utah Supreme Court on Friday.

The court unanimously agreed with the findings of the state's Judicial Conduct Commission, which recommended the removal of Judge Walter K. Steed for violating the state's bigamy law.

Steed said he was disappointed with the decision.

"I had hoped that the court would see my case as an opportunity to correct the injustices that are caused by the criminalization of my religious beliefs and lifestyle," Steed said in a statement.

Polygamist judge ordered removed from bench by Utah Supreme Court

...Steed has served for 25 years on the Justice Court in the polygamist community of Hildale in southern Utah, where he ruled on such matters as drunken driving and domestic violence cases.

A year ago, the commission issued an order seeking Steed's removal from the bench, after a 14-month investigation determined Steed was a polygamist. Bigamy is a third-degree felony in Utah, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Judge Steed's relationship with his three plural wives for more than 20 years clearly runs afoul of the prohibition, the ruling said. When the law is violated or ignored by those charged by society with the fair and impartial enforcement of the law, the stability of our society is placed at undue risk.

The initial complaint against Steed was filed with the commission in November 2003 by Tapestry Against Polygamy, a group founded by former polygamous women who help others leave the secretive religious colonies.
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