April 22nd, 2008
12:19 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS hearing: Even more children

Cheryl Getty
CNN Producer

I just spoke with a representative with the Department of Health snd Family Services, and Child Protective Services (CPS) is a part of this unit.

In regards to the increase in the numbers of children, they tell me that the 416 number was a rushed count, and they have counted again and now have 437.  The new number comes because children were moved to differnet locations snd some have similar names.  So the original count has been updated.

Note: this tells me not to be surprised if this number changes again.  They are discovering some females at the coliseum may have not been forthcoming about their original age and now are being counted as minors.

So at the moment, 437 is the best count they have NOW.

Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Polygamy
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. magan

    I am glad that the texas is doing something and now the other states need to do the same. If our tax money is supporting this organization then no one should get upset when people cross the border and our tax money us used for them.
    And my other point is. i have done some research on mormanism and it is a cult period and Jesus is no way shape or form the focus. I find it a insult to be even compiled with such perverseness as a Christian. I say get them all. These kids have been taught to hate and i believe that is abuse enough. Sexual abuse in the name if God. such rubbish!!

    April 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  2. peggy

    From what I have been reading, most of the people receiving welfare benefits are in Utah and Arizona. Many of the children in Texas don't have birth certificates or social security numbers, so they cannot get benefits. It seems like there was a shift in thinking by the FLDS leaders in the last few years. They were in so much trouble in Utah and Arizona, that it appears that they were going to try to have as many people as possible not even legally exist! When they moved to Texas, a girl only had to be 14 to get married, however, Texas changed that to age 16. I believe that happened in 2005. The FLDS have many construction companies out in the Las Vegas area that have many large contracts. They underbid the other companies because they have their young teenage boys work for no wages as a form of "mission work". Between the money from the construction companies and land that was sold, they have been able to keep everything going.

    April 23, 2008 at 10:27 am |
  3. Jessica A. Mattison

    Why has the Texas Court refused to adhere to law of the land surround the right to independent and conflict free representation and effective assistance of counsel ?

    The dangers inherent if multiple representation cases can not be ferreted out without independent inquiries on the record by the court of each client and each attorney to the case, before any further steps in each case can procedurally progress, otherwise each client faces the denial of independent and conflict free effective assistance of cousel assured by the sixth Amendment and 14 Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Thats is well established law that our own Supreme Court of The United States has established in a multitude of cases.

    So please consider if you will....why it is not being followed in Texas Courts ?

    Oddly enough, everyone seems to be screaming "we are a country of laws"
    and the law must be followed in the best interest of the children.

    That said, perhaps someone can explain to me why the State of Texas in its own criminal/civil actions being taken at this time can not follow it as well?

    My comment surrounds legal representation of multiple clients and their respective interest to each.

    There is such a thing as "Conflicts of Interest" in dual or multiple representations, and when they run afoul of one another, then it is no longer a possible conflict of interest perceived, but a conflict of interest absolute and unconstitutional.

    The law of the land here in America refuses to tolerate conflict of interest situations to exist in representing multiple clients who's interest may run a foul one another
    from the on set and obvious, however where there is even a possibility of a conflict of interest perceived rather than actual, the court..." must hold an independent hearing for each client to assure that each client is fully aware of the dangers inherent in multiple representation cases and the court must inquire of each, on the record to assure those dangers are understood by the clients and appreciate the possible wavier of many rights to independent and conflict free representation.

    That has not taken place in this case that the Judge in this matter
    has for whatever reason has elected to simply ignore this absolute right to each and every client in her courtroom.

    Mass lumping of cases without specific on the record inquiries of each client/attorney relationship involved has acted to denied effective assistance of counsel without having held a hearing to each in order to ferret out the "possibilities of a conflict of interest" and where the possibility exist the court must elect to independent counsel to assure no conflict of interest exist.

    Its obvious the children may provide via forced DNA evidence that will/could result in serious criminal charges against the parents or other siblings.

    Any attorney dually representing the multiple interest of more than a single client in this matter is face with, rather than potential conflicts of interest, but actual conflicts of interest to their client(s) detriment and amounts to no representation at all.

    The safe guards of individual hearings regarding same of each and every client/attorney "must" be held to assure that even the mere "perception of a possible conflict of interest" does not exist and take immediate steps to correct same before any further procedural steps in each case can continue.

    One thing is absolute, and that is the right to independent and conflict free representation and in this matter, neither can be assured without hearing to assure no conflicts exist, perceived or actual.

    I find it telling that the Texas Court has elected, along with the attorneys involved, to wave these clients rights without first mandatory ordering of a hearing(s) and "on the record" either obtain those waivers in a knowing and intelligent fashion by questioning each, as to the possibilities of conflicts of interest and knowing waive their rights to independent and conflict free effective assistance of counsel, respectfully.

    April 23, 2008 at 9:59 am |
  4. Lisa (UK)

    I don't understand how it could get this far. Shouldn't it be compulsory to report/register evry birth (incl. identity and age of both parents) and every death to authorities? Then there would not be any 15 year old mothers! And what about education? Isn't there a general curriculum which all schools have to follow, so that EVERY child learns about the human rights, other cultures' ways of thinking, sex-education and the world in general? In a way I understand why those women agree to polygamy: Of course they want to share the burden of being raped every day by a man they don't love, let alone like. What is the point of life without love (in a marriage or not), or at least the possibility of it? Someone should also educate them about female sexuality. They don't know any better, having experienced only rape.

    April 22, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    I'm not surprised the number went up; I'm sure this task is taxing the resources of Texas especially in the small town where they were. I'm not surprised either that some lied about their age; does this impact the number of underage women who are "married" and pregnant or have had a child?

    I'm glad the state removed all the children until a good investigation can determine which children are at risk and if there are any that are not. I'd like to see these children, especially the females, have more of a choice at their future than having babies for some selfish man who abuses them.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 22, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  6. pjt

    BTW, Not all foster homes are created equal, but I know some very nice people who were raised in loving foster homes. They turned out just fine, thank you. And when you ask them – are they glad they were removed, they say yes, no doubt about it. So give the kids a chance, many will be glad when grown to say thanks for getting me out.

    April 22, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  7. Penny Z

    Aren't birth certificates required to receive welfare checks in Texas? SS#????? How can they get away with this? They don't know how to live in our society but they sure know how to use the system.

    April 22, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  8. bea logical

    If one does some reseach into this particular cult ,one realizes quickly the how , why, who, where, when, ect.
    To any objectors to the state, i say
    "Do your Homework before passing judgement."

    April 22, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  9. Demetrious

    it would be possible to minimize the trauma to the young children and still protect underage women and justify government intervention...if the bureacracy was not so interested in protecting itself. the judge has the power to force dna testing and force supervision of all the chidlren concerned after releasing the youngsters back to their moms.
    it's obvious that foster parents are not going to provide the love and attention that young children need, long term. why traumatize the under ten year olds for no good reason. my experience has been that cps type people are most interested in protecting themselves from criticism and possible adverse impacts to their tenure and benefits. they usually speak aboiut "safety for the children" in order to delay, many times indefintiely, the need to do somethng positive for the families involved. one must remember that to a bureaucrat time is not a valuable commodity at all...they have the rest of their working lives to do any act or just pass the case along to the next person in line...meanwhile chidren grown older and more distant from those who love them, and families break down financially and in spirit.

    April 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  10. jes

    PLEASE TEXAS keep the children away from that compound!!! The more I learn about that hell hole the worst I feel. My heart hurts for both the women & children but I fear it is to late for the women. Your next challenge will to be to somehow keep them from reproducing & creating another generation of zombies

    April 22, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  11. Reader

    This must be overwhelming but the fact the government tackled this issue must be respected. Now when will the other states follow on this serious matter?
    The men and women sound just alike when interviewed. I have a problem the men did not step up and stayed under the long dresses.
    That's even sadder for this matter. The men should had stepped up faster.

    April 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  12. Susan

    So many children. How many of these children get state funding. Well at one point it came to about 6 million...and growing. So with all these single mothers "spiritual wives" and all their kids one can't expect them to be supported by one man...all of the tax payers are chipping in to support their life style. Look it up...find out for yourselves. We even support their education system!

    Only in America

    April 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  13. Jill

    Well I guess it's bound to happen. I hope they keep account of the children with the new number.

    April 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  14. Carol Fryer

    So when are they gonna go in and take the kids out of the Alamo Foundation? It amazes me how long some groups can go on and on without being stopped. The children that grew up have children and their grandchildren born from underage children bring more children into a world of being a posession and just a thing for pleasure for some old wrinkled pervert. Its so sad to see kids go through this. Its sadder to see them adapt to the point that they feel its normal and the way its supposed to be. They take one verse out of the bible and build world on it like they are making a movie. They blow it up and twist it all out of proportion just to get what they want.

    April 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  15. xtina, chicago IL

    I HAVE A problem with the government rounding up these FLDS children. Why don't they take it on a case-by-case basis? Who is the government to say that if it's proven one or two children are being abused that all 437 are being treated likewise?

    April 22, 2008 at 2:05 pm |